Heroin is a powerful and dangerous drug that has had devastating effects on individuals and communities across the world. Going cold turkey from heroin – or stopping it suddenly without medical help – can be extremely risky, leading to serious psychological and physical health complications. Let’s explore some of the dangers of going cold turkey from heroin, as well as potential solutions for overcoming this addiction.
Types of Heroin
Heroin is an opioid drug made from the seed pods of poppy plants. There are three main types of heroin: white powder heroin, black tar heroin, and brown powder heroin. All three forms of the drug contain varying levels of potency, which makes them dangerous when abused.
White powder heroin is a fine, white-colored powder that looks similar to cocaine. Black tar heroin is a sticky substance that can range in color from dark brown to almost black. Brown powder heroin is usually darker than white powder and is not as pure as either black or white varieties.
Heroin addiction is a serious condition characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and use, despite adverse consequences. People who are addicted to heroin typically experience cravings for the drug that can be very intense. Other signs of addiction include the following:
- Continued drug use despite negative physical and psychological symptoms.
- Spending large amounts of time trying to obtain and use heroin.
- Engaging in risky behaviors such as sharing needles or having unprotected sex.
Heroin Abuse Signs and Symptoms
Heroin abuse and addiction can be identified through physical, psychological, and behavioral signs. Common physical signs include constricted pupils, impaired motor skills, drowsiness, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, sudden weight loss or gain, and a pale complexion.
Psychological symptoms often include anxiety, depression, or irritability. Behavioral changes associated with heroin use may consist of neglecting responsibilities at work or school, participating in risky activities such as drug dealing, having financial difficulties due to spending money on the drug, and social withdrawal from family and friends.
Not Getting Detox and the Dangers of It
The dangers of not getting detox for heroin addiction include an increased risk of overdose, a higher rate of psychological and physical health complications, greater difficulty quitting the drug, and potential legal problems. In addition, overdosing on heroin can cause severe and potentially life-threatening symptoms such as respiratory depression, coma, seizures, and even death.
Going through medical detox ensures that addicts are properly monitored throughout the process to reduce the risk of overdose or other dangerous side effects. Additionally, without professional help, it is far more difficult to overcome an addiction to heroin due to withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, and diarrhea.
Dangers of Going Cold Turkey
The dangers of going cold turkey from heroin should never be attempted without medical supervision. Detoxing from the drug at home can cause severe withdrawal symptoms, including extreme agitation, anxiety, depression, muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting. In some cases, these symptoms can be fatal if left untreated. Additionally, going cold turkey may lead to relapse due to the intensity of cravings that occur during detoxification.
Why Professional Detox Is Best
Professional detox is the best way to safely and effectively overcome a heroin addiction. Detox programs provide medical supervision, which can help reduce the risk of overdose or other dangerous side effects.
Additionally, these programs offer psychological support, which can be invaluable in helping addicts cope with cravings and withdrawal symptoms while they are going through detox. Professional detox also provides a safe environment for individuals who may be struggling with mental health problems or suicidal thoughts that could make quitting on their own even more difficult.
Can MAT Be Used with Heroin Detox?
MAT (Medication Assisted Treatment) is a type of therapy that combines counseling and various medications to help individuals overcome their addiction. MAT can be used for detoxing from heroin, as the medication helps reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings while allowing patients to focus on behavioral changes necessary for long-term recovery.
Methadone and buprenorphine are two common medications used in MAT programs, but other prescription drugs may also be prescribed depending on the individual’s needs. It is important to note that MAT should only be done under medical supervision to ensure the drugs are taken correctly.
Heroin Detox Timeline
The timeline of heroin detox varies from person to person. It depends on various factors, such as the individual’s usage history, general physical health, and any other underlying medical conditions. Generally speaking, most people can expect to experience withdrawal symptoms within 6-12 hours after their last use.
These symptoms tend to peak between 24-48 hours and then gradually decline over a period of 5-10 days. In some cases, it may take up to three weeks for all withdrawal symptoms to subside.
Professional and Caring Medical Detox Center in Pompano Beach, FL
When you are ready to take the first steps to recovery, expert treatment is available at DCF and Joint Commission-accredited Retreat of Broward in Pompano Beach, FL. We offer personalized treatment programs, accept most insurance plans, and offer alternative treatment methods for people without insurance. Contact us now to start your recovery today!