Substance Abuse Rehabilitation
Anyone addicted to opiates such as Heroin, Vicodin, Norcos, Opana or Oxycodone would be foolhardy to attempt to detox from the drug alone. Opiates, particulary Heroin, is one of the world’s most addictive and dangerous drugs and is also one of the most difficult addictions to overcome. But stopping without professional medical supervision is not only unsafe – it’s destined for failure in more ways than one. That’s why a substance abuse rehabilitation program is so important.
First, the nervous system of the heroin abuser’s body has become so accustomed to the chronic exposure of the opioid narcotic, that abrupt withdrawal from the drug can cause excruciating and extremely dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
Second, without professional counseling to change behavior and learn how to live life without being strung out on heroin, the individual will simply revert back to using. The craving is too great and the person lacks coping skills and a support system.
Trying to detox from heroin on your own will also produce withdrawal symptoms that cover a wide range of severity and discomfort. Heroin withdrawal symptoms usually commence within 12 hours of cessation of the drug and peak between two and four days. Such symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Body pain
Continued use of heroin exacerbates the risks to users for liver and kidney disease, pulmonary complications, and diseases spread through shared needles, such as HIV/AIDS, and hepatitis B and C. It is estimated that approximately 70 to 80 percent of new hepatitis C infections each year are due to injection drug use.
A clinically managed heroin detox is the only way to ensure the safety and well-being of the individual who has made the life-affirming decision to stop using heroin.
Although there are few physical symptoms present with withdrawal from stimulants such as Cocaine, Methamphetamine and Adderal, the psychological symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable and present a major threat to recovery. What happens is that the intense cravings for the drug coupled with deep psychological lows often lead the individual right back into using again.
Symptoms of stimulant withdrawal include:
- Fatigue, and sleeping for days on end
- Increased hunger
- Intense cravings
- Severe depression
- Suicidal thoughts
With the preceding as preamble, is it any wonder that individuals who are contemplating detox from stimulants are advised not to go it alone? Getting clean from something like Meth is a difficult process, one that very few individuals can make it through on their own. The best way to proceed to detox from meth is to do so at a licensed detox facility under constant medical supervision. It’s also important to be sequestered and away from access to meth and any other intoxicating substances.
Combination Alcohol and Drug Detox
For persons suffering from multi-substance abuse, or a combination of alcohol and drug abuse or addiction, detox is indeed a complex and dangerous process. This is another situation where the individual is well advised to seek professional medical help to safely detox. Never, ever attempt to go cold turkey if you’re an alcoholic and a drug user. You’ll be endangering your life and making the entire detox process much more painful and uncomfortable than it needs to be.
Take any one of the risks and lists of withdrawal symptoms from various drugs and add them all together and the result is a downright scary detox situation. Who in their right mind would even consider doing such a risky procedure? The first sign of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, or intense cravings, and, with no medically-supervised assistance to ease the symptoms with prescription medications and the individual is headlong right back into using. Too tough, too uncomfortable, too painful – and that’s only the beginning. The user rationalizes that they’ll detox later, next month or in six months’ time, but not right now. All that’s important is to get rid of the pain, to feel that sense of euphoria or numbness again. In other words, the desire to use takes precedence over the inclination to get clean and sober. No wonder such self-detox efforts fail – if the person manages to somehow live through them
The key point to remember is that it’s never safe to attempt to detox from alcohol or drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs at home and by yourself. Even if you think you have some assistance from friends or family, none of them is trained or equipped to deal with the potentially life-threatening consequences of a do-it-yourself detox. You may think that the way out of alcohol or drug abuse or addiction is impossible or that you’re not capable of getting through it. The longer you’ve been abusing substances, the tougher getting sober may seem to you. Just the idea that you can come out of the serpentine labyrinth of addiction may seem elusive and not applicable to you.
Guess what? You’d be wrong. The truth is that you can learn to overcome your past dependence or addiction to alcohol or drugs but you do need professional help to get there.
Bottom line: Never even consider detoxing yourself from drugs and alcohol as an option. Doing it at home could be deadly. Seek professional help for a safe and clinically-supervised detox and follow it up with a treatment program to help you overcome your addiction.