The heroin and opiate epidemic may have fallen slightly out of public discussion, but the problem has not abated. In 2015 alone, over 13,000 people died from overdosing on heroin in the United States. In Topeka's Shawnee county, over 270 people died in the same time period. They left behind friends, husbands and wives, and children who wouldn't be grieving if they had only reached out for the help available to them at Topeka drug detox programs. Medical detox may seem daunting, but it is a necessary first step of the recovery process.
Heroin belongs to a class of drugs called opioids or opiates, which also includes morphine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and codeine. While they vary in strength, opiates all achieve the same end – numbing pain and creating a euphoric, dangerously addictive high that brings opiate users back for more time and time again. Heroin is one of the strongest opiates and is considered to be one of the most addictive substances on Earth. But what happens when someone abuses heroin?
Immediately after injecting, smoking, or otherwise using heroin, the user feels a rush of pleasure that is immediately followed by flushed skin, dryness of the mouth, a greater sense of weight in their extremities and sometimes more unpleasant side effects like nausea, vomiting, and extreme itching. After the initial rush, users experience several hours of drowsy calmness, accompanied by slowed heart rate and breathing. Depending on the amount of heroin used, breathing can slowed to dangerous levels and result in brain damage or even death. If the user survives to take heroin repeatedly, there are more dangerous side effects: repeated heroin use can lead to a deterioration of white matter in the brain, which causes decreased cognitive functioning and rational decision making. Perhaps even more detrimental in the long run is the physical dependence and tolerance that develops, meaning that your brain and body learns to function with and only with heroin in its system and needs more and more of the drug to achieve the same high. This progressive building of physical dependence on the drug is part of what makes recovery so difficult and what makes medical detox so important.
Topeka drug detox programs specialize in medical detox, which is a form of monitored, medically assisted withdrawal. Withdrawal refers to the process that begins as soon as someone stops taking the drug on which they are dependent, involves a wide variety of different of symptoms depending on the drug used. In Topeka heroin detox and withdrawal, the most common symptoms are:
Of course, these symptoms can be terrifying and dangerous, but with the medical detoxes that Topeka programs offer, they don't have to be. Medical professionals monitor your well-being around-the-clock and are specially trained to deal with drug and heroin detox processes. These can include antidepressants, tranquilizers, or anesthesia. In the case of heroin detox, there are several heroin-specific medications available to ease the process.
While technically an opiate agonist, the oral administration of the drug lessens the high involved while your body is given time to slowly taper off opiates, lessening some of the more extreme symptoms that one experiences during a full detox process. This isn't the right choice for everyone, but can be helpful in extreme cases.
This drug activates the same opiate receptors that heroin and methadone stimulate, but does not cause any high. Buprenorphine is similar to methadone in that it is a good choice to those who were previously extremely heavy users.
This medication blocks the brain's opiate sites, effectively taking away the high that the use of opiates would otherwise bring. Because of the increase in cravings and temptation that withdrawal brings, an injectable, long lasting form of the medication is offered to remove the need for daily self-administration.
Topeka heroin detox treatment centers are highly individualized, guaranteeing that your care will be based on your unique needs and situation. Topeka drug detox programs have your recovery in mind as they help you through medical detox and on to something better – getting your life back.