Heroin Addiction Rehab: What To Expect During Your Recovery

If you're addicted to heroin, you aren't alone. The drug is effecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans. In fact, in 2013, the DEA seized more than 2.3 tons of heroin at the Mexican border—more than triple the amount seized in 2008. Fortunately, there is help available. With the help of addiction rehab, you can beat your addiction and regain control of your life.

Types of Rehab

Addiction rehab is completed in either an inpatient setting or an outpatient basis, and in some cases, a combination of the two. Inpatient facilities are drug-free, safe environments that house patients for up to 90 days. While this type of structured environment makes it easier for heroin users to recover, it's not ideal for people who can't walk away from their jobs or families for an extended period of time.

During an outpatient rehabilitation program, you would still have the freedom to work. However, you are required to attend scheduled appointments with a drug counselor—which may include random drug testing.

Detoxification and Withdrawal Symptoms

Detoxification is the first stage of addiction rehab. During this time, you'll quit using heroin completely so that your body naturally removes the substance and readjusts to life without the drug. It's common for heroin addicts to experience withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Chills
  • Cold sweats
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Body pain
  • Trouble sleeping

In addition, because heroin alters your mood, you may go through a depressed period when you first stop taking the drug. Heroin withdrawal symptoms vary in time and intensity, depending on the severity of the addiction. However, withdrawal symptoms typically begin within six to 12 hours of a person's last dose of heroin. The symptoms peak between within one to three days, and they finally begin to subside after five to seven days. Fortunately, addiction rehab facilities are prepared for you to experience withdrawal symptoms. They have medical staff on hand to distribute medication to help you cope with the symptoms as needed.

Leaving Rehab

Once you finish your supervised rehab program, it's up to you to stay clean. It's important that you find a good support system and continue your rehabilitation process. If you don't have a good support system at home, you can attend local Narcotics Anonymous meetings to help you stay focused on your recovery.

The fact is, fighting a heroin addiction isn't easy. But, it's a battle that you don't have to fight on your own. Addiction rehab centers have professionally trained staff to walk you through every step of the process, and with their help, you can win this war.