Heroin Detox Symptoms – The Uses of MAT
According to a 2016 report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 0.3 and 0.2 percent of the population in America aged 18 to 25 and over 26 respectively abused heroin in the last month. As the opioid crisis continues, more and more people are turning to heroin as a cheaper alternative to opioid pain relievers. One of the first aspects of recovery that a person must deal with when they finally decide to get help is detox. However, heroin detox symptoms can make even the strongest will falter – a characteristic of addiction.
What are some of the heroin detox symptoms and how can MAT help?
Common Heroin Detox Symptoms
Withdrawal from heroin can be a scary prospect if you have experienced some of the withdrawal symptoms that can begin just 6 to 12 hours after your last dose. These symptoms usually hit their peak after about 1 to 3 days and generally begin to fade after about 7 to 10 days. In some cases, post-acute withdrawal syndrome can occur, which can lead to several weeks of mild symptoms.
The most common heroin detox symptoms reported by recovering addict are as follows:
- Body and muscle pains
- Abdominal cramps, which are often severe
- Intense cravings
- Profuse sweating
- A runny nose
The symptoms of post-acute withdrawal syndrome include the following:
Heroin Detox Treatment
The best way to deal with the withdrawal symptoms from heroin is through medication assisted treatment (MAT). It is the process of helping a person detoxing from drugs such as heroin with the use of FDA-approved mediation. The purpose of these medications is to ease the patient through the symptoms of withdrawal, lessening their effects.
Commonly used MAT drugs used in the treatment of opioids such as heroin include buprenorphine, naltrexone and methadone. Methadone blocks the withdrawal symptoms experienced by acting as a safe replacement to heroin. A daily dose makes it an effective heroin detox treatment.
Naltrexone is slightly different in that it blocks opioid effects. With a daily pill or a monthly injection, the person cannot abuse opioids making Naltrexone great for preventing relapse. Buprenorphine is another commonly used drug in MAT. It somewhat blocks the effects of heroin while also reducing withdrawal symptoms.
Heroin Addiction Treatment
The use of MAT stretches beyond just detoxification. Many of the medications can carry over to the heroin addiction treatment that is needed after detox, which include various behavioral therapies that tackle the underlying issues the addict has. Oftentimes, when a person is resistant to standard therapy, they will greatly benefit from opioid replacement therapy. Some people may remain on a medication such as methadone for years in order to help the person maintain their abstinence and prevent relapse. When naltrexone is added to the MAT, the risk of relapse is reduced even further since it makes it impossible for the person to abuse heroin or other opioids as they did before.
It is important that MAT go alongside traditional therapy. Without this approach, the treatment becomes less effective as many of the underlying issues may still be present, which may turn the person to other drugs in order to cope.
If you would like to find out more about MAT, then get in touch with Better Addiction Care at 1.800.429.7690 today to find a certified rehab near you that offers MAT and behavioral therapy programs.