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5 Benefits of Heroin Detox Treatment
Heroin addictions have reached epidemic proportions with stronger and cheaper batches of the drug entering the "street market" every day. Though a close cousin to morphine, heroin carries no medicinal benefits while still producing strong depressant effects comparable to morphine, according to George Washington University.
For this reason, heroin falls within the Schedule I class of narcotic controlled substances rather than morphine's Schedule II classification.
Anyone who's used heroin on a regular basis has already experienced the damaging effects of the drug. Continuing to use heroin in spite of these effects is a clear sign of an addiction at work. The effects of heroin on the brain leave addicts little choice but to continue using the drug.
Heroin detox treatment offers a person a way to break the body's physical dependency on the drug, which becomes a necessary first step towards overcoming addiction. Listed below are five benefits of seeking heroin detox.
Help with Withdrawal Effects
The dread associated with heroin withdrawal accounts for why so many addicts keep using the drug. The withdrawal effects alone are enough to drive someone in detox back to using again.
Without some form of monitoring and support in place, most addicts fail to make it through this essential stage of the recovery process. Heroin detox programs use medication therapies to help relieve much of the discomfort a person experiences during withdrawal.
Help with Drug Cravings
While drug cravings are one of the many withdrawal effects experienced during heroin detox, cravings have more to do with the mind's psychological dependency on the drug than the body's reaction to detox. Detox programs help addicts work through the psychological issues that drive addiction behaviors by helping them better understand the belief systems and thinking patterns that support drug-using behaviors.
Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders
Long-term heroin use alters essential chemical processes throughout the brain. As a result, many addicts develop psychological conditions, such as anxiety and depression disorders that greatly aggravate a person's desire to keep using drugs.
Heroin detox programs make it a point to treat co-occurring disorders as part of the overall detox treatment process. Failing to do would place those in recovery at ongoing risk of relapse.
Physical Health Benefits
As a central nervous system depressant, heroin slows down the body's major systems, some of which include:
- Cardiovascular Processes
- Respiratory Processes
- Digestive Processes
Heroin's effects on digestion in particular can leave addicts in a malnourished state after months or years of drug use.
Malnourishment places the body in a weakened state that makes the heroin detox process all the more difficult to bear. For these reasons, detox programs incorporate a nutritional diet plan as part of a person's overall treatment plan.
Support and Guidance
During the course of heroin use, addicts develop a lifestyle that supports drug-using behaviors. This lifestyle is made up of certain people, places and activities just like any other type of lifestyle.
Helping a person create a drug-free lifestyle becomes a big part of the heroin detox treatment process. The support and guidance provided by detox programs enables recovering addicts to develop a healthy lifestyle perspective through ongoing psychotherapy, drug education counseling and support group work.