Opiate (Heroin) Detox Treatment Plan and Timelines


Overview of Heroin Addiction in the USA

Heroin addiction in the USA might have started from the day it was introduced as an alternative to morphine and other narcotic drugs. Initially, it was used to reduce the pain, trauma, depression, and other disorders among patients. However, the doctors were unaware of the addictive properties within the substance. Presently, the state of addiction seems to be as high as the alcoholic addiction during and after the period of prohibition.

The chemical formula of heroin is C21H23NO5. The process of acetylating morphine produces the drug. The typical ingredients are endorphins, analgesia, dimorphine, noscapine, acetylcodeine, paracetamol, phenobarbitone, diazepam, and other highly concentrated psychoactive ingredients. The medical experts are still puzzled about which of the ingredients may cause addiction.

Effects of Heroin Addiction on the addict

Heroin can affect the body and mind of an addict critically. It is not known exactly when the addiction starts, because of the variations in every individual’s physiological and psychological conditions. There have been no specific standards for the volume, frequency, and type of heroin to make an addict out of an individual user. Some of the general effects of heroin addiction on addict could be listed as follow.

The Rush

Heroin generates a feeling of Rush. It is a feeling of euphoria which could be related to the physical and psychological high. The rush detaches the human mind from the external world. Hallucinations and a false feeling of nostalgia fill the mind. The body experiences a state of bliss. Sometimes it could bring in a state of sexual urge. It can prolong ejaculation and enhance the state of orgasm among the male. The addict feels he has become completely potent only due to heroin. It is one of the reasons for addiction to continue.

Neuro-chemical Changes

The first obvious effects are on the brain cells and neurons. The cognitive process gets sharper due to the ingredients of heroin. The neurons enhance their activities at least 10 to 15 times when the heroin ingredients act upon them. The gaps between the two neurons are made of Synapse. Here is where the chemicals start absorbing the ingredients of heroin. It results in progressive addiction.

Addictive Receptors

Addictive receptors’ activation happens directly due to the heroin ingredients. The addiction can be too strong for the brain cells and the effects can be long-lasting.

Sexual behavior can undergo extreme changes when heroin ingredients influence addictive receptors. Behavioral changes during high and after can have negative effects on the brain.

Depression, anxiety fear, restlessness, and discontentment are some of the strong negative feelings, which can affect the mind during the period of abstinence. Driven by these feelings, the mind will ultimately want to find solace in heroin, the known and experienced addictive substance. It is stated to be one of the reasons for addiction.

Physical Addiction

Heroin can affect the physical parts of the body like the muscles (due to neuromuscular addiction), bloodstream, central nervous system, metabolic organs, and also the Para-spinal muscles. The effect of ingredients can also affect cardiovascular organs.

Initially, there could be an increase in appetite. The blood flow rate increases. Retina and pupil size increases. The ears become sharper than before. Sometimes the consumer can experience extra-sensory perceptions, which he is unable to do while being normal.

Psychological Dependence

The addict may experience a rush of activities in the brain and body. It is the stage when the physical addition happens. Once it happens, mental and physical additions are complete. After the stage, there will be no probability of returning to the normal condition, unless accompanied by the help of Detox and rehabilitation.

Symptoms to Join in Detox Center right away

The initial symptoms can be mild in intensity. The addict and family members may not be able to identify them due to ignorance or other reasons.

  • Reduced appetite
  • Loss or gain in body weight
  • Frequent fluctuations in blood pressure
  • Frequent mood-swings
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Anger and resentment etc.

In the next stage, the symptoms can be critical and visible. The addict may stop going to work. He may want to spend more time on addiction. He may skip social and family meetings and avoid people. Some of the other critical symptoms could be

  • Blabbering while talking
  • Loss of concentration
  • Hallucinations
  • Momentary loss of memory
  • Agitation and jitteriness
  • Violent behavior
  • Refusal to accept medical help
  • Overdose of drugs
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drastic reduction in food consumption

Types of Heroin Detox Treatments and Timelines of the Treatment

The first stage of treatment could be aimed at overcoming withdrawal symptoms. The doctors use specific withdrawal agents to reduce the physical craving for the substance. Treatments and medications can be administered for the addicts as inpatients or outpatients. Selection of the agents depends on their effectiveness and the time required for the elimination of craving.

Care is taken to ensure there are no side effects on internal organs like the kidney, lungs, liver, and heart. Specialists also avoid an overdose of the agents through regular diagnosis.

Exploring the history of heroin abuse can determine the exact Detox methods to be adopted. The doctors also analyze the other issues like alcohol dependence, previous Detox history and also psychological disorders among the patients. They help to administer the right Detox treatments for getting positive results.

After Heroin Detox – what next?

After coming out of the Detox, it is important for the patient to enter the rehab center. The process of eliminating psychological dependence and mental obsession is not easy. The mind of an addict is so obsessed that it can go to any length for getting the drug.


The main aim of rehab is to prevent the psychological, spiritual, and mental degradation of the recovering addict. Of course, there will be no moral preaching of any attempt to make the patient feel guilty. It is for the simple reason that guilt and self-pity can drive the addict back into addiction.

Psychological healing is one of the best benefits of Florida rehab centers. The doctors and the staffs have practical experience of working with hundreds of addicts. So, they know the common symptoms and how they appear. Since they have a system of complete analysis and treatments, it is possible to reduce the psychological dependence and mental obsession.


Recovery from heroin is a 24 hours program. The program itself specifies it as a one day at a time program. The addicts need not take an oath or make any promises that they will not use the drugs for the rest of their lives. However, they have to be willing to keep away from the substance for the next 24 hours.

The program may not be easy, but it could become simple if the recovering addicts are willing to make a few changes to the lifestyle. Psychotherapy will be one of the most effective ways of treatments. The others could be 12-steps from the NA group. It works very similarly to how the AA works for the alcoholics.

The heroin addiction rehab centers in Florida can be very effective in the healing of patients, as long as the patients are willing to follow the programs for protecting their life. They can have a healthy body and mind for the rest of life without the fear of relapsing.