Opiate Detox Florida – Latest Treatment Guidelines

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Heroin Withdrawal and Timelines
Heroin Withdrawal and Timelines

What are the effects of Opiate Addiction?

Opiates 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 an addict are listed as follows:

  • The Rush

Opiates generates a rush, which is basically 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.

It is one of the reasons for addiction to continue.

  • Neurochemical Changes

The first obvious effects of heroin diversion manifest in 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 heroin acts upon them.

This 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.

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 addictive substance.

  • Physical Addiction

Heroin addiction can have physical manifestations as well, such as affecting the muscles (due to neuromuscular addiction), bloodstream, central nervous system, metabolic organs, and also the Para-spinal muscles.

The effect of these addictive chemicals can also affect cardiovascular organs.

  • Psychological Dependence

The addict may experience a flight of ideas in the brain and body. It is the stage when the mental and physical addiction occurs. At this point, there will be no probability of returning to the normal condition, unless accompanied by the help of a drug detox and substance abuse treatment facility.

What are the Opiate addiction symptoms?

The initial symptoms of heroin addiction may be mild in intensity, therefore leaving the addict and their family oblivious of the fact that there is an active addiction developing. Some of the early symptoms of addiction to Heroin includes:

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

As the addiction progresses, the symptoms can be critical and visible. The addict may stop going to work. He may want to spend more time doing things related to his addiction. He may skip social and family gatherings and avoid people. Some of the other acute withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Muscle aches
Symptoms of Heroin Withdrawal
Symptoms of Heroin Withdrawal

There are a number of variables that determine the length in which withdrawals last, including the:

  • Duration of time that heroin was abused
  • Dosage amount(s) taken per day
  • Frequency of use
  • Method in which heroin was taken
  • Underlying presence of a co-occurring mental health disorder

Dependent on the length of use and the amount taken per current run, it’s likely for heroin dependents to struggle with post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS).

Timeline of Heroin Substance Abuse Withdrawal

As is common with any substance of abuse, heroin presents with its own course of action and manifestation of withdrawal symptoms when one ceases to use it.

Day 1-2: Symptoms may begin in as little as 6 hours following the final dose.  Muscle aches and pains are common withdrawal symptom that manifests on the first day and will intensify in the first 2 days.  Other common symptoms during this time include panic attacks, insomnia, hand tremors, diarrhea, and anxiety.

Day 3-5: Withdrawal symptoms are in full effect by the third and fourth day.  Sweating, chills, nausea/vomiting, and cramps are to be experienced.

Day 6-7: Acute withdrawals usually wind down by the 7-day mark.  During these days, muscle aches, nausea, and the other symptoms shared above will begin to diminish.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS): The coming and going of symptoms for months after treatment is known as “Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome”.

These ongoing symptoms, which can last up to a year, emerge due to neurological changes made to the brain from the heroin use.  Long-lasting symptoms experienced by those with PAWS can include high levels of irritability/agitation, insomnia, depression, fatigue, and anxiety/anxiety attacks.

Types of Heroin Substance Abuse Detox Treatments

Heroin Treatments and Types of Medications
Heroin Treatments and Types of Medications

Inpatient Detoxification

The first stage of detox treatment is aimed at medically stabilizing a patient and assisting them in overcoming withdrawal symptoms. Patients are placed on a medical taper, which could consist of Subutex or Suboxone.

This aides in reducing the physical craving for the substance and preventing the body from precipitating into physiological withdrawal.

Examples of Medication
Examples of Medication

The medical protocol that a patient is placed on is determined by a number of stringent criteria that the medical staff must follow.  Dosage, duration, and past history of withdrawal and complications are all guiding principles which assist staff in effectively treating the patient.

Along with dealing with opioid dependence, the medical team and physicians also assess the patient for Comorbid addictions to substances such as Alcohol, Benzodiazepines, Cocaine, and Amphetamines.

Along with the taper protocols, a number of comfort medications are also available to patients to assist with the marked physical withdrawal symptoms that they may be experiencing to make the detox process a safe and “comfortable” process.

After Opiate Detox – what next?

After completing the initial medical stabilization and management of the Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms, a patient is ready to graduate to the outpatient rehab program.

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.

Patients can continue receiving medications to assist with any residual withdrawal symptoms.

Opiate Detox and Medication-Assisted Treatment

Patients can be placed on maintenance therapy with buprenorphine for an extended period of time to assist in dealing with the core elements of their addiction. Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the utilization of FDA-endorsed drugs, combined with counseling and behavioral treatments, to give a “whole-patient” way to deal with the treatment of substance abuse.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs are gaining expanding prominence and acknowledgment as a viable method to help patients on their path of sobriety. By being put on long-term “maintenance” dosages of medications, for example, Subutex/Suboxone, the patient can have a transitory “crutch” which will assist them in battling desires and moving towards their long-term objectives.

This program will be driven by Evidence-Based Medicine, with the majority of its treatment regimens being exclusively custom-made for every patient and their particular case.

Heroin Substance Abuse Treatment Provides Healing

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 staff 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 gradual process that takes weeks to months, all dependent on the individual patient. 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 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.



Staff, N. (2018, October 2). Surgeon General Releases Updated Opioids Report. Retrieved from https://www.aafp.org/news/health-of-the-public/20181002opioidsspotlight.html.

Hosztafi, S. (2001, August). The history of heroin. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11862675.

Schiller, E. Y., & Mechanic, O. J. (2019, March 2). Opioid Overdose. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29262202.

Opioid addiction – Genetics Home Reference – NIH. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/opioid-addiction.

Withdrawal Management. (1970, January 1). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK310652/.
“Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000949.htm.

Phillips, G T, et al. “The Influence of Psychological Factors on the Opiate Withdrawal Syndrome.” The British Journal of Psychiatry : the Journal of Mental Science, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 1986, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3779283.

Sissons, Beth. “Opiate Withdrawal: Symptoms, Timeline, Treatment, and Coping Methods.”Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326223.php.

“Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS).” Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) | Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, https://www.semel.ucla.edu/dual-diagnosis-program/News_and_Resources/PAWS.

Motoi, H. (2013, February). An Overview of Outpatient and Inpatient Detoxification. Retrieved from https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh22-1/44-46.pdf.

Chanell Baylor. (2019, September 9). Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment.

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