What Medications Help With Pain During a Heroin Detox?

Many people who struggle with opiate addiction first get a taste of the drug because they’re in pain. Prescription opiate medications can help to manage severe nerve pain, but it’s far too easy to develop a tolerance, need more to manage the same pain, and even develop an agonist response to the opiate. If you’re already in pain and working to get off the drug, what medications help with pain during a heroin detox?

In addition to the original pain that may have led to opiate use and heroin abuse, heroin detox can be incredibly painful. In addition to the discomfort of unpleasant gut reactions, you may also suffer from severe muscle cramps as the drug is cleared from your body. Opiate blockers may help to reduce the craving for the drug, but your original discomfort may be made more miserable with stomach pain and muscle spasms.

Starting and Staying the Course

No matter the amount of time you’ve been using heroin, the idea of going through detox can be frightening. If you started using opiates to manage severe pain, moving to heroin may have been initially helpful, but this is a psychological as well as a physical addiction and that need can be extremely uncomfortable. If you pain has become constant, you may even have a hard time getting medical professionals to believe in your discomfort level and your need.

Prepping to undergo a heroin detox will take willpower, strength and support. Heroin detox is dangerous and difficult; you should never attempt this alone. Loved ones may want to help, but your reactions to the mental anguish of withdrawal may be tough on your relationship with a friend, spouse or family member. Additionally, you will need regular monitoring and you may need addiction-specific drugs to help you survive the physical detox steps.

Monitoring is Key

Medications like suboxone can help to reduce the painful cravings of opiate withdrawal. Once you have suboxone on board, a sedative such as clonidine may help reduce the inflammation of opiate withdrawal. Because heroin is so highly addictive and so painful, your caregivers may recommend a move to methadone. It should be noted that methadone is an opiate.

However, it’s easier to taper off of methadone than weaning yourself from heroin. You will need to be carefully monitored for up to seven days of detox. Your body and brain is loaded with receptors that need the heroin, and each of these will be calling out for the drug.

Additionally, removing your access to heroin will be hard on your gut and may leave you dehydrated and nauseous. Being unable to take in food and water is very tough on your

  • heart
  • liver
  • kidneys
  • brain

Until your stomach settles a bit, you will need monitoring and may require IV hydration. Once you are able to take in food and water, the rest of your body will start to shed toxins. You may suffer from diarrhea, shaking an sweating.

Staying Hydrated and Clean

Heroin is an agonist. It mimics the endorphins that are naturally produced by the brain. As your exposure to opiates expands and continues, your brain will produce fewer endorphins; giving your brain time to start producing these critical chemicals will require patience with yourself and your environment. Detox is a messy process.

Regular vomiting and sweating, followed by bouts of diarrhea, will leave you feeling pretty nasty. As the cravings ease, focus on activities that help you feel better in your skin. Keep drinking water as you can tolerate it. You may be drawn to sugar to fight the cravings, but your cleansing organs need water to help your tissues shed toxins.

Pure water can also reduce the risk of muscle cramps and pain. When possible, treat yourself to warm showers to help you feel better in your skin. Avoid excessively hot water; it may lead to skin inflammation and can raise your core temperature, making you sweat even more. Opiates as a method of pain management require a great deal of monitoring and can quickly get out of hand. Heroin use is a tragic and common next step among those who start out on prescription opiates. You deserve support and monitoring, and may need supplemental medications, to manage your heroin detox. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 772-266-5320.

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