Heroin Rehab for Women

Heroin addiction is a gripping and deadly game to play but there is another way to live with the help of heroin addiction treatment for women.

Heroin is notoriously one of easiest drugs to get addicted to and simultaneously one of the most difficult drugs to quit. No woman sets out to be a heroin addict or wants to detox from heroin. It tends to be a drug people stumble upon while getting high rather than seek out specifically. 9 out of 10 people who used heroin also used at least one other drug in their lifetime.

Do You Need Heroin Rehab?

heroin rehab for women

One of the main reasons someone would seek out heroin is if they have an existing painkiller addictions.

45% of those using heroin were addicted to prescription painkillers at some point.  Painkiller addicts resort to heroin when their prescriptions become difficult to come by or the money to fill them runs out.

Whether smoked, snorted, or slammed, heroin is a deadly drug and it’s easy to misjudge the amount needed to achieve the proper high. Since there is no regulation or consistency between batches, a hit one day could get you to a good place and the same amount of more potent batch could kill you the next.

8,200 people died of heroin-related overdoses in 2013 alone, with death rates quadrupling since 2002, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Even after getting clean for some period of time, the chance of relapse for heroin addicts is alarming. There is no cure for drug addiction, regardless of the drug used. For that reason, women’s addiction treatment for heroin users can be a life-changing opportunity.

What is Heroin Withdrawal Like?

Heroin withdrawal is one of the reasons addicts relapse so frequently.

The heroin withdrawal period is a long and painful process, keeping heroin addicts stuck on a sick merry-go-round. They try to get clean, want a quick fix to the withdrawal symptoms, and find themselves high again with little recollection of how they got back to the same spot.

If you’ve ever heard the term “dopesick,” it quite accurately describes the withdrawal process from heroin. Users commonly describe withdrawing from heroin as feeling like the worst flu you’ve ever had.

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline

Depending on the amount and how frequently it was used, heroin withdrawal symptoms begin just a few hours after the last hit. Symptoms change as the time since the last hit progresses.

  • Sore or aching muscles
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Difficulties sleeping
  • Excessive yawning
  • Drug cravings
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Goosebumps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dilated pupils
  • Possible blurry vision
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Drug Cravings
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Hypertension
  • Difficulties breathing
  • Muscle spasms
  • Potential seizures
  • Drug cravings

Symptoms tend to peak after the first three days and even out throughout the remainder of the week. Although not necessarily dangerous to manage on their own for lighter users, heavier users may need medical attention during the withdrawal process. The best place for medical observation during withdrawal is in a heroin detox center.

Heroin Detox: Kicking the Devil’s Drug

Getting clean from heroin is often referred to as “kicking” heroin due to the involuntary kicking motions experienced during withdrawals. In order for more women with serious heroin addictions to get clean, they may need a stay in a women’s heroin detox facility.

Detoxing from heroin is possible alone but in a facility, medical staff can manage the withdrawal symptoms with various medications. They monitor psychological symptoms as well as physical symptoms since heroin detox can have a significant psychological impact.

Women’s heroin detox keeps an eye on patients throughout the heroin withdrawal process and stays last usually from 3 to 10 days, depending on the facility and insurance benefits. After detox, addicts in recovery can either return home or select a follow-up phase of treatment to continue building their resistance to their addiction.

Medication Assisted Treatment for Detox from Heroin Abuse

Some heroin detoxes elect not to use medication during the withdrawal period but most do. Those that opt for medication are referred to as Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). There are a variety of medications that help alleviate or eliminate the heroin withdrawal symptoms.

Methadone is one of the original medications used to treat heroin withdrawal symptoms. It is a slow-acting opioid agonist medication, taken daily by mouth, which affects the same receptors in the brain as heroin.

Since it activates these receptors, the brain receives the drugs it seeks causing the withdrawal symptoms to be less severe but also results in a minor “high.” Methadone is only available on a prescription basis at approved treatment centers, either on an inpatient or outpatient basis.

Buprenorphine is similar to methadone but is a partial opioid agonist, meaning it relieves withdrawal symptoms but does not cause that “high” feeling. Suboxone is a common form of buprenorphine, combined with naloxone, to prevent users from getting high.

While commonly used in inpatient detox facilities, buprenorphine is also available on an outpatient basis. The medication can also be taken home, eliminating the need to visit a specialized facility.

Naltrexone differs from methadone and buprenorphine in that it is an opioid antagonist. It functions by blocking opioid receptors, meaning addicts cannot get high when they use opioids. Naltrexone results in no physical dependence.

The latest form of naltrexone is administered in monthly Vivitrol shots. These shots eliminate the need to remember to take a pill every day, making it a more effective medication for treatment.

Heroin Treatment and Rehab Options for Women

After detoxing from heroin, there are a few different long-term options for addiction treatment for heroin users in recovery. There is no “right” way to receive treatment for heroin addiction; it’s specific to the individual, their addiction, and their financial situation.

Inpatient heroin rehab for women takes place on either a 30-, 60-, or 90-day basis depending on the facility and the programs they offer. Some inpatient rehabs include a heroin detox within the facility then transfer you to the inpatient rehab portion afterward. Others offer only inpatient rehab.

During inpatient, clients must live and stay in the facility unless they receive permission to leave for a certain period of time. Various types of treatment are offered, with an emphasis on individual and group therapy as well as educational lectures offered throughout the day.

Inpatient heroin rehab aims to teach clients to function on their own in society without the need to rely on drugs to get through the day. By incorporating coping mechanisms and relapse prevention methods into their lives, clients can learn to live free from the bonds of heroin.

Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) are similar to inpatient heroin rehab but do not require clients to stay at the facility overnight. The amount of programming offered is similar to inpatient rehab, with individual and group therapy sessions teaching clients to live without the crutch of heroin.

Those who select partial hospitalization programs can either live at home and attend treatment during the day or reside in a sober living at night. There is usually no requirement by the PHP facility on where clients must live; it’s up to them to decide.

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are beneficial for women in recovery who have jobs or attend school full-time and cannot commit to a women’s inpatient heroin rehab or PHP. IOP takes place usually over the course of 3-hour sessions, 3 to 5 days per week.

Similar relapse prevention methods and coping skills are taught in IOP but the lack of a rigorously structured environment may make it more difficult to commit to treatment. Because of the lesser hours of treatment per week, IOP is a more affordable heroin addiction treatment option for women who aren’t able to afford inpatient rehab or PHP.

Drug counseling is the most limited option for heroin addiction treatment and most often used as a follow-up to inpatient heroin rehab, PHP, or IOP. Counseling usually takes place on an individual basis, allowing women to focus on their individual situation rather than process things at a group level.

Sober living houses do not necessarily provide addiction treatment for heroin addicts but they do provide women a safe and sober place to live during early recovery. Some sober living houses require residents to attend treatment during the day while others request that you have a job. Requirements vary depending on the sober living.

Residential sober living is a fantastic option for those who feel unable to return to their home environment and stay sober. It provides a built-in community of likeminded women in recovery, all with the same goal: to stay sober, one day at a time.

woman getting heroin addiction

Finding a New Way of Life Through Inpatient Rehab for Heroin Addicts

Heroin addiction can be an incredibly isolating experience. Through women’s heroin drug rehab, ladies can once again learn to coexist with other individuals and stay sober on a daily basis. Heroin addiction treatment for women may be the chance at a new life, one free of foil and needles.

There is another way to live; seek help today and give yourself the opportunity at a new life.