When Sonja Coulter’s daughter died of a heroin overdose, she told NBC Southern California, “It’s such a wasted beautiful life… She was my best friend. My heart is so broken right now.”1 The 22-year-old girl overdosed while at a friend’s house. Her death is tragic, but it isn’t unusual. Many people start taking heroin when prescription opiates become too expensive or too difficult to find. Heroin use in Southern California is rising. Overdose rates are rising to match it. This doesn’t have to be the case. Overdose and heroin-related deaths are preventable. Addiction is treatable.
The Early Stages of Recovery
Heroin addiction treatment is remarkably effective. There are a large number of very qualified, capable addiction treatment facilities in California. These can provide meaningful help to people who are addicted. The first step in getting help and healing is detox. Heroin detox is rarely life threatening. However it is uncomfortable and painful. When you try to stop taking the drug, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as the following:
- Jerking muscles
- Bone pain
- Cold flashes
- Abdominal pain
- Vomiting or diarrhea
Symptoms often lead users to return to heroin rather than complete at-home recovery efforts. Addiction treatment helps you or a loved one begin healing. It helps you stay safe, comfortable and on track.
What Happens During Detox?
In a medically supervised detox program, you enter the early stages of heroin withdrawal. You may simply feel slightly sweaty or slightly jittery at first. Your symptoms may not get much worse, or they may begin to build. Medical professionals may suggest over-the-counter or carefully controlled prescription medication use at this point. Treatment programs also provide options for medication-free symptom management. These options may include the following:
- Dark and quiet rooms
- Healing foods
- Anti-nausea over-the-counter medications
- Warm blankets
- Cool baths
- Ice packs or heating pads
- Soothing talk therapy
Withdrawal symptoms arrive quickly. With support and care, they also pass quickly. The New York Times explains that heroin detox is typically over after a week.2 However the amount of time you spend in detox varies. Some people stay enrolled in detox treatment for just a few days before beginning their treatment programs. Others need more time before they feel well enough physically. Your recovery timeline is a personal decision and individual experience. Work closely with your therapists to ensure that timing issues are handled appropriately.
Finding Care in California
The National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services found 1,820 substance abuse treatment facilities in California in 2006.3 Your number of treatment options has only grown since then. This means you can get the specific care you need.
It can also be a little overwhelming when it comes to make a choice for recovery. You can narrow your selection by only looking at programs that offer medically supervised detox services in conjunction with in-depth, integrated addiction treatment. Further personalize your choice by looking at other considerations.
Some facilities accept insurance payments while others do not. Some facilities offer alternative forms of treatment including yoga and acupuncture while others offer more conventional forms of care only. Some specialize in treating co-occurring mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and PTSD. Make sure the program you choose does more than support you during detox. Make sure it meets your unique recovery needs.
Choosing the Right Care
So how do you find the right care for you? It begins with making a call. Reach out to us at Michael’s House. We offer top of the line care at our facility located in Palm Springs. Our tranquil campus provides a perfect setting for healing. Our caring and compassionate professionals give you the individualized attention and support you need. We individualize our care plans and offer detox services supervised by consulting physicians. Please call our toll-free line to speak with an expert and find out if our program is right for you and or your family.
1 Valles, Michelle. “Drug Counselors: Santa Clarita Facing Heroin ‘Epidemic.’” NBC Los Angeles. 11 Oct. 2012. Accessed 7 Dec. 2017.
2 Goodnough, Abby and Zernike, Kate. “Study Finds Competing Opioid Treatments Have Similar Outcomes.” New York Times. 14 Nov. 2017. Accessed 7 Dec. 2017.
3 “National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services.” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 2006. Accessed 7 Dec. 2017.
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