Are you considering a methadone or Suboxone program for pain pill or heroin addiction? You may be wondering about the heroin withdrawal timeline. Fort Worth TX, programs throughout the area offer both drug-free and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs. Many heroin users find that MAT programs offer the best chance for successful recovery.
Before we get into the stages of heroin withdrawal, we’ll talk about a medication-assisted treatment regimen to stop using heroin. This type of heroin withdrawal timeline in Fort Worth TX, begins with an assessment. The first thing you have to do is call or stop by a drug treatment program, where you will talk to a counselor about what drug or drugs you’ve been using, how you’ve been taking them, and for how long. It’s important to be honest about what other drugs you’re using. For example, if you decide that you would like to get help at a methadone or Suboxone treatment program for a heroin or pain pill addiction, you cannot also use alcohol or benzodiazepine medication at the same time.
Why No Alcohol or Benzos?
The methadone or Suboxone medication that you receive at an MAT program is an opioid medication. Methadone is a full opioid agonist, and Suboxone is a partial agonist. Both of them have been approved by the federal government for use in opioid addiction treatment for many years.
The important thing to know about them is that they are central nervous system depressants, and so you cannot take them along with alcohol and/or benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Tranxene, Klonopin, or similar medications. Otherwise, your brain will fail to kick-start your respiratory system—and as you tumble off into a deep sleep, you’ll just forget to stop breathing.
Alcohol and benzos have an impact on your heroin withdrawal timeline in Fort Worth TX, if you are in fact using them. Before you can begin methadone or Suboxone treatment, it is recommended that you withdraw from the alcohol and benzos. While heroin withdrawal itself is not dangerous—it won’t kill you, although you might wish it will—withdrawal from either alcohol or benzos can lead to seizures and even death. Many substance abuse treatment centers refer people to inpatient detox centers to get off alcohol and benzos before they begin treatment for heroin addiction. Only when you can produce a urine drug screen that shows no alcohol or benzos can you get started.
The Typical Heroin Withdrawal Timeline In Fort Worth TX
Some of the programs that work with you on a heroin withdrawal timeline in Fort Worth may have a waiting list to get in. You shouldn’t wait to make that first phone call, because you might not be able to get started on the day you call.
Once you get into treatment, your heroin withdrawal timeline in Fort Worth TX, will go like this:
- At the same time you receive your assessment, you will talk with a case manager about your insurance. Many clinics require you to submit your own bills to your insurance company and they want cash up front. So expect to spend time talking with them about how you will pay. On that same day you will provide a drug screen.
- Next, at some places you will see the doctor the same day and receive your first dose of medication. At other places you receive an appointment and you have to return a day or two later for that first dose.
- No matter what your preference is, the doctor will have to join you in making the decision whether methadone or Suboxone is your best treatment option. For Suboxone treatment, you must have a prior documented attempt to stop using.
- If you and the doctor decide on methadone, you will receive what they call an induction dose, most likely somewhere about 30 mg. That is a dose calculated as safe for someone new to methadone treatment, and your dose most likely will be adjusted upward over the next week or two. It does take several days for the body to adjust to the initial dose and any subsequent dose changes.
- If you and the doctor decide on Suboxone, you will receive a prescription that you take to the pharmacy, most likely for a dose between 8 mg and 16 mg. The doctor decides on an amount based on the drugs you’ve been using.
- Methadone or Suboxone induction used for your heroin withdrawal timeline in Fort Worth TX, should not make you feel high. It should, however, stop your withdrawal symptoms and eliminate the craving to use the heroin or pain pills you’ve been taking.
- You should report with honesty on your progress when you return to the program each day. It does not benefit you to pretend you’re not getting enough just to get a higher dose of methadone. If that’s what you want, you are not yet ready for treatment.
- The induction phase of your heroin withdrawal timeline in Fort Worth TX, will last approximately two weeks.
- Next, you’ll go through a stabilization phase. This will last for another two weeks, and you will be going about your daily activities—including work, school, or managing your household—without getting sick or craving drugs. Your counselor will be helping you through each of these phases.
- From weeks 5 and beyond, you should find yourself on a stable dose that you might remain on for years. However, sometimes people feel they would benefit from a dose adjustment. This can result from persistent stress in your life or from changes in your health.
- You should plan to continue on MAT treatment for at least a year, and possibly longer.
Just Going Cold Turkey?
What if you’re not on methadone or Suboxone? If you decide to kick heroin cold turkey—without the support of medication-assisted treatment—here’s the heroin withdrawal timeline. Fort Worth addicts commonly use black tar heroin, and hydrocodone is also widely available, but here’s what to expect:
- About 8 hours after your last dose of heroin or pain pills, your heroin withdrawal timeline in Fort Worth TX, will begin with a runny nose, sweating and chills, nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps, body aches, and a feeling of agitation. Many people report an elevated heart rate and dizziness from reduced blood pressure. People will notice that your pupils are dilated.
- Those symptoms will peak somewhere between 48 and 72 hours after your last dose. This is the part we mentioned above—you won’t die, but you might wish you would.
- Over the course of the next several months, you will have difficulty thinking clearly—as if you had a fog on your brain. Sleep will be difficult. You will feel restless and irritated easily. Sometimes you will suddenly feel those horrible cravings again, and other people will find you to be cranky and difficult.
Why is there such a lengthy heroin withdrawal timeline? In Fort Worth TX, you can achieve recovery without all that discomfort, without those cravings and urges, by choosing a methadone or Suboxone treatment program. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more heroin and pain pill addicts succeed on methadone or Suboxone than through abstinence-based recovery. Call your local methadone treatment program to find more information.