In this article, we will provide an overview of how we treat heroin detoxification at Tranquility Woods.

Heroin Detoxification

Heroin detoxification is the first step in our addiction treatment process.  Upon arrival, our clients meet with our medical staff for a medical assessment, history, and physical.  We commonly use prescriptions like Suboxone and other comfort medications to help alleviate the initial withdrawal symptoms so that clients can be receptive to our addiction treatment modalities.

COWS Score for Opiate Withdrawal

The Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale (COWS Score) is a tool used to measure the severity of opiate withdrawal symptoms, guiding treatment in various healthcare settings, including addiction treatment centers. By evaluating 11 different symptoms, including pulse rate, sweating, restlessness, and pupil size, the scale provides a score ranging from 0 to 36. This score categorizes withdrawal as mild, moderate, moderately severe, or severe, allowing medical professionals to tailor treatment methods such as medication. As a valuable and non-invasive method, the COWS Score ensures individualized and humane care for those undergoing opioid withdrawal, aligning with evidence-based practices like the ASAM criteria.

Common Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Symptom Description
Muscle Aches These can begin within a few hours after the last dose and may become quite severe.
Restlessness Feeling agitated and highly anxious
Insomnia Difficulty sleeping is a common symptom during withdrawal.
Sweating Sweating often increases as the body reacts to the absence of the drug.
Digestive Issues This can include symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping.
Runny Nose and Teary Eyes These symptoms can make a person feel like they have a bad cold or flu.
Yawning and Fatigue Excessive yawning may occur, along with general feelings of tiredness.
Chills and Goosebumps The individual may experience cold chills and gooseflesh, often referred to as "cold turkey."
Depression and Irritability Mood changes, including irritability and depression, are common as the brain chemistry adjusts.

Suboxone for Heroin Withdrawal

Suboxone, a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, is frequently used to treat heroin withdrawal as part of a comprehensive addiction treatment program. Buprenorphine helps to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms by partially activating opioid receptors, without producing a strong euphoric effect. Naloxone, an opioid antagonist, helps prevent misuse of the medication. Together, these components allow Suboxone to provide a controlled reduction of withdrawal symptoms, easing the transition off heroin while minimizing the risk of dependency on the medication itself.