For that reason, being purged of heroin and the desire to retake heroin (detoxification) can be a very delicate and complex process, and one that should never be attempted alone. Speaking to MinnPost, the director of a program at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in Minnesota talks of “severe depression,” and individuals having unshakeable feelings that they will never be free of that state. This, coupled with the other symptoms of withdrawal, make it likely that individuals will relapse if they try to detoxify on their own or could even succumb to the suicidal ideations that arise as part of the process.
Medical detox, however, ensures that trained professionals who know how to ease people through the worst parts of withdrawal always supervise those who are withdrawing. These professionals can ensure that people receive the right medications to be successfully weaned off heroin, taking into account each individual’s medical history, mental health, and susceptibility to other addictive substances.
Another advantage to professional medical detox is that individuals are in a system that gives them the additional needed resources to overcome their heroin addiction. Such resources include counseling and therapy. In the same way that detoxification addresses the physical toll of heroin addiction, the mental toll of the addiction is treated with therapy. Sessions often cover how the person can better cope with the kind of stressors that would have, in the past, triggered heroin use.