Heroin Addiction Treatment

Drug Addiction Treatment

Heroin is a well-known addictive drug that can immediately elicit pleasurable feelings as the drug delivers its effects quickly. The media often portrays heroin as a drug that users instantly get addicted to, however, this is a misconception and some users may first abuse the drug, become physically dependent, and slowly become addicted to heroin.

If you or a loved one is in need of heroin addiction treatment, Destination Hope is ready to help you achieve sobriety. The first step begins with detox. Our heroin treatment specialists can connect you with a detox center that will help you undergo medically supervised detox so you can enter our facilities free of drugs and any other substances.

Take the first step in conquering your addiction by calling 866-756-HOPE (4673).

What is Heroin?

Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive depressant drug processed from morphine. Made from poppy plants, heroin is typically sold as a white or brownish powder that has been mixed with sugar, corn starch, powdered milk, or other substances. The drug is also known as dope, china white, black tar, smack, junk, and more.

Black tar heroin is sticky, similar to roofing tar, and is the result of crude processing methods that leave behind impurities. Pure heroin is a white powder that dominates certain U.S. markets. Pure heroin may be snorted and smoked whereas impure heroin is often dissolved, diluted and injected.

Most recently, fatal heroin overdoses have been spiking across the nation as heroin is being laced with fentanyl, an opiate that is much more powerful than morphine. Fentanyl is a highly addictive synthetic drug that was originally used to treat the terminally ill. The mixing of these drugs can cause a powerful and deadly high.

Heroin Addiction Symptoms

Signs of heroin addiction will depend on how much, how often, and how long a person has been using. Additionally, there may physical, psychological, and behavioral signs of substance abuse.

Physical Signs

  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness or sleeping for several hours
  • Slowed breathing
  • Decelerated heart rate
  • Weight loss
  • “Nodding off” – alternate periods of being awake and asleep
  • Needle marks or bruising
  • Skin problems (e.g. abscesses and infections)

Psychological Symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Hostility toward others
  • Agitation/irritability
  • Paranoia

Behavioral Changes

  • Lying about drug use
  • Avoiding friends/family
  • Decreased attention to personal hygiene
  • Lack of motivation

As heroin has a highly addictive potential, it’s a slippery slope between use, abuse, and addiction. After a sufficient period of use, the addict will become physically dependent on heroin. Withdrawal symptoms can become extremely severe and begin as early as a few hours after the last time the drug was taken.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Physical dependency of heroin is often established when withdrawal symptoms appear. Some signs of withdrawal can include:

  • Profuse sweating
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lack of motivation
  • Intense muscle cramping
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Cold sweats and chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Strong drug cravings

Withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and extremely uncomfortable. Before entering heroin rehab, addicts will need to complete a supervised detox. During this type of detox, a medical team will supervise your symptoms so that you can be free of drugs as safely and comfortably as possible. From there, you will transition to a heroin addiction treatment program.

Destination Hope can connect you with a detox center so you can take the first step in recovery and enter our heroin treatment program. Call 866-756-HOPE (4673) to get started.

Heroin Effects

Immediately after taking heroin, users will experience a “rush” that includes flushed skin, dry mouth, and a heavy feeling. Heroin attaches to opioid receptors on cells located in the brain, particularly those that lead to feelings of pain and pleasure. Opioid receptors are also located in the brainstem, which controls breathing, blood pressure, and other important physical processes.

Side effects from heroin addiction can vary as the disease progresses and the severity of these side effects get worst the longer
the drug is abused.

Short-Term effects

  • Shallow breath
  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Clouded mental functioning
  • Decreased mental state
  • Itchy skin
  • Watery eyes

Long-Term effects

  • Heart disease, such as infection of the heart lining and valves
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Lung complications
  • Collapsed veins
  • Blood clots
  • Infections
  • Seizures

Intravenous heroin users are also at a greater risk of contracting or spreading HIV and Hepatitis B and C from shared needles. Unfortunately, the risk of overdose can also be greater as addicts do not always know the strength of the drugs they purchased. Some signs of a heroin overdose include:

  • Disorientation
  • Delirium
  • Weak pulse

As heroin and fentanyl overdoses have increased, the use of naloxone for treating an overdose has grown. Naloxone binds to the opioid receptors and blocks the effects of heroin and other drugs.

Heroin Relapse Prevention

Treatment for heroin addiction will include a range of therapies to help an addict quit forever. Following a successful detox, behavioral therapies can help an addict become aware of their patterns in using and find ways to modify them so they live a sober life. Family therapy, counseling sessions, group therapy, and more may also be utilized.

Co-occurring disorders, such as depressive disorders, post-traumatic stress, bipolar, or schizophrenia are also treated
during this time.

As heroin is extremely addictive, our team of heroin addiction treatment professionals will help recovering addicts find and use coping skills that will prevent relapse. Former addicts will learn how to overcome craving, resist temptations, and make lifestyle changes. Engaging in aftercare programs and support groups give individuals the best chance of maintaining their sobriety and remaining successful in their recovery.

Getting Heroin Addiction Help

Destination Hope offers both inpatient and intensive outpatient heroin addiction treatment programs. When you decide to enter heroin rehab, our admissions specialists will determine which program will be best for you. Ongoing treatment is crucial for staying sober long term, which is why we offer a variety of programs that will help former heroin addicts stay focused on sobriety.

You’re only one step away from conquering a heroin addiction. Contact Destination Hope to get started on your path to recovery.

Call 866-756-HOPE (4673).

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