A Brief Overview of Heroin Addiction Treatment
Due to the symptoms of heroin addiction withdrawal and the psychological grip that heroin has on its users, a professional heroin addiction treatment center like First City Recovery Center will offer the highest chance of a successful recovery.
Withdrawing from heroin is quite painful and may last multiple weeks for some. Luckily, physicians and treatment specialists may prescribe a medication in which minimizes the discomfort and will help the body slowly readjust.
Heroin addiction treatment is also an essential aspect of tackling the underlined behaviors that lead to an individual’s heroin addiction. Therapy sessions can address any co-occurring disorders, such as depression.
Some Information About Heroin
Heroin has many forms it comes and ways to take. Some facts about heroin include:
Heroin is an illegal street drug depressant derived from morphine that binds to the opioid receptors in the brain, which creates multiple side effects.
Heroin is the most abused, fastest-acting, and most famous of all opioid drugs.
Heroin comes in powder form, either white or brown color. Heroin also comes in a black, tar-like substance that can be snorted, smoked, or injected.
Heroin is often combined with other substances like sugar, starch, powdered milk, queen, or specific poisons to enhance the effects.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is an illicit street drug in the class of opioids. Opioid drugs similar to this are often referred to as narcotics. Heroin is bought and sold on the streets and has several nicknames like “dope”, “smack”, and “horse”. This drug is derived from morphine and has the scientific
name diacetylmorphine. Opium naturally produces morphine from the sap inside the seed of the opium poppy plant.
Individuals who suffer from heroin addiction generally use the drug because of the effect that it has on the nerves of the brain that control pleasure and relaxation. It was once marketed as a medication to treat coughs in the early 1900s. (That is how it became widely known.) To this day, drug trafficking organizations in different countries will smuggle many kinds of heroin into the U.S. and around the world.
Heroin is a scheduled 1 drug, ever since the Drug Enforcement Administration determined that it has no acceptable medical use and causes a high potential of abuse and addiction. Heroin addiction is caused by changing the way reward, and motivation signals are sent to the brain.
Effects of Heroin Addiction and Abuse
The adverse side effects of heroin are commonly known amongst most individuals. The drug is frequently coupled with heroin addiction, painful withdrawal symptoms, and the high risk of death by overdose.
Signs of Heroin Addiction
- Physical signs like needle marks, nosebleeds, and weight loss
- Behavioral signs like dishonesty, mood swings, or trouble with the law
- Paraphernalia for heroin is lighters, syringes, spoons, and foil
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
- Withdrawal starts when long-term heroin use suddenly stops
- Symptoms will include sweating, nausea, diarrhea, and muscle aches
- Certain medications (under professional and medical supervision) may help to reduce withdrawal symptoms
- Overdose is caused by consuming too much heroin at once
- Symptoms include shallow breathing, unconsciousness, and a weak pulse
- Heroin overdose can be treated with naloxone and CPR
Some other side effects that stem from heroin addiction will include:
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Bacterial infection
- Collapsed veins
- Organ damage
Individuals who overdose from heroin will require a different type of treatment than other rehab programs for withdrawal or addiction. Not all treatment centers can handle all aspects of heroin addiction; finding a full-service rehab center is vital to overcoming a heroin addiction.
Dangers and Risks Associated with Heroin Addiction
There are many risks when abusing heroin in both the short-term and long-term settings. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, short term heroin addiction effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Focus issues
- Heart problems
- Respiratory issues
- Low blood pressure
- Going in and out of consciousness
The longer the individual uses heroin, the more severe the issues will become. The effects of long-term heroin addiction include:
- Circulatory system issues
- Heart disease and heart damage
- Cognitive impairments and memory loss
- Severe anxiety, depression, and moodiness
- Kidney or liver disease due to heroin toxicity
- Lung problems increase the risk of developing pneumonia
- Potential overdose including slowed breathing, coma, and even death
Heroin Addiction and Co-Occurring Disorders
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has stated multiple reasons that other mental health disorders may co-occur with heroin addiction. Some of those factors include:
Brain chemistry issues: Many neurotransmitters that are involved with addiction also intertwine with other mental health disorders like GABA, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
Self-medication: Individuals living with other mental health disorders like PTSD or anxiety, sometimes abuse heroin to satisfy the symptoms of those disorders, which leads to addiction.
These factors in others show that addiction can be both a result and a case of other mental health disorders. Individuals who use heroin to treat self anxiety issues are at risk for addiction or other psychological effects of mental health disorders.
Signs of Heroin Overdose
Overdosing on heroin is highly possible and very common because of its potency. One of the most potent effects on the body is the ability to decrease breathing, making it potentially
life-threatening. Individuals who overdose on heroin find their breathing slowed down or stop, risking the individual to go unconscious and may die as a result. Some signs that individuals might have overdosed on heroin include:
- Dry mouth
- Weak pulse
- Pinpoint pupils
- Stomach cramping
- Slowed or stopped breathing
- Fingers, lips, and tongue turning blue
Individuals who regularly use heroin will quickly develop a tolerance and will start consuming large doses to feel the same high. Since the body gets accustomed to heroin in the system over time, if the heroin addict halts using, they’ll experience severe withdrawal symptoms. Some heron addiction withdrawal symptoms include:
- Bone pain
- Muscle pain
- Kicking movements
- Cold flashes
Heroin withdrawal symptoms will begin within a few hours of the last dose and continue for a week or longer. In some instances, heroin addicts will experience withdrawal symptoms that can last for months. Once a person recovers from heroin addiction, there’s always the risk of triggers by places, people, or things even if they’ve been clean for multiple years.
Heroin Addiction Treatment Process
Most treatment facilities will offer heroin addiction treatment, but not all are the same with positive results and track records. Individuals looking for an addiction treatment program should consider specific needs, such as heroin addiction treatment or polydrug abuse issues. It is essential to make sure the treatment center you choose is full service and can handle all aspects throughout the process. Top accredited heroin addiction treatment centers will include:
Heroin Addiction Medications
Medical supervision and management are essential in assisting the individuals in weaning off of heroin to help them reduce cravings and prevent future use. Some medications given to individuals with a heroin addiction include:
Buprenorphine– Buprenorphine reduces the cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and chronic pain of heroin addiction withdrawal.
Methadone-Methadone maintenance treatment makes it easier to be abstinent for an extended period due to its effects that reduce cravings.
Naltrexone– Naltrexone will help prevent heroin from working by preventing opioids from reaching the receptors in the body.
Suboxone– A combination of Naltrexone and Buprenorphine, this medication relieves withdrawal pain and also inhibits the effects of heroin.
Get Help for Heroin Addiction Today!
Our facilities at First City Recovery Center do you offer such services. At our facility, our team specializes in heroin addiction and other addiction treatment options. Our counseling and behavioral skills specialists will take the heroin addiction head-on and break it down to the underlying issues that caused it originally.
There are multiple severe and very concerning underlying reasons why individuals would start using and abusing heroin, and those issues need to be addressed now more than ever. Do not hesitate any longer; reach out to our staff at First City and allow our team of specialists to assist you in getting the help that is needed.