Heroin Addiction

Signs, Withdrawal Symptoms & Treatment Options

an introduction to

heroin addiction

The American Psychiatric Association states addiction also called a severe substance use disorder, is a brain disease that is complex. It is punctuated by an individual compulsively using substances even though the consequences are dangerous. Individuals with addiction are intensely focused on obtaining and using a specific substance. Using these substances takes over the lives of the individuals. Addiction damages relationships, families, and workplaces. Anyone can be impacted by addiction. There isn’t a specific type of person that is affected by addiction. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), provides research that shows 21.5 million adults battled a substance use disorder in 2014. Over seven million adults battled a drug addition disorder, like heroin abuse.

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What is Heroin?

Why Is It So
Addictive?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines heroin as an opioid drug derived from morphine. Morphine is substance from the seed of opium poppy plants. Heroin can be a powder that is brown or white powder. It is commonly referred to as horse, smack, or hell dust. Heroin can be injected, smoke, sniff, or snort. Heroin can be mixed with crack cocaine, which is called speedballing. Heroin addiction became a problem in the US in the early 20th century. The first case of someone addicted to heroin was in New York City in 1910. Five years later, 425 patients were admitted for heroin addiction.

Heroin quickly affects the brain and attaches itself to opioid receptors, particularly the ones that involve pleasure and pain feelings, as well as ones that control heart rate, breathing, and sleeping. Prescription medications like OxyContin and Vicodin impact individuals in the same way as heroin. Much research has been done about opioid misuse and if it becomes a gateway to heroin use. The research isn’t completely conclusive but shows that a small number of heroin addicts started by misusing pain relievers. Research has shown that long term use of opioids change the brain and impact one’s ability to make sound decisions. control behavior, and respond appropriately to stressful situations.

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Signs + Symptoms

What to Look for
in Heroin Addiction

After heroin use, individuals feel a rush, or a high, that comes with skin that has a warm flush, a heavy feeling in the arms and legs, and dry mouth. The rush is often followed by vomiting, intense itching, and nausea. There are many physical and behavioral signs of heroin abuse. The signs and symptoms change as the disease progresses and gets worse.

Physical symptoms of heroin addiction include craving more of the drug, sweating, chronic constipation, decreased sex drive, small pupils, pain sensitivity, speech that is slurred, and compromised breathing. Individuals may experience other symptoms such as impaired and foggy mental functioning. Some individuals use heroin to numb themselves from pain from other physical or emotional impacts. Heart problems, bacterial infections, blood clots, seizures, and liver disease.

Behavioral signs of heroin addiction include mood swings from depression to intense excitement. Flip-flopping back and forth between a state of consciousness and semiconsciousness. Individuals can also suffer from anxiety and depression.

What are Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms?

how to know
& what to do

Those who are addicted to heroin have a compulsion to use the drug. It is often something they can’t control. Initially, it seems like it’s pain relieving. Addicts also know how painful is feels when they stop using it. Withdrawal symptoms may begin in as short as a couple of hours to a day after use stops. Some of those symptoms include intense cravings for the drug that the individual can’t control, an abnormal amount of sweating, intense muscle aches, nausea and vomiting, crying, chills, runny nose, problems sleeping, fever and diarrhea.

The length of time that it takes an individual to go through withdrawal depends on some factors. Things like how much heroin was taking, the way it was taken, how long the individual used heroin, and how frequently all make a difference in how long withdrawal takes.

Detox helps an individual go through the withdrawal process, but it can be dangerous. Detox provides a safe place to symptoms to be managed. An individual can become dehydrated or choke on his or her own vomit during withdrawal. Medical staff available during inpatient withdrawal programs can monitor the individual and watch for signs such as depression, anxiety, or self-harm.

During a medical detox, professionals have medication at their disposal that can help with withdrawal symptoms. Some medicinal options are Methadone, which is a low dose opiate that helps individuals wean off heroin. Buprenorphine helps to reduce cravings for heroin and muscle aches and vomiting. Naltrexone helps to block receptors in the brain that respond to heroin. It does not sedate, nor is it addictive.

What are Treatment Options for Heroin?

How STAR Recovery Center Can Help

The first step to treatment for heroin addiction is to admit there is a problem. The next step is to detox. After that, there are inpatient treatment programs which are intense programs where the individual has no connection with the outside world and focuses solely on recovery. During inpatient treatment, medical staff will provide medication to help minimize the withdrawal symptoms and ease cravings. During inpatient treatment, the individual participates in intense group therapy, behavioral therapy, coaching, and relapse prevention, always with medical supervision. 

Outpatient treatment is also available. This type of program is not as intensive as inpatient programs. This allows the individual to maintain his or her life, such as school or work while going through recovery. Individuals may still receive medication and participate in group therapy. These individuals also have family counseling and have access to support groups. These groups, like AA, have regular meetings where individuals come together to talk about their struggles with addiction and recovery. 

How We Can Help Men

Find Recovery from Drugs & Alcohol

There are many drugs out there that a person can become addicted too. Learn more about the drug & alcohol treatment program at STAR Recovery Center. We can help you find long-lasting recovery from addiction.

ALCOHOL

ALCOHOL

HEROIN

HEROIN

BENZOS

BENZOS

OPIOIDS

OPIOIDS

COCAINE

COCAINE

CRYSTAL METH

CRYSTAL METH

MARIJUANA

MARIJUANA

CRACK-COCAINE

CRACK-COCAINE

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

MAGIC MUSHROOMS

MAGIC MUSHROOMS

LSD/ACID

LSD/ACID

MDMA/ECSTACY

MDMA/ECSTACY

Find Your Path to Recovery

From Heroin Addiction

Heroin addiction is a serious problem across the world. In the United States, over 200 people are dying every single day from a drug-related overdose death. Many heroin users are losing their lives to a dangerous mix of heroin and fentanyl, the strongest painkiller on earth. 

Fentanyl is highly dangerous and those abusing heroin have no way to know when their drugs are laced with it. Take action and get help for addiction today at our heroin rehab program in Orange County. Call us today at 1-844-55-SOBER or verify your benefits below to start the process of getting help.

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