Heroin Addiction and Finding Heroin Addiction Treatment
Heroin addiction is a serious problem that touches many lives. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioid overdose deaths have been steadily rising throughout the years. Heroin addiction is particularly problematic because the drug is incredibly powerful and difficult to overcome, especially without an effective heroin rehab program.
The first time someone uses heroin, they may feel an intense high. However, the body quickly builds up a tolerance to the drug, so that users need to take increasingly large doses to get the same effect. This can lead to dangerous and even fatal overdoses. In addition, heroin addiction can lead to other problems, such as financial instability, relationship problems, and legal issues.
Despite the fact that heroin addiction is very real and dangerous, there is still a lot of stigma attached to it. This stigma often keeps people from getting the help they need to recover.
One of the most important things we can do to help people who are struggling with heroin addiction is to break down the stigma and shame that surrounds the issue. Addiction is not a character flaw. It is not something that people choose to have. No one wakes up one day and decides that they want to be addicted to heroin.
Given the devastating consequences of heroin addiction, it is essential that we work to raise awareness of this issue and help those who are struggling with addiction to get the treatment they need.
Keep reading to learn about heroin addiction and how Icarus Behavioral Health in Nevada can help you get the heroin addiction treatment you need so you can get started on the path to long term recovery.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is a powerful and potentially deadly drug. It’s a painkiller that comes from the opium poppy plant. It binds to opioid receptors in the brain, which increases feelings of pleasure. However, heroin is also highly addictive, and people can develop a tolerance to it quickly. This means they need to take more of the drug to feel the same effects.
The Dangers of Heroin
Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive drug. It can be injected, snorted, or smoked. All three routes of administration produce effects quickly because the drug reaches the brain so rapidly, which contributes to its health risks and to its high potential for opioid addiction. Let’s take a closer look at why heroin is so dangerous.
What are the Short-Term Effects of Heroin Use?
The short-term effects of heroin include feelings of euphoria, drowsiness, and decreased pain. Other effects can include dry mouth, nausea and vomiting, constricted pupils, itching, and flushing of the skin.
Continued use can lead to collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, cellulitis, and liver disease. Short-term effects of heroin use also include slowed breathing and mental function, clouded mental functioning, and impaired physical abilities. Mixing heroin with other drugs or alcohol can result in coma and death
Long-Term Effects of Heroin Use
People who use heroin long-term are at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C due to sharing needles or other injection equipment. Heroin’s effects on the brain create changes that make it difficult for people who are addicted to quit using the drug on their own. These changes persist even after someone stops using heroin; this is why professional help is often needed to overcome a heroin addiction.
The dangers of continued heroin use go beyond drug abuse and withdrawal symptoms; they can also lead to death.
Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury death in the U.S., surpassing gun violence and car accidents. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid pain reliever that is up to 50 times more potent than heroin, is playing a large role in these rising overdose rates; dealers often mix fentanyl with heroin or cocaine without users’ knowledge to increase its potency and reduce costs. When users combine drugs like these, they are at an increased risk for overdosing because they don’t know how much fentanyl they are taking. Fentanyl-laced drugs have been linked to thousands of overdose deaths nationwide.
Potential Signs of Heroin Abuse
The increased availability of heroin, combined with its relatively low cost compared to other drugs, may be contributing to the rise in abuse. Heroin abuse can lead to severe physical and psychological dependence. Recognizing the potential signs of heroin abuse can help people get the treatment they need before it’s too late.
These signs may vary depending on the individual and may not be immediately apparent. However, they may become more pronounced over time as heroin abuse takes a greater toll on the body and mind. Some potential signs of heroin abuse include:
Physical Signs of Opiate Intoxication
- Slurred speech
- Slow reaction time
- Disorientation or confusion
- Impaired motor skills
- Sleepiness or “nodding off”
- Constricted pupils
Behavioral Signs of Heroin Use
- Isolation from friends and family members
- Lack of interest in hobbies or activities that used to bring joy
- Neglecting responsibilities at home, work, or school
- Taking risks without regard for personal safety
Psychological Signs Common Among Opiate Users
- Mood swings
If you notice any of these signs in yourself or someone you love, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible. Untreated substance abuse can lead to serious consequences, including overdose and death. There are many drug and alcohol treatment programs available that can help people overcome substance abuse and regain control of their lives.
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal from heroin use is notoriously difficult. It can cause both physical and psychological symptoms that can last for weeks or even months. While there is detox medication that can help ease the symptoms of withdrawal, the best way to manage them is to detox under the care of a professional at a heroin rehab center.
The symptoms of heroin withdrawal can be divided into two primary categories: physical and psychological.
Physical symptoms include
- Muscle aches and pains
- Nausea and vomiting
- Cold sweats
- Abdominal cramping
- Dilated pupils
- Goose bumps
- High blood pressure
- Rapid heartbeat
Psychological symptoms of heroin withdrawal
- Mood swings
- Suicidal Ideation
In some cases, people who are withdrawing from heroin may also experience hallucinations. These can be either visual or auditory in nature.
How Long Does Withdrawal from Heroin Last?
Heroin withdrawal symptoms usually peak within 12-36 hours after the last drug dose, depending on how much you’ve been taking and for how long. Most people start to feel better by the end of the first week, but withdrawal symptoms can linger for quite a while.
Some people may continue to experience symptoms for weeks or even months afterward. This is known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). PAWS can cause fatigue, anxiety, depression, and difficulty concentrating—all of which can make it difficult for someone to stick to their recovery plan.
That’s why professional heroin addiction treatment at a heroin rehab center is so important. At a heroin treatment center, you will have access to medication and other resources that can help you through the withdrawal process and on to lasting sobriety.
Is There a Medication for Heroin Withdrawal?
Yes, there are certain medications that can help ease the symptoms of heroin withdrawal. The most commonly used medication is methadone, which is a synthetic opioid that binds to the same receptors in the brain as heroin. Another common medication used for heroin withdrawal is buprenorphine.
Both medications help to reduce cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms without producing the same high as heroin.
Medical Detox for Heroin Addiction
The first step in overcoming drug abuse is medical detox. This is a process whereby the addict’s body is rid of all traces of the substance of abuse. For heroin addicts, this can be an immensely difficult and uncomfortable experience. However, with professional help and support, it is possible to get through the heroin detox process and start on the road to recovery.
A medication-assisted detox for heroin addiction usually takes place in hospitals or rehab centers, where the patient will be supervised around the clock by medical staff. During this time, they will be given medication to help alleviate some of the more severe withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, and anxiety.
Heroin Rehab Center: Addiction Therapy Treatments
There are many different types of heroin addiction treatment centers, each with its own set of benefits. The type of rehab that is right for you will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of your drug addiction, your financial situation, and your personal preferences.
Inpatient Heroin Rehab
An inpatient heroin treatment center is the most intensive type of treatment. It involves living at the facility for the duration of your treatment, which is typically 30 days but can be longer or shorter depending on your individual needs. Inpatient is ideal for people who have a severe substance abuse issue and need around-the-clock care.
Partial hospitalization is a step down from inpatient rehab facilities. With this type of addiction treatment, you will still spend some time at the facility each day, but you will also be able to go home at night. You usually go to the facility 5 days per week for 6 hours per day. This type of treatment is typically used as a step down from an inpatient setting or as a step up from an outpatient heroin addiction rehab.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP)
Intensive outpatient programs allow you to live at home while receiving treatment. IOP is an intensive form of an outpatient heroin addiction rehab and requires you to come to the facility several times per week. This type of treatment is typically used as a step down from partial hospitalization or as a step up from traditional outpatient treatment.
Outpatient treatment allows you to live at home while receiving treatment. With this type of treatment, you will come to the treatment center for individual therapy and group therapy sessions and other activities, but will not stay overnight. A traditional outpatient heroin addiction rehab requires you to come to the facility between one and three times per week for a couple hours each time.
What to Expect in Heroin Rehab
Heroin rehab is a process of detoxifying and withdrawing from the drug, followed by counseling and group and individual therapy sessions to help address the underlying issues that led to the drug abuse. The process can be difficult and uncomfortable, but it is essential to achieve sobriety. Here’s what you can expect during heroin rehab.
How Heroin Rehab Works
The first step in heroin rehab is detoxification, which is the process of ridding the body of the drug. This can be done through medication-assisted treatment, which uses medications to help manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Detox can take anywhere from a few days to a week, depending on the severity of the addiction. Withdrawal symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, sweats, and chills.
Once detox is complete, patients will begin counseling and therapy sessions. These sessions will help them identify the root cause of their addiction and develop coping mechanisms for dealing with triggers and cravings. Counseling and therapy sessions may be individual or group, and they may last for 30 minutes to an hour each. Patients will typically remain in rehab for 28 days to 90 days, depending on their progress.
Inpatient vs Outpatient for Heroin Addiction
Many people struggling with drug abuse wonder if an inpatient facility is the right step for them. There are many factors to consider when making this decision, such as cost, length of stay, and whether you feel ready to commit to residential treatment.
The Benefits of Inpatient Rehab for Heroin
One of the most significant advantages of inpatient treatment centers is that they provide a safe and structured environment for you to detox from drugs and alcohol. During inpatient detox, you will be under the care of medical professionals who can help manage your withdrawal symptoms and make sure you are comfortable.
Inpatient treatment also offers around-the-clock support from counselors and other staff members. If you feel like you are struggling or need someone to talk to outside of therapy sessions, there is always someone available to help you. This continuous support can be very beneficial during early recovery when cravings and temptations are high.
Another pro of inpatient treatment is that it allows you to focus solely on your recovery. When you are not worrying about work, school, or other responsibilities, you can put all your energy into healing. This can be very helpful in early recovery when changing old behaviors and coping with triggers is essential.
The Downside of Inpatient Opiate Treatment
One downside of an inpatient setting is that it can be expensive. If you do not have insurance or your insurance does not cover treatment, the cost of care can be prohibitive. Additionally, many people cannot afford to take weeks or months off from work to attend inpatient rehabs.
Another consideration is whether you feel ready to commit to living in a treatment facility for an extended period of time. For some people, being away from home and loved ones for an extended period can be very difficult. If this is a concern for you, outpatient treatment may be a better option.
Benefits of Outpatient Addiction Treatment
Outpatient care is often more affordable than inpatient care because you do not have to pay for room and board at a treatment facility. Additionally, outpatient care is more flexible than inpatient care, which means it can be easier to coordinate with work and other obligations.
Another advantage of outpatient care is that it allows you to gradually transition back into your normal life while still receiving support from counselors and peers in recovery. This can make the transition back home after treatment much smoother.
Finally, outpatient care provides support that you can take outside of the facility because most people are local. This can foster a sense of trust and familiarity that can be beneficial for long-term success in sobriety.
Downsides of Outpatient Treatment Services
While outpatient care has many advantages, there are also some disadvantages associated with this type of care. One downside is that it does not provide the same level of structure as inpatient care. This means there is more opportunity for relapse because people are not monitored as closely as they would be in residential treatment.
Additionally, outpatient care does not provide 24/7 support like inpatient care does, which means there may be times when people feel isolated or alone during difficult moments in early recovery.
When deciding if residential or outpatient heroin addiction treatment is right for you, it’s important to consider what kind of environment will best support your individual needs in treatment.
The best way to determine if inpatient or outpatient heroin addiction treatment is right for you is to consult with a qualified healthcare professional who can assess your individual circumstances and make a recommendation accordingly.
Is Aftercare for Heroin Addiction Important?
Aftercare is vital for those in recovery from heroin addiction. It helps with relapse prevention and helps to build a support system establish healthy routines. There are many different types of aftercare available, and it is important to find the right fit for you. Some common options include:
Sober Living Homes: Sober living homes provide a structured living environment for people in early recovery. Residents are typically required to follow house rules, such as abstaining from drug use and attending 12-step meetings.
Therapy: Individual or group therapy can be an effective form of aftercare for people in recovery from heroin addiction. Therapy can help you develop coping skills, explore triggers for relapse, and work through difficult emotions.
12-Step Programs: These programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, follow a set of guidelines designed to help people recover from addiction. Attendees participate in group meetings and often have a sponsor who they can talk to about their progress.
Get Effective Help to Overcome Heroin
Heroin addiction is a complex problem, and there is no easy solution. However, rehabilitation programs offer hope for those who are struggling with addiction. These treatment programs provide people with the support and resources they need to overcome their addiction and lead healthy, productive lives.
All calls to our facility are confidential. We understand that many people are seeking help for the first time and may be feeling vulnerable. Our trained staff is here to provide support and guidance, without judgement
If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There is hope for those who are willing to seek it. Contact Icarus Behavioral Health in Nevada today!