Heroin Addiction Rehab
Heroin addiction is one of the most difficult diseases to overcome. It can happen to anyone – and quickly. Most people don’t realize how addictive opiates can be; many think that addiction couldn’t possibly happen to them. But they couldn’t be further from the truth.
What is it about opiates that make them so addictive? The effects are rapid and intense. Heroin enters the brain and binds to opioid receptors located in the brain’s reward center. People feel a rush of pleasure, pain relief, and a sense of well-being or joy, but the effects don’t last long. Repeated use of heroin or other opiates can result in physical dependence and the user requires more of the drug to attain the same “high.”
What is Heroin?
Heroin is a powerful opiate derived from morphine, a natural substance found in the seed of the poppy plant. Heroin arrives in many different forms – most often a white or brown powder, or it can be a tar-like substance. It can be injected, snorted, or smoked.
Prescription opioids such are OxyCotin (oxycodone) and Vicodin (hydrocodone) have effects similar to heroin. According to Drugabuse.gov, more than 75% of heroin users report abusing prescription opioids before turning to heroin.
In the past, medical practitioners were more reliant on morphine for its pain relief, but widespread use was stopped after the connection was made between use and dependency.
The Dangers of Opioid Addiction
Most addicts do not start by buying heroin off of the street; most start by using completely legal prescription drugs. For some long-term users more and more is needed to provide the same effects, and once addicted people often turn to illegal drugs to provide the relief that they need once they can no longer easily get the prescriptions.
Easily accessible, heroin can be used in a variety of ways, and with regular use, it’s possible to develop severe physical or psychological dependence. Those with a physical dependence need to continue use to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms, while others with a psychological dependence believe they need it to survive.
Those who stop using heroin abruptly develop withdrawal symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Symptoms can start within a few hours of the last dose, and may include:
- Intense cravings
- Severe pain in the muscles and bones
- Cold flashes with goosebumps
- Intense involuntary leg movements
- Weakness and depression
Effects of Heroin Abuse
Signs of heroin usage and withdrawal symptoms vary based on length of use, frequency, genetic makeup, and current health.
Short-term effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Flushing of the skin
- Limbs feeling “heavy”
- Nausea or vomiting
- Severe itching of the skin
- Impaired mental functioning
- Drowsiness or losing consciousness
- Low heart rate and breathing
Prolonged usage can have devastating effects on many systems of the body including the liver, skin, kidneys, brain, and heart.
Other potentially fatal effects can include:
- Infections of the valves and lining of the heart
- Constipation or stomach cramping
- Mental disorders such as depression, delusions, and paranoia
- Sexual dysfunction
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- HIV or Hepatitis in users who inject
- Chronic pneumonia
- Collapsed or scarred veins from injecting
- Heart attack
- Blood clots
- Respiratory depression
There are also studies that show that long-term use of opioids reduces the amount of white matter in the brain, which can affect decision-making, behavior and the response to stress.
Fentanyl-Laced Heroin: A HUGE Issue
Heroin is dangerous enough on its own but there’s a deadly new addition making headlines. A synthetic opioid called fentanyl, which is one-hundred times stronger than heroin, is so lethal that in its pure form an amount equivalent to a grain of sand can kill you. Many people who ingest fentanyl do it unwittingly, as it is often used to cut heroin and is also sold as pills to people looking to purchase oxycodone, with buyers and dealers alike unaware.
With a steady flow of product coming in various forms from Mexico and China, it’s more widely available than ever before. In a tablet form, it is made to look like a counterfeit version of popular painkiller brands, such as OxyContin.
Fentanyl effects arrive stronger and more quickly than other opioids, but last for a much shorter amount of time, in some instances only minutes. Not only is fentanyl potentially fatal to users, but also for law enforcement or first responders, as a lethal amount can be transmitted via skin contact, or even accidentally inhaled.
Struggling with Addiction
Everyone’s battle with heroin addiction is unique. People can be drawn to drug use for many different reasons: genetics, environmental stressors, or psychological make-up.
For some, it can be a coping mechanism, or in order to deal with underlying physical or mental illnesses. Regardless of your journey, it is possible to stop. With the help of our detox treatment clinic and advanced medical staff, you can start down the road to recovery. Heroin withdrawal symptoms are difficult and sometimes deadly to deal with if you are not in the right place, and relapse can also turn deadly.
Our goal is to help those suffering from addiction recover and enjoy life again. Our treatment center in Bucks County, Pa. provides many opportunities to fit the needs of our patients. Our sober living program includes detox treatments to help with severe withdrawal symptoms and support your battle against heroin addiction.
Each treatment is designed specifically based on your unique situation. Our facility offers group, individual, and family therapy. Additionally, we provide gender-specific therapy to help everyone cope with their situations together.
DayBreak Treatment Solutions supports your struggle with prevention planning a variety of therapy options:
- Cognitive behavior
- Rational emotive behavior
- Other emotional therapy
Our patients suffering from substance abuse disorder participate in 12-step facilitation, with medication management, and many other activities to help you achieve your goals. We also have an Aftercare program for when you’ve reached the end of your time with us. Located conveniently near Philadelphia and outside Allentown, we can assist in your battle with your heroin addiction. With help and treatment options, you can take control of your life again.