Heroin Abuse Treatment
What is Heroin?
Heroin is a highly addictive opiate made from morphine. Heroin is classified as an opiod, similar to medications like codeine, oxycodone and hydrocodone. Usually, pure heroin is a bitter white powder originating from South America and South Asia. Pure heroin can be snorted or smoked which gives it a bit more of an appeal as injection isn’t necessary. The impure form, black tar heroin, looks like sticky black tar. Black tar heroin is usually dissolved and injected.
Heroin affects basic physiological functioning such as heart rate, sleeping, and breathing, and produces a sensation of euphoria. Yearly, it is estimated that around 15,000 individuals die from heroin overdose alone and nearly 1 million American’s report that they are using the drug. It is a major contributor to the current opioid crisis in our country.
Heroin addiction impacts the body and mind at all levels. Intravenous heroin users are also at high risk for contracting contagious blood diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C from sharing needles or using unclean syringes. Heroin users generally are at high risk of overdose, especially when they mix the opiate with other chemicals such as crack. The rise of fentanyl being added into the cut of heroin has made the already deadly drug even more lethal. Roughly 25% of all U.S. overdose deaths in 2016 were heroin overdoses and the numbers just continue to rise.
Short-term effects of heroin:
- Dry mouth
- Flushing of the skin
- Feeling heavy
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe itching
- Clouded mental functioning, such as impaired judgment
The short-term effects of heroin usually subside after about a week of discontinuing use, although the process is extremely uncomfortable without medical assistance. Withdrawal, discussed below, can be even more dangerous.
More serious effects of long-term use include:
- Collapsed veins
- Infection of heart lining and valves
- Constipation and stomach cramping
- Liver and kidney disease
- Lung complications
- Depression and antisocial personality disorder
- Sexual dysfunction and irregular menstruation
Withdrawal from heroin is physically and emotionally exhausting. Withdrawal symptoms vary in severity, though most will last about a week. Your overall age and health, as well as how much you have used are all contributing factors to your withdrawal. In some situations, if the heroin you have been using is cut with other substances, you may experience even more withdrawal symptoms. Physical dependence to heroin could be either the biggest roadblock to, or the biggest motivation for treatment. Our goal at Royal Life Centers is to make detoxification from heroin as smooth and comfortable as possible. Our guests are monitored through and after detox, and medical staff are on site 24/7 to ensure safety and comfort. Addiction is never easy, especially with how painful and dangerous withdrawal is. For that reason, without medically assisted or supervised detox, many will relapse and continue to use. With that being said, it is never recommended to attempt to quit any drug cold-turkey or without assistance.
To overcome addiction, recovery treatment is paramount. Without medical supervision, accredited staff and a facility that cares, withdrawal from the drug could be lethal. Because We Care, Royal Life Centers is committed to providing the safest, most effective medication-assisted heroin detox, followed by carefully structured, individualized medical regiments, an intensive therapy program, and extensive aftercare options. If you or someone you love is struggling with heroin, it is imperative to get help immediately.
Heroin withdrawal symptoms include:
- Severe muscle and bone pain
- Sleep problems
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Cold flashes with goosebumps
- Uncontrollable leg movements
- Severe cravings
Should I seek treatment for addiction?
It is not easy to decide to make a change. Quitting an addiction is one of the hardest things you can do. Usually, impossible to do so alone. Thankfully, you are not alone. If you believe that you or someone you love is struggling with heroin use, Royal Life Centers is here to help you, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Do any of the behaviors below sound like you or your loved one?
- Planning activities around heroin use
- Engaging in other high-risk behaviors
- Prioritizing heroin over other things
- Loss of interest in activities not involving heroin
- Lying or stealing to obtain heroin
- Withdrawal symptoms and/or heroin cravings
If you recognize any of these signs in yourself or others, you may have a heroin problem and require medical help to safely detox. Because of the high risks of bloodborne pathogens and disease, it is very important to break free of the grasp of heroin as soon as you recognize that there is a problem.
What happens after medical detox?
Following medical detox at Royal Life Centers, guests will begin a comprehensive, collaborative approach to substance abuse treatment designed to support physical, mental and spiritual wellness. We offer a variety of detox options for treating drug addiction beyond just heroin. Our program helps to promote a lasting, sober lifestyle through sobriety and beyond. Our addiction specialists, from our therapists and case managers to our facility staff, are dedicated to providing the best in care and support. Our holistic, evidence-based approach to psychotherapy incorporates individual and group sessions. We use other holistic methods, such as art, music and animal therapy to help our guests to learn to express themselves and communicate. Our treatment features state-of-the-art activity, movement, and adventure therapies to create one program that treats mind, body, and spirit. At Royal Life Centers, we believe that emotional healing is just as important as physical healing.
Guests may begin their recovery journey in our residential inpatient program and continue with us through PHP, IOP, OP, and sober living at our graduate housing residences. At Royal Life Centers, the guest is always our top priority, and we consistently do all we can to effect lasting change, that they might continue to lead healthy, sober lives long after they have left our care. This is not just our goal, but our mission.
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