Heroin Addiction Treatment, Signs, Effects, Detox, and Inpatient Vs Outpatient Rehab Center Programs
Understand how rehabilitation is possible for heroin addicts by learning about the causes, signs, effects, and treatment program options
The abuse of heroin, which is an extremely powerful opiate, is becoming a very serious problem in America, leading to the need for outpatient or residential heroin rehab centers services throughout the country.
Death due to overuse of heroin has been increasing rapidly every year and has even surpassed deaths due to vehicle accidents and guns combined in the recent years and is now one of the leading causes of death in the country.
With detox programs, psychotherapeutic treatments for addiction, and aftercare services, an experienced heroin addiction treatment center can help to guide addicts into a sober and normal lifestyle.
The increased availability of heroin, its decreased prices, the glamorization of addicts and addictions in film and music industry, its widespread abuse right from school-aged youth, all point out that it is highly important that we understand the drug as well as the destruction it can cause.
If you or any of your loved ones are in need of a heroin addiction treatment, please don’t hesitate or feel ashamed to seek help from a drug abuse treatment program.
So what is heroin abuse?
According to recent statistical studies, there has been a change in the usage of heroin.
It was being injected earlier and now it has shifted to smoking or snorting because of the increased purity and the common misconception that this is safer.
Heroin is obtained by processing morphine, which is a natural substance extracted from the Asian poppy plant’s seed pod.
It appears as a brown or white powder.
Its common street names are H, smack, junk, Mexican black tar etc.
While certain drugs may be legally prescribed to alleviate severe pain, heroin is classified by the Federal Government as a narcotic of type Schedule I without any legal use.
The highly addictive properties of heroin are characterized by compulsive and obsessive seeking as well as usage, and by molecular and neurochemical changes caused in the brain.
Heroin abusers commonly report a rush or surge of pleasurable sensation, the intensity of which depends on the amount of drug taken and the speed with which it enters the brain.
Heroin enters the brain very rapidly and hence is exceptionally addictive. Its action is that it gets converted to morphine in the brain and binds itself to the opioid receptors in the brain.
Heroin dependency is usually chronic and severe. It devastates ones all aspects of life including that of their family’s.
This is why seeking treatment for heroin on time is always essential.
Causes: who is at risk of abusing and being addicted?
Anr drug use disorder including heroin abuse and addiction can happen to anyone.
With that said there are certain factors such as family, depression, and risky behavior history that can contribute to the chances of someone being an addict to any substance.
Some of those factors are:
Biological factors can increase the chance of someone abusing drugs such as heroin. Some of the biological factors include
- Mental illness
- Gender: Studies shows that men are less likely than women to be addicted to drugs designed to treat anxiety or sleeplessness, but are more likely to abuse alcohol and marijuana than women.
- Sensitivity to drugs
- Developmental stage
Some environmental factors include:
- Social circle
- Types of job
- Peer pressure: Peer pressure among teenagers can lead to abusing drugs. When this is noticed it is important to seek help from a drug abuse disorder program for teens immediately.
- Home: An unsafe home can push one to start abusing drugs.
The different symptoms and signs of heroin dependency
Common addiction to heroin signs and symptoms include the inability to control the use and uncontrollable cravings despite the bad effects it causes on health, finances, and personal relationships.
Below are some of the signs and symptoms to look out for:
- Lack of attention to hygiene
- Weight loss
- Doing anything including stealing, prostitution, and offering sex to get the drug
- Lack of attention to work, family, and other responsibilities
- Change of social circle to those who do drugs
- Constantly losing friends and job because of the use of the drug
- Memory issues
- Not feeling much pain
- Needle marks
- Slurred speeches
Once the symptoms have been identified and the addiction is proven, always take the patient to an addiction recovery hospital.
Even curtailing the usage of an addicted person can cause death or other medical complications.
Heroin detox is never to be attempted without the supervision of a licensed doctor or medical professional experienced in treating patients for heroin withdrawal and dependence.
The effects and health implications
The continued usage of heroin can cause serious and sometimes lasting damage to the brain and body, which can be effectively treated if one seeks help as soon as possible.
As the abuse and addiction progress, side effects increase and can present more complications if there is any other chemical dependency as well.
Following the consumption of heroin, the user feels a ‘rush’ usually followed by a dry mouth, warm flush, and a heavy feeling. Vomiting, nausea, and severe itching usually follows. Short-term side effects include:
- Shallow breathing
- Reduced mental alertness
- Decreased awareness of physical and emotional pain
- Itching resulting in compulsive scratching
When heroin addiction continues untreated for long, there are consequences and the following lasting health conditions can occur:
- Brain Damage, brain hemorrhage, and stroke
- Weakened immunity, respiratory illnesses, and recurrent lung infections
- Eating disorders and Malnutrition
- HIV and Hepatitis
- Skin Infections
- Cardiomyopathy and Pulmonary embolism
- The higher risk of getting a heart attack
- Vision problems
- Liver cancer and decreased liver function
- Memory Loss
- Death due to overdose
Heroin addiction treatment overview
Heroin rehabilitation is the most misunderstood and most feared among the recovery processes of addiction, possibly since it is marked by forceful cravings and the extremely distressing withdrawal symptoms especially during detoxification of the drug.
Recovery from addiction to heroin is a process which can possibly last years.
Detox programs are available to help the addict break free from withdrawal symptoms.
Prescription drugs may also be needed at this stage. Heroin addiction treatment centers should then provide psychotherapeutic treatment for months or as needed.
The aftercare services which are ongoing is what enables a previous addict to gel into a new life completely free from alcohol or drugs.
Inpatient as well as outpatient treatment options are possible in most heroin rehab centers and are chosen after considering various factors.
These considerations can include the physical condition of the addict, need to continue or break free from regular routines such as work, home environment, or classes, and then, of course, the treatment expenses.
Inpatient heroin rehab facilities
The best starting point once the need for addiction is identified is a heroin rehab center which has a provision for inpatient treatment.
Residential rehabilitation programs are recommended more since treatment is available around-the-clock and can help to avoid a continued exposure to trigger factors which may have caused the person to begin the substance abuse in the first place.
The patient is being given an opportunity to stay away from all temptations and to focus only on recovery.
During the initial days and weeks of treatment, the cravings and withdrawal symptoms can get so intense that staying off the drug feels impossible. Getting admitted to an inpatient rehab facility helps to remove the access and temptation to relapse to a very large extent.
Also, the continuous treatment and care that is offered to help the person to learn more about the addiction and also to learn the tools and skills needed to remain sober.
The psychotherapy sessions also help to identify and solve issues which led to beginning substance abuse initially. The benefits include:
- Constant supervision prevents possible relapse
- A physical and mental break away from the daily pressure
- Any medical, psychological, or therapeutic disorders are handled simultaneously
- Full focus is given to healing
The expense involved can be a deterrent, however, inpatient heroin addiction treatment centers are worth it for some people in the long term.
Outpatient heroin rehab facilities
The outpatient heroin addiction treatment centers work best for those who are committed to recovery even while getting on with their normal lifestyle.
It is possible only in the initial stages of addiction and after considering the impact of addiction on health conditions.
If you wish to not lose the current job, or cannot take leave from school and other responsibilities, the outpatient heroin treatment facility can be beneficial.
There are different options for this type of treatment programs such as the partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient program.
It also helps to lower treatment expenses, unlike the residential programs which cost more.
But the things to be considered are:
- Since there is less supervision, chances to relapse can be more
- Since the time you spend at the center is less, the opportunity to pass on education regarding addiction and coping skills can be less
- If the environment remains the same, continued exposure to trigger factors or stressors is there, which can cause a relapse
Heroin detoxification programs
Most of the drug abuse recovery facilities offer different treatment options for heroin use disorder.
There may not be a one shoe fit all approach and may vary from person to person depending upon their individual conditions.
However, the most successful treatments typically start with a medically supervised heroin detox program.
And it is not advised to do heroin detoxification without the help and supervision of experienced medical professionals.
A medication side may also be there to help prevent cravings once the therapy starts.
Methadone, Buprenorphine, or Naltrexone are a few of the commonly prescribed drugs.
Methadone helps to prevent the occurrence of withdrawal effects of heroin. Buprenorphine helps in stopping the substance cravings while reducing the side effects.
Naltrexone’s action is to block the effect of heroin or other drugs so that you are not dependent on it and is not sedating or addictive.
The potential side effects and impacts while moving off the drug should also be taken care while using any of these drugs since it can even affect life.
These medicines should be taken only on continuous consultation with a doctor at the rehabilitation center so that heroin addiction can be completely overcome.
Payment options accepted by clinics
Some people may put off taking addiction treatment for heroin due to various factors.
Long term dependence on the substance makes the person resistant to a change in lifestyle and the stigma involved may also put them off. Another deterrent can be the treatment program costs involved, which need not be so.
If one has private medical insurance, some facilities cover even up to 100% of the addiction treatment.
Some centers accept in-house payment plans, finance options like care credit.
Some facilities also accept public insurances such as Medicare and Medicaid.
You can also get scholarships and medical loans.
If you contact these addiction treatment facilities, they will work with you to find out how you can get the best benefits from your insurance providers.
Next step from here? Contact 866-579-8780 for a free consultation
Just give us a call to be connected for help.
A professional admission counselor will give a free consultation and helpful information in getting started towards recovery that can help you to no longer have to be in the same loop of heroin dependency.
Treatment centers for heroin addiction can put you or a loved on a journey of recovery to stay sober and to live a fulfilling and happy life after a successful rehab program.