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Heroin Addiction Treatment

Prevalence of Heroin AbusAddiction to any drug isn't simply a "bad habit" that you can overcome with willpower. The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines drug addiction as a chronic illness that can manifest in a compulsive need to seek and use drugs – even if the actions that bring you to those drugs are dangerous or come with harmful consequences.

Heroin is an especially dangerous drug to abuse for many reasons, not the least of which is its extremely addicting properties. Like all opiates, heroin interacts with your body's functionality and chemistry. In effect, it alters the way your brain communicates with the body, and ongoing use of the drug can result in your body needing it to function at all. That need is what drives withdrawal symptoms when you stop using heroin, making it even harder to seek sobriety.

One of the best ways to battle heroin addiction is with inpatient treatment. While many people want an easier approach that might not impact their lives as much as taking time for an inpatient stay, the hard reality is that heroin is probably already impacting your life more than you know. Without taking the time to seek professional assistance with your addiction, you could find that you quickly lose all the things about life you think you are protecting by not seeking heroin treatment.

If you are struggling with heroin use, then call us today for more information. You can reach a caring, professional counselor at (877) 392-3342 any time of the day or night. We offer confidential free assessments over the phone, or you can also chat with our representatives online for more information if you aren't yet comfortable making a phone call. Learn more about our simple admission process

Signs of Heroin Use

If you think someone you love is a heroin addict, helping them seek proper treatment can be an enormous responsibility. Many people don't take the first step to help someone they love because they feel uncertain that person is truly addicted to or abusing drugs. While some signs of drug abuse are similar to signs of other issues, such as medical conditions or just being over stressed, there are unique signs of heroin use you can watch for. A single symptom doesn't necessarily mean someone is abusing drugs, but if you see several of these signs together or within a short period of each other, consider reaching out to your friend or family member or talking with a professional to see what help you can provide.

Physical Signs

  • Small sores or bruises on the arms, legs, neck, or between fingers or toes
  • Flushed skin and dry mouth occur when someone is using heroin and they can be an ongoing symptom for someone who is addicted to the drug and abusing it regularly.
  • Constricted pupils – pupils that are much smaller than normal, even in darker lighting conditions, are another tale-tell sign of opiate use. Remember that small pupils on their own don't mean drug abuse, though – usually you'll want to look for this sign along with a change in mood or habits.
  • When high or coming down from a heroin high, individuals might fade in and out of consciousness, appear sleepy or act sluggishly.
  • Individuals who are using heroin typically display unclear thinking. They might have problems with memory or concentration or might simply make illogical connections or act on ideas with little merit in reality.
  • Heroin use also comes with physical side effects, including nausea and vomiting. Users might also have unexplained itchiness or scratch their skin a lot.
  • Euphoric surges can be a sign that someone just used heroin. Heroin is fast acting, and injecting it can lead to an immediate upswing in mood.
  • Finally, regular users of heroin may experience constipation, which is associated with opiate use. If someone is seeking laxatives on a regular basis, this can be a sign of drug use.
Behavioral Signs
  • Lying, especially about how money is being spent
  • Increased sleeping and frequent vomiting, scratching and/or slurred speech
  • Continued drug use despite negative consequences
  • Needing to take more heroin each time to feel the same effects (i.e. tolerance)
  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants year round
  • Neglecting work and other responsibilities
  • Frequent muscle aches and other flu-like symptoms
  • Nodding off at strange times (e.g. while standing)

In addition to the signs listed above, the presence of paraphernalia is a red flag for heroin abuse or addiction. This includes syringes, razor blades, cut up pieces of drinking straws and burnt foil and/or spoons.

Dangers of Ongoing Heroin Abuse

The NIDA notes that heroin is often a secondary drug – approximately half of young people in a recent survey said they started abusing prescription opiates before moving on to heroin. Once you get caught up in the cycle of opiate use and end up using heroin, you open yourself up to all types of risks and dangers. The dangers of ongoing abuse range from legal to physical.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Heroin is an illegal drug and is classified high enough to involve felony charges if you are caught with a certain amount. Using heroin means that you put yourself at risk for legal charges. It also means that you regularly interact with some part of a black market drug world, putting yourself in physical danger in what can be a rough and crime-ridden transaction. While the long term effects of heroin can cause health issues, the short term effects of violent crime can be just as devastating.

Even if you manage to avoid issues with crime, heroin has a long-term impact on your health and your social status. Heroin can lead to lung damage, inability for your brain to function properly, heart damage and cardiac arrest and kidney failure. On the social side of your life, abusing heroin can cause you to be erratic, take risks and behave in an irresponsible way with friends, family and coworkers. The results can include loss of friends, seemingly irreparable emotional wounds in relationships and loss of your job.

Whether you've already experienced some of the devastating long-term effects of heroin or you are trying to avoid these issues, seek help now. It's never too late to seek professional help for heroin addiction, and you can get your life back. Our counselors are waiting to answer your call at (877) 392-3342. They can provide information about the first steps you need to take to reclaim a drug-free life.

Learn more about the Heroin Epidemic from our The Truth About Heroin Series

Why Inpatient is a Preferred Heroin Addiction Treatment Option

According to the NIDA, treatment in an inpatient facility that combines therapeutic resources with pharmaceuticals often promotes the best outcome when treating individuals who are addicted to heroin. Heroin is a very difficult drug to beat, and we won't ever tell anyone that recovery is easy. However, we're with you every step of the way and an inpatient treatment program allows for constant professional intervention and assistance that supports your journey to sobriety.

Creating a Personalized Treatment Plan for Heroin Addiction

It's not enough to detox your body from heroin, though that is often the first step. Once medical treatments have been planned to safely and comfortably detox you from heroin, it's essential to begin treating the root causes of drug use and addiction.

Your treatment plan may include any combination of the following therapies, programs and services:

People begin using drugs for all types of reasons, and they continue using drugs and become addicted for even more reasons. Understanding those reasons is critical to developing a personalized, long-term treatment program for heroin addiction. It's worth repeating: addiction is a chronic illness; chronic illnesses require ongoing treatment – sometimes for the rest of your life.

What begins in inpatient treatment is a comprehensive action plan that helps you address why you use drugs and what might compel you to use them in the future. Ongoing treatment doesn't mean that you need to remain in a facility for the rest of your life: our goal is actually the opposite. We work with you to help you integrate back into regular life without using drugs. We work with you to set goals and journey toward success and sobriety.

Heroin Relapse Prevention

Staying off heroin isn't going to be easy, but with the right tools and professional guidance, you can avoid heroin relapse. We start by detoxing your body so you can think clearly and begin to work on your addiction. Treatment might include individual therapy, group therapy, nutritional guidance, activities, career development and even assistance with legal matters related to previous drug use.

After you are discharged from an inpatient program, ongoing treatment might include group or individual therapy. One of the benefits of professional heroin addiction treatment is that you are not left alone. Facing heroin addiction is one of the hardest and scariest things a person can do, and we know that. Even after you win the first battle in inpatient treatment, the war against addiction continues in and around you.

If you want to equip yourself with the best tools to face those battles, call (877) 392-3342 now. Our admissions counselors provide confidential, free consultations to help you understand what the best steps are for you to seek sobriety. Call now and begin to equip yourself with the knowledge and skills to live heroin free.

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