Heroin Addiction

Addiction Treatment

Heroin Addiction | Abuse & Treatment Options

Providing Alternative Addiction Treatment In Arizona

Heroin, an opioid drug, operates similarly to prescription painkillers such as oxycodone (Oxycontin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), or morphine. Despite a decrease in prescription opioid overdoses, heroin overdoses have seen a steady rise in the United States since 2010.
Many individuals who engage in heroin abuse initially became addicted to prescription opioids and turned to heroin due to its affordability and wider availability. The abuse of heroin can rapidly lead to dependence, addiction, and severe health consequences.
  • Effects of Heroin Abuse: Heroin, being highly addictive, alters the brain’s reward system, creating cravings for the drug and diminishing pleasure derived from healthy activities.
  • How Heroin Is Abused: The primary method of heroin abuse is through injection, directly introducing it into the bloodstream. Black tar heroin, often melted down and injected, is a sticky or solid substance. White powdered heroin can be smoked or snorted but is commonly injected as well. Injection drug use poses risks such as collapsed veins and skin abscesses, while sharing needles may transmit diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C. Unclean syringes can also lead to bacterial skin or heart infections. Smoking heroin (heating the powder on foil and inhaling vapor) harms the lungs, and snorting may result in severe nasal damage and tissue erosion.
  • Long-Term Health Effects: Regardless of the method of use, prolonged heroin abuse can contribute to various health issues. Mental health problems, including depression and antisocial personality disorder, become more likely. Additionally, heroin abuse may lead to liver, kidney, and lung diseases. Individuals who develop an addiction are at an increased risk of experiencing negative health effects and overdose.

Heroin Addiction Symptoms

Heroin addiction often coexists with physical dependence, but the essence of addiction lies in its impact on the mind rather than the body. The influence of heroin on the brain can create a formidable barrier to cessation, making it challenging to quit even when recognizing the detrimental effects on one’s life.
Several symptoms indicative of heroin addiction include:
Addiction often triggers a reordering of priorities, with heroin taking precedence over other aspects of life. Attempts to conceal the addiction eventually manifest in noticeable changes in health, lifestyle, and interpersonal relationships.

Heroin Addiction Treatment

Overcoming heroin addiction is a challenging journey, often requiring the support of an inpatient treatment program that addresses the root causes and effects of addiction while promoting a healthier lifestyle.
Heroin addiction treatment typically commences with medical detox, providing safe monitoring throughout the withdrawal process. Following detox, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) may be implemented, proven effective for opioid addiction. MAT, encompassing medication and behavioral therapy, aims at comprehensive healing.
Three FDA-approved medications for treating heroin addiction include:
  • Buprenorphine: Reduces withdrawal symptoms by acting on opioid receptors, often combined with naloxone (Suboxone) to deter abuse.
  • Methadone (Methadose): A mild opioid that alleviates cravings and withdrawal symptoms without inducing a high.
  • Naltrexone (Vivitrol): A monthly shot preventing opioids from affecting the brain.
Additional treatment methods may involve yoga, art therapy, counseling, and support groups. Optimal heroin rehab programs are customized to individual needs, maximizing the chances of sustained recovery.
To discover personalized treatment plans for heroin addiction, Reach out to a Heartfelt Recovery specialist today.