Heroin is a powerful depressant that works very quickly to induce a state of euphoria and deep relaxation and blocks the brain’s ability to perceive pain. Heroin addiction is a very serious disease that changes the physical structure of the brain and the way in which it produces chemicals.
Heroin is one of the most highly addictive substances, and a single dose can quickly lead to addiction. Processed from morphine and either injected, snorted, or smoked, heroin activates the regions in the brain and affects circuits involved in learning, memory, motivation, and reward.
Signs of Heroin Addiction and Abuse
The signs and symptoms of heroin addiction are many, although not all individuals who abuse heroin will exhibit them. Signs of heroin abuse and addiction may include:
. Constricted pupils.
. Sudden changes in behavior or personality, such as hostility, aggression, or depression.
. Slow, heavy movements.
. Cycles of alertness followed by nodding off.
. Excessive sleeping.
. Cuts, bruises, or scabs from picking at the skin.
. Needle marks on the arms, legs, and feet.
. Infections at injection sites.
. Wearing long sleeves and pants, even in the heat, to hide needle marks.
. Stealing or borrowing money.
Symptoms of heroin addiction or abuse include:
. Shortness of breath.
. Dry mouth.
. Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed.
. A low self-esteem or body image.
Heroin Withdrawal and Detox
Getting professional help from a drug rehab center for a heroin addiction is essential to increase the chances of a successful recovery. Call 585-371-5288 for addiction recovery now. A drug rehab center can help the patient through the withdrawal process, which can be very painful especially for alcoholics who generally experience intense withdrawal. Other effects of heroin withdrawal may include:
. Agitation, anxiety, and depression.
. Muscle aches.
. Abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
. Nausea and vomiting.
. A runny nose.
. Uncontrollable yawning.
Heroin withdrawal symptoms usually start within 12 hours of the last dose.
Drug treatment for heroin addiction begins with the detox process at a drug detox center. Medical detox, which is only available as part of a comprehensive drug treatment program, involves administering medications to help the patient through the withdrawal process. Medications employed in this procedure may include:
. Clonodine to reduce anxiety and agitation, aches and pains, sweating, and cramping.
. Suboxone or Methodone to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and reduce the intensity of cravings.
. Paxil to reduce anxiety and depression and help fight insomnia.
Medical detox is safe and effective, and it can be part of an in-patient or outpatient drug treatment program.
Heroin Addiction Treatment
Both in-patient and outpatient drug treatment centers offer comprehensive drug treatment programs that address all aspects of the addiction rather than just the physical addiction issues. A team of professionals is involved in the treatment process and includes physicians, licensed therapists, psychiatrists, nurses, and aftercare professionals.
Heroin addiction treatment includes:
. Individual, group, and family counseling to address underlying issues surrounding the addiction and help the patient develop strategies for identifying and resisting triggers and to help repair broken relationships.
. Behavioral therapy to identify mental health issues and to help change the way the patient thinks about the drug and the addiction.
. Wellness and nutrition support to promote overall physical and mental wellness and good health as well as help the patient to develop a healthier lifestyle.
. Various activities to address the mind, body, and spirit for holistic recovery.
Once treatment is completed, an individualized aftercare program is developed, which typically includes ongoing counseling and behavioral therapies. For those who need it, vocational rehab, employment help, and assistance with finding safe housing may be an integral part of aftercare and relapse prevention program. To find a rehabilitation center for drug abuse call 585-371-5288.