HEROIN ADDICTION TREATMENT
The heroin epidemic is by far one of the major problems which the U.S. has faced and only a few others compare to it. It was understood back then to be a back alley drug, but in recent times it is in all demographic areas of our nation. With heroin abuse on the rise, heroin addiction treatment is the only shot the nation has to put an end to this epidemic.
Heroin is the Most Addictive Drug in the World
The ongoing problems people experience are the cause of the rise in heroin use with some using prescription painkillers which are very addictive such as Percocet, Vicodin, Opana, and OxyContin. The U.S. has experienced a quadruple in overdose deaths from the time OxyContin was introduced. Several addicts start taking painkillers as the stigma is not the same and because they are deemed to be socially acceptable than heroin. In several cases, doctors prescribe them as a treatment for severe and moderate pain but most persons turn into addicts. An addict will often switch to heroin as their habit of abusing painkillers becomes more expensive because heroin is cheaper.
In 2010, OxyContin makers made injecting, smoking or snorting the drug by addicts much harder by introducing an abuse-deterrent formula. Lots of addicts switched to heroin because of this reformulation. Heroin-related deaths in the U.S. have tripled since then.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is an opiate which is highly addictive and processed from a natural substance known as Morphine which is gotten from a poppy plant’s seeds. It’s often in two forms: a “black tar” or white/brownish powder form. Pure heroin is predominant in the Middle East and comes in a white powder. The most widespread in the U.S. eastern states is the powdered “China white” form which has a higher purity. It can be injected, smoked or snorted. The black tar form which is mostly found in Mexico is hard and sticky in nature and is mostly sold in the U.S. western states. It has a black color because of crude processing which leaves impurities behind. Users usually inject or smoke it.
Why Seek Out Heroin Addiction Treatment?
Heroin is a depressant in the central nervous system and upon entering the brain it is transformed back into Morphine. It binds to brain cells called opioid receptors of which many are involved in perceiving pain. It gives the user an intense feeling of relaxation and euphoria. Many signs of use exist which you have to look out for. You or a loved one seeking heroin addiction treatment when these signs are consistent is very important. Heroin abuse and addiction have the following signs:
- Irregular sleeping patterns
- Incoherent or slurred speech patterns
- Hostile or erratic behavior towards loved ones and friends
- Loss of interest in relationships or hobbies
- Decreased performance at work or school
- Stealing or borrowing money from family and friends
- Isolating from friends and family
- Dramatic weight loss
- Shortness of breath
- Constant fatigue (nodding off)
- Constant itching
- Constricted “pinned-out” pupils
- Needle marks or abscesses on the skin where they shoot up
Signs of Heroin Withdrawal
Your body becomes insensitive to the effects of drugs when you take them consistently and for prolonged periods and with heroin, your body becomes addicted to the drug physically to function well. Addicts become more resistant over time and require more of the drug so as to get the same desired outcome. The risk of overdose is very high.
The functioning of the nerve receptors in the user’s brain is changed by the drug over time which makes them physically addicted to the drug. Even people who are prescribed painkillers experience this. They will experience a period of serious withdrawal when they stop taking the drugs. Heroin withdrawal has signs such as:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Cold sweats
- Profuse and unusual sweating
- Severe insomnia
- Extreme cramping in limbs or “kicking”
Withdraw from heroin usually needs medical attention and it is very painful. Detox medications like Subutex and Suboxone are used as options in heroin addiction treatment as they help the patient in the detox process. The pain caused by opiate withdrawal is treated with the use of these medications.
Medical Side Effects of Heroin Addiction
Heroin is a powerful and very addictive drug and if the addict’s condition is not treated, it may lead to many side effects. The change of these side effects varies as the disease progresses and this depends on the age of the addict and some health factors. Heroin addiction has severe medical side effects such as:
- Liver disease
- Pulmonary diseases
- Arthritis and other rheumatologic problems
- Cardiorespiratory problems
- Infectious diseases like Hepatitis B and C, and HIV (spread through sharing of needles)
You can also explore Thrive Treatment – A great place for rehab aftercare.