Heroin addiction is a national epidemic that crosses borders of socioeconomic status, age, gender and race. Heroin is the culprit behind daily overdose deaths across the nation and has torn apart countless families and relationships.
The opiate heroin is particularly deadly because tolerance develops quickly. Users’ physiological and psychological response to the drug decreases, and more heroin is needed to achieve the same intensity. Because of the dependence users develop, medical heroin detox and intensive inpatient rehab are critical to safely eliminate the substance from the body and prevent relapse.
Why Medical Heroin Rehab Is Critical to Recovery
Heroin enters the brain, where it is converted to morphine and binds to opioid receptors. These receptors are located in many areas of the brain (and in the body), especially those involved in the perception of pain and reward. Opioid receptors are also located in the brain stem — important for automatic processes critical for life, such as breathing, blood pressure and arousal. Heroin overdoses frequently involve a suppression of respiration.
Because heroin depletes the production of natural “feel-good” brain chemicals and affects opioid receptors, heroin detox can be especially painful. At a medical detox center, physicians and nurses can minimize this pain with research-backed medications to prevent cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms may begin within six to 24 hours of the last heroin dose. This time frame can vary based on the degree of tolerance as well as the amount used.
Heroin withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Severe bone and muscle aches
- Sweating, chills and fever
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pains and diarrhea
- Cramp-like pains in the arms and legs
After you safely move through heroin detox, inpatient heroin rehab will help you address the issues that fuel your addiction. Many people with addictions have undiagnosed or under-diagnosed mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. Heroin use could be an attempt to self-medicate symptoms of a mental illness. Other times, past trauma like physical or emotional abuse, neglect or exposure to disturbing events propels people to numb emotional pain with substances. At The Ranch Mississippi specialized mental health professionals will help you address these issues and begin moving past them.
Relapse prevention is a key component of heroin addiction treatment at The Ranch Mississippi. This may include evidence-based anti-craving medications. It also involves developing healthier coping skills and building a network of supportive peers and resources in recovery. The National Institute of Mental Health recommends at least 90 days of treatment for successful addiction recovery and longer for drugs with high relapse rates such as opioids.
Dangers of Heroin Use
Heroin abuse is associated with serious health conditions, including fatal overdose, spontaneous abortion, and — particularly in users who inject the drug — infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. Short-term effects of heroin include a surge of euphoria and clouded thinking followed by alternately wakeful and drowsy states.
Chronic users may develop collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, and liver or kidney disease. Pulmonary complications, including various types of pneumonia, may result from the individual’s poor health as well as from heroin’s depressing effects on respiration. In addition to the effects of the drug itself, street heroin often contains toxic contaminants or additives that can clog blood vessels leading to the lungs, liver, kidneys or brain, causing permanent damage to vital organs.
Heroin is an opiate drug that is synthesized from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder or as a black sticky substance, known as “black tar heroin.”
Heroin can be injected, snorted/sniffed, or smoked — routes of administration that rapidly deliver the drug to the brain. Injecting is the use of a needle to administer the drug directly into the bloodstream. Snorting is the process of inhaling heroin powder through the nose, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal tissues. Smoking involves inhaling heroin smoke into the lungs. All three methods of administering heroin can lead to addiction and other severe health problems.
Get Truly Life-Saving Addiction Treatment
Heroin addiction can be a life or death battle. Choose life. We’ve been helping people and families move beyond the destruction of drugs since 1979. We can help you or your loved one too. Call us for a free, confidential assessment.
There’s life after heroin addiction. And it’s so much better. Call us: 844-242-0036