Sadly, many individuals are currently suffering from heroin addiction. Even more unfortunate is the unsettling truth that countless people have lost their lives due to heroin misuse. The good news, however, is that there is hope for those who are still dealing with this issue. Here at Palm Coast Treatment Solutions, we offer hope and help through our heroin addiction treatment.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is an opioid drug that is made from morphine, which is a natural substance that is taken from the seed pod of numerous opium poppy plants grown in Southwest and Southeast Asia, Colombia, and Mexico. It can be a brown or white powder, or a sticky black substance is known as black tar heroin. Individuals generally snort, sniff, smoke, or inject heroin.
Some individuals engage in a practice called speedballing which consists of mixing heroin with crack cocaine. Heroin enters a person’s brain swiftly and binds to opioid receptors on cells that are located in numerous areas, especially those involved in feelings of pleasure or pain, and in controlling sleeping, breathing, and heart rate.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Addiction?
Physical Symptoms of Heroin Addiction
There are various physical symptoms of heroin addiction. Although many individuals have different experiences, there have been people who have reported experiencing euphoria, and a warm feeling inside that has the ability to remove any worries. There are some individuals that describe it as more as being in a dream state. These feelings can be quite desirable for individuals who are self-medicating for a mental health disorder.
Heroin is associated with a wide range of short-term side effects and symptoms. It was noted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse that aside from exhilaration, the following side effects might occur shortly or immediately after an individual uses heroin.
- Slowed breathing (which can lead to permanent coma, brain damage, or death)
- Drowsiness (which might persist for numerous hours)
- A warm flushing feeling on the skin
- Leaden feeling in the legs and arms
- A severe itching sensation
- Clouded mental capacities
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slowed heart rate
- Dry mouth
Psychological Symptoms of Heroin Addiction
The psychological symptoms of heroin addiction can include depression, insomnia, cravings, and anxiety. For some individuals, the cravings can persist for years. However, there are long-term heroin substitution therapies, such as Suboxone (Buprenorphine) and Methadone that can stem or end numerous cravings and ultimately prevent relapse.
- Altercation to one’s perception of reality
- Arrested emotional development
- Difficulties with problem-solving
- Suppression of emotions
- Irrational decision-making
- An ability to feel pressure
- Lack of motivation
- Confused thinking
Behavioral Signs of Heroin Addiction
The use of heroin will inevitably involve a shift in the more affected part of a person’s behaviors. Individuals who coexist or even work in the surroundings of an individual who engages in the use of this drug will often recognize the changes. An individual might become uncharacteristically isolated, often spending a lot of time alone, and withdrawing from close friends and family members.
What Are the Long-Term and Short-Term Effects of Heroin Addiction?
Individuals who use heroin long-term might experience the following:
- Collapsed veins for individuals who inject the drug
- Damaged tissue inside the nose of individuals who snort or sniff it
- Mental disorders such as antisocial personality disorder and depression
- Infection of the valves and heart lining
- Stomach cramping and constipation
- Abscesses (swollen tissue filled with pus)
- Lung complications, including pneumonia
- Irregular menstrual cycles for women
- Sexual dysfunction for men
- Kidney and liver disease
Individuals who use heroin report experiencing a “rush” feeling. The rush feeling described here is a surge of pleasure or euphoria. There are also more common effects that can occur such as:
- Going “on the nod”, which is a back-and-forth state of being semi-conscious and conscious
- Heavy feeling in the legs and arms
- Clouded mental functioning
- Warm flushing of the skin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe itching
- Dry mouth
Heroin Addiction Treatment at a Heroin Rehab Program
There is a range of options at a heroin rehab program including behavioral therapies and medicines that are effective in assisting individuals in stopping drug use. It’s pivotal to be able to match the most ideal treatment approach to meet the specific needs of the patient. There are also medications being developed to assist with the withdrawal process. The FDA has approved a non-opioid medicine, named Lofexidine, that is designed to reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms.
The two medications that are utilized to assist individuals in stopping heroin use are Methadone and Buprenorphine. They both work by binding to the same opioid receptors that are located in the brain as heroin. Both medications reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Another addiction treatment approach may include Naltrexone. This medication blocks opioid receptors and overall prevents opioid drugs from having a full effect. There was a NIDA study discovered that suggested once treatment is initiated, both an extended-release Naltrexone formulation and Buprenorphine/Naloxone combination is similarly effective in addiction.
Since full detoxification is required for Naloxone treatment, initiating treatment among active Heroin users was challenging, but once the detoxification was complete, both of the medications held similar effectiveness. The behavioral therapies for addiction include contingency management and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Contingency management provides patients with motivational incentives, such as small cash rewards or vouchers for positive behaviors.
For example, a positive behavior for contingency management would be staying drug-free. Cognitive behavioral therapy assists patients in modifying the client’s drug-use behaviors and expectations and helps manage stress and triggers effectively. Both of these behavioral treatment approaches are specifically effective when used in conjunction with medication.
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Heroin Addiction Treatment at Palm Coast Treatment Solutions Today
Many people who suffer from substance use disorders feel alone in their suffering. It is easy to fall prey to the ostracizing nature of addiction. Often, this characteristic of substance abuse causes people to withdraw from family and friends, feeling the shame and fear that so often occur with drug and alcohol use problems. But, this doesn’t have to be your story.
Here at Palm Coast Treatment Solutions, your health is our priority. Your freedom is our mission. Your healing is our responsibility. We strive to provide the best of care, comfort, and compassion for those who need help overcoming addiction. Whether you are trying to end heroin addiction or another type of substance use disorder, we are here for you!
If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin addiction, we have treatment options at our rehab facility. We ensure to provide our patients with solid hope for a better tomorrow. Here at Palm Coast Treatment Solutions, we understand the difficulties of addiction. Contact us today to get started.
Years of experience
Our Program Leaders have had extensive experience in Addiction Treatment and are ready to help those who are struggling with addiction.
Our Staff consists of many licensed addiction treatment facilitators and other staff who are ready to share their experience and their success’.
Palm Coast Treatment Centers has helped over 2,000 people who have struggled with alcohol and drug addiction find freedom from addiction.
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Reaching out to Palm Coast Treatment Centers may be the most important call of your recovery process. A caring professional is waiting for your call to be your guide to addiction-free living.