Learn About Heroin Use, Abuse, and Treatment
Heroin is one of the most dangerous drugs in the world. Few drugs carry with them so many potential hazards for the user – psychological, physical and social in equal measure. Yet little is known about this addictive opiate outside of the treatment community. The information contained in this site is designed to shed light on the nature of heroin addiction, explore drug treatment options for dependence as well as discuss important processes such as detoxification, making it through heroin withdrawal and aftercare.
If you or someone you love is suffering from a heroin drug addiction, the life-saving information you need may just well be found within the pages of this heroin website.
Although the urban legend that all heroin users become addicted after trying the drug just once is just a myth, that shouldn’t draw attention away from the thousands of people who develop a heroin addiction every day. Regular abuse can lead to tolerance, which means it will take more and more of the opiate to achieve the desired heroin high – making overdose and death a constant risk. Understanding heroin addiction means knowing just how quickly the drug can overpower the body – taking over the core processes in the brain that control pleasure and discomfort.
In non-scientific terms, it is important to understand and recognize the signs of heroin addiction so that you can help a loved one get the treatment they need before they fall deeper into that negative cycle.
The first step in overcoming heroin addiction is drug detox – the process of cleansing the body of the harmful toxins found in heroin. There are two primary types of detox – natural and medical. With natural detoxification from heroin, the individual goes “cold turkey”, ceasing intake of the drug entirely and allow their body to readjust. This method can bring about very uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that often lead to relapse.
Those individuals who are fearful of heavy withdrawal symptoms may choose medical detox. The most common form of medical detox is methadone treatment for heroin addiction. Methadone is a synthetic opiate given in gradually smaller and smaller doses until the individual has overcome their heroin physical addiction. The main benefit of methadone detox is the reduced withdrawal symptoms during this particular type of detox treatment.
Even with all the will power in the world, almost no person can break the cycle of heroin addiction on their own. Professional help, in the form of a heroin rehab program, is the best, most comprehensive form of heroin addiction treatment. Providing both medical care and psychological support and counseling, addiction treatment programs help break the cycle of addiction while strengthening the individual in mind, body and spirit. Most rehab treatment programs feature three core components: detox (treating the physical addiction to heroin) counseling (addressing the psychological dependence on the drug) and aftercare (helping cope with life after treatment). Although there are many unique variations of care throughout the United States, the most successful treatment programs incorporate these practices as a means of ending heroin dependence.
Rehab Program Types
For those who are fortunate enough to come to terms with their heroin addictions, there are a number of different drug rehab program types at their disposal. Those who need to leave a destructive home environment can attend a residential rehab center, while those who wish to gain support from family and friends during treatment may prefer an outpatient rehab center and its additional freedoms. There are also a number of “niche” heroin addiction treatment programs now gaining popularity around the U.S., including holistic heroin rehab, women’s heroin rehab, teen heroin treatment and other programs that address the unique needs of certain types of people living with heroin addiction.
The Withdrawal Process
Whether an individual is going through detox, or is an active addict in search of her next fix, heroin withdrawal is going to be an unavoidable part of life. Heroin withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable physical and psychological conditions that have their onset in the hours following the individual’s last dose of the drug. Although these withdrawal symptoms are rarely life-threatening, they can often lead to relapse into heavy heroin use. The most common withdrawal symptoms include: depression, anxiety, strong drug cravings, chills, sweats, sleeplessness, nausea and in the most extreme cases, suicidal thoughts and hallucinations.
Recovery for Long-term Heroin Addiction
For some heroin addicts, standard 30 or 60-day treatment plans are not enough to bring about the desired recovery results. In the case of individuals who have a history of relapse, or who have become a danger to themselves or others, long-term heroin rehab programs offer a much more deliberate and comprehensive approach to treating the disease.
In addition, when individuals complete a heroin drug rehab program, there are still daily hurdles that stand in the way of their on-going sobriety. Long-term heroin addiction recovery depends upon how well the individual faces stressors and triggers in their everyday lives. Aftercare programs such as 12-step group meetings, follow-up counseling and additional treatment plans all play a role the ongoing wellness of the recovering addict.
Remember, if you or someone close to you is taking heroin on a regular basis, time is of the essence. It is very difficult to kick the heroin habit, and abuse of the drug continues to rise in the United States and in other parts of the world. But it can be beaten. You can start by contacting a heroin addiction treatment professional today who can provide the vital help you need.