Massachusetts Heroin Addiction Treatment

In 2016, about 948,000 Americans reported using heroin within the past year.1 Not only is this drug one of the several opioids that have contributed to the epidemic wracking the nation, but it’s also one of the most commonly abused drugs in Massachusetts. In 2018, there were 14,996 heroin-involved deaths, a rate of 4.7%.2 Despite the harm this drug causes, those hooked on it will continue to use it because of its addictive qualities. What makes heroin so addictive is the way it affects the brain. As an opioid, it binds itself to opioid receptors on nerves in the brain, affecting how the body feels pain and pleasure. This reaction causes an increase in dopamine levels, a chemical that plays a role in mood and reward. When this happens, heroin users experience a euphoric high. Continuous use of heroin can develop into dependence and addiction, making it nearly impossible to quit without help. Our Massachusetts heroin addiction treatment offered at our Clearbrook rehab helps people with this problem get healthy and sober.

What is Heroin?

Heroin is an addictive opioid that can produce pleasurable cognitive effects that promote long-term abuse and make it difficult to quit. Heroin is considered a Schedule I drug because it lacks medical purpose and has a high potential for abuse. This drug is a derivative of morphine, which is extracted from different types of poppy plants. Although poppy plants are grown in Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, Columbia, and Mexico, drug trafficking distributes this drug to virtually every area in the United States. Specifically, in Massachusetts, international drug distribution is done by way of seaports in Boston. Drug trafficking operations in New York also contribute greatly to heroin abuse in Massachusetts.

Heroin has many street names, including H, horse, smack, and hell dust. It’s commonly manufactured and sold in either white or brown powders or as a black sticky substance called black tar heroin. It can be smoked, sniffed, snorted, or mixed with liquid solutions to be injected. Many dealers “cut” heroin with other substances ranging from baby powder and cornstarch to paint thinner and fentanyl. It’s these additional substances that often contribute to overdose.

When someone uses heroin, it activates the part of their brain related to rewards. That person begins mentally and physically associating pleasure with heroin, making it difficult to avoid using it. Long-term abuse of heroin often leads to various physical problems and addiction that requires medical detox and treatment. In addition to medically assisted detox, we offer heroin treatment to help people with this disease physically and psychologically recover from the side effects of heroin.

How to Know if You Need Heroin Addiction Treatment

Various signs can indicate the need for a heroin rehab program. Some of these signs and symptoms are physical, while others are more emotional and behavioral. The most common signs of heroin abuse include:

  • Strong cravings for heroin
  • Inability to stop using heroin
  • Continuing to use heroin despite the repercussions
  • Experiencing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when you reduce or stop heroin use
  • Stealing money to pay for heroin
  • Small “pinpoint” pupils
  • Constantly nodding off (in and out of sleep)
  • Track marks, scabs, or sores on the skin from injecting heroin intravenously
  • Frequent nosebleeds from snorting heroin
  • Constant coughing or respiratory problems from smoking heroin

Long-time heroin abusers may also experience unhealthy weight loss and malnutrition. Addicts often get so caught up in using drugs that they neglect their basic needs, like hygiene and eating. These individuals may also display secretive behavior and may become defensive when confronted about their drug problem. If you recognize these signs of heroin addiction in yourself or someone you love, then it’s time for heroin detox and treatment.

Heroin Addiction Help at Clearbrook Massachusetts

Heroin treatment centers often begin the treatment process with medical detox. At Clearbrook Treatment Centers Massachusetts, we do this to help manage withdrawal symptoms and stabilize patients in early recovery. After completing detox, patients then move onto more long-term forms of treatment, such as our residential treatment program. Our heroin addiction treatment is conducted in an inpatient form of care to separate patients from distractions. However, as structured as our treatment programs at Clearbrook are, they’re also adaptable to the patients’ needs.We also offer several therapeutic approaches to heroin addiction rehab, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Biofeedback. These methods supplement our substance-specific rehab programs by addressing the emotional and behavioral aspects of addiction. Heroin rehab centers that provide a variety of treatment options for their patients increase the likelihood of long-term sobriety.


Contact us today to learn how our team of experts can help you or a loved one experience a successful heroin recovery.



  1. NIH – What is the scope of heroin use in the United States?
  2. NIH – Massachusetts: Opioid-Involved Deaths and Related Harms

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