Heroin has made a comeback in recent years. Every day, we hear news reports of another heroin bust or of someone dying from a heroin overdose. Many are now referring to heroin addiction as the worst health crisis of the last 100 years. It has a deathlike hold over this country and the epidemic doesn’t look like it’s slowing down.
Heroin is cheap and a gives the user a powerful high. Many heroin addicts initially do not start with heroin. 8 out of every 10 heroin abusers began their use with prescription opiates, either given to them by a doctor after surgery or bought off of the street. Many people who’ve abused opiates and prescription painkillers will turn to heroin after the money runs out for pain pills, because the cost is substantially cheaper for a more intense high. Once you become addicted to heroin it is very difficult to stop on your own. Most need to seek out the help of heroin addiction treatment professionals, and even then, it is an uphill battle.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Abuse?
Heroin produces a state of relaxation and euphoria, thanks to changing chemicals in the pleasure centers of the brain. When heroin enters the brain, it binds to opioid receptors, which are responsible for many things; the way a person perceives pain, the functionality of blood pressure and respiration, a person’s mood and levels of arousals. Dopamine, which has been dubbed the “feel-good receptor”, is increased when heroin is used.
- Constricted or small pupils – Also known as “pinned” eyes. This happens even when the user is not in the sun or light.
- Raspiness or harshness in voice – The individual sounds groggy or sick when they speak.
- Bags under the eyes and paleness in skin – This occurs because of the lack of nutrition, as well as the decrease in blood pressure. When this happens, it affects the blood supply, causing dark circles under the eyes.
- Sudden changes in behavior – The user goes from being alert to falling asleep, also known as “nodding off”. Furthermore, heroin users can have mood swings. Usually they are happier and even more sociable when they are under the influence; sometimes they may even have strange bursts of energy and motivation, even in the middle of the night. If they appear agitated or angry, they are most likely going into withdrawal or experiencing what many call “dope sickness”.
- Disorientation – Person appears confused, has slurred speech or even clumsy
- Itching of the skin/rubbing of the face & nose – One of the most prevalent side effects from heroin and opiates is itchy skin, especially on the face.
- “Track-marks” – The user has visible needle marks, many times surrounded by bruising. As the individual progresses through their heroin addiction, they may even form skin infections or abscesses. This occurs from injecting in the same location multiple times or not using a sanitized needle.
- Long sleeve shirts/pants – User will wear heavier clothing to hide needle marks, bruises and abscesses. If this occurs in warm weather, it may be a clear indication that the person is hiding something.
- Increase in acne and/or pockmarks on face. – Heroin and other opiates can cause an increase in acne. Users tend to pop/pick at these blemishes, leaving scabs and scars behind.
- Weight loss – Person suddenly appears thinner and/or underweight. Their features can be described as gaunt-like or malnourished.
Why Going to Drug Rehab is Best for Heroin Addiction
When an addict is coming off heroin, severe withdrawal symptoms will take place. Within hours of a user’s last dose of heroin, he/she could feel such symptoms as vomiting, diarrhea, muscle and bone pain, anxiety, restless legs, body chills and/or sweating and irritability. While these symptoms do not necessarily threaten the user’s life, the severity of heroin withdrawal without proper medical treatment is the number one reason the addict relapses. This is why getting into a heroin addiction treatment program immediately is of the utmost importance.
At the drug and alcohol rehab Clearbrook Treatment Centers, we have been treating chemical dependency since 1972. Our heroin addiction treatment program has been helping patients to safely stop using for more than 40 years now, while our inpatient center will help the addict build the foundation and instill the habits to move forward from heroin addiction.
Clearbrook’s Heroin Addiction Treatment Program
Upon admission to our state-of-the-art detox center, you will be assessed by our doctors and other medical staff. During this evaluation, we will gather all of the necessary information in order to properly and effectively treat you. At Clearbrook Treatment Centers you will have a closely monitored, full medical detox regiment, which will relieve many of the withdrawal symptoms. Once you have completed detoxification, you will then follow a customized heroin addiction treatment program which focuses on one-on-one counseling with your primary therapist, group therapy, 12-step philosophy and meetings, relapse prevention, and family educational programs. During the course of your treatment stay, our clinical team will be working closely with you and your support system to devise the appropriate aftercare plan that best suits your needs. This step is crucial in the early recovery process. A well thought out aftercare program will increase your chances of continued sobriety and a life free of the mental obsession.
Our dedicated and knowledgeable staff is available 24 hours a day to answer your questions regarding our heroin rehab and how we can best serve you.
You are not alone, and help is available. Contact us today to learn more.