Heroin Addiction Treatment

heroin rehab center in Florida

What is Heroin?

Heroin is a powerful and highly addictive opioid drug derived from morphine, which is obtained from the opium poppy plant. It is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States due to its high potential for abuse and the severe physical and psychological effects it can have on users.

Heroin typically appears as a white or brown powder, although it can also be found in a black, sticky substance known as “black tar heroin.” People use heroin by injecting it into their veins, snorting it, smoking it, or sometimes mixing it with other drugs like cocaine (a combination known as “speedballing”).

Heroin works by rapidly binding to opioid receptors in the brain and central nervous system, leading to a surge of pleasurable sensations, pain relief, and a profound sense of euphoria. However, these effects are short-lived, and heroin use often results in a dangerous cycle of addiction and tolerance.

Side Effects of Heroin

Depending on how heroin is used, the effects can occur almost immediately or may show up within 10 to 15 minutes. Heroin is a drug that may be injected, snorted, sniffed, or smoked, and is often combined with other drugs or substances.

Immediate side effects of heroin include:

  • A rush of intense euphoria or a pleasurable sensation
  • Warm flushing of the skin
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
heroin addiction

After these initial effects, heroin may cause:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Constipation
  • Numbness or heaviness in limbs
  • Dizziness and impaired coordination
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased risk of accidents

It’s important to note that while some of these effects may provide short-term relief from pain or emotional distress, the overall consequences of heroin use are overwhelmingly negative, with the potential for addiction, overdose, and severe health problems.

heroin addiction

Understanding Heroin Addiction

Heroin is considered one of the most addictive substances available. It has powerful effects on the body and mind and comes with a high risk of potential overdose.

Public awareness and understanding of heroin addiction have increased over the years, but it is still a significant problem not only in the United States but throughout the world. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1.1 million people tried heroin in 2021 and 1.0 million were addicted to it.

One of the things that makes heroin so appealing to people is that it is a potent pain reliever that is often cheaper and easier to access than prescription opioid medications. Once heroin addiction develops, it can be very difficult for people to recover on their own without the help of a professional treatment program in Florida. But with the right approach and support system, it is possible to overcome heroin addiction.

How Addictive is Heroin?

Time and time again, studies have shown that heroin is one of the most addictive drugs in the world, ranking above alcohol and cocaine. It causes a surge of dopamine in the brain which over time alters the brain’s reward system and how people interpret pleasure. Their body begins to crave the pain relief and euphoria that it elicits. Eventually, traditional forms of pleasure no longer provide as much enjoyment and are not able to curb this craving.

Not only is heroin highly addictive, but it also comes with a high risk of overdose making it a major focus in recent drug addiction treatment and prevention measures. Unfortunately, today much of the heroin in the U.S. actually contains fentanyl–a synthetic opioid that is estimated to be 50 times stronger than heroin and more likely to result in an overdose.


Causes of Heroin Addiction

As with any other drug, the causes of heroin addiction are varied. Individuals may initially experiment with heroin out of curiosity, seeking to understand its effects, but once they encounter the euphoria and pain relief it provides, a desire for repeated experiences begins to take hold.

Gradually, their brain chemistry undergoes changes, and the grip of addiction tightens. Others may transition from prescription pain relievers to heroin due to the drug’s lower cost and easier accessibility. Faced with challenges in obtaining prescription refills, they seek alternative solutions. Heroin often tempts users with its promise of more potent effects compared to prescription opioids.

It’s crucial to recognize that heroin addiction can also be influenced by genetics, environment, and social factors. Addiction does not discriminate; it affects millions of individuals annually, and some people are inherently more vulnerable than others to its grasp. Understanding these complex contributors is key to addressing and combating the pervasive issue of heroin addiction in society.

Signs of Heroin Addiction

The earlier you recognize if you or a loved one are addicted to heroin, the sooner you can get the treatment you deserve. One of the main signs of heroin addiction is experiencing withdrawal symptoms when stopping use and needing to continue taking heroin to feel as though one can function. Common symptoms of heroin withdrawal include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Muscle aches
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Runny nose
  • Yawning
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goosebumps
  • Rapid heartbeat

Other signs and symptoms of heroin addiction may include:

  • Continuing to use heroin despite the problems it is causing
  • Making multiple failed attempts to quit
  • Lying to friends and family about drug use and associated behaviors
  • Isolating from friends and family
  • Spending excess time using heroin and money purchasing heroin
  • Neglecting personal responsibilities
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite and sleep patterns

Heroin Addiction and Co-Occurring Disorders

Co-occurring disorders do not always occur with heroin addiction, but they are very common. Addiction is a form of mental illness and can share similar symptoms and changes in the brain. It is essential for people to be evaluated for both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder to determine what symptoms are present. Sometimes the effects of heroin addiction can present itself as a mental illness when one does not truly exist. However, when symptoms of both are identified, this can result in the diagnosis of a co-occurring disorder.

Family members and friends may notice that their loved one appears depressed or anxious even when not under the influence of drugs. Their behavior and actions may seem out of the ordinary, which can be a sign that something more serious is wrong, such as a mental illness. It is important to observe them both while they are under the influence and at other times throughout the day in order to notice changes or areas of concern.

A licensed professional will conduct necessary assessments to determine whether a co-occurring disorder exists. Once this has been determined, dual diagnosis treatment for heroin addiction and mental health disorders can begin.

Dual diagnosis treatment involves addressing both conditions simultaneously. It is important for the client to understand how they impact one another and affect their recovery. Someone with heroin addiction and schizophrenia will face different challenges than someone with heroin addiction and depression. Regardless, treating both together can reduce the risk of relapse and support recovery.

Heroin Addiction Treatment in Pompano Beach, Florida

At 1st Step Behavioral Health, we understand that each person is unique and has their own needs when it comes to treatment and recovery. As a result, we use an individualized approach, and addiction treatment looks different for each client. However, treatment for heroin addiction typically starts with detox.

Although heroin withdrawal is not life-threatening, it can be incredibly painful and difficult to complete, so it’s always best to detox under medical supervision. Our state-of-the-art detox facility offers a secure environment, 24-hour medical and psychological support, healthy meals, and medically assisted treatment. With around-the-clock monitoring and care, clients are kept safe and comfortable throughout the detox process.

After detox, clients usually transition to our inpatient or partial hospitalization programs in Pompano Beach, FL where they receive individually tailored care and evidence-based treatment services. Treatment involves:

  • Individual talk therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Medical professionals on staff
  • Relapse prevention treatment
  • Aftercare support services
  • Holistic therapies and life skills training

Overcoming heroin addiction is a challenge, but recovery is possible. At 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida, we provide resources and compassionate support to help you experience a new beginning.

Get Started With Our Florida Heroin Rehab Today

Heroin addiction and co-occurring disorders are treatable through comprehensive drug addiction treatment programs. Treatment centers like 1st Step Behavioral Health provide clients with high-quality care that meets their individual needs and goals for recovery and helps reduce the risk of relapse. A healthier lifestyle is possible with the right approach. Contact us today by calling or texting (855) 425-4846. We look forward to speaking with you.

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