Heroin: Uses, Effects, and Addiction

As with most drug side effects, this release is only temporary — which leaves some people wanting more of the “good” feeling. In many cases, heroin is combined with other substances without the user’s knowledge. These can be relatively harmless substances such as sugar or powdered milk or more dangerous substances that can lead to life-threatening consequences.

  • If someone has an addiction to prescription painkillers, they may find it increasingly difficult to source the medication.
  • Different types of medications may be useful at different stages of treatment to help a patient stop abusing drugs, stay in treatment, and avoid relapse.
  • Heroin is an extremely addictive opioid drug that can produce significantly pleasurable cognitive effects.4 Heroin is considered a depressant as well as a Schedule I drug.
  • 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.
  • More severe symptoms can also occur, such as difficulty breathing, depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
  • The SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that nearly 5.7 million people aged 12 and over had used heroin at least once in their lifetime.
  • People sometimes use heroin to stop the pain from withdrawal and detox itself.

I had taken my first steps towards asking other people for help when I needed it. Years of denial were broken down and dissected over 30 days of rehab, the painful memories of my addiction drawn out like poison from a wound. For more than two decades, I had stitched my emotions under a thick jacket of addiction. Now, the jacket had been turned inside out and I was wearing my most tender feelings on the outside.

Detox for Heroin Addiction

Additionally, medications are used to help people detoxify from drugs, although detoxification is not the same as treatment and is not sufficient to help a person recover. Detoxification alone without subsequent treatment generally leads to resumption of drug use. While relapse is a normal part of recovery, for some drugs, it can be very dangerous—even deadly. If a person uses as much of the drug as they did before quitting, they can easily overdose because their bodies are no longer adapted to their previous level of drug exposure.

heroin addiction rehab

If you suspect that you or someone you care about has a heroin addiction, talk with a professional. This can include a mental health professional like a licensed drug or alcohol counselor or a social worker, physician, or psychiatrist. We can help you to understand heroin addiction, the signs, symptoms, heroin addiction treatment and treatment options so that you or your loved one can enjoy a life free from heroin. Aftercare, the final step in the rehab process, is a lifelong commitment that can take many forms from counseling to support groups. Aftercare can make a substantial, positive difference on your ability to stay clean.

Opioid Antagonists for Heroin Addiction Treatment

Decades of new research have made it clear that drug addiction changes the physical makeup of the brain and affects people’s ability to make sound decisions, regulate emotions and fully understand the impact of their choices. Even after you’ve completed initial treatment, ongoing treatment and support can help prevent a relapse. Follow-up care can include periodic appointments with your counselor, continuing in a self-help program or attending a regular group session. In an opioid overdose, a medicine called naloxone can be given by emergency responders, or in some states, by anyone who witnesses an overdose.

heroin addiction rehab

Heroin is known as diacetylmorphine, diamorphine, and by various other names. Therefore, as it can only be obtained illegally, those who deal in the substance give it a variety of street names to try to avoid detection by the authorities. Examples of these street names for heroin include big H, hell dust, thunder, snow, smack, skag, and white horse. When you withdraw from heroin, there is a rebound effect, and you feel achy, particularly in the back and legs, and feel more sensitive to pain. The person must take larger and more frequent doses to achieve the same effect they had when they first started using.


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