Heroin addiction is a widespread problem, but the right inpatient treatment program at the right rehabilitation center can make a huge difference to the likelihood of avoiding future relapses.
An opioid synthesized from morphine, heroin comes in the form of black tar, white powder and brown powder. Some case of heroin exclusively involve injection, but many addicts also choose to smoke or snort the drug. Readily available on the street, some of this drug's most common alternative names include junk, smack and dragon.
Even using opioids just one puts you at risk of becoming addicted—20% of those who have used heroin subsequently suffer from chronic addiction problems. Heroin has a powerful neurological influence, as it is delivered to the brain very quickly, and it is immediately converted to morphine. The resulting high is euphoric and is typically accompanied by drowsiness and a deep sense of well-being.
The main signs of abuse and addiction to heroin are noticeable to external observers. They include secretiveness, lethargy, low mood and (when high) unresponsiveness.
The symptoms experienced by addicts themselves include intense cravings for the drug and a willingness to place it above commitments to work, relationships and hobbies.
Abuse and addiction of this drug can be fatal. Firstly, it is possible to overdose by accident, falling into a coma after respiratory depression develops. Secondly, sharing needles with other addicts makes it easier to catch communicable disease like HIV and Hepatitis.
Heroin addiction is also linked to endocarditis (a dangerous infection of the heart muscle), liver disease and decreased kidney function. This drug is also frequently cut with toxic chemicals that can cause paranoid hallucinations, elevated blood pressure and heart attacks. When it comes to mental health, substance abuse is associated with depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation (typically between highs).
There is very little chances of a successful home detox for an opioid addict. There is a chance of dangerous side effects during the withdrawal, and the pain is intense. Consequently, detox should take place in a treatment facility under the supervision of a specially trained team who can maximize comfort, reduce withdrawal symptoms and slowly help the body get used to life without drug use.
After the detox process is complete, willingness to enter a customized therapy program dramatically increases the chances of maintaining long-term sobriety. Throughout group and individual therapy, addicts come to a greater understanding of why they turned to substance abuse and how they can develop strategies to resist the urge to return to heroin in the future.
There is also an educative element to inpatient programs, presenting addiction as a chronic disease and allowing families to learn skills required to provide support without enabling the addict.
After the inpatient treatment program is complete, many heroin addicts choose to continue outpatient treatment as way of more gradually transitioning to everyday life. Others move into sober living communities with other recovering addicts who can provide both empathy and accountability.