Heroin Addiction Treatment: Everything You Need to Know

heroin addiction treatment

Approximately 3 million Americans suffer from opioid use disorder (OUD), and over 500,000 are dependent on heroin. Many people start off taking prescription opioid pills, become dependent, and turn to heroin when they can no longer get prescription pills.

If you or a loved one are having problems with heroin use, it’s time to take action. Although it can sometimes feel hopeless, there are very effective heroin addiction treatment programs you can turn to that will help you turn your life around.

Make sure to keep reading this guide to learn everything you need to know about heroin addiction treatment.

Overview of Heroin Addiction

It’s important to have background information on heroin, so you have what you need to help yourself or a loved one.

Heroin is a drug that comes from the opium poppy flower, which grows in South America, Asia, and Mexico.

It’s highly addictive and has been illegal in the US since 1924. You’ll find heroin can look like a brown or white powder or appears like a sticky black tar substance. Heroin is also called junk, smack, brown sugar, and horse.

What Causes You to Become Addicted to Heroin?

Heroin is an opioid and highly addictive. This is because opioids bind to receptors in the brain and release a chemical called dopamine that blocks pain signals. Dopamine is also known as a “feel-good chemical.” This temporary effect wears off quickly, making people want more of this good feeling. 

When you take an opioid over time, your brain won’t naturally produce as much dopamine as it did initially. As a result, you start to take more and more heroin to achieve the same level of high. If someone has been taking opioids for a while and can’t get them anymore, they might pursue heroin to get that same feeling. 

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Addiction?

There are often no symptoms early on of heroin addiction, also known as an opioid use disorder, since most people hide their use. When you start using heroin more, the signs get much harder to hide, which include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Agitation
  • Drowsiness
  • Depression
  • Memory problems
  • Nose sores or runny nose if snorting heroin
  • Needles marks if injecting
  • Constipation
  • Changes in appearance
  • Lack of personal hygiene
  • Problems at work or school
  • Money issues

One of the most significant signs of heroin abuse is that you cannot stop using it, no matter the negative consequences. If you’re using heroin, you may realize that you need more and more heroin to get the same pleasurable feeling you had when you first started using.

You also become dependent on heroin and experience withdrawal symptoms within 8 to 24 hours of your last heroin use. You’ll experience symptoms like increased pulse, elevated blood pressure, and muscle spasms.

Heroin Overdose

Another thing you need to be aware of is the dangers of a heroin overdose. Heroin overdoses usually happen accidentally because people take more heroin than they realize. In addition, when you’re chasing that initial high, you tend to keep taking heroin to keep the feeling of euphoria going for longer. 

Heroin overdose can affect different body parts, typically beginning with the lungs and airways. Most people start with shallow or difficult breathing, and some stop breathing altogether. Other symptoms of heroin overdose include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Discolored tongue
  • Weak pulse
  • Low blood pressure
  • Bluish lips and nails
  • Drowsiness
  • Disorientation
  • Spasms of the intestines and stomach
  • Coma

Remember, a heroin overdose is life-threatening, so seeking emergency assistance is critical. 

Heroin Addiction Treatment

Heroin addiction treatment isn’t simply about stopping heroin use. Due to how heroin works on the brain, quitting cold turkey can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms and dope sickness. Dope sickness is associated with opioid substances like morphine, heroin, and prescription opioid pills.

Once you stop using, you’ll feel very ill within hours. Complications can occur if you try to detox from heroin alone, so it’s essential to find a heroin detox treatment center first. 

Heroin Detox Center

Once you arrive at a heroin addiction treatment center, you’ll be evaluated by a team of medical professionals. They’ll do a complete physical and psychological assessment to evaluate the symptoms you’re currently having.

Next, your medical team will form a treatment plan to manage the severity of your symptoms and any mental health issues. 

You’ll have your blood pressure and pulse monitored regularly and receive medications to ease your withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. Heroin withdrawal can last up to seven days, depending on the length and frequency of use.

Medications

After the first day, most people experience symptoms like panic attacks, mood swings, and memory loss. You may also experience restlessness and severe sweating.

You’ll receive a combination of medications to manage these symptoms. The medication Buprenorphine is commonly prescribed and helps to reduce physical symptoms and cravings. Another medication is Naltrexone, which blocks the receptors in your brain that normally interact with opioids. It reduces cravings over time and is very effective in people that have completed detox. 

You may also be prescribed methadone which is a slow-acting opiate that’s effective at tapering people off heroin while preventing withdrawal symptoms. 

Finally, you’ll receive medications to help your withdrawal symptoms, such as insomnia or anxiety. Some people also need medications to control nausea, vomiting, or muscle cramps.

Individual and Group Therapy

While you’re getting treatment for your heroin addiction, you’ll also have access to behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) benefits people with substance use disorders. 

CBT is a talk therapy focusing on understanding cognition, or how people feel, think, and view themselves. It looks at how behavior is connected with thoughts and feelings. In addiction treatment, a CBT therapist will look at how your beliefs and thoughts can influence addictive behaviors. 

You’ll learn how to identify your thinking patterns about your past experiences. You’ll also learn to identify negative thinking patterns and feelings that lead to drug addiction.

CBT teaches you to change your thoughts and take a more realistic viewpoint that doesn’t lead to a cycle of harmful behaviors.

Group therapy is also a significant part of heroin detox treatment. You’ll participate in group meetings with people going through the same thing as you are. These meetings help to give you the support and strength you need to keep going.

Heroin Rehab Treatment Programs

There are a few different options for heroin rehab treatment programs. You can choose inpatient or outpatient heroin rehab programs, and you’ll need to consider the pros and cons of each of them.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient heroin rehab allows you to live at a facility while treatment occurs. In most cases, if you choose inpatient heroin rehab, you’ll undergo detox as part of the program. Once you’re done with detox, you’ll move to other phases of treatment, which involve more in-depth behavioral therapy.

In other cases, you might go to a heroin detox center and then moves somewhere else for an inpatient treatment program. Inpatient treatment programs typically last 30 days but can last up to six months.

With inpatient heroin treatment, staff members are available 24/7 to assist you. Inpatient treatment also takes you out of your life and puts you in a neutral place.

This allows you to work through your heroin addiction and mental health issues without the stress of daily life. Because heroin causes changes to your brain, it makes it much easier for you to learn coping techniques while having the time and space you need to heal. 

You’ll also get to attend meditation, yoga, and group therapy sessions while you continue with individual behavioral therapy.

Overall, inpatient treatment programs for substance abuse have a much higher success rate since they offer a higher level of care. However, they require you to step away from your daily life and make significant changes. You’ll also need to either have insurance or find a state-funded program.

Many people also go on to sober living homes to continue therapy and get more help with career and life skills. Sober living homes allow you to live sober with the support you need.

Outpatient Treatment

You can also attend heroin outpatient treatment. You’ll live at home and continue your normal daily life while attending therapy sessions throughout the week. Usually, you’ll have individual and group therapy sessions scheduled at different times. You’ll also need to attend all the classes, activities, and workshops designed to help you get and stay sober.

While many people find this type of treatment to be more convenient, it’s often not the best type of treatment. This is because it doesn’t remove you from the lifestyle, stress, and environment that caused your addiction. The temptation is much greater to start again since you’ll still be around the same places. 

This makes it much more challenging to learn how to cope with the stress in your life effectively. Also, there is less accountability if you attend a facility that doesn’t require daily check-ins. 

On the other hand, if you haven’t been abusing heroin for a long time, then it hasn’t had the chance to take total control of your life. In these cases, people can find success with outpatient programs.

But if you’ve already tried an outpatient treatment program in the past and it hasn’t worked out, then it’s best to turn to inpatient treatment. 

Find Heroin Addiction Treatment Today

Now that you know more about heroin addiction treatment, you’ll feel more comfortable taking the next steps. If you or a loved one have a heroin addiction and are looking for treatment, you can turn to Detox to Rehab for all your needs.

We can help you find detox, inpatient, outpatient, and sober living program to help you with your heroin addiction. We also offer you a supportive community as you work to maintain your sobriety.

Make sure you complete our online contact form today or call (866) 578-7471 to speak to a care counselor to start your treatment for heroin addiction.

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51 comments
  1. That’s maybe not all people addict understand about backgrounds of addict, that’s why they don’t really and realized before it happened

    1. The feel-good sensation triggered by use of heroin is what keeps most people coming back for more. But I believe if you understand the negative effects of abusing this drug you will keep away from it altogether.

  2. Non of the symptoms can be overruled. This is because they are noticeable in the lives of the addicts. My advice those who are in this menace is to seek help.

  3. Addiction exposes even our own biological processes. Dopamine is the happy hormone, but when misused, it can lead to addiction. In gambling, for example, we all want to win big, so we don’t give up while we’re ahead. Drugs have the same effect. There’s nothing wrong with being happy; it’s the means of reaching that goal that can be wrong.

  4. So much for Heroin addiction. it is better to stay away from this . it will not make sense dying due to this. it is better not to get addicted.

  5. So much for Heroin addiction. it is better to stay away from this . it will not make sense dying due to this. it is better not to get addicted.

  6. The overdose of other regular medicines cause a lot of problems to human body let a hard drug like heroin. It is better for the those who are addicted to it to visit detox to rehab for their cleanse.

  7. This is a well detailed information about heroin addiction and enlightens everyone that is going through this article no doubt. I have learnt a lot about it and I’ll help create more awareness about it.

  8. This article is a definition of an informative and educative article on heroin addiction and everything concerning it. I’m so we educated about heroin addiction and I’ll help spread that to the world. Great job guys!

  9. This post is really educative and expository. Thanks for sharing this with us on everything we need to know about heroine and it’s addiction.

  10. This is self explanatory and understandable. This can be explore by the heroin addicts to get over it. Thank you for the release of this information.

  11. Detox has explained all that has to deal with heroin Addiction and if I have someone who is addicted, I’ll definitely recommend detox to Rehab to he/she.

  12. These are great symptoms of heroin one should be cautious of and I really appreciate detox for creating a wonderful Article like this.

  13. Reading your article made me realize how addictive heroine is. I know someone who obviously abused heroin because he couldn’t stop using it and he didn’t care about the negative consequences. I just hope people read this article and stay away from heroin. It destroys

  14. Heroin is, indeed, one of the most commonly abused drugs. The government should have, by now, understood how the trade works. But it is as if they let the drugs ruin the lives of the people and wait for whatever happens in the future.

  15. These are the best treatment for heroin addiction. This article is very comprehensive enough. Thanks to detox.

  16. I think outpatient addiction treatment is more for those who are not so affected by the drugs. Because I find it very difficult to assist one when they sleep at home and then later on go off to the treatment center they might never get clean in the long run. But that’s just my opinion.

  17. Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs out there. It doesn’t help that it also has some of the worst side effects.

  18. This blog post is a great resource for those struggling with heroin addiction, providing clear and concise information on the nature of addiction and what to expect during treatment.

  19. The section on heroin overdose is particularly eye-opening, highlighting the severity of the issue and the need for immediate emergency assistance.

  20. I appreciate that the blog post emphasizes the importance of seeking professional help when dealing with heroin addiction and withdrawal, as trying to quit cold turkey can lead to severe complications.

  21. It’s interesting to learn about the different medications used during heroin detox treatment and how they work to manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. Thanks for the great post.

  22. The section on individual and group therapy is reassuring, as it shows that there is a strong support system in place for those undergoing treatment for heroin addiction.

  23. I’m glad that the blog post includes information on the signs and symptoms of heroin addiction, as this can help individuals and their loved ones recognize when there is a problem.

  24. The fact that heroin addiction often stems from prescription opioid use is a sobering reminder of the dangers of opioid abuse. Thanks for this informative article.

  25. It’s important to remember that seeking treatment for heroin addiction is not a sign of weakness, but rather a courageous step towards a healthier and happier life.

  26. The blog post’s emphasis on the need for a comprehensive treatment plan, including both medication and therapy, is reassuring for those considering treatment for heroin addiction.

  27. I appreciate the blog post’s non-judgmental tone and focus on providing helpful information and resources for those struggling with heroin addiction.

  28. It’s concerning to learn that over 500,000 Americans are dependent on heroin, highlighting the need for more awareness and resources for those dealing with addiction.

  29. The section on the causes of heroin addiction, including the role of dopamine, is informative and helps to explain why addiction can be so difficult to overcome.

  30. The bit that touches on heroin withdrawal symptoms is a helpful reminder that detoxing from heroin can be a challenging and uncomfortable process, but that there is help available. I appreciate how well researched and written the article is.

  31. The blog post’s emphasis on the need for professional evaluation and monitoring during heroin detox treatment underscores the potential dangers of trying to detox alone. Thank you for sharing.

  32. This article provides a wealth of information and resources for those dealing with heroin addiction, emphasizing the importance of seeking professional help and following a comprehensive treatment plan. I will be sharing it widely with my friends and family as the information here could potentially save someone’s life.

  33. Thanks for sharing this lovely and informative article. Now I know the type of treatment an heroine addict can have

  34. I am surprised to learn that there actually exists medication to help with heroin addiction. I bet they are much more effective than traditional methods like therapy.

  35. This drug should not be taken or even tried because at the long run the desire to take more and increase dosage will arise. I do hope people do find the strength to avoid such drugs.

  36. Heroine addiction treatment is crucial for all addicts for a healthy living. However, commendation goes to Detox for this piece of information.

  37. Without mincing words, this article is highly informative and educative. Indeed, I have learnt more about heroine addiction treatment. Let drug addicts borrow a leaf from this piece.

  38. A strong substance like heroin may cause the human body a lot of issues due to the overuse of other common medications. For individuals who are dependent on it, going to detox or a rehab facility is preferable for their cleansing.

  39. This is a rather comprehensive article on the use of Heroin and it’s attendant usage effects. Thanks for putting this together. It is worth the read.

  40. Thank you for the informative article! It’s interesting to see the symptoms of heroin addiction. I did not expect slurred speech, memory problems and lack of personal hygiene to be here. Looks like those symptoms are a huge factor in heroin addiction.

  41. An organised and complete article about the addiction related to heroine and what is in there which makes it addictive. nice information content here.

  42. Thanks for this information, I have learnt a lot from this. Now I believe i can tell when a person is on heroin abuse and give immediate help.

  43. Thank you Detax to rehab for sharing these type of stories with all of us.These stories are really very much inspirational for many people.

  44. I read this article line by line just to be sure of not missing a thing in it. Heroin addiction is very popular amongst other addiction. One needs to make the awareness and fight against it spread widely.

  45. Heroin addiction is not something to take lightly, especially if it’s already started to pick up and a friend or a loved one you know is now on the slippery slope of no return. An early detection, or at least being aware of the early symptoms (based on the very helpful list provided here) should make people aware if anyone they know is at risk, and so get the treatment that they need and deserve to stop the addiction and its associated complications in its tracks.

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