The Reality of Heroin Addiction and What Recovery Entails

heroin addiction

Heroin addiction is complex. And it impacts all types of people.

In 2020, around 92,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdoses. Rich, poor, old, young, anyone can struggle with addiction. And the way the addiction looks can be different for each person.

Some people appear fine, even though addiction is tearing them apart inside. Other people have an addiction that expresses itself in every aspect of their life. Some addicts find it impossible to keep a job, maintain friendships, or even pretend to be happy.

Just as anyone can become addicted, anyone who wants help can get it. Recovery is possible for everyone. If heroin is touching your life, this article’s for you.

By arming yourself with knowledge and truth, you can see things more clearly. When you see things for how they are, it’s easier to make the right choice for recovery.

Let this guide help you discover what addiction is and what you can do about it. Read on.

What Is Heroin?

Heroin is a powerful drug that affects the central nervous system. It’s processed from morphine and comes in white or brownish powder form, but also a black sticky substance is known as “black tar heroin.”

The user may not know how much actual heroin they’re consuming. Unregularities create a likelihood of overdose, especially when it takes more than just one dose to get high.

After using the drug for a while, the tolerance builds, affecting your body with each hit. Overdose also becomes more likely if you have tolerance. 

Science Behind the Disease of Addiction

There’s science behind the disease of addiction. It’s not a moral failing or choice.

Addiction works by taking over the brain. Specifically, the addiction will take over the brain’s reward center. Once the addiction hijack’s the brain, the person using loses control.

Here’s how addiction works: Someone takes a hit of heroin, and it makes them feel good. This is because doing something pleasurable releases dopamine. Dopamine makes you feel good and encourages you to repeat the behavior.

All sorts of addictions can hijack the brain, not just heroin. This is why addiction affects behaviors like binge eating or sugar addiction. These behaviors trigger that same part of our brain’s reward system.

The good news, though? Treatment works wonders, and living life without drugs is possible. It doesn’t matter how long someone’s been using heroin; they can lead a life of sober serenity. 

The Effects of Heroin on the Body

Heroin use changes your brain’s physical structure and physiology. The substance creates long-term imbalances in neural networks that are not easily reversed. For instance, heroin use may affect decision-making abilities and responses during stressful situations.

To make decisions, your brain needs full use of its prefrontal cortex (working memory) and hippocampus (long-term memory). Heroin addiction interrupts these regions of the brain and breaks down pathways.

Long-term use can lead to severe health complications as well. Your body’s cardiovascular system is at risk, and you need that to keep your heart strong and healthy.

Immune system functions are also impacted negatively. Someone abusing heroin will more likely deal with severe infections and frequent illnesses. It’s hard for your body to keep itself healthy when poisonous heroin is in your system.

 

Withdrawal Symptoms

Heroin is a highly addictive drug that results in many withdrawal symptoms. The most common ones include restlessness, and muscle and bone pain.

Other symptoms of withdrawal include insomnia or diarrhea. These symptoms can be frequent during active addiction to heroin. This is because the body has become used to processing its natural supply quickly rather than slowly over time. The good news is that withdrawal can be made safer with the help of professionals. 

How To Identify an Addiction to Heroin

How can you tell if you or someone you know is dealing with an addiction? There are a few signs you can look out for.

Specifically, you’ll want to pay attention to behavior and outward appearance. The most common symptoms of heroin addiction include mood swings and irritability. Lying about drug use is another major sign of addiction.

Changes in appearance and behavior are usually the first indicators. The signs and symptoms of addiction will vary among users based on genetic makeup, amount of drug used, frequency of use, and dependency.

When someone’s using, they’re more likely to avoid loved ones. Behaviors aren’t the only change, though. There are also physical signs of addiction.

When someone’s using heroin, they’re likely to experience weight loss, scabs, and/or bruises due to picking at the skin. Their mental health will also be at risk. It’s hard to think clearly during active addiction.

Delusions, disorientation, hallucinations, and paranoia can all accompany heroin use. Those suffering from this disease should seek help immediately to overcome these debilitating symptoms.

The Dangers of Enabling

Are you enabling someone’s addiction? Are you providing them with a supportive environment that allows them to continue using and avoiding consequences?

Enabling someone’s addiction can be extremely dangerous. It may make withdrawal symptoms more difficult, as the person is in an environment where they are not held accountable for their actions. It also makes it easier for the person to relapse, as they do not have to face any consequences for their behaviors.

What Happens During Detoxification and Treatment

Due to the powerful physical and psychological effects of heroin, it is difficult for those addicted to stop using without professional help. Medically-supervised detoxification is the first step in treatment for heroin addiction.

Detox helps manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse by providing a medically monitored setting where individuals can safely withdraw without medical complications. But that’s not all.

Detox is only the first step toward full recovery. The individual must also participate in a comprehensive treatment program to learn healthy and productive techniques for managing stress.

Joining a free 12-step group like Narcotics Anonymous can help a lot. The only requirement for joining is a desire to stop using drugs; that’s it. By surrounding yourself with people on the road to recovery, you’ll have more strength to carry on.

How To Choose the Right Rehab Program for You or Your Loved One

Do you think you or someone you know is struggling with addiction? Then it’s time to take action. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to overcome the addiction.

When choosing a rehab program, finding one tailored to your needs is essential. Look for a program that offers comprehensive treatment for all aspects of heroin addiction.

It should also provide support throughout recovery, helping you or your loved one navigate their journey with empathy and understanding. You should also look for programs that offer one-on-one and group therapy, relapse prevention plans, and aftercare support.

Recovery from addiction is possible but requires a strong commitment and hard work. With the right treatment program, anyone can get help for their addiction and begin to rebuild their life.

What Happens After Rehab Is Completed

Heroin addiction recovery doesn’t end after rehab. It’s a lifelong process. Every day, the healing continues bit by bit.

How is this possible after leaving the rehab facility? Long-term recovery relies on a few key elements:

Coping Skills: Developing new coping skills to manage stress, triggers, and cravings is essential in preventing relapse.

Support Network: Surrounding yourself with a strong support network of family members, friends, and other recovering addicts can help you stay on track with your recovery plan and offer a listening ear.

Healthy Habits: Establishing healthy habits such as eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep will help you stay physically and mentally strong during times of difficulty.

Aftercare Programs: Participating in mental health therapy or 12-step groups can also help provide extra support throughout the recovery process.

When you think of addiction as a disease, lifelong treatment makes sense. By attending group therapy and acquiring new coping skills, new ways of being will become possible. Life will have new opportunities as old wounds heal.

Recovery After Relapse

You thought you had it under control, but suddenly the addiction is in the driving seat again. This is what relapse looks like.

Relapse is painful and upsetting. But the good news is that relapsing doesn’t mean the end of your recovery journey. Immediately after using, reach out to someone in your support system for help.

Recovery is possible with the right help, dedication, and hard work. So don’t let one setback be an excuse to give up on your journey. With perseverance and focus, you can achieve long-term sobriety.

Resources for Heroin Addiction Recovery

Heroin addiction takes a major toll on your health. Whether you’re the one struggling with addiction or it’s somebody you love, there is hope. You don’t have to continue doing what you’ve been doing.

New opportunities are available, and people can help explain them to you. If you want to learn about overcoming addiction and leading a peaceful and serene life, we can help!

Recovery is possible for everyone, no matter what. Don’t wait to call (866) 578-7471 right now.

Call and tell us what’s happening, and we’ll let you know how we can help. You aren’t alone. Detox to Rehab can help. Call now.

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51 comments
  1. What an insightful post on heroin and it’s effects. Addiction is the worse form of it and it should be eradicated from one’s life.

  2. Some people are dead men standing because of addiction. But, they still have hope if they can make up their mind to recover. It needs their determination.

  3. Heroin is very addictive that even those persons that are using this drugs does not know they are already addicted to it. I just hope that the government will do their part in helping those in need.

  4. This is why drugs are so powerful. Addiction hijacks your brain strips you of control until you become its slave. The trick is how to get out of it quick. intervention really helps in that regard.

  5. 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.

  6. Thanks for this educative post. Abuse of any kind is really bad, but that of heroin is worst. Thanks to detox to rehab for being available to help people suffering from addiction.

  7. Taking of heroin is not good for whatever reason. It leads to addiction. And addiction is not easy to overcome. Thank you for this information.

  8. I totally agree with you, arming yourself with knowledge is one of the best way to overcome addiction if you’re already in it or avoid it all together. This is a wonderful article, keep up.

  9. Heroin is an extremely potent substance that has an impact on the neurological system. It is made from morphine and can be found as a white or brownish powder, but it sometimes appears in a dark, sticky form known as “black tar heroin.” It’s possible that the user has no idea how much genuine heroin they’re taking. When it takes more than one dose to feel high, irregularities increase the risk of overdosing.

  10. Recovery from heroin required self denial and determination. This write up should encourage those who are suffering from it to take the bold step of sobriety.

  11. anyone can beat addiction so far they are armed with the right information. I never knew the science behind the disease of addiction until I stumble on this piece. thanks a lot for the information. it means a lot to me

  12. Heroine is a very strong substance and has a tremendous effect on the body. So it is not surprising that the recovery process will also take a toll on the individual but with determination recovery can be achieved.

  13. Thanks Detox for enlightening us on the effect of heroin addiction and how to recover from it… This is quite enlightening.

  14. I think that the only way to cope with such kind of problem is to avoid it in the first place. One can easily do that by being aware of the fact that substances like cocaine and heroin are really addictive and common sense tells us that we must stay away from such kind of things in the first place.

  15. Getting addicted to drugs means ruining life. You have given very detailed information about its treatment. Thanks.

  16. When you have someone that helps you while in addiction is very important. You will have an easy time recovering. It is worthy having someone who helps you out.

  17. Drug addiction can literally target anyone. It’s the reason why so many people are affected, and it doesn’t matter what age, or even social status. With the proper self-evaluation, or awareness of these symptoms of heroin addiction in one’s self or one’s loved ones, such problems that accompany addiction (including self-destructive behavior and illnesses that could be acquired as complications from it), full recovery is within reach, just as long as determination and hope and a full loving support network of family and friends and professional assistance is with the recovering addict along the way.

  18. Hard to argue with any points here. Enabling a user as well as delaying a support network, could have very dire consequences. Recovery is always possible, but no one can do it alone.

  19. Heroine is expensive as well as addictive at the same time, so leaving its addiction will help the people both from health and finance

  20. I wish you could have dived more dipper into how diarrhea and Heroin withdrawal play a part. But all in all thanks for the informative article and emphasizing the importance of choosing a good rehab facility for our loved once who are suffering.

  21. Heroin addiction is highly detrimental to people’s health. Money, Seeking rehabilitation is essential for the sound health.

  22. Undoubtedly, recovery from heroin addiction is very important for drug abusers. As a matter of fact, heroin addiction is deadly and injurious to health.

  23. Drugs especially heroin are such a terrible task master if allowed to take control of one’s life. Every preventive measure such as desisting to hang out with abusers, or visiting environment where one can be lured should be taken.

  24. With the help of professionals, people who suffer from withdrawal are made safer! It’s really helpful to ask professionals on this matter.

  25. The long term health problem with this is really threatening. I just wish more people will get more help soonest. It pays to go sober is addicted

  26. This was highly educating. Thanks for this beautiful piece. Heroine is really not something to toy with if one values his or her life.

  27. It is quite encouraging to know that there is hope in the treatment to completely stop using heroin, but it is not such an easy job because I imagine that it requires effort and will from the person

  28. Behaviour and outward appearance can be very telling as to whether an individual is addicted or not. We should always be on the lookout for this.

  29. Identifying the symptoms of heroin addiction can help save a loved one’s life. Many thanks for sharing the tell-tale signs and symptoms of heroin addiction.

  30. It’s very vital that one finds a rehab program that is specifically tailored for them. What works for one person may not necessarily work for another person.

  31. Heroin withdrawal can be made more bearable with the help of professionals. I think the withdrawal symptoms are what discourage many people from quitting.

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