Nearly 170,000 people try heroin for the first time every year. That number is steadily increasing.

Rates of Heroin use have increased by over 200% over the last 15 years.

In 2013 alone, over 560 tons of heroin were produced worldwide.

Heroin Addiction Rehabilitation

What is Heroin and who is at risk?

HHeroin is an opioid drug that is produced from Morphine and is a natural substance that is extracted from seeds of an opium poppy plant. Heroin can be smoked, snorted or injected, initially giving users a massive rush of euphoria. Individuals may quickly find themselves trapped by physical dependence. Heroin is a powerful and effective painkiller. Research shows that many Heroin users self-medicate to dull physical or psychological pains. Heroin use is a highly important issue across the United States. The increase of Heroin use is greatest in young adults between the ages of 18-25. Common Street Names include: Big H, Boy, Chieva, China White, Chiva, Dope, Dragon, H, Haron, Herone, Horse, Junk, Scat, Skag, Smack, Snow, Snowball, White Horse, White Lady, White Nurse and Tar. Anyone can become addicted to drugs, do not think that you are immune.

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Heroin Abuse Detox

Heroin Abuse Detox

Heroin users in the grip of addiction often continue to use simply to avoid withdrawals. Medically supervised detox programs combined with an inpatient program is optimal for recovery. But there are medication treatments available to help with withdrawal symptoms; Some common preventative medications used to manage opioid detox are: Naltrexone: a non-addictive opioid antagonist that primarily blocks the functions of opioids. Subutex: a partial opioid agonist used to relieve cravings and gives no high or side effects. Suboxon: is a novel formulation of buprenorphine that is taken orally or sublingually and contains naloxone, which is an opioid antagonist. Buprenorphine: opioid agonist that functions as a relieving agent for drug cravings.
Heroin Abuse Rehab

Heroin Rehab

The many effective behavioral treatments available for Heroin addiction can be delivered in outpatient and residential settings. Approaches such as contingency management and cognitive-behavioral therapy have been shown to effectively treat heroin addiction, especially when applied in concert with medications. Contingency management uses a voucher-based system in which patients earn points based on negative drug tests, which they can exchange for items that encourage healthy living. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is designed to help modify the patient's expectations and behaviors related to drug use and to increase skills in coping with various life stressors. An important task is to match the best treatment approach to meet the particular needs of the patient.

Dangers of Heroin Abuse

Heroin is arguably one of the most destructive of all the addictions. If you or someone you love is struggling with Heroin abuse, it is time to get help. You should look into drug treatment counseling to recover from a heroin addiction. 


Effects of Heroin

Signs and Symptoms

There are many signs that someone may be involved in Heroin substance abuse. The most obvious signs are dramatic changes in one’s life progression. Some more subtle signs can include:
• Runny Nose,
• Constant Sniffing
• Scratching
• Slurred Speech
• Very Little Motivation
• Unexplained Hostility
• Finding Needles
• Visible Needle Marks
Short Term Effects

Once Heroin enters the brain, it is converted to Morphine and binds rapidly to Opioid receptors. Users feel a surge of pleasure, an intense rush. After the rush a short term user will feel sleepy for several hours, clouded mind, slow heart beat and breathing which sometimes can be life threatening. When breathing decreases in pace, this can lead to permanent brain damage as well as a coma. With varying quality on the streets overdose is always a possibility as well as blood borne illnesses passed through sharing needles.
Long Term Effects
Long term use of Heroin changes the physical structure and physiology of the brain. This creates an imbalance in how your brain functions long term, changing hormone levels and neuronal imbalances. Prolonged use of Heroin also produces an increasing tolerance and physical dependence, increasing the chance of overdose and the severity of their withdrawal symptoms. In addition, excessive use over time may result in collapsed veins, cardiovascular infections, gastrointestinal cramping, and liver or kidney disease.



How can I tell if it is Heroin and how is it used?

Heroin sold and purchased on the street comes in various forms. Black tar Heroin is dense and sticky. There is also powder forms that are commonly light brown or white. Heroin produced a sour and harsh smell. It is used in a few different ways. This drug is injected, inhaled, snorted or dissolved.

How is Heroin Addictive?

Continuous Heroin use creates and establishes neurological pathways in the brain that alter the mind to the point that it continually seeks the drug. This process may become more severe over time, even to the extent that the brain is altered into believing that the drug is more necessary than food or water.

How would I know if I am addicted to Heroin?

The American Psychiatric Association lists several criteria to see if an individual is addicted to a substance. Most criteria include Needing more heroin to achieve the same effect. Expressed desire to stop, but isn’t capable of stopping. Continued use in physically hazardous situations (like using and driving). Withdrawals (feeling awful after not using). Craving sand compulsions to use. Continued use despite problems with social, familial and work-related obligations. Most addicted individuals will display at least two of these criteria.

I want to be sober, but all of my friends are using Heroin, what do I do?

Because of its widespread use, Heroin has not only become a biological issue for individual, but it also effects people on a societal scale. Many treatment centers have programs that utilize specific strategies that identify and address the social aspects surrounding addiction, helping you to stay sober.

What can I do if I think someone has overdosed?

If you or someone with you experiences an overdose: Contact the local emergency number: 911 Heroin overdose is a medical emergency. An overdose is a life-threatening occurrence and requires immediate medical attention.



Learn more about Heroin with our infographics.

heroin infograph

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

The severity of withdrawal symptoms usually peaks within 24-48 hours after last using. Symptoms will sometimes subside after a weeks’ time; however, others have undergone withdrawal symptoms for a few months. A few of the common symptoms resulting from Heroin withdrawal include: Extreme bone and muscle pain hot and cold flashes diarrhea restlessness vomiting insomnia leg movements Strong desire to use

Dangers of Heroin Overdose

Dangers of Heroin Overdose

Overdose is a dangerous and deadly consequence of heroin use. A large dose of heroin depresses heart rate and breathing to such an extent that a user cannot survive without medical help. NARCAN® (Naloxone) is with a Heroin overdose to reverse the effects. Signs of overdose include: Depressed Heart Rate Permanent Brain Damage Coma Dangerously Slow Breathing Rate Loss of Consciousness Death

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Best Treatment Centers

Inpatient Heroin Rehab

Inpatient Heroin Rehab

Heroin addiction is unbelievably powerful and for this reason it is generally thought that an inpatient program is the best choice. Heroin is highly addictive, both mentally and physically, and often requires a full detoxification with 24-hour supervision. An inpatient facility is where patients stay at a residential location with supportive supervision for a specific period of time, typically inpatient treatment stay varies in length from 30, 60 or 90 days. Inpatient programs give unique opportunities to individuals fighting for recovery to self-explore and become educated on the psychology and medical issues that are associated with Heroin and other drug use.

Outpatient Heroin Rehab

Outpatient Heroin Rehab

Outpatient facilities vary quite a bit. Some offer a little more than counseling, and others require daily check-in where you attend classes, support groups and therapy. Some outpatient programs may make 12-step meetings a requirement. Depending on the degree of ones needs outpatient can serve great as a means of obtaining support and recovery. However, outpatient is appropriate for individual who have a relatively stable condition in addition to only mild symptoms. Intensive outpatient may be a good option for individuals with mild to moderate heroin issues. To address Heroin addiction issues some treatment programs will increase the length or number of therapy sessions on a weekly basis.

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Prescription Painkillers to Heroin: A Common TransitionPrescription Painkillers to Heroin: A Common Transition

The chaos of Heroin addiction often times makes people forget how people started using to begin with. Many people being using Heroin after they become dependent on prescription pain medication. After their perception runs out they try to score it on the street and once they can’t afford that anymore, they turn to Heroin. Regular use of medicine prescribed by your doctor has potential to create dependence. Painkillers lead to fatal overdose when abused or misused. The prescription painkiller epidemic has increased heroin use and addiction.

Heroin & Speed BallingHeroin & Speed Balling

The term speed balling describes the simultaneous drug use of Heroin and a strong stimulant. The most common stimulant used is Cocaine. However, one may use Methamphetamine to substitute while getting a similar effect. The drugs are most commonly used intravenously, as the strongest effects are then achieved. The rate of addiction for speed balling is much higher than single use of Heroin and Cocaine. This is due to an intensity of euphoric feeling experienced. The simultaneous use of sedating and stimulant drugs is extremely dangerous.

Survivors of Substance Abuse

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Heroin Treatments
Heroin Treatments

Several treatments available to assist individuals with Heroin addiction are known to be effective. The main methods of treatment include, pharmacological and behavioral. The two main methods help in restoring an individual brain functioning and behavior to slight normalcy. Although both treatments are known quite useful when practiced alone, medical research suggests that individuals receiving integral treatment result in the most success. When making the decision to enter a Heroin rehabilitation center, it is normal to be concerned about privacy and confidentiality. Legally these centers are bound to keep your addiction private and confidential. The treatment process varies greatly depending on the person and their addiction. Depending on the center you’ve chosen, there may be numerous types of treatment available for Heroin addiction. Treatment is not a one size fits all and with Heroin rehabilitation is a matter of life and death

Intervening a Heroin Crisis
Intervening a Heroin Crisis

If someone you know is using Heroin, but is unwilling to enter any kind of treatment center or program to get help, an intervention may be necessary. An intervention can be frightening to family and friends, its often easier ignoring the problem rather than thinking of their loved one plunging a needle into his or body several times a day. While this may seem to be the easier option, it does have fatal consequences. Because of how addicting Heroin is, three things will happen, either they get clean, get locked up or they die. If you care about the person who is addicted, it would be best to stage an intervention for them. Whether you would be performing it yourself, or bringing in a professional interventionist, any step you take in this direction will be the right one.

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Caring After Heroin TreatmentCaring After Heroin Treatment

After your Heroin treatment recovery process in rehab, continual progress is imperative. Heroin addiction is can be fatal and must be handled carefully. The threat of relapse greatly presents the risk of death by overdose. Aftercare is for recovery after treatment and will sometimes include continuing therapeutic care or group counseling. Additionally, accessing 12-step programs in your community is encouraged. If you are looking for an accepting and caring atmosphere to share your experience and get support to make it through everyday life away from your addiction, there are meetings near you that provide just that. Heroin Anonymous HA and many others have a long history of helping people stay clean, healthy, and get through the daily struggles that come with addiction.

Common Dangers of HeroinCommon Dangers of Heroin

Common Dangers and Major health problems from Heroin include miscarriages, heart infections, and death from overdose. Overdose is one of the leading causes of death in individuals with a heroin addiction. The mortality rate among Heroin use is more common than with any use of Amphetamine. In regard to treatment for Heroin addiction, the overdose risk increased greatly when treatment services were discontinued; decided by the Heroin user. When an individual Adheres to treatment services it is likely to reduce that person’s tolerance to the drug, further contributing to the risk of overdose if one is to relapse. An individual kicking Heroin on their own is quite unlikely, the drug is too addictive and their environment won’t let them stop.

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