Heroin and Heroin Addiction
Heroin is an opioid drug that is synthesized from morphine. Because heroin is an opioid and it is strongly physically addictive, it has a high potential for abuse, and heroin addiction is one of the most common types of drug addiction worldwide. Heroin abuse occurs through several different intake methods such as smoking, snorting, and injection with needles. Heroin addicts have extreme difficulties with heroin withdrawal, and the drug has a very powerful short term effect.
Heroin addiction is a common drug addiction problem. In the United States alone there were 3.8 million people who reported using heroin in 2008. But, like all addictions, heroin addiction can be treated, and there are several options available for heroin addicts. Heroin addiction rehabilitation centers are the best choice for treatment for heroin addicts that are not in immediate danger of overdosing. Heroin addiction can also be treated with 12 step programs and psychological counseling.
Effects of Heroin Addiction
Heroin addiction is characterized by a strong dependency on the drug and also strong heroin withdrawal symptoms if the drug is not regularly taken. It is one of the most debilitating addiction diseases. It not only takes a toll on the addict but also on the addict’s family and friends. Heroin withdrawal and detox is very difficult and it is best done at a rehabilitation center or hospital as the side effects can be severe. However, the worst side effects stem from the heroin addiction itself.
Heroin is a strongly addictive opiate drug that acts very quickly with a powerful euphoric effect and several other side effects. The drug is very addictive because of the fast acting euphoria associated with it. Snorting, smoking, and injection with needles are the most common methods of heroin abuse.
A person can become addicted to heroin very quickly because of the how fast the drug acts on the body. In a matter of seconds the euphoria from the drug is experienced when it is smoked, snorted, or injected. As a result, the immediate gratification of the drug is often a fast way for a person to become a heroin addict.
Some of the typical signs of heroin addiction may include lowered performance at work or school, track marks on the arms or other parts of the body (symptoms of repeated injections with needles), a neglect of personal care and looks, withdrawal from friends and family and more.
The effects of heroin addiction include traditional symptoms that relate to heroin intake such as: warm flushing of the skin, nausea, vomiting, itching, cloudy mental function, drowsiness, and slowed breathing. Psychological effects of heroin addiction may be noted as well in many patients. Although the heroin addiction is uncomfortable, the heroin withdrawal process is also very challenging and often requires extended care offered by heroin rehab centers.
There are a number of types of heroin treatments available that are effective at treating heroin addictions and heroin abuse within a reasonable timeframe. Heroin addicts can fully recover at many opiate rehab or heroin rehab centers which are designed to help heroin addicts in a multi-step process.
The most typical types of treatment that are used to treat heroin addicts include drug rehab centers, and in cases of overdoses hospitalization may be required. Heroin overdose is a life threatening circumstance that must be treated as an emergency. Heroin addicts must often go through counseling, individual behavioral therapy, and group therapy in order to fully overcome their illness. Treatment for the physical addiction of heroin addicts includes opiate substitutes such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone treatments.
Heroin detox can take place at a treatment facility or rehab center. Opiate rehab and heroin rehab centers have trained staff that can help heroin addicts through the very difficult first stage of heroin detox and heroin withdrawal. Heroin rehab centers provide a safe environment for heroin detox and heroin withdrawal that is far away from the environment of heroin addiction which most heroin addicts are exposed to on a daily basis. Heroin rehab centers allow addicts to overcome addiction by implementing a combination of several treatment techniques.
Treatment of heroin addiction and heroin withdrawal can last from a few weeks to three or more months. The length depends on the severity of the illness and the individual patient. During this period of time, treatment typically consists of heroin withdrawal treatment, psychological counseling, supportive care, medications as required, and group therapies. The patient is discharged from a treatment facility once both the patient and professional staff are confident that the patient has recovered completely.
There are residential and outpatient heroin rehab centers available for heroin addicts. Outpatient facilities see heroin addicts on a regular basis, but the patient lives outside of the facility while being treated for heroin withdrawal and addiction. Most of these types of facilities will administer drugs on a daily basis to patients awaiting treatment. Many communities are now eliminating such treatment facilities because of lack of funding or care. These facilities are convenient for heroin addicts with the strongest desires for recovery.
Residential treatment centers house heroin addicts and provide them with a safe environment for heroin withdrawal with the constant monitoring and care of treatment professionals. Both types of facilities are effective at treating heroin addiction. The choice of facility is based on the recommendations of treatment professionals and the patient.
Heroin Withdrawal and Heroin Detox
Heroin withdrawal and heroin detox can be quite severe in heroin addicts and they both require consistent monitoring by heroin addiction professionals at heroin rehab centers. Heroin detox is one of the more difficult drug detox processes.
Heroin detox is the process of eliminating the physical addiction of the drug and is typically the first step of heroin treatment. The heroin detox process may involve the prescription of an opiate substitute like methadone or buprenorphine. These medications are used to reduce the severity of the heroin detox.
There are different methods that heroin rehab centers use to perform heroin detox as a part of the heroin withdrawal process. There are opiate medications as previously mentioned that are used to support a more gradual detox. Some treatment centers offer a rapid detox program that might be described as a Rapid Opioid Detoxification (ROD). Rapid detox may involve the administration of a drug called naltrexone which is administered under anesthesia and removes opiates from the body.
Heroin detox treatments at heroin rehab centers are safe as long as heroin addicts are provided professional treatment at heroin rehab centers under the guidance of licensed medical and treatment professionals. Professionals at heroin rehab centers that are trained in heroin detox will ensure that heroin addicts have all of their needs met and that the detox process is as comfortable as possible.
Heroin withdrawal is the physical and psychological reaction of the body to the absence of heroin after one has become addicted to the drug. It is considered to be one of the most challenging drug withdrawals to treat because of the intensity of the symptoms of the withdrawal. Many patients experience several mental and physical symptoms that cause extreme discomfort and agitation.
The symptoms of heroin withdrawal include restlessness, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, irritability, intense craving, chills and fever, anxiety, intense itchiness, panic attacks, and other symptoms. The symptoms are intense and may last up to a week. Symptoms of heroin withdrawal usually peak within 48 to 72 hours after the last dose of heroin was taken.
Although heroin withdrawal is rarely fatal, it certainly requires the constant monitoring of a professional staff at heroin rehab centers in order for safety to be ensured. Heroin addicts may react in a way that can cause harm to themselves and thus they require continual monitoring and support. An abrupt withdrawal may be dangerous, thus the detox process is almost always done gradually and with supportive medications.