Heroin Addiction Treatment

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Heroin is the main culprit of substance abuse and death in the opioid crisis in America. In 2018 alone, almost 15,000 individuals died from a heroin overdose. While that number represents an astounding five of every 100,000 people, it actually represents a decrease of 4.1% from the previous year, and that’s because of the awareness being raised and users going through treatment for their heroin addiction. Life is hard and transitioning through stages in life presents its own set of anxieties. Technology was supposed to be helping reduce the stress in life with its entertainment value and ability to help us solve problems more efficiently; however, it has caused individuals to increasingly place tasks in their schedules, thinking that they have the technology to do it all.

This leads to the necessity of shutting the mind off after a long day, week, and month of attempting to do everything with a smile. The first hit of heroin may be just an experiment to see if it creates a detachment from racing thoughts or it might cause problems that have built up throughout the day to fade away. It turns out you like the results, so you look forward to the next time you use it. Soon, you are missing work, losing your job, missing class, and losing scholarships because of slipping grades. You move back home but after your parents catch you stealing on numerous occasions to pay for the next hit, you are kicked out. You wake up one day, realizing that you have nowhere to live and no one on whom you can rely. There is still hope. It’s never too late to find treatment for your heroin addiction so that you can get back to the happy life that you always imagined you would live.

What is heroin and is there any significant medical use?

The mention of the word heroin can evoke dramatic reactions that range from dread to elation. Dread is found in those who have either lost loved ones or are aware of the widespread opioid addiction raging across the country, and elation occurs when an addict thinks about how it makes them feel. They aren’t considering the fact that all they think about is how they are going to find their next hit, how awful the withdrawal is if they don’t find that hit soon enough, or how many of their friends have died from using it.

Heroin is synthetically processed from morphine, which is naturally occurring in the opium poppy plant. The poppy has been used for thousands of years for its painkilling properties, as well as a vast array of other medicinal uses. Heroin was first produced in 1874 to be used as a cough suppressant and non-addictive substitute for morphine, a highly addictive opioid. Morphine is used today as an effective pain killer in specific situations, but they were incredibly mistaken as to the future use of heroin and its addictive properties. It is now considered a Schedule I substance, offering no acceptable medicinal use while being highly addictive. It can be found as a brown or white powder or as black tar heroin, which is black and sticky.

Why is heroin so addictive?

No one wants to become an addict and end up living on the streets, abandoned by their loved ones. When they are growing up, just saying no to drugs is drilled into their brains. People still like to experiment on their own and don’t always internalize the importance of learning from others’ mistakes. When people experiment with heroin, they experiment with the wrong drug, mistakenly thinking that they can handle what it has to offer.

When injected or smoked, they immediately experience a rush of euphoric pleasure. It delivers feelings of relaxation, warmth, and the detachment for which anxiety-ridden people seek. It is considered a strong sedative that relieves physical and emotional aches and pains with effects can even last up to several hours, depending on how much is taken and the method of delivery. The abuse of heroin can not only be fatal, but it also increases the rate of HIV/AIDS transmission through the reuse and sharing of needles.

What is involved in finding treatment for heroin addiction?

People who try to quit using heroin without assistance from the medical community may find themselves relapsing often due to the fact that they start to experience withdrawal symptoms almost immediately upon the last hit wearing off. They will feel symptoms like sweating, nausea, diarrhea, anxiety, and more. Pain is something we all want to avoid and may be one of the first reasons that someone begins to use opioids, so facing the additional pain of withdrawal isn’t ideal. Heroin relapses can be lethal with any period of abstinence leading to a decrease in tolerance. Addicts return to the dosage they stopped at, realize that it was too much, and they are suddenly facing an overdose.

Emphasis has been put on stopping the opioid epidemic that faces America, so an effective method of treatment is MAT (medication-assisted treatment). While it can work on its own, sobriety if best achieved by using a combination of therapies. The basic stages are:

Tapping into the psyche of the previous user is important when they are trying to be more transparent and resolve the issues as to why they were seeking escape from their present reality. Learning coping mechanisms that allow someone to live a fulfilling life while avoiding triggers can be done with diligence. The process is not easy, but it can be done with treatments that are typically customized to match each person’s circumstances. Let’s address the treatments used in rehab.

Whether watching someone you know faces the harsh realities that a continued addiction delivers or you realize that you are the one who is slowly sliding down the slippery slope of addiction, anyone who uses heroin should be concerned about the possibility of an overdose no matter how careful they are. It remains one of the hardest addictions to recovery from, and the fact that it is often laced with other drugs, such as cocaine and fentanyl, doesn’t make it any easier. Not only will those who try to stop using it on their own be faced with a plethora of harsh withdrawal symptoms, but they will also have a hard time fighting the intense cravings that occur because of the changes that the drug has made to their brain. When someone wants to make the commitment to find their way back to a life of which they can be proud, the treatment program they choose for their heroin addiction can help them resolve any issues, from trauma to finances. Many programs help with housing, job skills training, therapies, medication management, support, and anything else necessary to get you back on your feet. It is never too late to find your happy with all the help that is available.

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