Heroin

Heroin

Heroin is an extremely addictive and dangerous drug made from morphine. It is extracted from the seedpod of a poppy plant, commonly found in Asia, Columbia, and Mexico. One of the most abused drugs, it is usually injected, snorted or smoked. It comes in various forms like a fine white or brown powder or a black, sticky substance popularly known as black tar heroin.

Addiction to opioids is a growing epidemic in the United States of America. As a result, many people turn to heroin, a cheaper alternative to painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin. According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately 0.2 percent adults aged 12 years or older were current users of heroin.

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Heroin

Heroin Abuse

Heroin is mostly injected intravenously but can also be smoked or sniffed, orally ingested or used as a suppository. But amongst all, the biggest “rush” comes from injecting it. The drug can also be mixed with crack cocaine, a practice called speed balling. Once injected, heroin gets quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and travels to the lungs from where it moves further to the brain. All this happens within 20 minutes.

Heroin is an opioid agonist and binds to the opioid receptors in the brain that cause intense feelings of pleasure followed by peace and relaxation. Such feelings are the primary reason why people choose to use the drug and gradually become dependent and then addicted to it. Heroin use impacts the day-to-day lives of people resulting in:

  • Loss of motivation to complete daily chores
  • Disinterest in interpersonal relationships and activities once enjoyed
  • Lack of attention to personal hygiene/appearance
  • Constricted pupils
  • Gastrointestinal cramping accompanied by constipation
  • Collapsed veins
  • Depressed heart rate or breathing that could lead to death
  • Blood and skin infections
  • Miscarriage
  • Damage to internal organs like lung, liver, and kidney

Chronic use of heroin causes physical dependence on the drug and its after-effects are equally severe. “Coming down” from the drug can cause increased heart rate, anxiety, disturbed sleeping patterns, etc. – signs that are the same as withdrawal symptoms. Other common heroin withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Extreme restlessness and agitation
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Sleeplessness
  • Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Cold flashes with goose bumps, leading to the phrase “cold turkey”
  • Muscle twisting, leading to the phrase “kicking the habit”
  • Severe craving for the drug during withdrawal, leading to relapse

Damage Caused by Heroin Abuse

On entering the brain, heroin is converted back to morphine, which binds to the opioid receptors. These are situated in various areas of the brain and body, especially those associated with the perception of pain and reward. The receptors are also located in the brain stem, which controls the automatic processes critical for life, such as blood pressure, arousal, and respiration.

An overdose of heroin causes hypoxia, a condition in which the drug usage results in the suppression of breathing that affects the amount of oxygen reaching the brain. This can result in short- and long-term psychological and neurological effects, including coma and permanent brain damage.

Research has revealed that dependence on heroin alters the physiology of the brain and leads to the deterioration of its white matter. This impacts an individual’s ability to take decisions, regulate behavior, and control responses to stressful situations. But all this can be prevented and reversed to a large extent if one seeks comprehensive substance abuse treatment to overcome addiction at the right time.

Overcoming Addiction to Heroin

When one gets addicted to any illicit substance, including heroin, they would do everything in their power to fulfill their craving. They can even resort to lying to their family members and health care providers and indulging in inappropriate behavior to overcome all obstacles standing in the way of their addiction. This makes treating people with a heroin addiction an even bigger challenge.

A leader in heroin addiction treatment, Invictus Health Group has partnered with drug addiction treatment centers that can help you or your loved one overcome heroin addiction. Their expert medical professionals work with the affected individual to ensure that they achieve long-term drug recovery.

At Invictus Health Group, we take into account all aspects of our patients’ needs and symptoms, understanding the fact that it is not easy for a patient undergoing treatment for heroin addiction recovery. Therefore, we begin the treatment for heroin addiction with a detox program, followed by medication, maintenance therapy, counseling and continuing care through our partner treatment centers across beautiful Southern California.

However, we continue where other detox centers stop. As we have seen, heroin negatively impacts the brain. Our partners have designed their rehab programs in such a way that brain wellness programs and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are an integral part of them.

Addiction Treatment at Invictus Health Group

At Invictus Health Group, our partners personalize their rehabilitation programs to fit each patient’s therapeutic and rehabilitation needs. Our partners are well-known across the U.S. for their highly effective heroin addiction recovery programs.

They provide comprehensive heroin treatment that includes monitored detoxification programs and residential treatment. We not only help you overcome addiction but the underlying mental disorder as well, which led to the dependence in the first place.

Invictus Health Group strives to be a partner in your drug recovery journey, motivating you to reach your goal of a healthy life. To know more about how we can help you or a loved one overcome heroin addiction, get in touch with us by calling our 24/7 heroin addiction treatment helpline 866-548-0190. You can also chat online with a representative for further assistance.

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