Financial Signs Of Heroin Abuse
It is not uncommon for drug addicts to struggle with money problems it can be a telltale sign of heroin addiction.
Always Out of Money | One giveaway sign of heroin addiction is their critical financial situation. A drug addict needs money to buy drugs. When it comes to choosing between paying their bills or getting high, more often than not, the drug user will make their heroin addiction their top priority.
Borrowing Money for A Good Reason| Its not easy for a drug addict to ask for money without a reason since they often have a sense of paranoia about whether someone has caught on to their addiction. They need to be methodical about how they will ask. One of the manipulation tactics that some addicts will attempt is using the fact that they have fallen behind on their bills. Dont fall for this, and do not give them cash. If you absolutely must, make your payment directly to the debtor. This way you can ensure you didnt just hand them money to go purchase more drugs. If possible, keep a copy of the bill to ensure that he or she doesnt take this to the next family member or friend with the same request.
Unexplained Expensive Items | Because one of the many heroin signs and symptoms of addiction is stealing, they may suddenly acquire some expensive items. Since its not likely they could afford this item on their own, its highly likely they stole it and are waiting for the opportunity to sell or pawn it for cash.
What Is The Difference Between Drug Tolerance Dependence And Addiction
Drug tolerance and dependence are a normal part of taking any opioid drug for a long time. You can be tolerant to, or dependent on, a drug and not yet be addicted to it.
Addiction, however, is not normal. It is a disease. You are addicted to a drug when it seems that neither your body nor your mind can function without the drug. Addiction causes you to obsessively seek out the drug, even when the drug use causes behavior, health, or relationship problems.
What Happens During Treatment
Private rehab facilities take several steps to help you achieve your goal of ending your addiction to opiates.
Before you begin your opiate treatment program, you meet with the staff to assess what type of care you need.
Detoxification is the process of eliminating opiates from your system.
Once the opiates have left your system, you start therapy to help you end your addiction. This will likely include group and individual therapy.
If your addiction to opiates stems from another medical condition, your treatment staff will assist you in getting the medical help you need, along with any other specialized care you may need.
Extended care and aftercare. Once your opiate treatment program is completed, your recovery journey is not over. You will need the support and structure provided by various aftercare outlets as you reintegrate into your life. Aftercare may include attending group meetings, such as Narcotics Anonymous, or individual counseling.
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Where To Get Treatment
There may be treatment programs near you, but it may be better to relocate for treatment. Relocating or traveling may assist you in achieving a fresh start, without the distractions of friends or family. Staying near home may allow you to see your loved ones more frequently, which may be helpful if they support your treatment.
Why Heroin Is Addictive
Heroin is addictive for a specific reason: heroin affects the brain in a certain way that causes addictive effects. When heroin reaches the brain, it turns back into morphine. Morphine is known to bind to the brains receptors, specifically the receptors that control the perception of pain and reward. These receptors are known as the opioid receptors.
As soon as the reconverted morphine reaches the opioid receptors, it causes euphoria to envelop the entire user. Once the effects from the drug wear off, the feeling dissipates. The urge to feel that particular feeling again is what causes users to develop the addictive behaviors associated with taking heroin. Since the body also adapts to how heroin works, people who dont take heroin will experience withdrawal symptoms until they consume more.
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Addiction Recovery Statistics And Comparisons With Other Chronic Diseases
Heroin addiction is, along with other chronic diseases, difficult to treat. Chronic diseases like addiction involve deeply imbedded behaviors, and require a personalized combination of medical and behavioral interventions. There is no cure for heroin addiction.
But heroin addiction can be successfully treated! And, like other chronic diseases, heroin dependence is best treated and managed through evidence-based treatment methodologies.
An often cited statistic for recovery is that only 3 in 10 who attempt addiction treatment will remain in recovery, long-term. About 40-60% of addicts that attempt treatment will relapse.
Relapse should not be considered failure. This is particularly important considering that a person in treatment for heroin addiction is more likely than not to suffer a relapse. A dedication to an evidence-based treatment plan can mitigate the consequences of a relapse. Relapse may also be a sign that the treatment may have missed an underlying cause of addiction, such as PTSD or some other co-occurring disorder. In this case, relapse is simply evidence that the treatment methodologies must be adjusted, not that the treatment is a failure.
It may also be useful to consider the relapse rate in other chronic diseases:
- 30-50% with Type I Diabetes
- 50-70% with Asthma
- 50-70% with Hypertension
The Case With Heroin Dependence
Heroin withdrawal may make people realize that they might be dependent on heroin. Heroin dependence, the term describing that phenomenon, describes when a person is completely reliant on the drug to prevent their body from experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms often include restlessness, cold flashes, diarrhea, muscle pain and bone pain. People who develop an uncontrollable need to do heroin or find it hard to stop using the drug likely suffer from heroin addiction, due to their inherent dependence on the drug.
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What Is Opioid Abuse
It is very important to understand that there is a difference between drug addiction and substance abuse. These two terms are not the same, although they’re often substituted for one another.
As far as opioid drugs are concerned, abuse refers to any use of the drug that contradicts the prescription. This means that there are many different actions and behaviors that can constitute as abuse. These include:
- Taking a prescription opiate for a long period of time
- Taking doses too closely together
- Taking more of the drug than prescribed
- Chewing the medication instead of swallowing it
- Grinding up the drug or liquefying it to increase its euphoric effects
Opioid addicts do all of the above too. However, the difference is that those who are abusing the drug don’t feel the need to do so. They don’t experience cravings, and they don’t have withdrawal symptoms. They donât have a chemical or a physical dependence on the drug. They can stop at any time. Many times, abusers are only doing it for the euphoria the drug gives them.
There is definitely a difference between abuse and addiction. However, addiction to these drugs always begins with abusing them first.
Advice For Family Members
If youre the friend or family member of a heroin addict, all you can do is encourage the person to get clean, be as supportive as possible, and stay out of the way. No one who gets clean by force or overwhelming pressure is going to stay clean. As heart-wrenching as it is, that person has to want to rid themselves of the heroin before they can ever do so, regardless of their families’ pleading.
What you can do, however, is practice a bit of tough love. Some addicts need to hit rock bottom before they can begin to scramble back to the surface. The longer you hand out a free ride, the longer the user will remain a comfortable user. Sure, the addict is in less danger than if he were on the streets, but the longer he uses heroin, the harder it will be for him to shake the habit.
If the addict has children that live with him or her, you absolutely must notify the local police department or children’s services of the users addiction. Regardless of how good a parent he or she claims to be, the smallest bit of heroin left on a paper or in a syringe can and will kill a small child. If your loved one were in his or her right mind, rest assured youd be thanked. Even if you cant save the addict, you can take steps to save the addicts children.
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The Messy Path To Getting Clean
Finally, I couldnt take it anymore and asked for help. I had a great, nonjudgmental primary care physician who helped me find a treatment program. I stayed there for a month and truly enjoyed being sober. Once I got past the acute withdrawals, things really started to look positive. I thought after 30 days in treatment, I would be cured and back on the right path. But getting sober is not that easy. I relapsed multiple times and was kicked out of the halfway house where I had been living.
My parents let me live with them as long as I didnt use. That lasted about a week. After several months, I found myself at a crossroads give treatment another shot, or get out. I had no money, no job and nowhere to go. So I begrudgingly went back to inpatient care for another 30 days. From there I was sent to an extended care facility out of state for two months, then to a halfway house for another two months. I then went to a sober living house for nine months. All said and done, I was in supervised care for 13 months. I had over a year of sobriety before I was on my own again, and I dont think I would have made it if not for that intensive treatment.
What Is Opiate Addiction
Now that you understand what abuse is, letâs see what constitutes as an addiction.
When someone has an opiate addiction, his or her behaviors are slightly different. For them, using is something that is constantly on their minds. They may even think about using the moment they wake up in the morning. They experience a deep desire to use these drugs. Many times, it’s for their pain-relieving effects. Other times, it’s because they like the way it makes them feel.
One classic sign of opioid addiction is that addicts often just don’t feel right without the drugs. They need to take them to feel normal. When there are no drugs in their system, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. Some of these opioid withdrawal symptoms might include:
- Anger or agitation
- Anxiety or depression symptoms
Only a qualified professional can tell you for sure if you have an addiction. If you do, it’s important to get treated for it right away. If youâre unsure of whether you are struggling with an addiction, get a free addiction assessment from our professionals.
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The Relapse Rate For All Substance Abuse Disorders Ranges From 40 To 60% But The Rate For Heroin Specifically Is As High As 90% Or Even Greater
Megan Hull is a content specialist who edits, writes and ideates content to help people find recovery. As a Florida born-and-raised… read more
Wendy J. Weber is a pharmacist with almost 20 years of experience in acute care clinical practice, hospital… read more
There is no doubt that heroin addiction is difficult to treat. Its one of the most difficult addictions to recover from, but it is possible. Its important that people struggling with this addiction know why people who are addicted to heroin.
The Spine Of The Feather Represents The Straight Path Of The Creator Valerie Said All These Little Strands Coming Off Are Different Paths That You Can Take That Main Path Is The One We Should Follow
Valerie Ross Zhaawendaagozikwe, 26, is a technician at an addiction rehabilitation center in Minnesota. Her addiction was born in heartbreak when her first love went to prison at 17.
I turned to drinking and I was like, This is the only way Im going to get rid of this pain, she said. Her younger sister was already using prescription pain pills and heroin and soon, Valerie was, too.
A lot of Native people have ongoing trauma, she said. Indeed, some experts have labeled heroin addiction as the product of a shattered childhoodbecause, according to one study, at least 90 percent of people who become addicted have had early traumatic experience. Its like a deep hurt that we dont understand, she said.
As a child, Ms. Zhaawendaagozikwe, a member of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, said she was sexually abused. Opioids made her feel invincible. They took all the bad feelings away and it was replaced by euphoria.”
Between the age of 22 and 24, Valerie attempted treatment at least 20 times she had about nine overdoses. During her last overdose, she briefly went blind, which terrified her. She tried conventional treatment, but it didnt work. She returned to her roots to find recovery.
She began attending Native American ceremonies and praying using ceremonial pipes and tobacco. I try and tell people that if you learn those songs and if you drum, that can change the way that you think and your mind and the way you feel, she said.
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Tiny Orange Caps And Other Physical Evidence
Syringes come with a tiny orange cap that often gets forgotten about in the midst of a heroin addict using. Syringes may hidden in drawers but those little caps are often overlooked as a sign for the heroin user. There might be a lot of straws being used for both snorting and smoking. Empty plastic pen cases can also be used for snorting or smoking. Other things that might be lying around include water pipes, small plastic bags, razors, bottled water, rolled up dollar bills and small cotton balls.
Ways To Help A Recovering Addict Of Alcoholic
Educate Yourself on Addiction and Recovery
Addiction and alcoholism are very complex, and recovery is one of the greatest challenges of most individuals lives. The best way a loved one can help an addict is to educate themselves on the many aspects of addiction and recovery, such as potential triggers, health issues, enablement, the recovery process, and the psychological changes that addiction causes. Loved ones will find it much easier to relate to and assist a recovering addict if they understand addiction, and they will also be much better equipped to help prevent relapse.
Understand and Prepare for Extended Problems
Addiction creates many lasting problems, both for addicts and their loved ones. While sobriety will improve all of them, many will still be present during recovery. Financial problems are common, especially as the recovering addict tries to rebuild their career and pay off addiction related debts such as DUI expenses. Health problems caused by addiction are some of the most serious, and some, such as HIV, are permanent. Relationship problems can be the most painful it can take years to rebuild trust, and in some cases, it just isnt possible. Additionally, relapse is always a possibility, even after many years. Understanding and preparing for these problems will make it easier to deal with them and lessen their impact.
Dont Hold Unreasonable Expectations
Make Changes to Support Sobriety
Dont Go So Far That Youre Unfair to Yourself
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What Makes Heroin So Addictive
Opioid receptors are located in certain sections of the brain. Naturally occurring opioids are produced by the body in response to activity, and attach to these receptors. Some of these opioids are released to alleviate pain, and establish a consistent mood. Some chemical responses produce a pleasurable sensation, motivating the person to repeat the activity. These pleasurable opioid responses may occur when a person has sex, or eats certain foods.
When heroin is introduced into the system, the effect on the opioid receptors are similar to natural opioids. Only, heroin is quicker and more potent. The receptors become desensitized to heroin over time, causing the user to require more heroin to achieve the same high.
Withdrawal symptoms can set in quickly once a great enough chemical dependence is formed. Heroin becomes less an instrument for getting high, and more necessary just to achieve a normal state.
Besides the chemical dependence, other aspects of heroin abuse can become addictive. These aspects include repeated needle use, or the community formed around heroin use. And the high associated with heroin is uniquely attractive, in that its not generally possible without a similar substance.
So What Does Someone Who Is Withdrawing From Opioids Look Like Someone Who Is Withdrawing From Opioids Will:
- Be more agitated than normal. They may explode at you for the smallest of things. For example, you may have simply not heard them ask a question. Or, you may have forgotten to do something thatâs not too important, like picking up bananas on the way home.
- Be more anxious than normal. They may seem jumpy or stressed for no reason at all.
- Complain of muscle aches or pain, despite not having a reason for being achy or in pain.
- Appear like they have the flu. You might notice them complaining of pain and having the sniffles.
- Look like theyâre always tearing up.
- Be sleeping at odd times or not sleeping at all. They may even yawn a lot despite having had enough sleep the day before.
- Complain of abdominal cramping.
- Have diarrhea or experience vomiting. Often, theyâll also feel nauseous.
- Have dilated pupils. This can be difficult to see. Youâll need to be up close to notice this symptom.
- Have goose bumps all the time despite it not even being cold.
Someone who is addicted to opioids will begin to exhibit these symptoms when the opioids are leaving their body. This is basically a cry for help from the body. Itâs begging for more opioids. These symptoms cause many addicts to relapse even when theyâre trying to get clean.
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