Why Are More People Using Heroin
The number of people in the United States who use heroin has risen steadily since 2007.
One thing that plays a role in the rise is the growing abuse of prescription painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, which are also made from the poppy plant and are chemically related to heroin. People who misuse these drugs may start looking for a stronger, cheaper high. Heroin is both. But it’s also more dangerous. Thereâs no way to know what youâre taking or how strong it is.
The U.S. heroin overdose death rate rose nearly 400% between 2010 and 2017. Some of these deaths happen because heroin is laced with other drugs, such as the powerful painkiller fentanyl.
Your Addiction Can Get Worse
Because addiction is measured on a spectrum, its true that a mild diagnosis may not be as bad as a severe one. Its easy to say, I could be worse. Its important to remember that addiction is a progressive disease, meaning it will get worse. If youre only a mild case right now, it will likely become moderate or severe in the future.
Addiction is a chronic disease, much like asthma, hypertension, diabetes, cancer and many others. If you were diagnosed with stage 1 cancer, would you not seek some form of treatment to prevent it from getting worse? You dont have to be at rock bottom to need treatment. Get help before it gets out of hand. If you are at rock bottom or have a severe diagnosis, its never too late to get the help you need.
Withdrawing From Loved Ones
A heroin addict is a shell of the person they once were. This is what the drug does to people. If you notice that a family member has completely withdrawn from you, its possible they are using heroin. Heroin is the only thing that an addict thinks or cares about. The person in your life that is a heroin addict wont want to be near you and will avoid making eye contact. It will be hard to get through to them if you want to help them get addiction treatment.
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What Are The Long
Legal costs: According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, heroin is classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has no identified medical or legal use in the U.S, and has a high potential for abuse. Heroin use could result in jail time, legal fees, a revoked license and more.
Physical and medical issues: Heroin is an illegal substance for good reason. Heroin use can cause insomnia, collapsed veins, heart infections, abscesses, indigestion, cramps, constipation, liver and kidney disease, mental health disorders, sexual dysfunction and irregular menstrual cycles as stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The effects increase the more heavily the substance is used, and many of these conditions could escalate and become life-threatening.
Damage to relationships: No one knows better than someone who uses heroin that drug abuse causes catastrophic harm to family and friends. To continuously obtain heroin, users often burn bridges in relationships.
Whether its borrowing money they cant pay back or missing commitments to get high, heroin can quickly cause friction between loved ones. Opioids and opioid withdrawal can cause irritability and frustration, too. Additionally, the need for treatment can bring up hostility in relationships.
Heroin is highly addictive, meaning that greater and greater doses are required to reach the same high. A single use is enough to become addicted so the best way to avoid an overdose is to get treatment immediately.
Get Started With Recovery
Theres no denying that the short and long-term effects of heroin are devastating. Though heroin may only be detectable for days or months after the last use, heroins impact could stick around for a lifetime.
Despite the strong effects of heroin on the body, there is hope for recovery. At you can find trauma-informed treatment programs catered to your needs. Call now to get started and regain your freedom, 888-201-5086.
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Inpatient Treatment Vs Outpatient Treatment For Heroin Addiction
When selecting a heroin treatment center, you have the option of choosing between inpatient and outpatient treatment. Individual treatment needs are naturally going to vary, and there are certain benefits to both types of treatment for heroin addiction that may inform the decision for treatment type.
Treatment For Heroin Addiction
Addiction treatment is often necessary for a full recovery from heroin addiction. Because withdrawal from heroin can be so severe, oftentimes its necessary to complete a detoxification program before psychological treatment can begin. During detox, either at a hospital or inpatient center, medical staff can monitor withdrawal symptoms and provide medications that alleviate some of the discomforts.
Following detoxification, you enter a treatment program. The type of program will vary depending on the severity of the addiction and the resources available to you, such as housing, employment status, and support networks. Some people may receive treatment in a residential or inpatient setting. Others will complete intensive outpatient programs that require them to attend treatment multiple days per week. Those with less severe addictions may complete a standard outpatient program that requires one or two sessions per week.
Cognitive behavioral therapy and contingency management programs are effective in treating heroin addiction, particularly when combined with medications. During cognitive behavioral therapy, people learn to alter their thoughts and behaviors surrounding drug use and develop skills to cope with stress. In contingency management programs, on the other hand, people receive rewards for staying abstinent from heroin.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Heroin Addiction
The signs and symptoms of heroin addiction will vary among users based upon genetic makeup, amount of drug used, frequency of use, and dependency on the drug. The most common symptoms of heroin addiction include the following:
- Scabs or bruises as the result of picking at the skin
- Possession of burned spoons, needles or syringes, missing shoelaces, glass pipes
- Stashing drug in various places around the home, car, and work
- Periods of hyperactivity followed by periods of exhaustion
- Inability to fulfill responsibilities at work or school
- Increased sleeping
- Apathy and lack of motivation
- Slurred speech
- Wearing long pants and shirts, even in warm weather
- Going on the nod during conversations
- Forced, pressured speech
- Track marks on arms and legs
- Warm, flushed skin
What Happens To The Brain When A Person Takes Drugs
Most drugs affect the brain’s “reward circuit,” causing euphoria as well as flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. A properly functioning reward system motivates a person to repeat behaviors needed to thrive, such as eating and spending time with loved ones. Surges of dopamine in the reward circuit cause the reinforcement of pleasurable but unhealthy behaviors like taking drugs, leading people to repeat the behavior again and again.
As a person continues to use drugs, the brain adapts by reducing the ability of cells in the reward circuit to respond to it. This reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drugan effect known as tolerance. They might take more of the drug to try and achieve the same high. These brain adaptations often lead to the person becoming less and less able to derive pleasure from other things they once enjoyed, like food, sex, or social activities.
Long-term use also causes changes in other brain chemical systems and circuits as well, affecting functions that include:
Despite being aware of these harmful outcomes, many people who use drugs continue to take them, which is the nature of addiction.
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Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms And How Long It Lasts
A number of characteristic withdrawal symptoms are associated with the acute opioid withdrawal syndrome that is often experienced when a person first stops using heroin.
These symptoms usually start within 6-12 hours of your last heroin dose. Without the aid of medications, the peak time for these withdrawal symptoms is usually 3-4 days after the last drug dose. Generally, the more severe cases of heroin abuse lead to much more difficult withdrawal experiences.
Typical heroin withdrawal symptoms can include2:
Heroin Addiction In Adolescents
Heroin, often called smack or junk, is one of the most addictive, dangerous substances plaguing our streets today. With its increasing availability, it is also becoming one of the most popular substances abused by adolescents and young adults.
According to recent studies, the typical heroin addict is now an affluent 23-year-old living in the suburbs, who inadvertently was led to heroin through painkillers prescribed by his doctor. While it is true that some users begin taking heroin recreationally, most serious users begin using heroin after first establishing a strong dependence on prescription drugs. They report switching to heroin because it is cheaper and easier to obtain than opioids. In any case, most heroin users do not fully understand its riskswith each hit, each shot, they put their entire life at stake.
Heroin, like its opiate relatives, is derived from the resin of poppy plants. The opium found in the plant is refined to create morphine, and then further refined to compose heroin. Heroin can take on various forms, and users do not always know exactly what it is they are purchasing or putting into their bodies.
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Telltale Signs Of Heroin Addiction
Smack. Dope. Mud. Horse. Skag. Junk. Black tar. Heroin comes with many street names. It is a highly addictive drug. Over the past three years, heroin overdose deaths have been rising.
According to the Center for Disease Control and prevention , there has been a 39% increase of heroin related deaths in the past decade. There are various reasons for the increase, one of them is the failure to address telltale signs of heroin use.
Heroin drug addiction comes with a stigma and if a user doesnt match it, they could go under the radar. Loved ones may not pay attention because the user didnt fit the profile. Thanks to the opioid epidemic that has taken place in the US, the average Joe has turned to heroin on the streets to manage their opioid addiction.
There is no more important time to understand the telltale signs of heroin addiction. We are going to examine all the different ways you can tell if someone is using heroin and the signs of addiction. A heroin addict will do their best to hide it. Knowing these signs can help you identify if someone you love is addicted to heroin.
Can Heroin Cause Problems In Pregnancy
Yes. Using heroin during pregnancy can be dangerous, even deadly. It may cause serious problems, including:
- Birth defects. These are health conditions that are present at birth. Birth defects change the shape or function of one or more parts of the body. They can cause problems in overall health, how the body develops, or in how the body works.
- Placental abruption. This is a serious condition in which the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus before birth. The placenta supplies the baby with food and oxygen through the umbilical cord. Placental abruption can cause very heavy bleeding and can be deadly for both mother and baby.
- Premature birth. This is birth that happens too early, before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
- Low birthweight. This is when a baby is born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces.
- Neonatal abstinence syndrome . NAS happens when a baby is exposed to a drug in the womb before birth and then goes through withdrawal after birth.
- Stillbirth. This is when a baby dies in the womb before birth, but after 20 weeks of pregnancy.Sudden infant death syndrome . This is the unexplained death of a baby younger than 1 year old.
What To Do If You Suspect An Overdose
If someone who has taken drugs does not respond when you talk to them, is snoring loudly or making gurgling noises, they may be in a coma and having trouble breathing. Do not assume that they are just sleeping off the effects. Their airway may be blocked by their tongue falling back or other blockages.This is a medical emergency. If you cant wake them, dial triple zero to call an ambulance immediately.
Is It Dangerous To Mix With Other Drugs
Yes, every time you mix drugs you take on new risks but some drugs are more dangerous than others to mix.
If heroin is taken with other drugs, including alcohol, an overdose is more likely. Other downers , are also linked with deaths from heroin overdose.
So, heroin is particularly dangerous to mix with:
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Heroin Addiction Treatment Is A Process Of Detoxification
Combined with long-term inpatient rehabilitation . Detox consists of a gradual tapering off of the patients usual dosage of heroin, while also shifting dependence from heroin to a drug with similar, but less severe and addictive effects. The patient can then be weaned off the new drug, often avoiding the harmful results of prolonged withdrawal. After detox is complete, the patient enters inpatient rehab for an extended period of time based on how severe the addiction was.
Why Do Some People Become Addicted To Drugs While Others Don’t
No one factor can predict if a person will become addicted to drugs. A combination of factors influences risk for addiction. The more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance that taking drugs can lead to addiction. For example:
- Biology. The genes that people are born with account for about half of a person’s risk for addiction. Gender, ethnicity, and the presence of other mental disorders may also influence risk for drug use and addiction.
- Environment. A persons environment includes many different influences, from family and friends to economic status and general quality of life. Factors such as peer pressure, physical and sexual abuse, early exposure to drugs, stress, and parental guidance can greatly affect a persons likelihood of drug use and addiction.
- Development. Genetic and environmental factors interact with critical developmental stages in a persons life to affect addiction risk. Although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, the earlier that drug use begins, the more likely it will progress to addiction. This is particularly problematic for teens. Because areas in their brains that control decision-making, judgment, and self-control are still developing, teens may be especially prone to risky behaviors, including trying drugs.
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Finding Quality Treatment For Substance Use Disorders
This fact sheet serves as a guide for individuals seeking behavioral health treatment. It provides three necessary steps to complete prior to utilizing a treatment center and the five signs of a quality treatment center, which include a review of the accreditation, medication, evidence-based practices, position on the role of families, and support networks.
Problems With Speech And Body Coordination
The brain will react to things quite slowly so their speech will become slurred. They wont make any sense when they speak and will often mumble or garble their words. Their movement will be uncoordinated too as though they might fall over at any moment. They can become jittery in one minute and then nod off in total relaxation the next minute.
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Physical Signs Of Heroin Use And Addiction
Carefully noticing the physical appearance of someone you suspect of heroin use is as effective as identifying behaviors, smells, and sounds. There are a number of physical symptoms caused by the drug itself which include:
- Tiny, pinpoint pupils
- Sleepiness, a tendency to nod off
- Slow breathing
- Runny nose or itchy nose
- Lack of appetite and weight loss
Indications of changes in behavior are also associated with heroin use. These may occur only when the individual is under the influence, or they may result from longer-term issues with self care or even from self harm.
- Track marks on arms or top of hands or wrists
- Scabs and sores from picking at skin
- Covering arms with long sleeves
- Not bathing
- Eating large amounts of sweets
Immediate Signs Of Current Heroin Use
Heroin is a fast-acting opiate. When its injected, there is a surge of euphoria that arrives within seconds. Those using the drug other ways may not feel this surge as sharply. This rush of euphoria is accompanied by a dry mouth and flushed skin. Dilated or smaller-than-normal pupils are also an indication of current heroin intoxication. Other than the rush of euphoria, the symptoms of heroin use are the same for all methods of use. The difference is in the degree a user will feel the effects.
Users will often appear drowsy and move slowly. With heroin injection in particular, users will often exhibit a particular behavior. The individual will momentarily pass out, only waking up when their chin hits the chest. Since this looks a lot like someone nodding, heroin users are sometimes known as being on the nod and the behavior is known as nodding out. This in particular is an almost certain sign that heroin is being used. This effect is what depresses breathing and results in death if no intervention is made.
When the user is awake, the persons thinking will be unclear. They will tend to lose some of their memory. Their decision-making and self-control are likely to deteriorate. As heroin is a powerful opiate, the users pain response will be limited.
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