What Causes Heroin Addiction
Heroin is highly addictive. Its an opioid, which binds to receptors in the brain to release the chemical dopamine. As with most drug side effects, this release is only temporary which leaves some people wanting more of the good feeling.
If a person takes an opioid repeatedly over time, the brain doesnt naturally produce dopamine as it once did. This results in the person taking higher or more frequent doses of the opioid in order to achieve the same level of good feeling.
Sometimes opioid use disorder begins with legal drugs like painkillers that are prescribed after a surgery or some other injury. These pain-relieving drugs act in similar ways to heroin.
If a person becomes addicted to these prescribed medications and cant obtain them anymore, they may pursue illegal drugs like heroin to achieve the same pleasurable feeling.
While not everyone who takes legal painkillers or recreational substances becomes addicted, some people wont be able to stop taking them.
Naloxone And Heroin Overdose
When someone uses heroin , the drug rapidly enters their blood stream and travels to the brain. There, it binds to and activates opioid receptorsinitiating a cascade of molecular events that culminate in diminished pain and rewarding, pleasurable sensations, among other effects.
Heroin also acts directly on the respiratory center in the brain stem, slowing the rate of breathing. When someone overdoses by taking an excessive amount of heroin, their breathing is dramatically slowed or stopped completely, which can quickly lead to death.3
When naloxone is administered soon after an overdose, it binds to the opioid receptors and displaces the heroin molecules. Reversing and then preventing any additional receptor activation that would contribute to the respiratory distress immediately alleviates overdose symptoms and restores normal breathing.3
Methadone Treatment For Heroin Addiction: Pros And Cons To Consider
Methadone treatment is a common strategy for dealing with heroin addiction, but it has its pros and cons. Heres what you need to know.
As much damage as any illegal drug can do to your life, some seem to get a tighter grip on their victims than others. One thats particularly notorious is heroin.
There are around 9.3 million people around the world today struggling with heroin addiction. Most of these people have tried to quit in the past but havent been successful. The cravings and withdrawals are too much for many people to endure.
One way some addiction treatment centers are helping is with methadone treatment. If youre considering methadone to treat your own addiction or a loved ones addiction, heres what you need to know.
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How Long Does It Take To Get Off Heroin
The length of time spent at an inpatient heroin rehab center varies by individual. The appropriate length of treatment depends on many factors. A commonly offered treatment duration is the 30-day program. Some heroin treatment facilities also offer 60-day and 90-day programs. In general, at least 90 days in treatment is recommended, as research has shown that anything shorter is less effective.5,6
Longer programs are available, and may provide additional support for those who have completed a 30-day program and relapsed, individuals with co-occurring mental or physical health issues, or those who lack a stable home environment. There are also heroin rehab centers that offer inpatient treatment for as long as a year. Deciding which option is right for you is an important step toward starting your recovery.
What Is Heroin Addiction
Heroin is a Class A drug, derived from the powerful painkiller, morphine. Heroin is widely abused throughout the UK and worldwide, even though it carries serious health risks and the possibility of a fatal overdose. The drug is so addictive, that people continue to use it over and over again, even when it has devastating consequences on all areas of their life including their relationships, careers and their general mental and physical health.
Taking heroin results in feelings of tranquillity and relaxed euphoria, and the drug can also block your ability to feel pain due to its powerful anaesthetic effects. In addition, people often report feeling numb after taking heroin, meaning that this drug can often mask underlying emotional and physical issues, which could be fuelling your heroin misuse.
The most common method of consuming heroin is by injecting it. However, it is also possible for this substance to be snorted or smoked. Because heroin is so addictive, tolerance develops very quickly, meaning that you need to take increasingly higher doses of heroin, and more frequently, in order to experience the desired high. Over time, this results in individuals finding that they are unable to function without heroin, experience severe withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop or cut back on their heroin use, and place themselves at greater risk for a fatal heroin overdose.
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How To Treat Drug Addiction
Drug addiction is a common thing. About one in ten Americans have resolved an addiction-based problem. There are many causes of addiction, and many ways to get out of it. However, when youre in the throes of addiction, it can feel like theres no way out.
The barrage of information and advice out there for those suffering from addiction can be overwhelming. Who are you supposed to listen to? Who are you supposed to trust? If you want to get drug addiction treatment, youre going to need to tune out most of those voices and focus moment to moment on how youre going to get better. But how do you do that?
If youre asking this question, youve found the right article. Keep reading for a helpful guide on how to overcome addiction. This article will walk you through how to identify the problem, how to seek support, and let you know what different treatments there are for you.
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Why People Abuse Heroin
Like other opioids, heroin can relieve pain. But thats not why most people use it. When its abused, heroin makes people feel peaceful, relaxed and drowsy. It can also cause short-term relief from stress, anxiety or depression.
Other opioids, such as oxycodone or hydrocodone, can be abused to achieve the same effects. However, heroin costs less than prescription opioids. The same dose of a prescription drug may be three times as expensive as the cost of heroin on the street.
Many people abuse heroin because it is easier to abuse than other opioids. Legitimate medications require a doctors prescription, and many prescription drugs have chemical formulas that make them difficult to crush or melt.
People who are addicted to heroin may take the drug to prevent withdrawal rather than to get high. Heroin is more widely available today than in recent decades, according to the DEAs 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment.
Dr. Tim Huckaby, medical director of the Orlando Recovery Center
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Heroin And Opioid Withdrawal
While usually not life-threatening, withdrawal from heroin and other opioids can be extremely unpleasant. Heroin addiction is typically accompanied by dependence, a state in which the brain and body become accustomed to the drug and need it to function normally. When opioids are suddenly removed from the systemas is the case when naloxone is used to reverse an overdosethe body goes into withdrawal.
Withdrawal can begin 1230 hours after your last dose of heroin. Physical symptoms of opioid withdrawal can last several days or even weeks. The following is a list of symptoms experienced in the first hours and days.
Early symptoms include:5
Ping Down Through Levels Of Care
Following residential treatment for heroin addiction, many clients enter âpartial hospitalizationâ or âday treatment.â Day treatment for heroin use disorder is typically conducted Monday-Friday for about 6 hours per day consisting of group and individual therapy. Clients in day treatment typically see a psychiatrist on a regular schedule to continue monitoring of post-acute withdrawal symptoms and other medical issues. Clients will participate in day treatment for around 4 weeks following residential heroin treatment. Clients at day treatment level of care may live at their own residence or in a sober living home.
Following day treatment, the next level of care is intensive outpatient . At the IOP level of care, clients participate in group therapy 3 hours per day on 3 days per week and may continue seeing their individual therapist and psychiatrist as needed. Clients at intensive outpatient level of care may live at their own residence or in a sober living home.
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Heroin Addiction & Health Insurance In The Us
The National Institute on Drug Abuse offers more than 14,500 specialized heroin treatment centers in the United States alone. Even though a health insurance will provide coverage for addiction to heroin not every heroin treatment centers may be covered by the plan. Three of the biggest states plagued by heroin addiction is West Virginia, South Carolina and South Dakota. Here are the health insurance covered on those states:
West Virginia Medicare Insurance is accepted on close to 50 treatment clinic in West Virginia. Most of them offer inpatient treatment as well as outpatient treatment. They have 12Step Programs and detox programs that can kick your heroin chemical dependency. Here are some facilities that accept Medicare Health Insurance: Prestera Center Any County, Appalachian Community Services, Valley Healthcare System, Healthways Inc Greentree, Southern Highlands Community Medical Health Center
South Carolina South Carolina accepts Aetna who covers addictions health insurance. When choosing any drug treatment facilities in South Carolina with your Aetna insurance, it is recommended that you call your drug rehab counselor on that treatment facility and ask them about their addiction coverage. Here are some treatment centers that is covered by Aetna: Cornerstone, Axis I Center Of Barnwell, Lradac/the Behavioral Health Center Of The Midlands/wcr, Trinity Behavioral Care, Cherokee County Commission On Alcohol And Drug Abuse
How To Get Treatment For Heroin
Heroin is an opiate drug . Other opioids include codeine, opium and morphine.
If you need treatment for addiction to heroin or another opioid you can either see a GP or contact your local drug treatment service.
At your first appointment the doctor or drugs worker will ask you lots of questions including:
- how much heroin you take
- whether you’re using any other drugs or alcohol
- what your physical and mental health are like
- what your personal circumstances are for example, where you live and who you’re living with
- whether you’ve had treatment for drugs before
They’ll also ask you for a pee sample. This will be tested to confirm that you’re using heroin.
You’ll be given a key worker who will help you put together a personalised treatment plan. You’ll meet them regularly throughout your treatment.
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Why Is Heroin So Addictive
Just why is heroin so addictive? Heroin is an opioid, and thus, has a strong affinity for the opioid receptors in the body, which control feelings of pain and pleasure. When a person uses heroin, the drug attaches to the persons opioid receptors, igniting a euphoric rush which they want to experience over and over.1
Heroin is also fairly cheap and readily available, making it much easier to become addicted. 4 Unfortunately, in the past 10 to 15 years, many people were over-prescribed opioid painkillers, which led to subsequent opioid addictions. As states began to crack down on prescriptions for painkillers, such as Vicodin, Percocet, or Oxycodone, people who were physically dependent on them began searching for alternatives. Many people turned to heroin as a cheap, easily available substitute.4 Research also indicates that heroin addiction impairs ones brain functioning over time, leading to difficulty for a person to stop using heroin.5
Treatment For Opioid Use Disorder: Detoxification And Mat
Several medical treatment options exist for heroin addiction and opioid use disorder : the general term for this process is Medication-Assisted Treatment . A medically supervised withdrawal prior to MAT is known as detoxification .
Relapse, which is the continued use of opioids after opioid withdrawal, is a serious event. Relapse can occur in up to 90% of patients within the first 2 months unless treated with medications for maintenance, like MAT. Medically-supervised treatment can help you stay off of opiates by blocking the euphoria that is experienced.
Drug treatments for detoxification and long-term maintenance are most effective when combined with a medication compliance program and behavioral or “talk” therapy. These medications can relieve opioid cravings without producing the “high” or dangerous side effects of other opioids. While either one can be used individually, the risk for relapse is high when used alone.
These treatments work by binding fully or partially to opiate receptors in the brain and work as agonists, antagonists or a combination of the two.
There is an additional safety factor by undergoing MAT: those who lose their tolerance to opioids are at risk of a fatal overdose if they return to opioid use, so supervision by a healthcare professional can save lives.
Medicines Used in the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder
If youre seeking treatment for opioid use, you can:
To learn more about Opioid Use Disorder, treatments, dosing and side effects:
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Benefits Of Heroin Overdose Treatment
Heroin overdose medications such as Narcan and Evzio are helpful tools for emergency treatment.
This is not a replacement for proper medical care, however. It will temporarily block and reverse the effects of heroin, but it will not cure the problem.
Using naloxone should always be followed up by calling 911 or going to the emergency room.
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Immediate Effects Of Heroin
Heroin is a derivative of the drug morphine. When heroin enters the brain, the body converts it to morphine. The morphine binds to opioid receptors and triggers the areas of the brain responsible for pleasure and mood. This includes the brain stem, which is responsible for controlling important autonomic bodily functions like blood pressure, breathing and arousal.
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Treatment For Heroin / Opiates
Treatment for heroin addiction typically happens over a period of 3-12 months based on the needs of each individual. Many heroin dependent individuals require a detox as their first stop due to withdrawal symptoms they experience when they cease using heroin. Sub-acute detox for heroin addiction typically lasts between 2-7 days. There is typically no treatment in detox as the purpose of detox is to get the patient medically stabilized and prepared to be able to participate in treatment.
After sub-acute detox, many recovering individuals choose to enter residential treatment. Inpatient heroin treatment typically lasts 28 days. During residential heroin treatment, clients undergo assessments by professional counselors and physicians and participate in group and individual counseling sessions. Many clients continue to experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms in residential heroin treatment and those symptoms are closely monitored and treated by our team of trained addiction treatment professionals.
The Treatment Of Heroin Addiction
Can be difficult and lengthy because of the drugs intensely addictive properties, which require daily use to prevent the effects of withdrawal. Combined with the tolerance that the user builds toward the drug requiring larger and larger doses to achieve its effects this creates a dependence that can be very hard to treat, although with the right plan and support system, it is possible.
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