Heroin is one of the most addictive and dangerous drugs on the planet–and it also is at the center of the rising drug epidemic that has gripped the country. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show that heroin use in the United States has increased 63% between 2002 and 2013, and heroin-related overdose deaths have nearly quadrupled over that same time period. In 2013, an estimated 517,000 people had reported heroin use in the last year and more than 8,200 people died of a heroin-related overdose in the same year.
Once a drug that was associated with urban areas, heroin has spread to all parts of society and the current face of heroin addiction is young and white. No matter what the socioeconomic background, family background, age, race or culture, heroin addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer of lives. For those who find themselves struggling with heroin addiction, finding a quality Florida heroin addiction treatment center is an immediate priority. As one of the premier drug rehab facilities in Florida, Ocean Breeze Recovery Center provides the treatment programming and a continuum of care that addresses heroin addiction in the mind, body and the spirit. Call us toll-free at 1-855-960-5341 to learn more.
What are the Effects of Heroin Addiction on the Body and Brain?
Heroin is a versatile drug and can be administered in a number of ways. Users most often inject heroin intravenously and the effects of the drug are almost immediate. Those who use heroin can also snort the drug or smoke heroin in a pipe or through the use of foil. There are also additional methods that can be utilized to administer the drug. For instance, users may engage in a process called speedballing in which both cocaine and heroin are injected into the bloodstream.
No matter the method of administrations, the initial effects of heroin include a surge of sensation which is often described as a rush and is often accompanied by a warm feeling of the skin and a dry mouth. Sometimes, the initial reaction after the administration of heroin can include vomiting or severe itching. After these initial effects fade, the user becomes drowsy for several hours. The basic body functions such as breathing and heartbeat slow down. Other effects can include hypothermia, clouded mental functioning and if there is an overdose, coma or death can occur.
Within hours after the drug effects have decreased, the addict’s body begins to crave more. If the user does not get another fix, they will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can include restlessness, aches and pains in the bones, diarrhea, vomiting and severe discomfort. The intense high a user seeks lasts only a few minutes. With continued and chronic use the heroin user needs increasing amounts of the heroin just to feel normal.
In regards to longer-term effects of heroin use, frequent injections of the drug can cause the veins to collapse and from that collapse infections of the blood vessels and heart valves can occur. Diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis C, and AIDS are seen in greater frequency with heroin addicts. It is estimated that 35,000 new cases of hepatitis C2 infections are reported in the United States each year. Hepatitis C2 is responsible for the formation and progression of liver disease. Other long-term effects can include the following:
- Bad teeth
- Inflammation of the gums
- Cold sweats
- Weakening of the immune system
- Muscular weakness and the possibility of partial paralysis
The Importance of a Heroin Addiction Treatment Program
For those people who wish to quit heroin, they may think they can quit on their own through the use of homemade detox remedies or feel that can quit the drug “cold turkey”. These methods of self-detoxification are highly risky and can be extremely dangerous. The withdrawal symptoms experienced with heroin are extremely powerful, and the severity of these symptoms often drive people back to active use. Among the withdrawal symptoms associated with heroin include the following:
- Cold sweats
- Depression and anxiety
- Loss of appetite
- Unstable moods
- Muscle cramping
- Nausea and vomiting
Because of the nature of heroin withdrawals, finding professional help from a Florida heroin addiction treatment center such as Ocean Breeze Recovery Center is vital. When you or a loved one choose Ocean Breeze to address your heroin addiction, you will follow an intense and structured treatment program that is made up of the following essential steps:
In order to minimize the potential danger of the withdrawal symptoms associated with heroin, you must first undergo medical detoxification. During the detox process, staff will administer medications such as Suboxone and utilize other interventions in a safe and highly supervised environment.Additionally, experienced treatment staff will also conduct a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose any co-occurring mental or physical illness that may impede the recovery process. If the event that a co-occurring disorder is discovered, treatment staff can create an initial treatment plan that will address those specific issues.
Inpatient Addiction Treatment
Once you are stable and substance-free, you are able to start our residential-based inpatient drug rehab program. Highly structured and intense in nature, our Florida heroin addiction treatment program can be individually tailored from a wide variety of treatment services such as individual and group therapy, life and coping skills training, and other essential treatment services. During this phase, you will gain the tools and get the encouragement and support you need to overcome addiction to heroin.
To give you the added support and encouragement you need as you leave formal drug treatment, aftercare programs such as outpatient drug rehab and sober living are highly recommended. These treatment options will help you understand the triggers and other factors that can lead to relapse, and you can continue to master the life and coping skills that are needed to deal with cravings and urges to use in a constructive manner without reverting back to drug use.
Don’t wait another day to address your heroin addiction. Call Ocean Breeze Recovery Center toll-free today at 1-855-960-5341 and make the commitment to your health and happiness.