Addiction

Heroin Rehab Center in West Virginia

Most of us are aware that the United States is in the midst of a national overdose epidemic.  What is the type of substance stealing the limelight of the epidemic? Opioids. Heroin is an opiate drug derived from the seedpods extracted from the poppy flower. Thus, heroin treatment centers have been in demand.  A heroin rehab center could be the difference between a sudden overdose within the family and sustainable health.

Nobody starts out being a heroin addict. In fact, many people start having opioid use issues after being prescribed opioid pain medication prescribed by their doctors. This is because when the prescription runs out and the doctor won’t prescribe more refills, the cravings for pleasure and relief begin. At that moment, many of those people desperate to receive that feeling of pleasure and relief again start using the illegal opioid known as heroin. It also doesn’t help that heroin is cheaper and stronger than prescription opioids and easier to get.

If you or a loved one has a substance use disorder, you are probably trying to hide it. It is common to try to avoid the stigma of drug addiction, not to mention the legal ramifications that may come from using illegal substances or abusing any sort of substance at all. Since you are reading this, you probably already suspect that you or someone close to you has a substance use problem. You might have even already made plans to attend a heroin addiction treatment program.


Facts About Opioid and Heroin Drug Use

Heroin use no longer dominates exclusively in urban areas. Several suburban and rural areas communities near Chicago and St. Louis have reported increasing amounts of heroin seized by officials as well as increasing overdose deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone is $78.5 billion a year. This includes the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and the involvement of the criminal justice system.


Signs of Addiction

In the late 1990s, drug companies assured the medical community that opioid pain relievers would not be addictive to patients. Healthcare providers began to prescribe them at increasing rates. This led to widespread misuse and diversion of these medications before it became clear that they were highly addictive.

Opioid overdose rates began to rise:

  • 808,000 people reported past-year heroin use in 2018.
  • Poison control centers report that 5,300 children were accidentally exposed to heroin and fentanyl in 2018.
  • In 2018, the rate of heroin-involved opioid deaths was 7 times higher than it was 9 years before.

As a result, heroin addicts are at risk for infectious diseases. Substance abuse treatment aims to be the bedrock for heroin addiction.


Help for Heroin Addiction: Signs Of Addiction

In the early stages of heroin use, there may not be any signs of a disorder  (or heroin use disorder). This is especially true if the person is taking great measures to conceal it. The more a person uses heroin though, the harder it is to hide, as heroin withdrawal will become too much to bear on the opioid receptors. Thus, heroin rehab will likely be necessary.

Indicators Of Heroin Abuse:

  • Sleepiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Depression
  • Difficulty remembering things
  • Marks from needles (if injecting)
  • Runny nose or nose sores (if snorting)
  • Constipation
  • Obviously lacking self-care
  • Secrecy or aggressive behavior
  • Money issues
  • School or work problems
  • Dangerous or risky behavior

Anyone who uses heroin or other opioids is taking a chance of developing an opioid use disorder. But some factors increase the risk.  A heroin addiction treatment program can give people a fighting chance to learn better coping skills so that they don’t need to rely on using substances such as heroin to cope.

According To The Mayo Clinic, Some Of The Risk Factors In Developing an Opioid Abuse Issue Are:

  • Personal or family history of substance addictions
  • Heavy use of tobacco
  • History of severe depression or anxiety
  • Unemployment
  • Contact with high-risk surroundings and people
  • History of risky behavior

If a person displays one or many of the above risk factors, it doesn’t automatically mean that he or she suffers from a substance use disorder. Various genetic, environmental, and psychological factors often must work together for a person to develop a substance addiction. Anyone that does develop an addiction to heroin though, should receive heroin addiction treatment at a heroin rehab center.


What Is Heroin?

As mentioned earlier, heroin is an illegal opioid. The appearance and texture of heroin range from white powder to brown powder, to black tar. Heroin can be snorted, smoked, or injected.

Originally made from morphine in 1874, heroin was created by a chemist at The Bayer Company of Germany in 1895 and introduced for medical use in 1898. The chemist was attempting to create a less addictive substitute for morphine and gave the new drug the name heroin for its supposed heroic qualities.

Unfortunately, the chemist later discovered that heroin is, in fact, two to three times more potent than morphine and absorbs rapidly into the brain, making it extremely easy for one to develop withdrawal symptoms, and ultimately, a heroin addiction.


How Easy Is It To Develop An Addiction To Heroin?

Individuals that suffer from heroin addiction describe the high that the substance gives them as a feeling of being “covered in a warm blanket, where worries are gone.” (Bhandari, 2018). Because of how pleasant the initial high sensation that heroin use causes one to feel along with how potent heroin is, it is very easy to develop a heroin addiction.

Heroin can be smoked, snorted, or injected directly into the user’s veins. Injecting heroin is the most popular way to take the drug since it’s the quickest way to feel the drug’s high.

Sadly, injecting heroin is the most dangerous way to use the substance as well. This is because the risk for overdose is greater as well as the risk of developing an infection from using dirty needles. Treatment at a heroin rehab center would help a person stop abusing the substance. This, in turn, would also help a person avoid developing infections due to heroin use by injections.

It doesn’t matter how heroin gets into your body; it gets to your brain quickly. After using it only one or two times, it may be difficult to keep yourself from using it again. Thus, soon after many people start using heroin, they start to experience heroin withdrawal symptoms whenever they are not using the substance, or just minimizing their use of the substance. In fact, heroin withdrawal symptoms are notorious.

Most users of heroin are aware of the deadly risks that they take when using the drug yet are unable to discontinue using it. Why? Heroin addiction is extremely powerful. Therefore, people usually require professional medical intervention at heroin rehab centers to overcome it and learn how to manage it.


How Does Heroin Work In The Brain?

Heroin binds to receptors in the brain to release the chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is then used by your nervous system to send messages between nerve cells. This plays a part in how we experience pleasure and pain. It may cause you to think and move slowly as the whole world seems to slow down around you, as the opioid receptors are sensitive.

Experts in the field of drug use and addiction treatment attribute the increase in heroin use with the rising street costs of prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin, which are also opioids. People in the market for a stronger, less expensive opioid receive both of these attributes.

Drug dealers have also been lacing heroin with a much more dangerous and potent substance called fentanyl. Fifty to one hundred times stronger than morphine, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is being found in more and more supplies of heroin. Heroin withdrawal symptoms are already horrible enough, so one can only imagine how insufferable heroin withdrawal symptoms are when one has been using heroin laced with fentanyl.

Heroin addiction treatment educates patients about the health functions behind drug abuse. Your local addiction treatment center can host events to highlight the benefits of receiving heroin addiction treatment.

What Is The Treatment For Heroin Abuse?

There is no single perfect cure for heroin addiction or addiction to any other drug. There are various different aspects to a heroin addiction treatment program. The level of care that you’ll receive during heroin addiction treatment will be based on the severity of your addiction.

If your heroin withdrawal symptoms become too much to bear, you may need to take prescription withdrawal medication during detox and even addiction treatment. An effective heroin rehab center can help an individual recover from heroin abuse regardless of the severity of the addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

The type of addiction treatment program a person will need to attend while in rehab depends on various factors, such as the following:

  • The person
  • The addictive substance
  • Co-occurring medical conditions
  • Length of addiction
  • If the individual has attended a treatment facility in the past

Both behavioral (therapy) and pharmacological (medication) techniques help build some amount of normalcy to behavior and brain function. Research shows that combining both types of addiction treatments is the most effective treatment method if under the supervision of medical professionals.

Family Therapy

Family therapy sessions are also effective within substance addiction treatment programs. Addiction therapy can mold to fit the needs of an individual’s mental illness and heroin addiction.

Opioid drugs possess a stronghold on the spirit of recovering heroin addicts. The fire to relieve withdrawal symptoms presents a slippery slope that will need support from family and friends to overcome. Check to see if your heroin rehab center offers family therapy.

Residential Treatment (or inpatient treatment)

Residential treatment is built for long-term recovery. Medical detox is a common component of heroin inpatient addiction treatment. A heroin rehab center will supply an evaluation depending on the severity of your heroin addiction and mental disorders.  Addiction treatment programs are modeled to treat the various stages of addiction.

Outpatient Rehab (or outpatient treatment)

Outpatient rehab is one of the most common, flexible forms of addiction treatment. It would be suited for those who can’t commit to inpatient treatment. If your heroin cravings have been managed to the point where your opioid dependence is mild, you are also a good candidate for outpatient rehab for heroin addiction. Heroin addiction rehab can be discreet yet structured through intensive outpatient treatment.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual diagnosis treatment simultaneously treats the mental health disorder and substance use disorder that an individual is suffering from. Another term for dual diagnosis disorder is co-occurring disorder.

Individuals with chronic pain are susceptible to co-occurring disorders. Chronic pain and mental health conditions often lead to drug addiction. Many heroin treatment centers offer dual diagnosis treatment.

Heroin Detox Program

Withdrawal symptoms for people who first quit using heroin may be quite severe. Heroin addiction rehab can settle the fever within though. During detoxification, medications are used to ease substance cravings and any painful withdrawal symptoms that frequently cause people to relapse. Medically supervised detox is recognized as the first phase of addiction treatment.

Medication-assisted treatment works to provide medical assistance to patients that are detoxing and recovering from withdrawal from substances such as heroin. Be transparent about your medical history before receiving medication-assisted treatment. Medication-assisted treatment is commonly offered at addiction treatment centers.


Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms Include:

  • Inability to think straight
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain and throwing up
  • Anxiety
  • Extreme aches and pains in muscles and joints
  • Difficulty sleeping

The amount of heroin that you regularly abuse plays a role in your development of heroin withdrawal symptoms. Lofexidine, which has been used to treat blood pressure, is now approved for use to help with the symptoms of opioid withdrawal during heroin detox and rehab.


How Long Does It Take To Get Off Heroin?

Heroin withdrawal symptoms can last up to a week or more depending on the frequency, amount, and potency of the heroin that was used. Heroin withdrawal symptoms can begin as soon as between 6-12 hours since one’s last use of the substance. The peak of heroin withdrawals lasts between 1-3 days. Post-acute withdrawal symptoms may occur.


Can Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms Kill You?

Heroin withdrawal symptoms can be incredibly uncomfortable but they are not life-threatening. It’s important to avoid quitting your heroin addiction cold turkey though to safely overcome heroin withdrawal symptoms. A heroin rehab center could provide a safe environment for change.


Pharmacological Treatment For Heroin Use

The medications used to treat opioid addiction affect the same brain receptors as the drug but are safer and not likely to cause the same negative behaviors that are typically associated with substance use disorders. These medications utilize either a partial opiate agonist, partial opioid agonist, or the same opioid receptors. Medications used to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms are chosen based on the patient’s specific needs and other factors.

There are three types of medications used in heroin addiction treatment:

  • Agonists are considered typical opioids as they activate the pleasure centers in the brain. Methadone is a slow-acting opioid agonist. It is only available through outpatient treatment programs and is dispensed daily.
  • Partial agonists activate the opioid receptors but produce a limited response. Buprenorphine is a partial agonist that relieves drug cravings without the side effects of an opioid agonist.
  • Antagonists block the receptor and prevent the reward effect of opioids. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist.

Behavioral Therapy For Heroin Use Treatment

There are many effective behavioral therapy techniques that can help treat opioid use disorders. The heroin addiction treatment process is evidence-based, which is a staple for substance abuse treatment.

The heroin addiction treatment process is useful in both outpatient and residential programs. Behavioral therapy offers a window into the mental health of patients, sometimes a first for them. This highlights the importance of a treatment program.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse recognizes the role behavioral therapy plays within a heroin addiction treatment program. A local mental health services administration should be a resource. Counselors can point you in the direction of a heroin rehab center.


Commonly Used Behavioral Therapies in Heroin Addiction Treatment Are:

Individual and Group Therapy

These types of therapies help an individual understand what was causing his or her addiction in the first place. Individual therapy is intimate and discreet. It better suits people who feel less confident sharing their substance abuse experiences among others.

Individual therapy is a working gateway to discover the underlying causes of addiction. In group therapy, people can discuss their substance abuse and recovery experiences with other people going through similar situations. Ultimately this builds a support group that helps addiction treatment patients grow. Group therapy can be a welcome surprise.

Contingency Management

Contingency management uses a point system where patients earn points for clean drug tests. Points can be used to purchase things that encourage healthy living, such as nutritional meals, memberships to gyms, etc. These amenities may vary at a heroin rehab center.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)—CBT is designed to adjust the patient’s behavior and expectations as they relate to drug use. It is a short-term therapy that helps patients learn new skills in coping with life’s stressors.


Why Do People Relapse from Heroin?

A common complication of addiction treatment is relapse. Addiction is a complicated condition, and recovery often includes obstacles. Rates of relapse are between 40-60%, which is similar to the relapse rates with other chronic diseases such as asthma, hypertension, and Type 1 diabetes.

A heroin addiction treatment program can bring a considerable amount of healing but recovery is a marathon. There are many reasons why people relapse, but the main one is that people have the belief that their addictions are under control and thus, want to test themselves. Other reasons for relapsing include:

  • “One last time can’t hurt.”
  • Inability to cope with stress
  • Difficulty managing physical and emotional pain
  • Switching one drug for another
  • Unable to address triggers

Further Heroin Relapse Info.

People who relapse are more susceptible to overdose. This is because a dose of heroin you used before relapsing may now be fatal. A single relapse is enough for a person to refuse addiction treatment at a heroin rehab center.

Acute withdrawal symptoms can be an early indication of heroin addiction. Pre-existing mental health issues can be a risk factor for relapse. Mental health issues should be handled with care and support, and the assistance of mental health services administrations.

sober life requires a support system outside of a treatment program. Treatment providers usually offer a relapse prevention plan that can help prevent heroin relapse.  Despite the challenges, there are ways to change patterns to prevent heroin relapse. A relapse prevention plan can provide scenarios for you to rewrite the urge to abuse heroin and other opioid drugs.

Support groups for heroin addiction can be an insightful backbone for a sober life. Support groups for heroin addiction allow people to connect their journey of heroin addiction to others. Heroin addiction treatment centers typically offer support groups for regular heroin addiction meetings.


Heroin Overdose

An overdose occurs when a person uses enough heroin to cause a life-threatening reaction or death.  A treatment program might be the key after a heroin overdose.

Heroin overdoses have risen in recent years, doubling between 2010 and 2012. Data from 2018 shows that every day, 128 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, FDA-approved Naxolone devices deliver higher blood levels of Naxolone than the improvised nasal devices. The National Institute also suggests that families with loved ones with opioid addiction should have Naxolone nearby.

When a person overdoses, their breathing slows or stops, decreasing the oxygen to the brain. If the victim doesn’t die, this can have short- and long-term mental effects on the nervous system, including permanent brain damage.

Outlook For The Future

In 2019, The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that nearly 50,000 people in the United States died from opioid-related overdoses. Although heroin addiction is a serious condition, it doesn’t have to be permanent or even long-term, especially through a treatment program. It is a treatable disease. If you are seeking help for yourself or someone close to you, act now. It is not necessary or recommended to wait to “hit rock bottom.”

The recovery process is not linear but possible. Drug abuse does not have to be a seal for your fate. There is scientific evidence that combining medical and therapy-based treatments can give you the opportunity to recover at a treatment program and lead a healthy life.

Drug abuse can be managed through your patience. Heroin addiction treatment works as a valuable resource. New federal rules have been enacted governing confidentiality and disclosure of substance abuse patient records.

Harmony Ridge Recovery Center is located in the Mid-Ohio Valley in Walker, West Virginia.

Surrounded by 50 acres of lakes and forest land, it is the perfect place to begin a journey of any type. Our comprehensive treatment programs will set you up to succeed on your journey to recovery.

If you are ready to change your life, contact us today. We have a 24-hour helpline waiting to hear from you.