What is Heroin?

Heroin is made from raw opium, which is retrieved from the poppy plant. Heroin produces a rush and euphoric feeling when used. The addict learns to rely on these artificial feelings in place of healthy coping, creating a strong bond. The drug can be consumed in liquid or powder form and it can be injected, snorted or smoked. The most common form of heroin is the white, brown or black powders that are injected. Most heroin is combined, or “cut”, with sugar, starch or powdered milk. Street heroin can also be cut with poisons, making it extremely dangerous.

Heroin addiction is extremely difficult to stop and there is currently a crossover between heroin addiction and addiction to opiates and painkillers.

Chronic heroin use will produce physical ailments, deteriorating an addict’s health rapidly. It also causes significant distress such as occupational issues, relationship issues, and educational issues. The addict will appear to be “on a nod”, sleeping or dozing off at inappropriate times which can be frustrating for those around him or her. Heroin addiction is extremely difficult to stop and there is currently a crossover between heroin addiction and addiction to opiate painkillers. Withdrawal symptoms can make an addict violently sick.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Heroin use will depress breathing, cause vomiting, produce itching, make extremities feel heavy and cloud mental functions. Withdrawal can begin as early as a few hours and generally 24-48 hours after an addict’s last use. Withdrawal symptoms are based upon frequency, duration, and quantity of use.

Physical Withdrawal Symptoms Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Clouded mental functioning
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Cold flashes
  • Depressed breathing
  • Kicking movements
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Racing thoughts

The repercussions of heroin use extend far beyond the health of an individual user. Serious medical, social, and economic consequences associated with heroin use also impact the immediate family and larger community.

Heroin Detox

If you are addicted to heroin, your best chance for long-term recovery is to come to one of our addiction treatment centers in Florida or Texas for complete treatment. Heroin addiction is serious and requires heroin detox with complete therapy in a rehab center that has both detox and treatment in the same facility. Heroin detox is the first stage of treatment followed by a smooth transition into rehab once you are completely free from severe withdrawal symptoms and stabilized with the proper medications.

It is essential that you enter a medical detox program in order to be monitored during withdrawal and receive extra help from doctors and nurses. Medications will be used in medical detox to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible during the withdrawal process. Cravings, insomnia, and irritability can be unbearable; however, you will have 24/7 support in the comfort of an inpatient rehab facility.

Heroin Addiction Treatment

After detox is complete, you should continue with inpatient drug rehab to assist with the possible post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) that may be present. PAWS, psychological withdrawal symptoms, can take up to several weeks to begin to dissipate. The rehab component of addiction treatment will educate yout on how to remain sober, resolve underlying issues related to heroin addiction and address mood issues if present.

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