Heroin Addiction Treatment
Heroin is among the most addictive substances illegally available in the US, and while the use of drugs like cocaine is going down, heroin addiction rates in the country are progressively going up. As a result, the number of people admitted into addiction treatment facilities for heroin addiction is also going up.
This nationwide trend can also be seen in Stamford, as local authorities are discovering more heroin moving through the city and treatment facilities in the area are seeing higher rates of heroin addiction admittance. Do not let heroin addiction dictate the life of you or a loved one for one more day.
What is Heroin Addiction?
A synthetic form of morphine, which is derived from the seeds of the poppy plant, heroin is usually found in the form of a whitish powder. This powder is often mixed with water and injected, or it can be smoked or snorted through the nose. Injection tends to produce the most intense high, which is why so many heroin abusers risk the known consequences of using shared or dirty needles.
As with any illicit substance, an addiction to heroin is characterized by a number of factors. While some people can try the drug without developing an immediate addiction, many people who try it become hooked the first time. Signs of a heroin addiction include:
- Lack of focus
- Inability to stay awake
- Lack of hygiene
- Constipation / Constant use of laxatives
- Skin infections
- Track marks
Heroin's Effects on the Body
Immediate effects of heroin abuse include slowed respiration, or shallow breathing; constipation; and even nausea and vomiting. Many heroin addicts develop lung and respiratory system problems, such as recurring infections or pneumonia, because of the shallow breathing caused by heroin use. Long-term effects, however, are even more disturbing.
Interestingly, many of the most serious effects of heroin use are due to the method of use rather than the drug itself. Injection can lead to skin abscesses that may become infected, and using shared needles often spreads HIV/AIDS as well as hepatitis B and C. Collapsed veins can also occur, and infection of the kidneys, liver, and even the heart is not uncommon.
The purity of the heroin is also a factor - the additives in street heroin can clog blood vessels and arteries over time, increasing the risk of heart attack. Some users exhibit an immune response to these chemicals, which can lead to arthritis and other painful conditions.
Heroin's Effect on the Brain
As an opiate, heroin is a powerful pain reliever. It works by blocking the pain signal from the spinal cord to the brain. However, it also reduces the amount of endorphins that the brain produces. Endorphins are responsible for minimizing pain in a healthy body. When a heroin user stops using, the brain interprets the lack of endorphins in the brain as pain, and the user feels the pain severely without the heroin there to block the signal. This can happen very rapidly, which is why some people become physically dependant on the drug so quickly.
Heroin Addiction Treatment
Both overdose and withdrawal can result in death, so it is very important that heroin addicts receive treatment from a qualified addiction recovery facility rather than try to quit cold turkey at home.
A drug treatment center can offer a safe and quiet place to detox, support from therapists and other people who understand what a recovering addict is experiencing, and prescription medication to make withdrawal from the drug more manageable.
Residential treatment facilities, where a patient stays in rehab for 90 days or longer, are some of the most effective at preventing relapse, as long as outpatient relapse prevention is continued.
If you suspect that someone you love is suffering from a heroin addiction, don't hesitate to find a Stamford addiction treatment center that can offer the help your loved one needs to regain control of their life. Call Alcohol Treatment Centers Stamford now at (203) 388-1730,