Millions of men and women in the US have used heroin. Most people suffering from heroin addiction do not receive the right treatment. It is important to identify if you or a loved one has a heroin addiction. It is also important to understand the health risks of heroin to help you find the right treatment with lasting sobriety. For the best heroin treatment services in Orange County, CA, you can count on Just One Recovery.
Identifying Signs of Heroin Addiction
Heroin is highly addictive; this makes it risky to use the drug, even occasionally. No one plans to get an addict to heroin; however, after using the drug, you could find yourself unable to feel normal without it. Occasional use of heroin could lead to an addiction. Signs of addiction to heroin might not be obvious. For instance, track or needle marks could serve as indicators of heroin abuse. However, new heroin users rarely inject the drug; they are unlikely to have needle or track marks. Full-fledged heroin addiction is easy to identify; addiction signs could be physical, financial, or behavioral. It's also possible to recognize a heroin addiction through heroin withdrawal symptoms.
Some of the typical physical signs are heroin addiction are:
- Rapid, excessive, and unexplained weight loss
- A persistent runny nose
- Bloodshot eyes
- Pinpoint or constricted pupils
- Secretive behavior
- Nodding off or extreme drowsiness
- Lack of motivation
The side effects of heroin use get worse over time. The longer a person uses the drug, the more the damage on the internal body organs. Heroin also weakens the immune system and makes the victim more susceptible to illnesses.
Importance of Seeking Treatment for Heroin Addiction
You should not give up if you or your loved one is addicted to heroin. It is important to seek treatment for heroin addiction to help reverse or reduce the negative effects. In addition to its high addictive potential, heroin also has adverse short-term and long-term effects on the body. The drugs also pose indirect risks to the users; some of the risks are life-threatening.
An intravenous heroin user has a higher risk of contracting diseases like hepatitis or HIV. People addicted to the drug often share the injection needles; this makes them susceptible to blood-borne viruses. Heroin users also engage in risky sexual behavior, making them more prone to HIV.
Persons addicted to heroin have a high tendency to commit or attempting suicide. In most cases, heroin users commit suicide through an intentional overdose of drugs. People with underlying mental conditions like bipolar disorder or depression are at a higher risk of committing suicide after consuming heroin.
Why is it important to seek treatment while trying to break off a heroin addiction? Withdrawal from heroin often triggers depression, which could trigger a suicide attempt. Therefore, if you or a loved one struggles with a heroin addiction, it is important to seek professional treatment. The effects of using the drug become worse with time. Prolonged use of heroin could lead to lung, heart, or liver disease.
Most people experiencing heroin addiction are often hesitant to seek treatment. If you are in the early stages of addiction, you might think that treatment is not necessary. People in early addiction stages often assume that their heroin use has not become a problem yet. If you have a severe addiction to heroin, you might have attempted to stop consuming it without success. Therefore, you might assume that nothing can be done to help you overcome the addiction. However, irrespective of the level of addiction, there is a way out.
During your first appointment, the physician might seek certain information from you. Some of the typical questions include how much heroin you have consumed and whether you are using other drugs alongside heroin. The doctor might also inquire about whether you have undergone drug treatment before. To confirm that you are using heroin, the expert might request your pee sample for analysis.
Several effective treatment methods are available for heroin addiction; you can choose between pharmacological and behavioral treatment. Both treatment approaches come in handy in restoring normalcy to behavior and brain function. For most people, combining both pharmacological and behavioral treatment approaches works best. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) comes in handy in treating heroin addiction. This treatment method helps to curb the urge to consume heroin and helps to reduce the withdrawal symptoms. In the past, only methadone medication was available to help ease a heroin addiction. However, this medication had a disadvantage because it's a highly addictive substance, as well. Currently, several medications can help treat heroin addiction. The suitable medication will depend on your drug experience and your medical history.
When choosing a heroin addiction treatment facility, it is important to ensure that you go for a competent medical expert. The experts should be certified and capable of offering reliable opioid treatment.
You could opt for inpatient treatment because, in addition to medical support, an inpatient facility also offers emotional and psychological support. As you undergo MAT, the medical experts will ensure that you are safe even as heroin leaves your body in the initial detox process. While undergoing detox, it is normal to experience certain withdrawal symptoms. Some of the typical withdrawal symptoms that you are likely to experience are:
- Muscle pain
- Cold flashes
- Muscle cramping
You might also have additional withdrawal symptoms like general weakness, restlessness, nausea, and sneezing. It is also common to experience an inability to sleep (insomnia) and depression.
Drugs Used in MAT Treatment for Heroin Addiction
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several drugs for medical-assisted treatment for heroin addiction. The approved drugs help to lower the withdrawal system experienced during detox. The drugs also help to suppress the craving for heroin. You could use the medication for an extended period depending on the level of addiction. The medications used to treat heroin addiction fall under three main categories:
- Agonists-Agonists help to activate opioid receptors
- Partial agonists-activate opioid receptors but produces a mild response
- Antagonists-they interfere with the rewarding effects of opioids by blocking the opioid receptors
Some of the approved and effective drugs for MAT are:
- Buprenorphine that is also known as Subutex
This drug is a partial opioid agonist; it reduces the craving for heroin. The drug is ideal because it does not produce a high, and there is a low risk of being hooked. However, the drug has the potential for being abused and could become habit-forming, especially if you inject yourself with it. This medication could be risky for a person who is not ready to stay away from heroin. If you use buprenorphine and then use heroin, you could experience acute withdrawal symptoms. You could also get a drug overdose, and this might turn out to be fatal. You should take this medication with caution and only as prescribed by a physician. Buprenorphine comes in handy in dealing with acute withdrawal symptoms because it helps alleviate the withdrawal symptoms.
Suboxone helps to reverse opioid overdose; it is a combination of naloxone and buprenorphine. This medication is not as strong as methadone, Naltrexone, or buprenorphine alone. This combination inhibits the effects of heroin and relieves withdrawal symptoms. If you are on Suboxone and decide to get high on heroin, the effects could be detrimental. You might end up taking a larger quantity of heroin to get the desired feeling; this raises the risk of an overdose.
Methadone is a popular medication that has been in use for more than 50 years in heroin addiction treatment. This medication might work well for you if you do not respond to other forms of medication. However, the drug is highly addictive; medical experts have to monitor you closely to prevent an overdose. This medication makes it impossible for a person to experience the "high" feeling after consuming heroin. Methadone has proved to be effective for long-term medication-assisted therapy. Methadone treatment makes it easy for a person to abstain from heroin in the long-term.
Naltrexone also interferes with a person's ability to experience the pleasurable feeling after consuming heroin. The medication is not addictive; most people undergoing heroin addiction treatment comply with the usage of this medication. Naltrexone also comes in handy in treating alcoholism; in the case of heroin, it prevents heroin from reaching the body's opioid receptors. Even if you consume heroin while taking Naltrexone, you will not achieve the euphoric effect you could be seeking.
Is medication-assisted treatment ideal for pregnant women? Yes, you can undergo MAT treatment even if you are pregnant. It is important to seek heroin addiction treatment while pregnant. The use of heroin while pregnant could lead to NAS ( Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome). NAS occurs when a baby gets addicted to heroin. Undergoing MAT during pregnancy will help reduce the heroin symptoms in the baby and aid recovery after birth.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Psychotherapy
Psychotherapy treatment for heroin addiction addressed the psychological reasons that led to heroin addiction and substance abuse. A victim can participate in a group, private, or family therapy that helps him or her understand the factors that led to the consumption of heroin. By identifying the addiction factors, the victim can eliminate the factors that led to the addiction. This therapy helps the victim to control the behaviors or thoughts that led to the addiction.
The alternative name for psychotherapy treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This form of treatment is effective because it helps a person to address the mental reasons behind heroin addiction.
During psychotherapy treatment, experts equip victims with skills that help them deal with the frustrations and the temptations that come during recovery. The coping mechanisms are important because most people find it hard to stay sober and clean after getting used to the feeling of being high. Psychotherapy treatments enable a victim to take responsibility for his or her decisions. By undergoing this treatment, you learn healthier ways of addressing problems instead of indulging in drugs.
Heroin is among the most dangerous controlled substances due to its insidious and slow-acting nature. The first to recover from heroin addiction is deciding to stay away from the drug. Second, you have to identify the right addiction treatment facility, where you can begin the treatment. Professional addiction treatment provides the best environment to help addicts break free from their physical and mental addiction to heroin.
Preventing a Relapse
Heroin has a high relapse rate; a victim might get hooked to the drug after treatment. Therefore, it is important to address the trauma or the underlying mental issues that could have led to the addiction. Some people addicted to heroin seek help from outpatient rehab facilities. An outpatient rehab facility will be ideal if you have a mild addiction to heroin. With outpatient treatment, you can go about your daily life as you continue receiving treatment. For instance, you could still attend a school or go to work while still getting the necessary medication and therapy. Before you get started with addiction treatment, it is advisable to consult an expert. An expert can determine the appropriate level of treatment that will address your addiction.
Ongoing heroin addiction treatment is important to help you stay sober in the long-term. When you make regular visits to a therapist, you will be able to focus on remaining sober. A therapist will help you to identify and overcome weaknesses and triggers. A therapist will also help you come up with strategies to help you cope with heroin cravings. You could also avoid a relapse by joining support groups for people recovering from addictions. Some of the common support groups are Heroin Anonymous (HA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
After completing a heroin addiction treatment, it would be wise to stay away from certain triggers. For instance, it might be important to avoid visiting certain places or interacting with certain people. Tips that can help you prevent a heroin relapse are:
- Continue attending counseling meetings.
- Don't stop taking your medications.
- Find sober hobbies and have sober friends.
- Be careful with certain prescription medications-avoid opiate-based pain relievers.
Find Heroin Addiction Treatment Near Me
If you or a loved one is suffering from heroin addiction, you should not give up. With professional heroin addiction treatment, you can rise above the addiction. Just One recovery has helped many victims in Orange County, CA, to overcome heroin addiction. Contact us at 714-538-8085 and speak to one of our experts.