Heroin addiction is one of the most virulent forms of addiction out there. Heroin is classified as a Schedule 1 narcotic, meaning it is considered to have a high potential for abuse and no medical uses. It cannot be prescribed by a doctor and is expressly illegal to own or sell.
Heroin is also one of the most addictive drugs in the world, with nearly 5 million Americans admitting to regularly abusing heroin. Heroin addiction symptoms include lethargy, reduced appetite, and extreme agitation and nausea when undergoing withdrawal.
Heroin addiction is difficult to treat and extremely dangerous. Many people who have a heroin addiction end up committing suicide, dying of overdose, or falling into financial ruin as their addiction progresses unchecked. For treatment help, call Drug Treatment Centers Danbury at (203) 885-1746.
Heroin is an opiate derived from morphine compounds found in poppy seeds. It comes in a fine white or brown powder, or in a sticky black clumps known as “black tar heroin”. It is usually injected or snorted. Heroin is a growing problem in the state of Connecticut, with nearly 200 deaths being attributed to heroin in 2013.
Heroin addiction usually progresses from a more basic form of drug abuse – oftentimes the user first becomes familiar with opiates via a prescription medication, such as fentanyl, hydrocodone, or Oxycontin. These drugs bring on a powerful high and sense of calm, and some users begin seeking the drugs in order to self-medicate for stress, anxiety, or other underlying mental health disorders.
Eventually, they form a tolerance, meaning they have to take more and more of the substance to achieve the same pleasurable effects. Their bodies develop a dependence on opiates to function, and they become severely agitated if deprived for too long. It is around the point where addiction has fully taken hold that the user makes the switch to injectable heroin.
Heroin gives a strong sense of euphoria that lasts a few minutes and a sense of sleepiness that can last for hours, followed by an intense “come down” or withdrawal period. Those coming down off of heroin describe profound feelings of depression, nausea, diarrhea, low body temperature, and severe aches and pains.
Some addicts experience hallucinations if they go without heroin for too long, and sometimes these outbursts can become violent. Other signs of heroin abuse include “track marks”, or small needle-scars usually found on the arms that show where the person has been injecting heroin.
Heroin usage also severely clouds judgment and reduces brain function, making heroin addicts notoriously unreliable. Many heroin addicts become homeless as they sacrifice money, career opportunities and relationships in pursuit of their chosen drug.
If you suspect someone of using heroin, it is imperative that you get them to a rehab clinic as soon as possible. Heroin rehab begins with a medical detoxification phase, wherein the person quits heroin and undergoes withdrawal as their body purges itself of toxins. This is a very dangerous time for some heroin addicts – the “shock” of suddenly going without heroin can cause organ failure, brain damage, or death.
Many addicts relapse quickly in order to avoid the unpleasant side effects of sudden sobriety. It is for these reasons that most clinics have a residential detox program, where you can live at the facility and undergo medical tests and monitoring to make sure your recovery is going as smoothly as possible.
After detox has completed, it’s time for rehab in full to begin. Drug rehab involves a combination of medical tests, therapy sessions, and skill-building exercises to help give you the tools you need to avoid relapse and stay sober and healthy.
Therapists work with the patient to determine what dangerous behaviors allowed heroin addiction to begin in the first place. They can also teach you coping mechanisms to deal with cravings and how to avoid situations where you’re likely to relapse.
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