Heroin is one of the most addictive substances in the country, and an addiction to heroin can quickly unravel a person’s life and destroy what they spent years building. However, abstaining from opioids like heroin after prolonged use is no easy feat. That’s where heroin rehab can help.
There’s no shame in wanting to take back control of your life. In fact, over a million people in the U.S. are actively participating in a treatment program at a heroin rehab center. Although that may seem like a lot of people, the opioid epidemic continues to impact many more individuals daily. Below, we’ll discuss what heroin is and how you or a loved one can get help for opioid addiction.
What Is Heroin?
Opioids like heroin have a high potential for addiction due to their ability to activate the brain’s reward centers. Using heroin releases endorphins that stimulate feelings of pleasure and reduce pain levels to a manageable degree. However, when the temporary effects of heroin wear off, the craving for another hit starts almost immediately. This repeated usage is what eventually leads a person to become addicted to the drug.
Heroin commonly comes in forms such as a fine white or brownish powder or a black, tacky substance and can be consumed by injecting, smoking, or snorting. As users build up a tolerance to the drug, they require more of it just to achieve the same desired euphoria and relaxation they once felt. Unfortunately, this can lead to the development of addiction and the use of more dangerous opioids like fentanyl.
If you or someone you know is suffering from opioid addiction, a heroin rehab center can help stop using the substance. However, it’s important to note that the side effects of heroin withdrawal can range from mild to severe. That’s why the first step a person should take on their sobriety journey is to check into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center where they won’t have to deal with the side effects alone.
Heroin Side Effects
As previously mentioned, prolonged heroin use can lead to developing a tolerance. But what side effects a person feels and their severity depends on the length of time they have been abusing the drug. Furthermore, the method of consumption, the strength of the dose, any other drugs or medication being taken, as well as an individual’s size, weight, and general health all play a role in the side effects of heroin.
The most common short-term side effects of heroin include the following:
- An intense sensation of pleasure and relief from pain
- A dry feeling in the mouth
- Numbness or heaviness in the limbs
- Flushing or warmth on the skin
- Breathing difficulties, drowsiness, and sleepiness
- Alternating states of consciousness and semi-consciousness
- Nausea and the feeling of wanting to vomit
- Confusion or clouded thinking
- Lowered body temperature
Additionally, sustained heroin use can have detrimental effects on the body’s organs and lead to harmful or even fatal symptoms, which may require medical attention.
Common long-term side effects of heroin use include:
- Nasal tissue damage in those who inhale or snort the drug
- Vein damage or collapse in users who inject heroin
- Difficulty sleeping
- Mental health conditions
- Digestive problems like constipation and stomach cramps
- Heart and valve infections
- Abscesses, or swollen, painful areas filled with pus
- Liver and kidney damage
- Irregular menstrual cycles for women
- Respiratory issues such as pneumonia
- Sexual dysfunction
But perhaps the most harmful side effect of heroin use is the contraction of a bloodborne illness. According to the National Institutes of Health, individuals who use needles to inject heroin into their veins are at an increased risk of getting hepatitis C (HCV) and being exposed to HIV.
It’s understandable to not even know you’ve become addicted until you start experiencing some of the above side effects. To transition off opioids, a heroin rehab center might be precisely what you need.
Heroin Rehab Treatment Programs
Drug addiction treatment centers can be highly effective options for people struggling with a heroin addiction. And the right heroin rehab center can provide the tools you’ll need to overcome your addiction and achieve long-term sobriety.
Supervised Medical Detox
It’s not uncommon for people to attempt detoxing from heroin at home, where they feel the most familiar. However, the detox process can be uncomfortable as well as dangerous. Additionally, people who attempt to detoxify at home don’t usually have the same success as a person signed into a heroin rehab center due to the severity of the withdrawal symptoms they experienced. And while some of these symptoms may only be slightly unpleasant, more severe withdrawal symptoms may be life-threatening.
Heroin withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the substance being eliminated from the body but may include:
Symptoms of heroin withdrawal can include:
- Intense drug cravings
- Cold sweats
- Body aches and pains
- Muscle cramping
- Feeling weighed down
- Nausea and vomiting
- Crying spells
Individuals with an opioid addiction should consider a heroin rehab offering a medical detox program like The Willough at Naples. Our location provides 24/7 intensive care in a safe and secure environment. This level of care enables our staff members to swiftly address an individual’s needs during withdrawal. In this way, we can keep you comfortable, safe, and sober during this vulnerable period.
At The Willough at Naples, we realize that detox is the first step in addiction treatment options. After completing that step, we recommend patients transition to our dual diagnosis program to continue their heroin rehab treatment. Our dual diagnosis program helps individuals living with both addiction and mental illness, like bipolar disorder or depression.
In addition, our evidence-based treatment modalities include the following:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family education
- Recreational therapy
- Relapse prevention
- Link to community-based services and support groups
Enroll at a Heroin Rehab That’s Right for You
The Willough at Naples is dedicated to providing each person who walks through our doors with the support and resources they need to overcome their addiction. Whether you are just starting down the road of detox and are eager to enroll in a heroin rehab or you’ve been down this road before, our team is here to assist you during your recovery journey.
To begin your recovery today, contact our admissions team by phone at 800-722-0100 or by filling out a confidential contact form online. We are here to answer any questions you may have about this process.