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Heroin Treatment Rehab and Recovery
About Heroin and rehab
The drug heroin, sometimes called Smack or Big H, is made from a naturally occurring chemical, morphine, found in poppy plants. The plant is processed and the result is a white powder, which is rarely sold at the street level. The drug purchased on the street is usually off white to dark brown, due to impurities that occur during the manufacturing process. One other type, “black tar heroin” is becoming more common in the United States. It’s made in Mexico and gets it’s name for the sticky, dark consistency.
Heroin can be abused several ways: injecting, snorting or smoking the drug. The most effective method of administering the drug is injection, as it is introduced directly into the blood stream. The National Institute for Drug Abuse has confirmed that all three methods of intake are highly addictive.
Heroin abuse and addiction
Heroin binds itself to the opioid receptors in the brain and produces a high level of euphoria in the user. The effects are similar to that of the prescription drug, morphine. Users also often report a wash of warmth over their skin, heaviness of the arms and legs and dry mouth. Once the initial euphoria has worn off, there is a period of an alternately wakeful and drowsy state. Because more and more heroin is needed to achieve the same high, users are at a very high risk of becoming addicted the drug. It’s estimated that 23% of users who try heroin become addicted to it.
According to a 2008 survey performed by the Nation Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 3.8 million Americans over the age of 12 have tried heroin once in their lifetime and it’s estimated that there are around 213,000 current users in the United States.
What are the side effects of heroin abuse and addiction?
The long-term effects of heroin addiction are quite detrimental and many are irreversible. After chronic use, users may contract various types of pneumonia, they may develop liver disease, infection of the heart lining and valves. Users who inject heroin are also at risk for collapsed veins.
Because the practice of reusing and sharing needles is common among intravenous users, the spread of HIV is higher among heroin users than other communities. This is also the case with Hepatitis C. It’s estimated the 70-80% of the new Hepatitis C infections each year can be attributed to intravenous drug users.
Heroin Treatment and withdrawal symptoms.
The level of physical dependence that users experience is quite strong. Withdrawal symptoms can begin occurring as quickly as a few hours after the last time heroin is used. These symptoms include insomnia, diarrhea, restlessness, cold flashes and involuntary kick movements. Users in withdrawal also report severe muscle and bone pain. The symptoms typically peak within 48-72 hours, but can last up to one week. Some recovering addicts will experience withdrawal symptoms for up to a month.
While heroin withdrawal is not thought of as being as dangerous as alcohol or barbiturate withdrawal, it is recommended that users seeking to get clean seek medical help since heavy users are typically in poor health and the symptoms can be fatal. Heroin craving can be persistent, even after a user has been clean of the drug for some time. Triggers such as stress, places or people can cause very strong desires to use the drug years after it was last abused.
Considered to be the most effective way to treat heroin addiction, Methadone has been used to treat the withdrawal symptoms of heroin for 30 years now. It is a synthetic opiate that attaches itself to the same receptors that heroin once did and has a more controlled release of the same short-term effects that heroin users experienced. When properly administered, the medication does not interfere with daily activities and it is not intoxicating or sedating. Other medications that can be used are Buprenorphine and Naltrexone.
Heroin Treatment at Challenges Rehab Centers in Florida
The Challenges staff is a passionate about treating heroin addiction and ensuring a solid recovery program for those addicted to heroin. We have a caring group of professionals at our Florida Drug Rehab Centers that want to see you or your loved ones succeed in overcoming heroin addiction
We are one of the oldest addiction treatment and relapse prevention centers in the United States and are located in the sunny state of Florida. If you or someone you love has an heroin addiction, we can help.
Our treatment programs are specifically designed with the needs of the individual patient in mind. They include massage, yoga, group sessions, full day/PHP Treatment, with or without structured living, extended care transitional treatment, neurofeedback, and intensive outpatient treatment. We have ongoing alumni services for our graduates and aftercare to ensure continued recovery and support.
Our mantra is that “Relapse Ends Here” and we give our clients the support and assistance necessary to back that up. We want to provide clients with the tools they need to identify their own weaknesses when it comes to addiction and triggers. We also help them prepare a concrete plan for success as they move out of the program and into the future.
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