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Heroin Addiction

Abuse or addiction to any drug can damage your physical and mental health and harm your relationships, yet perhaps few drugs have as deadly an impact as heroin. Heroin, a highly addictive opioid derived from morphine, produces an intense high which includes a rush of euphoria mixed with sensations of warmth, drowsiness and sedation. The high does not last long, however, and quickly leaves you craving more.

As your tolerance increases, however, you will also require increasing amounts of the drug to duplicate your previous highs. The consistency, quality and concentration of heroin — an illegal street drug — vary dramatically, however, leaving you almost no way of knowing what dosage you will use. This scenario makes your risk of overdose extremely high, even for the most experienced users, and significantly increases your chances of accidental death.

Statistics prove the addictiveness and dangers of heroin use. Recent studies have shown overdose deaths have quintupled between 2001 and 2014 just as overdose rates themselves have increased dramatically over much of the same period. Heroin and complications from heroin use kill nearly 10,000 users annually. Further, the trends of increasing first-time users, abuse, addiction, overdose and death do not show any indications of decreasing. Only a medically supervised detox coupled with behavioral therapy can break addiction’s hold.

Short-term Effects of Heroin Abuse

The short-term side effects of heroin abuse vary with the frequency of use and quantity used, but will include:

  • dry mouth
  • itchy skin
  • constricted pupils and light sensitivity
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • sleepiness
  • confusion
  • slowed breathing
  • slowed heart rate
  • lower than normal body temperature
  • cyanotic (blue) extremities

Long-term Effects of Heroin Abuse and Addiction

If you abuse long-term or find yourself addicted to heroin, you will face many severe and often-life threatening symptoms which include:

  • tooth and gum decay
  • decreased appetite resulting in malnutrition
  • chronic constipation
  • abscesses, infections and sores from excoriated skin
  • a decrease in sexual desire and function
  • increased illness due to immune system impairment
  • weakness and general sedation
  • sleeping difficulty and insomnia
  • cardiovascular issues
  • irreversible damage to the liver and kidneys
  • cancer precipitating from hepatitis
  • brain damage resulting from prolonged lack of oxygen
  • memory problems
  • anxiety
  • isolation
  • depression and numbness

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Heroin withdrawal presents a wide variety of symptoms ranging from mild to severe depending on the length of use. Your doctor can mitigate many symptoms, however, with additional medications administered during a supervised medical detox. Heroin withdrawal symptoms include:

  • nausea
  • abdominal cramps
  • runny nose
  • chills and sweats
  • body aches
  • vomiting and diarrhea
  • irritability and restlessness
  • tremors
  • inability to concentrate
  • fatigue
  • insomnia
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • hypertension
  • rapid heart rate
  • respiratory difficulties
  • numbness

Heroin Detox Requires Medical Supervision

The need for a medically supervised detox from heroin almost requires no explanation. As a highly addictive drug which can severely damage your physical and mental health during use and withdrawal, heroin detox demands medical oversight. Further, since several prescribed drugs can mitigate these harmful effects, and provide you a significant level of comfort, you will have the best experience and likelihood of success with doctor involvement. Our doctors, however, will not treat you solely as a patient. The Gardens Wellness Centers’ staff and medical professionals make your whole well-being their priority, accommodating your emotional as well as your medical needs during your stay.

Why You Need an Integrated Approach to Your Detox From Heroin

A medically supervised detox, while necessary, will increase but not ensure your chances of success. To get and stay sober, you will need a detox solution that includes medical care but also offers behavioral therapy and a compassionate and supportive environment during your transition. The Gardens Wellness Center offers a thoughtful, comprehensive and integrated approach to detox incorporating these key pathways.

Behavioral therapy, coupled with personalized medical care, can give you a set of practices that you can use each day of your sobriety. These tools might provide the best defense against a relapse. The ability to recognize triggering factors, your own needs and emotions and multiple ways to respond to different situations means you will have many ways to avoid using again.

A caring environment provides the final, crucial component of this strategy. Whether you used heavily for a long time or only recently, your new sense of sobriety, along with a wealth of new information, may feel confusing, stressful and overwhelming. As you readjust, you can rely on the knowledge, experience and friendship of our caregivers throughout your transition. Compassion and understanding, not medicine and therapy alone, promote healing.

Call The Gardens Wellness Center today at 844-828-1050 to discuss your personalized detox options. The Gardens Wellness Center has helped thousands find happy and fulfilling lives free from substances, and we want to help you reach your goal of a drug-free life as well.