Heroin Recovery Treatment
Table of Contents
Heroin is a narcotic that produces sensations of pleasure and euphoria. The drug also prevents the user from feeling pain. Heroin is highly addictive and poses a significant threat to the health and safety of those who use it.
Despite the euphoric sensations it generates, heroin can consume a person’s life. The longer a person uses heroin, the more harm they do to their physical and psychological well-being. Heroin usage can cause long-term problems in those who use it and the lives of others they care about.
Pacific Palms Recovery in San Diego, California, offers treatment for heroin addiction. With treatment, mental and physical well-being can be restored in addition to long-term recovery from addiction.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is a synthetic opioid derived from the opium poppy plant. After being ingested, heroin is metabolized into morphine in the body. The first time someone uses heroin, they report feeling an intense rush of pleasure.
Regular use of heroin can soon leads to tolerance and addiction. Users can abuse heroin in several ways, including smoking it, taking it intravenously, or inhaling the powder form of the drug. Every mode of administration is capable of rapidly penetrating the blood-brain barrier.
Once in the brain, heroin is turned back into morphine. The morphine binds to opioid receptors throughout the brain and body, producing an opioid high. Because opioid receptors have a role in pain perception and reward, consuming heroin promotes pleasure experiences while decreasing pain.
Regular heroin use can eventually cause structural and functional changes in the brain, resulting in tolerance and dependence. Once a physical tolerance is developed, continual use may be necessary to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Psychological dependence develops when an individual is convinced that they would be unable to function normally without heroin.
Signs of Heroin Use & Abuse
The signs of heroin misuse can vary significantly from person to person. These signs depend on the person’s drug use history and mental health. When using heroin becomes a priority for someone, their entire world revolves around the drug.
The following is a list of common behavioral indications associated with heroin misuse:
Short-Term Effects of Heroin Use
Because heroin enters the brain quickly, a single dose delivers a surge of morphine and activates opioid receptors. Heroin causes exhilaration, relaxation, pain relief, and well-being. When injected, heroin has immediate effects on the body.
People who have recently used heroin may be more prone to irritability and agitation. Additionally, users may “nod off” while sitting, talking, or doing something as basic as vacuuming. Depending on how much heroin is shot, these effects might last from a few minutes to several hours.
Short-term effects of heroin can include:
Long-Term Effects of Heroin Use
Long-term consequences of heroin abuse take at least several weeks to manifest. Repeated heroin use alters the brain’s physical structure and physiology. This alteration results in long-term abnormalities in the neuronal and hormonal systems that are difficult to correct.
Long-term consequences of heroin usage can include:
Signs of Heroin Overdose
A person overdoses when they consume more drugs than their body can handle. Heroin overdoses cause the deaths of thousands of people in the United States every single year. According to the CDC, more than 92,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2020. Dial 9-1-1 immediately if there is reason to believe someone has overdosed on heroin.
Signs of a heroin overdose can include:
Signs of Heroin Withdrawal
Withdrawal happens when an individual reduces or stops using heroin after using it for a long time. Heroin withdrawal symptoms will often begin anywhere from six to twelve hours after the drug has been lastly used. The symptoms peak within one to two days and will typically start to lessen over five to seven days.
The following are signs of heroin withdrawal:
Treatment for Heroin Addiction
Treatment for heroin addiction can be customized based on individual needs and diagnosis. Depending on the severity of the addiction, a detox, residential, or outpatient program may be recommended. Detox provides the most intense level of care and 24/7 supervision, while outpatient is the least amount of care but still provides structure and support.
A medical detoxification program can help reduce symptoms of heroin withdrawal. Detox treatment programs usually include medication management prescribed under a doctor’s supervision. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can include buprenorphine or naltrexone, which are FDA-approved drugs to help reduce cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms.
Residential or inpatient treatment programs for heroin addiction include a residency at the facility and 24/7 care. This level of care typically occurs directly after the detoxification process. Inpatient treatment programs typically last at least 30 days and include psychotherapy and medication management on an as-needed basis.
Outpatient treatment is a level of care that provides life coaching, life skills, relapse prevention plans, and medication management when necessary. This kind of treatment takes place at a licensed facility, but patients do not live at the facility. Sober living is typically recommended if home life is not conducive to long-lasting recovery.
Heroin Addiction Treatment in San Diego, CA
Heroin addiction can cause long-term and short-term effects related to physical and mental health. Treatment for this addiction can include medication as-needed and different types of therapy. Treatment plans can be customized based on individual needs and diagnosis.
Heroin addiction often requires professional intervention. At Pacific Palms Recovery, we can help you or a loved one battling heroin addiction by providing outpatient treatment. Clients seeking help from us benefit from a multidisciplinary approach focusing on their overall health and wellness.
Pacific Palms Recovery is a certified outpatient Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program. Our outpatient drug rehab is located in San Diego County, California. Pacific Palms Recovery implements a comprehensive clinical and holistic approach to treating drug addiction and alcohol abuse.