Being around someone with an addiction to opioid medications can be a painful and intensely draining process. Seeing someone you care deeply about in such suffering and feeling they are wasting their lives poisoning themselves can be a huge struggle, and it may be easy to feel helpless against someone else's addiction.
As one of the most damaging and addictive drugs available, heroin has claimed the lives of too many people. Treatment is needed to break the cycle of addition and to start a new, healthy, and substance-free life. Experts believe that the sooner intervention happens and the sooner drug use stops, the easier it is for a heroin addict to make a full recovery.
Heroin: The Drug
Heroin is categorized as an opiate, derived from morphine, with highly addictive properties and extremely quick-acting effects. Its euphoric high and complete painlessness make heroin a popular street drug, hooking users almost immediately. While the drug seems only pleasurable during its high, there are many side effects associated with the use of heroin. Like any substance, heroin affects each person differently, which makes it an unpredictable and incredibly dangerous drug.
The idea of “heroin chic” was popularized through advertisements and films in the late 1980s and early 1990s, telling viewers that heroin effects, such as losing one's appetite and becoming incredibly thin and pale, were attractive. In reality, heroin interferes with the proper functioning of its user's body, and with repeated use, little is desired in life other than another high.
Those who initially use the drug are seeking an escape from a painful reality. Finally a substance that promises relief from emotional and psychical pain delivers, and for a short period of time, heroin offers the user a break, and even a few moments of ecstasy, from an otherwise sad and depressed life that lacks pleasure of any kind. From there, the drug seems to work as medication. As a 20-year-old recovering male heroin addict told the authors of the book, Uppers, Downers, All Arounders:
Heroin can be smoked, snorted, or injected intravenously. Since IV injection creates the most intense effects, it is the most desirable, and most popular, way to use the drug. In recent years, with the large outbreak of drug-related HIV and AIDS cases from the sharing of dirty needles, trends toward snorting and smoking heroin have been documented. Many users also believe that by snorting and smoking the drug, there is less risk for progressing to addiction. This belief is untrue; the only difference between injection and other methods of heroin use is that the use of a needle sends the drug directly into the bloodstream and, therefore, affects a person's mind and body faster.
Unfortunately, for those who become dependent upon heroin, the risk of contracting incurable and fatal diseases such as HIV, AIDS, and hepatitis, often becomes outweighed by the desire for a faster and more intense high. An addicted heroin user may continue IV use despite knowledge of contractible and fatal diseases. As one of the most addictive drugs available, with the most difficult cycle of addiction to break, heroin addicts rarely stop using without formal treatment services.
Heroin is a relatively pricey drug, but after a person experiences the pleasure, cost can become insignificant. The high is so enjoyable that a new user, very likely to become addicted to the effects and sensations of a heroin high, will continue to use the drug no matter what. Consequently, heroin quickly became popular in urban areas, however its use has spread to all communities and neighborhoods throughout the country.
People who become addicted to heroin, who were once successfully participating in life, both within their environment and with the people around them, become desperate and behave accordingly. To obtain the now needed drug, a life of crime, prostitution, and complete disregard for anything other than heroin takes over the mission of each day. Relationships, responsibilities and activities that were once important, now slip away to the life of heroin addiction. Some addicts begin to sell precious belongings and to steal from people they love, while others turn to street life and to the selling of their own bodies to get more heroin.
Although the drug obviously hurts the person who is addicted to it, all of the people associated with an addict are hurt as well. A heroin drug addict will also begin to isolate, only engaging in activities that will lead to the acquisition of more drugs. Many users will give up hope and start to believe that they will die addicted to heroin, but here is hope through Recovery Now TV!
Heroin: The Effects
The use of any psychoactive, mind-altering drug leads to different types of effects, both physical and psychological. The effects of heroin are extremely detrimental to a person's mind and body, and millions of people are abusing this dangerous substance without understanding the inevitable consequences.
Heroin impacts the central nervous system, so it has intensely damaging effects on every part of the human body. The drug’s compound negatively impacts the heart, lungs, brain, eyes, voice box, muscles, and the following systems: reproductive, digestive, excretory, immune, cardiovascular, and respiratory. As a result, the user experiences dizziness, a change in skin temperature, lowered blood pressure, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, insensitivity to pain, lowered pulse and respiration, confusion, and nausea, among others.
When heroin first enters the human body, its chemical components mix with the natural chemistry of the individual’s brain, and the drug’s toxins create what users describe as a feeling of euphoria. The first high experienced is said to be the best that heroin will ever feel. The user’s brain is flooded with endorphins and the neurotransmitter, dopamine, that all create reward, positive reinforcement, and pain-free pleasure. A heroin user is then constantly seeking the feelings of that first high, called “chasing the dragon.” Until treatment, or death, the euphoria-seeking cycle controls a heroin user’s entire life.
Once the high has worn off, the desire to obtain more of the drug grows in the form of an obsession and an undying craving for heroin. The dragon is being chased, and most likely physical and psychological dependence on the drug has begun.
- Loss of Control Over Heroin Use
- Obsession Over the Use of Heroin
- Continued Use Despite Adverse Life Consequences
- Denial That There is a Problem with Heroin
- A Powerful Tendency to Relapse
Heroin addiction is a disease that affects a person's entire being. The drug itself negatively impacts the entire central nervous system, and the associated lifestyle creates adverse, and often irreversible, damage to the addict’s life. When the abuse of heroin has progressed to a point of physical and psychological dependence, that individual is addicted. When the use of heroin stops, even for a short amount of time following the last high, a painful set of symptoms ensues that almost always leads an addict right back to heroin, even when trying to quit the drug’s use.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) defines addiction as a chronic, relapsing disease characterized by, what the organization terms A, B, C, D, and E:
- An Inability to consistently Abstain from substances;
- Impairment in Behavioral control;
- Craving, or increased “hunger” for drugs or rewarding experiences;
- Diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships; and,
- A dysfunctional Emotional response.
To offer another perspective, the authors of Uppers, Downers, All Arounders, Darryl S. Inaba, Pharm.D. and William E. Cohen, view addiction as a progressive disease, meaning it continues to get worse as substance use continues, and is characterized by:
- A Loss of control over substance use;
- Obsession with substance use;
- Continued use despite negative life consequences;
- Denial of a problem with substances and/or behaviors; and,
- A powerful tendency to relapse back to substance use.
In other words, when heroin use has progressed from use to abuse, and then onto physical and psychological dependence, the addict has lost all control over heroin use, lives with an obsession for the drug’s use, continues to use heroin despite negative life consequences, denies that there is a problem with heroin, and operates with a powerful likelihood of relapse when the use of heroin stops.
People suffering from heroin addiction are often unable to see clearly because the drug has altered brain chemistry. A person who was once responsible, honest, and compassionate begins disregarding responsibilities, lying, and stealing from loved ones to feed the heroin addiction. The only thing a heroin addict sees clearly is the need for more heroin. The thought of going through even another five minutes without the drug, in some cases, scares addicts to the point where they will go to any length to get high again.
When the life of a heroin addict revolves around the drug, everything else gets neglected. Relationships fall apart, marriages end, jobs are lost, financial situations are completely destroyed, failing out of school has occurred, and life-changing legal repercussions have transpired, not to mention one’s physical and mental health can be permanently damaged.
Heroin addiction tears apart families and causes despair where there was once happiness. At Recovery Now TV, we are dedicated to helping families and individuals put their lives back together. Through our comprehensive list of treatment programs, all people suffering from heroin addiction and addiction to other drugs, can undergo the rigorous but rewarding process of starting a new life. If you, or someone you love, need help, drug treatment is the next step. Please contact Recovery Now TV and ask about our consultation services and treatment options. A new life is just a phone call away!
Detoxification is the first step in freeing an addict from the bonds of his or her drug, or drugs, of choice. The process of detoxing from heroin must occur under medical supervision to ensure the best possibility for success. If heroin detox is done improperly, or a person tries to go through it alone, the results may be extremely painful, possibly fatal, and more often than not, ending in a return to heroin. Heroin is a toxin, and the body must first rid itself of the poisonous substance that has been causing the ongoing cycle of addiction. When the heroin detox process begins, both the body and mind will be craving heroin, which shows up as a series of withdrawal symptoms. These range from vomiting, hot and cold flashes, diarrhea, mood swings, and dizziness, to bone, joint, and muscular pain, insomnia, anxiety, intense sweating, rapid pulse, fever, chills, and high blood pressure.
Heroin Detox with Recovery Now TV
Recovery Now TV has been referring heroin addicts to appropriate detoxification programs for several years and has subsequently found the best methods and combinations for each client. With a personalized approach, the chances of a positive outcome increase exponentially. Since heroin detox can be extremely painful, the detoxification facilities we use have a proven method.
Recovery Now TV's well-trained staff has assisted numerous addicts through the detox process with comfort and safety. The idea of heroin detox creates anxiety and fear for most addicts. At Recovery Now TV we understand and want to make the process as easy and as restful as possible. Heroin detox is difficult, but we have seen the reward and relief upon completion.
Caring for the Body
An in-house nutritionist places the addict on a well-rounded plan to ensure that the proper nutrients and vitamins, that the body has been deprived of during active addiction, are restored. The healthier the body, the easier it is for the patient to focus on the mental and emotional elements of the treatment plan that occur after detox. If difficulties occur during the heroin detox process, there are many pharmaceutical medications that a physician can prescribe, without the introduction of another substance that has any potential for addiction.
After the first, most difficult days, members of our treatment team begin educating the addict on what the formal treatment program will look like. With descriptions of our programs, the services we offer during treatment, and the long-term outlook, we find that our clients feel more at ease while transitioning from detox to inpatient rehab. To ensure our clients’ success, we strive for trust prior to entry into formal treatment. At Recovery Now TV we provide referrals to the best treatment services for heroin addiction and any substance abuse disorder. With serene locations and highly competent staff, starting life in recovery becomes a pleasant experience. If you, or someone you love, has a problem with heroin and cannot stop using drugs, Recovery Now TV can help. Please contact us today and find out how one of our detox centers can help you begin a new life. Recovery starts with you!
Once a person has gone through a complete medical detoxification program, heroin treatment will look to incorporate a person's mental, emotional, and spiritual health, working toward full recovery from heroin. Heroin treatment is a process and an attempt to save the addict from a life controlled by drugs. With tools and skills, an addict can avoid returning to heroin and the permanent damage and death that certainly follow. For those reasons, it is crucial that heroin treatment occurs in a facility that can properly treat all aspects of substance abuse.
Inpatient Treatment with Recovery Now TV
At Recovery Now TV we provide referrals to rehab centers that offer one-on-one counseling, group therapy, and family counseling, plus other modalities of care, as a comprehensive way to work through each client’s personal reasons for using.
Our highly effective treatment teams provide one-on-one counseling is safe environments in which the addict can discuss problems, feelings, limitations, and struggles to eventually begin an honest examination of the ways in which heroin affected his or her life. Through this process, a personalized, individual treatment plan creates the roadmap for the addict’s time in treatment. The addict will be better able to avoid and cope with situations that present a desire to use in the future when he or she understands personal triggers.
A process group full of an addict’s peers allows sharing, with the potential for ongoing feedback. An addict learns how to help others, and how to allow others to help him or her. Group therapy provides a setting in which addicts can share their experiences with one another and can reflect upon how they think heroin treatment is going.
Through addiction, relationships with family members are most certainly strained. Recovery Now TV understands the importance of parents, spouses, children, and other loved ones setting new boundaries for the addict upon his or her return after heroin treatment. Family members can also learn what the addict is learning to help continue the use of tools and coping skills when the recovering addict comes home. With a now clean and sober family member, parents, partners, and children can more effectively communicate with the person who lived as an addict, and seemingly as a whole other person.
Throughout all forms of therapeutic treatment, professionals work with each addict to find a nutritional and wellness plan that strengthens the commitment to recovery. Activities such as exercise, meditation, and writing are beneficial in restoring a person's mind and body. Our heroin treatment program is the beginning of a new life, free from the cycle of addiction.
At Recovery Now TV we specialize in providing referrals for treatment to those who are trapped in the cycle of heroin addiction. Our treatment team understands the power of heroin, so we are dedicated to helping in the process of rebuilding the lives of the individuals who have been broken down by this deadly disease. The treatment and recovery programs we recommend teach addicts how to live without the use of substances, and how to function as newly sober members of society. The cycle of addiction can be broken with the help of heroin drug treatment.
If you, or someone you love, has a problem with drugs or alcohol and needs help, Recovery Now TV may be the opportunity you have been waiting for, and the best way to save a life. Please contact us today for consultation and find out how our programs can work for you. Our operators are standing by and want you to know that there is still hope. 800-281-4731.