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How to Treat Heroin Addiction

How to Treat Heroin Addiction

According to the CDC, nearly 143,000 people have died from overdoses involving heroin from 1999-2020. Heroin is not only a highly addictive but a lethal substance, with hundreds of thousands of lives each year affected by heroin. 

Because of the highly addictive nature of the drug, heroin can be difficult to treat, especially if you are trying to quit all on your own. However, you should never feel ashamed or embarrassed seeking professional help to overcome your addiction. In this article, you’ll learn more about how to treat heroin addiction, what the different heroin treatment options are, and more.

At Pathways Recovery, we provide Northern California addiction treatment centers for men and women to regain control over their lives and achieve long-lasting sobriety. Our drug rehab programs for men and women offer a range of treatment programs that help treat the mind, body, and spirit to treat the whole person, not just your disease. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, contact us to learn more about how we can help you on your road to recovery.

What is Heroin?

Heroin is a highly addictive drug made from morphine that is abused to experience a euphoric high. People can inject, sniff, snort, or smoke heroin and mix the drug with other drugs, like cocaine, to experience the desired effect. People abuse heroin as a means to experience a “rush” or external sense of pleasure and satisfaction. 

Abusing heroin can result in countless negative short-term and long-term effects, including:

Short-Term Effects:

  • Dry mouth
  • Warm flushing of the skin 
  • Heaviness in the arms or legs
  • Nausea
  • Severe itching
  • Clouded mental functioning

Long-Term Effects:

  • Insomnia
  • Collapsed veins for those who inject the drug
  • Damaged tissue inside the nose for those who sniff or snort the drug
  • Constipation
  • Liver and kidney disease
  • Mental health disorders

Additionally, not only does abusing heroin lead to various negative effects and can potentially be life-threatening, and lead to overdose or death.

How Does Heroin Impact the Brain?

The brain contains opioid receptors, and when your body experiences pain, opioid chemicals are released in an attempt to naturally relieve your pain and discomfort. Heroin is an opiate drug that binds to these same opioid receptors in the brain, which cause a spike in dopamine that causes the individual to feel a heightened sense of pleasure, satisfaction, and pain relief.

When an external drug like heroin is consumed, it naturally causes your body’s own ability to produce natural opioid chemicals to decrease. This is what results in dependency on the drug. When your body doesn’t consume enough heroin to experience a certain high, it inevitably goes through withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms include aches, exhaustion, nausea, strong cravings to abuse heroin, and more. 

Therefore, heroin can be extremely difficult, and even life-threatening, to try and quit on your own because of the withdrawal symptoms felt trying to overcome your addiction. This is why seeking professional treatment for heroin addiction is essential. 

How to Treat Heroin Addiction

Because of the potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting heroin, seeking professional treatment is essential to safely and effectively detox. Therefore, going through the detoxification process is the first necessary step in your addiction recovery journey. Depending on the severity of the patient’s withdrawal symptoms, medications may be prescribed to help lessen the severity of the withdrawal symptoms.

From there, a combination of behavioral and alternative therapies may be used to help treat heroin addiction. Here are some common behavioral therapies on how to treat heroin addiction:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Dialectal behavioral therapy
  • Trauma-focused therapy

Pathways Recovery is a Comprehensive Heroin Drug Rehab Center

Heroin is an extremely addictive drug that significantly reduces a person’s physical and mental health. By understanding how to treat heroin addiction, addicts understand that seeking professional treatment for heroin addiction is essential to safely and effectively overcome their addiction.

Our team at Pathways Recovery addiction treatment centers provides a range of treatment programs, including heroin addiction treatment, so each client can receive the unique care they need to effectively overcome their addiction. We offer comprehensive care to treat the whole person so you can not just overcome your addiction but significantly improve your mind, body, and spirit for the better. Contact us today to learn how we can help you overcome your addiction and lead a happier, healthier life.