Heroin is an illegal narcotic that is a derivative of morphine, which is made from opium poppy plants. It has been said to be one of the most addictive substances there is. In fact, the physical addiction to heroin can occur within just one to two weeks of frequent use. In the last ten years, there has been a dramatic increase in heroin use, leading to an increase in heroin related hospital admissions and fatalities (due to overdose). Currently, anywhere from 5 – 7 million people in the U.S. have tried heroin at least once in their lifetime.
Health Effects of Heroin Addiction
Heroin abuse can cause a number of harmful health conditions, such as fatal overdose, spontaneous abortion, and infectious diseases like hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. Chronic heroin use can result in collapsed veins, infection of the heart tissue and valves, constipation and cramping, and liver or kidney disease. Breathing difficulties which can lead to pneumonia can also occur as a result of the poor health that heroin users will develop after prolonged periods of use. In addition to the effects of the drug itself, street heroin often contains toxic contaminants or additives that can clog blood vessels leading to the lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain, causing permanent damage to vital organs.
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
Most who attempt to quit using Heroin on their own will fail. This is because the physical withdrawal symptoms, although rarely life-threatening, are extremely uncomfortable – especially when compared to the intense feelings of euphoria caused by heroin. Some common withdrawal symptoms include sweating (“cold sweats”), muscle pain, insomnia, anxiety, depressions, extreme irritability, tremors and vomiting. Depending on how long a person has been using heroin, these withdrawal symptoms can last for up to a week, making it nearly impossible for someone to get clean on their own without any support.
Heroin Rehab Options
Because the rate of relapse among heroin users is so high, a number of drugs have been developed to help them fight the intense cravings that heroin use can cause. These drugs include buprenorphine (aka “suboxone”), methadone, and naltrexone. Unfortunately, these drugs (with the exception of naltrexone) can be as addictive as heroin, and will usually require Detox in order to ween the body off of them.
Lifelong Recovery is Possible
At New Dawn, we will first provide a comprehensive medical and psychiatric evaluation an assessment. Medical Supervised Detox, 30 – 90 Day Residential and Outpatient options are available. Treatment is individualized with licensed therapists and addiction specialists providing evidence-based care. And our lifetime aftercare support will continue to help you stay clean and sober long after you have completed the program. Call us today and start living again.