The Heroin epidemic in the U.S. is escalating and has no stop in sight. As such, it is critical to learning how the signs of a user, but also how to help them receive opioid addiction treatment before time runs out.
Heroin addiction is a nationally recognized disease claiming thousands of lives each year. Sadly, this epidemic appears to be worsening because of a new influx of users who are developing heroin habits after being addicted to prescription painkillers.
The Effects and Signs of Heroin Addiction
There are physical and behavioral changes that take place in a person who is addicted to opiates. Noticing these signs early on can help you being intervening and becoming part of the process. Many times people who are stuck in this state of mind feel as if they have no escape and are unable to change their life without help from those who are close to them.
There are many heroin-related signs to confirm a users abuse of opioid drugs. Physical signs include itchy skin, a runny nose, a cough, nosebleeds, flu-like symptoms, dry-mouth and heavy limbs. Additionally, a heroin user will typically have cuts/scabs from picking their skin, infections, weight loss, no appetite, burn marks, dark circles/puffiness under eyes, needle marks and constipation.
Heroin users will always reveal conspicuous behavioral changes. Clearly, your friend or family member will seem ‘different’ than the person you once knew. You begin to notice slurred and garbled speech, lying, deception, poor school/work performance and uncoordinated movements. A heroin user sleeps excessively, is hostile and unmotivated, disoriented or jittery. They tend to avoid eye contact, maintain poor hygiene, and prefer new friends or to spend time alone.
Detox vs. Rehab for Heroin Addiction Treatment
Detoxification – the process of coming off heroin – is a critical step in the rehabilitation process. However, if someone completes a detox program without a rehabilitation program to support his or her efforts, it is likely that this individual will relapse.
An appropriate rehabilitation treatment program typically includes several approaches that include therapy, medication, job support, plus detox, as these techniques are most effective when fighting heroin addiction. Methods like Suboxone treatment and other behavioral methods can ease the fragile nature of a Heroin addiction. Every user’s situation is different. It is, therefore, critical to understanding the steps included in a recovery program as well as available resources to support someone recovers from a heroin/opioid addiction.
The Symptoms of Heroin Withdrawal
Withdrawal from heroin/opiates varies widely. Withdrawal symptoms are contingent upon the intensity of the user’s dependency at the time of detoxification. A user’s dependency is directly related to the length of time of the drug use, the dosage, the drug being abused, and how the drug was taken. Addiction is further complicated by underlying co-morbid conditions like a simultaneous presence of mental illness, and other medical factors like trauma, family history, stress, etc.
Withdrawal symptoms begin within 6-12 hours for short-acting opiates; 30 hours for long-acting opiates. The symptoms begin when the user feels achy, agitated and has trouble falling (and staying) asleep. They become anxious, sweaty, feverish, and feel their heart racing; which ultimately begins hypertension. If symptoms like this are present, you will need to contact a professional experienced in treating heroin addictions.
Later withdrawal symptoms appear within 72 hours and typically occur for about a week. These intense withdrawal signs include stomach cramps, nausea/vomiting, cravings, diarrhea, and depression.
Psychological symptoms may last longer than a week. Mental health professionals are an integral part of a substance abuse treatment. It is important to contact a local drug rehab facility or a trusted professionalwho can help you with the process.
Treating a Heroin Addiction at 2nd Chance Treatment Center
2nd Chance offers a multi-faceted approach, which includes maintenance medication, behavioral therapy, and patient education.
Studies reveal that rehabilitation approaches which employ both therapy and maintenance medication in an outpatient setting are critical in the prevention of relapse and facilitate a lifetime of recovery. Evidence-based approaches permit clients to resume activities they appreciated before their addiction hijacked their life, like patient education and behavioral therapy.
By enabling the user to not only stop the addiction in their life but using heroin addiction treatment methods, they can make sure they are clean and stay clean for the foreseeable future. Many of our patients want a new life, and we help them achieve it.
A heroin user must undergo detox and rehab should they wish to conquer their addiction. Using appropriate treatment methods, plus a skillful support system, recovery is possible. If you or your loved one needs help in Arizona, Contact 2nd Chance Today!