Treatment For Heroin Addoction In California

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Heroin

Heroin is a highly addictive and illegal opiate drug that can be snorted, smoked, ingested or injected into a vein or a muscle, according to WebMD. The powder form of heroin may range from white to brownish in color, or it may have a sticky black consistency. Similar to prescription opioid medications, heroin binds to the opioid receptors in the brain, reducing the perception of pain and producing a pleasurable high or “rush.” The high from heroin lasts roughly as long as the high from OxyContin and other prescription painkillers, except it is cheaper and easier to obtain.

Heroin can be a deadly substance to abuse. Treatment for heroin addicts can make the difference between life and death in many cases.

Risk Factors

Spikes in opioid use disorders, along with the stricter enforcement and regulation of prescription opioid drugs, has led many people who once abused opioid prescription painkillers to turn to heroin to get high.

A number of other factors can also increase the risk of heroin addiction, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Being male
  • Being younger — ages 18 to 25 years old are most likely to develop heroin addiction
  • Living in a major metropolitan area
  • Being addicted to another drug, including alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and prescription opioid painkillers
  • Lacking private insurance or Medicaid
  • Nonmedical prescription opioid painkiller use

People who are at the greatest risk for becoming addicted to heroin are those who have been addicted to prescription painkillers. The CDC reported that people addicted to prescription opioid painkillers are 40 times more likely to develop heroin addiction.

Heroin Abuse

Heroin is an opioid drug that depresses the central nervous system. The use of heroin can lead to rapid and intense pleasurable sensations, known as a “rush,” which depends on the amount and how quickly the drug enters the body. People who inject heroin introduce it the most quickly to the bloodstream and experience a rush within a matter of seconds.

Some of the immediate effects of heroin include:

  • Rush of euphoria
  • Flushing of the skin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Feeling of heaviness in the limbs
  • Respiratory depression or slowed breathing
  • Clouded mental function
  • Unconsciousness
  • Pupil constriction
  • Tiredness
  • Constipation
  • Severe itching
  • Insomnia
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches

Long-Term Effects

People who use heroin for long periods can develop tolerance, or the need to take more of the drug to experience the desired effects, or “high” they originally experienced from the drug. Taking drugs like heroin over a long time can contribute to physical dependence and addiction.

Chronic heroin users can experience numerous long-term consequences, including:

  • Collapsed veins
  • Bacterial infections of the skin, bloodstream and heart
  • Abscesses
  • Liver disease
  • Pulmonary complications, including pneumonia

Chronic intravenous heroin use can be particularly dangerous, increasing a person’s risk for bacterial infections due to dirty needles and spreading viral infections such as HIV and hepatitis B and C. Contracting HIV, hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases are is a constant risk because of contaminated syringes.

Heroin Overdose

The misuse of heroin and/or prescription opioid medications can lead to drug overdoses and even death. As noted in the CDC’s report, “Increases in Drug and Opioid Overdose Deaths – United States, 2000-2014,” fatal heroin overdoses have increased by at least three times in recent years and there have been major spikes in the use of heroin.

Heroin overdoses are associated with symptoms such as:

  • Blue-tinged lips and fingernails (due to lack of oxygen)
  • Slowed respiration
  • Clammy skin
  • Convulsions
  • Coma
  • Death

Heroin Addiction

People who use heroin can develop a physical dependence on the drug and may be unable to stop taking the drug on their own without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. When people develop heroin addiction, they may have difficulty fulfilling their obligations at work, school or at home and may spend a significant amount of time trying to find heroin and use the drug. People who develop addiction will also commonly experience withdrawal symptoms, which are listed above.

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Why Choose Sovereign Health of California? 

Sovereign Health of California treats drug addiction, alcohol abuse, mental health disorders and co-occurring conditions. Detox is an integral component of heroin addiction treatment. Sovereign Health of California’s heroin drug rehab program at San Clemente offers nutritionally assisted detox (NAD) to help alleviate patients’ withdrawal symptoms, improve their mental clarity and accelerate the healing process.

We understand that heroin addiction recovery is not an easy process to go through. That is why while patients who enter our heroin addiction treatment receive thorough assessments to diagnose and create comprehensive treatment plans that meet each patient’s particular needs. Some of the treatment options available at our heroin addiction treatment centers include evidence-based treatments, complementary therapies and experiential treatments.

A holistic approach provides comprehensive treatment for heroin addicts. Heroin addiction recovery is not an easy process, but our team is here to guide you throughout your treatment and recovery. If you would like further information about Sovereign Health’s treatment of opioid use disorders due to heroin or prescription opioid painkillers, please call our 24/7 helpline to speak with a member of our team. We will be happy to assist you and give you more information about our heroin rehab centers.

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