More than 140,000 people used heroin for the first time in 2010, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The way heroin affects the brain it is an extremely addictive drug, so several treatment options are available for heroin abusers, and there are support groups and counseling to help you or your loved one. It is an illegal drug.
Is Heroin Addictive?
Heroin is an extremely addictive opiate. It rapidly enters the brain. It has both short-term and long-term effects. Short-term effects of using heroin include:
With long-term use, physical dependence increases. The long-term effects of heroin use may include collapsed veins, bacterial infections, and arthritis, which is why it’s so vital to get help as soon as possible.
What Are the Signs of Addiction?
Signs of drug addiction include needing increasingly larger or more frequent doses of heroin to feel the same effect. Other behavioral signs include mood swings, spending money on heroin that you can’t afford, taking risks to obtain the drug, and neglecting your appearance. Physical signs of heroin addiction include small, pinpoint pupils, slurred speech, slower reflexes, sweating, drowsiness, diarrhea, and needle marks from heroin.
Symptoms of withdrawal include:
Heroin Addiction Treatment
Heroin abuse help centres are available. The exact treatment varies depending on the heroin addict, but one of the most effective treatments available is methadone. Once the patient has undergone tests for HIV, cardiovascular infections and hepatitis B and C tests, the addict will start detox therapy.
Methadone is a synthetic opiate that eliminates the withdrawal symptoms associated with ending heroin use. It also stops the effects of heroin. Buprenorphine is another prescription medication that has similar effects to methadone. While these can be addictive in their own rights, they are better than heroin.
Behavioral therapy is also used to help heroin abusers. Behavioral therapy is often used in conjunction with prescription treatments to help heroin users recover. Behavioral therapy styles include cognitive-behavioral therapy, which addresses destructive thought patterns and teaches skills for coping with stress. Contingency management therapy uses a points system that rewards recovering heroin users for remaining drug free. Behavioral therapy can take place in a one-on-one setting or in a group setting.
Another helpful resource for many is Narcotics Anonymous, or NA. NA is a nonprofit organization made up of recovering addicts. Groups meet independently and provide support and guidance while learning to live sober lives. Group meetings can supplement other types of treatment.
Heroin addiction help can take place in a number of settings. Outpatient treatment is when heroin abusers lives at home and continue their daily routines while receiving treatment. Residential treatment is when the heroin addict lives full time at a treatment center. This allows the addict to focus exclusively on recovery.