Nearly 71,000 Americans lost their lives to drug-related overdose in 2019. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 20% of those deaths involved heroin. Despite the continued loss of life each year, the rate of new heroin addictions continues to rise across the nation. Unfortunately, heroin is an easily obtained drug that may turn to after developing an addiction to prescription opioids (prescription painkillers) they no longer have access to. Because heroin mimics the effects of drugs such as Oxycodone, it is seen as a suitable alternative to help struggling addicts “get high.” Heroin is highly addictive, and overcoming heroin addiction can be dangerous without the help of a professional addiction treatment center to guide you through detox and withdrawal.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is a drug derived from the opium poppy plant native to areas of Mexico, Columbia, and Asia. Specifically, heroin is made from morphine, a substance taken from the plant. Although many people are familiar with the white powder version of heroin, that is not the only form of the drug people use. In addition to the white powder, which is often considered the most “pure” form of heroin, it is also found as a brown powder or a black sticky substance that resembles roofing tar. The latter is called black tar heroin.
Depending on the type of heroin, people may snort, sniff, smoke, or mix it with liquid to inject directly into their veins. No matter how it is used, the effects of heroin occur rapidly, often within seconds, lasting up to 30 minutes.
Signs of Heroin Abuse
Signs of drug addiction vary from person to person. This is because each drug has unique effects. How they impact the individual will change depending on the drug, the severity of the addiction, and any underlying medical or mental health conditions that may worsen the effects of heroin use. For this reason, it can be difficult to pinpoint specific signs of heroin use early on; however, some effects are seen in most cases. These include physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms such as weight loss, difficulty breathing, track marks, constricted pupils, hallucinations, paranoia, slurred speech, irritability, depression, mood swings, delusions, euphoria, lying or stealing, and the presence of drug paraphernalia.
Symptoms of Heroin Withdrawal
Heroin addiction leads to physical and psychological dependence. While the physical symptoms can be overwhelming and, in some cases, dangerous, the psychological challenges that often accompany detox are also complex and difficult to manage without medically supported detox services. When you stop using heroin, withdrawal symptoms will develop quickly. In many cases, the first symptoms (acute withdrawal symptoms) will occur within a few hours of your last dose.
As with symptoms of use, heroin withdrawal symptoms will vary from person to person, but again, there are common symptoms. Examples include cravings, sweating, joint and muscle pains, stomach upset, insomnia, runny nose, fever, and intense emotional swings. If you or a loved one struggles with a severe or long-term heroin addiction, withdrawal could be accompanied by severe medical complications that can lead to death. If you are ready to stop using heroin, it is vital to do so in a safe and supported environment like Rise in Malibu.
The duration of withdrawal also varies from person to person and is partially dependent on the severity of your addiction. For some people, heroin withdrawal symptoms may subside within a week, with peak symptoms (the most challenging to manage) occurring during the first 72 hours. Although most symptoms will fade within one to two weeks, some symptoms can persist for months or years after detox. Medically assisted detox programs help make the early and most intense symptoms manageable. After detox, comprehensive therapy programs will help you learn and practice vital coping skills needed to manage relapse triggers after treatment ends.
Heroin Detox in Malibu, CA
Overcoming an addiction to heroin is not an easy process. However, choosing to seek help to put heroin addiction in the past is a vital step towards lasting health and wellness. Heroin withdrawal often produces intense and overwhelming symptoms that are challenging to manage without treatment assistance. At Rise in Malibu, CA, we can help you get through the most challenging parts of detox. There are many options for medically assisted detox, and each is designed to help you manage withdrawal symptoms in the safest and most effective way possible for you. The process of recovering from heroin addiction will look different for everyone. Our caring and compassionate treatment professionals are here to help design a detox and treatment program based on your physical and psychological needs.
If you or a loved one are ready to overcome heroin addiction, contact us at Rise in Malibu to learn more about heroin detox in Malibu, CA.