Heroin Addiction

Heroin Addiction

The cycle of heroin addiction often begins with the pursuit of temporary relief from pain or emotional distress, but quickly spirals into a dangerous pattern of compulsive drug-seeking behavior.

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Heroin Addiction Treatment in Colorado

Any form of heroin dependency is a life-threatening risk that requires professional heroin addiction treatment. Thankfully, the most useful tools and information to combat this dangerous addiction reside at Jaywalker here in Colorado. We pride ourselves on providing an enlightening, informative, and enjoyable experience for our patients to maximize recovery efficiency. Your moment of enlightenment begins now with the helpful guidance provided below.

What is Heroin?

Heroin is classified as an opiate, derived from morphine, and extracted from specific poppy plants. Once introduced to the body, it acts as a suppressant to the central nervous system, while stimulating dopamine levels. This is why its derived form, morphine, is commonly used as a surgical sedative. Its purest form consists of a white powdery substance but can be converted to a synthetic liquid for injection.

How Addictive is Heroin?

Heroin is arguably the most addictive drug in the world and can induce dependency after even a single use. Its chemical properties are so harmful that even the slightest overdose can claim a life. Gain freedom from your addiction by reaching out to us for heroin addiction treatment immediately.

How Does Heroin Affect the Brain and Body?

Heroin quickly enters the brain and pleasure systems, such as the limbic system, or attaches to opioid receptors in numerous locations, notably those associated with painful feelings. The damaged brain areas’ usual job is to regulate behavior around common enjoyable activities like eating and sex. Heroin also has an effect on the brain stem, which interferes with the control of automatic functions like breathing, heart rate, and sleep, and is therefore extremely harmful. One of the primary ways heroin affects the user is by causing a “rush,” which is a strong burst of pleasure or euphoria.

The user’s instant enjoyment is frequently accompanied by a kind of brain fog, and he or she loses clarity of mind. These effects usually wear off within a few hours, but because heroin is highly addictive, the user may develop a strong need for more, leading commonly to dependency and addiction.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms may appear within a few hours after the last time the substance was taken. Restlessness, muscle and bone discomfort, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps, and leg movements are all withdrawal symptoms that occur as a result of drug abuse. Major withdrawal symptoms peak between 24 and 48 hours after the last heroin injection and lessen after roughly a week. However, some people have been exhibiting withdrawal symptoms for months.

Unlike heroin overdose, which can be fatal, heroin withdrawal is not usually considered life-threatening, but it can be if left untreated.

Since heroin addiction generates such physical reliance, if a person is deprived of the drug for an extended time or attempts to quit with the assistance of substance abuse treatment professionals, they will certainly experience withdrawal symptoms. These can start soon after the last dosage and are largely physical at first, beginning with acute heroin cravings, but can also include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Severe muscle pain and involuntary movements
  • Cold flashes accompanied by goosebumps
  • Shakes

The symptoms listed above indicate that the body is detoxing from substance misuse. Unfortunately, even if a person survives the storm of heroin withdrawal, they frequently relapse and resume their prior drug-using habits.

Side Effects of Heroin Abuse

The side effects of heroin abuse depend on how much heroin an individual takes and on how the drug is administered. Serious side effects can occur after a single dose, and prolonged use is associated with long-term damage to physical and mental health. In some cases, heroin use may be fatal.

What are the Short-Term Side-Effects of Heroin?

Heroin abuse is often easy to distinguish by its side effects if you know what to watch for. Knowing these signs is the first step towards getting somebody the help they need. Heed these tell-tale indicators to help you identify and properly react to the side effects and warning signs of heroin use.

Immediately after taking heroin, most people experience a pleasant feeling that’s known as a “rush.” Dry mouth, flushing of the skin, and heavy feelings in the arms and legs may follow. Some users could have nausea, vomiting, or severe itching.

These initial effects are often followed by drowsiness and impaired mental function. The user’s heart rate slows down, and his or her breathing rate becomes very slow. These changes may be life-threatening, and the user could go into a coma or develop permanent brain damage.

An individual experiencing strong effects of heroin will often slip in and out of consciousness. This is due to its heavy suppressive effects on your central nervous system and neuronic frequencies. If you notice anybody fading into unconsciousness, use discretion to contact the appropriate medical authorities. Your response could spare the life of a heroin-dependent individual.

Heroin induces a full-body heaviness upon the user. As a result, this causes a heavy feeling in your arms and legs, thus restricting your movements. Someone experiencing heaviness in their limbs will appear to be incapable of moving or moving very little. Evidence of limb heaviness may also cause the user to tilt their head slightly or look as if every movement is a task.

If you notice an abnormally flushed complexion or skin tone, it may be an indication of heroin abuse. This very evident sign occurs when the blood vessels beneath the surface are heavily dilated. Don’t ignore this sign as it is often an indication of a serious substance abuse disorder.

Itchy skin, whether in the same area or diverse parts of the body is a common side-effect of heroin abuse. This often occurs around the face, arms, and neck, but can be felt anywhere on the body. Therefore, if you observe anybody scratching repetitively, it may be a sign of substance abuse. Though, not always the case, use proper discretion to ascertain whether or not you should take proactive action on another’s behalf.

Opioids like heroin constrict your blood vessels, thus causing a significant drop in blood pressure. That’s because the narrowing of your blood vessels forces your blood pressure to decelerate to prevent rupturing the narrowed valves.

The combination of constricted blood vessels and lowered blood pressure has adverse effects on your heart. That is to say the narrowing of your blood vessels and lowering of blood pressure causes your heart to accelerate unnaturally. This can cause your heartbeat to become erratic or irregular.

Long-Term Side Effects of Heroin Addiction

Most heroin’s long-term side effects are permanent once they reach a certain point. However, you can still prevent further damage and health consequences by seeking heroin addiction treatment now. Bearing that in mind, here are the most common long-term side effects of heroin addiction.

Heroin use constricts blood cells which leads to mass cell death, clogging vital organs. Dead cells within the liver can eventually turn into liver disease. Liver disease is a condition that covers a wide range of liver problems such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and more. Once developed, these conditions are permanent issues you must deal with for the rest of your life.

Persistent heroin use is widely known to induce anxiety, bipolar, depression, and other mental disorders. This is because heroin kills vital neurons you need to maintain a healthy mental balance. Once developed, mental health conditions can be managed, but not erased. Speak to a doctor if you think you may have developed a co-occurring mental disorder in addition to heroin addiction.

Heroin use greatly increases your risk of lung diseases and respiratory complications. Heroin-induced lung complications can occur for several reasons. Firstly, heroin damages the central nervous system, specifically the white brain matter that allows your central nervous system to function normally. This in turn hinders your respiratory system from functioning normally, leading to bronchitis, asthma, dyspnea, or other severe lung complications.

Infection of the blood vessels and heart valves is very common in heroin users. Though infections are most common among those who ingest heroin through injection, they can also be acquired through snorting as well. Infections can occur due to unclean or impure needles or over-constricted blood vessels from excessive use.

Each heroin use is very taxing on your heart valves due to the combination of constricted blood vessels and lowered blood pressure. Over time, repetitive use has permanent effects on your heart, resulting in heart disease, infections, or other cardiovascular issues. Seeking heroin addiction treatment now will prevent you from contracting permanent health consequences or worsening your conditions.

What are the Symptoms of a Heroin Overdose?

Heroin overdose is a serious life-threatening occurrence that should be met with swift and affirmative action. That’s why your actions upon observing the symptoms of a heroin overdose are the difference between life and death.

Vomiting or Nausea upon ingestion is a sure sign of heroin overdose. This symptom is your body’s natural reflex in an attempt to remove the excess drugs in your system. Do not delay to seek immediate medical attention upon observing this dangerous symptom.

Though drowsiness is a common side effect of heroin, a catatonic or state of comatose is a direct sign of ingesting too much heroin. This potentially fatal symptom can cause the user to go to sleep and never wake up. At this point, your body requires medically administered medication to counteract a heroin overdose.

A heroin overdose can suppress your central nervous system so severely that it causes you to stop or forget to breathe. The process begins with slow, shallow breaths, which eventually lead to suffocation. If you fear you or someone else may be experiencing shallow breaths due to a heroin overdose immediately contact local emergency authorities.

That’s because using too much heroin in a single sitting causes your pupils to constrict. This occurs when excessive amounts of the drug have attached to neuronic receptors affecting your optic nerves. Very small pupils are a danger sign of a significant life-threatening overdose. It’s vital not to ignore the warning signs and act swiftly to avoid fatal consequences.sels from excessive use.

What are the Most Effective Types of Heroin Addiction Treatment?

Jaywalker has some of the most effective treatments specifically designed for heroin addiction.

The two main treatment options for heroin use disorder are pharmaceutical and behavioral. Medications help restore some normalcy to brain function, whereas therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or various forms of therapy assist a person in developing new thought and behavior patterns. According to research, combining these two techniques (which do not exclude additional modalities) yields the best outcomes.

Methadone and Buprenorphine, both agonists that activate opioid receptors, are the most often utilized drugs in heroin addiction treatment. Both have the same effects, creating modest sensations of euphoria while alleviating withdrawal symptoms, with the goal of gradually weaning a person off the highs that heroin provides.

If a person is extremely driven and has the support of family members, they may choose to get behavioral therapy as an outpatient. Others may discover that entering therapy provides the best helpful atmosphere in which to work effectively on themselves.

Aside from CBT, which focuses on critical, practical parts of everyday life, such as how a person responds to challenges or stressful events (among other things), contingency management has also been shown to be beneficial. It employs a system of “vouchers,” which members can acquire based on the strength of their negative drug tests. They can then trade these in for things that promote healthy living.

A caring receptionist is eagerly awaiting your call to guide you to one of the following most effective therapy treatment options.

The only way to truly recover and prevent relapse from heroin is to seek medically-assisted detox. Detox-specific medications and training from a trained specialist are required to overcome the withdrawal phase and beyond. Attempting detox on your own could cause more harm to your mental and physical health, up to and including death.

The 12-step programs at Jaywalker are the most in-depth and individualized treatment you’ll find anywhere. Our team of dedicated physicians ensures this by getting to know you, your struggles, and your recovery needs. This allows our compassionate therapists to accurately assess and chart your recovery path. Call us now to learn how our 12-step program can be the greatest heroin addiction treatment program for you.

Jaywalker understands all roads to recovery are different. This means what works for one person may not work for another. That’s why we provide equally effective One-on-one treatment sessions as we do family treatment programs. Some people work better one-on-one with an understanding therapist to achieve their recovery goals and develop trust in confidentiality.

Others may benefit better from our unified family treatment. These sessions focus on mending family bonds that were once broken and recovering together as a family unit. Whichever treatment is right for you, rest assured, our personalized assessment process will find the right treatment for you.

Get Away to Jaywalker to Gain Freedom from Your Strongholds

Heroin addiction is one of the most difficult drug use disorders to overcome, and doing so alone is like attempting to climb Mount Everest without oxygen.

Jaywalker’s comprehensive approach and team of compassionate and experienced specialists place us in a perfect position to find the treatment method best suited to an individual’s needs.

Our location and top-notch treatment specialists are the ticket you need to gain complete independence from your addictions. We have all the personalized heroin addiction treatment you need.

If you, a loved one, a friend, or an acquaintance are struggling, we are here to assist you in regaining your health and independence. You can finally have the highest quality care you deserve simply by making a simple call to our sympathetic admissions team today.


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