Cocaine Addiction Causes
Table of Contents
What Is Heroin Addiction?
Heroin addiction (an opioid use disorder) is a chronic medical health condition characterized by compulsive heroin use or abuse even in the face of adverse health consequences. Heroin addiction occurs due to prolonged exposure of the brain to high levels of heroin. This eventually results in alterations in the structure and function change of the brain, which leads to heroin dependence and tolerance.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is an opioid derived from morphine, obtained directly from the opium poppy plant, that can either be sniffed, smoked, or injected. It has major potential for abuse and is responsible for millions of addiction-related mental health conditions and deaths globally.
Risk Factors of Heroin Addiction
History of Drug Use
High Levels of Stress
Family History of Heroin Addiction
Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Addiction
Signs and symptoms of heroin addiction are classified under physical, behavioral, and psychological symptoms, usually varying on the individuals, their health conditions, and their heroin abuse history. Signs and symptoms common in heroin addiction will be detailed below.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Appetite change and weight loss
- Bad breath
- Dry mouth
- Itchy and red skin
- Impaired coordination
- Poor personal hygiene
- Neglecting official duties and responsibilities
- Interpersonal relationship problems
- Wearing thick clothes in warm weather to hide injection marks
- Attitude change
- Lack of motivation
- Severe itching
- Slow breathing
- Slow heart rate
- Nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss
- Skin disease
- Collapsed veins
- Infection of the valves and lining of the heart
- Liver disease
Risk Factors for Heroin Overdose
- Using prescription opioids without doctor supervision
- Injecting heroin of unknown concentration or composition
- Ingesting heroin via injection routes
- Combining heroin with alcohol
Signs of Heroin Overdose
- Pale skin
- Blue tint on fingertips and lips
- Shallow breathing
- Mental changes
- Discolored tongue
- Weak pulse
- Very constricted pupils
What to Do During an Overdose
- Try to wake the person
- Call 911
- Turn the person’s body on their side to help them breathe better and prevent choking if vomiting occurs
Early Withdrawal Symptoms
- Abdominal pain
- Shaking and nervousness
Late Withdrawal Symptoms
- Aches and pain
- Drug craving
- Mental health problems
Heroin addiction causes a downturn in people’s finances. This is because their entire focus is on how to get more heroin for consumption. So, they will spend all they have and even borrow more than they can hope to repay to obtain the drug.
Treating Heroin Addiction
Effective heroin addiction treatment usually involves personalizing treatment plans to suit each patient’s specific needs. Irrespective of the details, treatment plans will include the following:
This treatment program involves using medication like naltrexone to block the effects of heroin addiction. Medications are used to ease weaning off heroin and decrease cravings. Research has shown that pharmacological treatments for heroin addiction effectively increase treatment retention and decrease drug cravings.4
This is a residential solution in which patients receive supervised treatment and adequate care in a facility to recover from heroin addiction. This treatment program lasts between a few weeks and a few months.
This program allows patients to attend therapy and receive treatment according to a schedule, permitting them to go about their daily routine and check into the treatment center on appointment days. Thus, the patients do not need to live at the facility to receive treatment. Outpatient heroin addiction treatment programs may occur at a clinic or treatment center.
Find Help at Arrow Passage Recovery
At Arrow Passage Recovery, your recovery is our priority, so we assure you have access to treatment plans tailor-made for your specific health condition. These treatment plans will be coordinated by licensed, well-trained, and experienced medical health providers to ensure maximum treatment benefits.
- Residential treatment
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
- Outpatient treatment (OP)
- Treatment aftercare