Heroin addiction is a serious problem in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there were 13,165 overdose deaths involving heroin in 2020. More than 68% of overdose deaths involving heroin also involved synthetic opioids other than methadone (primarily fentanyl). Heroin is an opiate drug that is highly addictive and very dangerous and requires professional heroin addiction treatment to provide the best chance of recovery.
You do not need an “addictive personality” to become dependent on heroin. People with chronic pain, anxiety, and unprocessed trauma are especially susceptible to abusing heroin and other opioids. Heroin provides temporary, almost-immediate relief from pain and emotional turmoil, but the relief comes at a cost.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is a type of opioid drug derived from the poppy plant. The poppy plant has been used throughout history to make a variety of drugs and medications, including morphine, codeine, and oxycodone. Heroin is an illegal substance that provides a rush of pleasure and euphoria when consumed. However, it is highly addictive and difficult to break free from the cycle of heroin abuse. It can be abused in several different ways, including:
- Injecting the drug directly into the bloodstream through a needle or syringe
- Snorting it using a small tube, typically called a straw
- Smoked in a pipe containing marijuana or tobacco
While heroin use is highly addictive and dangerous, treatment programs like those offered at Greater Boston Addiction Centers can help individuals overcome their opioid addiction and regain control of their life.
What Are the Symptoms of Heroin Abuse?
Heroin addiction can start out as a seemingly harmless social habit, but it can quickly spiral into something more severe and dangerous. Common symptoms of heroin abuse include:
- Dilated pupils
- Smaller or “pinpoint” pupils (when someone who is not using heroin has larger pupils)
- Lack of motivation and interest in hobbies
- Needle marks or bruises on the arms, legs, feet, hands, or neck
Opioids like heroin rob people of their personalities, dreams, families, finances, and the will to live. High doses of opioids–especially when combined with other drugs– can cause organ failure, respiratory depression, and death. Recovering from opioid dependency takes time, support, and the right environment. Our staff has the resources and temperaments to help people regain control of their lives.
If you are struggling with a heroin addiction or suspect a loved one may be abusing heroin, it is vital to seek help immediately. Without appropriate treatment from a professional addiction treatment facility, heroin addiction can quickly lead to overdose and death.
What Are the Benefits of Heroin Addiction Treatment?
There are many benefits to seeking professional heroin addiction treatment, especially since it is extremely difficult and hazardous to quit heroin alone. Some of these benefits include:
- Detox: Heroin and other opioids can cause intense withdrawal symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, sweating, muscle aches and pains, insomnia, irritability, tremors, depression, and anxiety.
- Therapy: Addiction is a disease of the brain and requires intensive therapy to address underlying mental health conditions that may be contributing to drug abuse. Our treatment programs utilize proven therapeutic methods like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to address the psychological and emotional aspects of addiction.
- Support: Finally, heroin addiction treatment programs offer a supportive environment where people can address their addiction and develop the skills, strategies, and resources they need to stay sober.
There is no doubt that heroin addiction is a serious and challenging problem, but it can be overcome with professional treatment.
How Does Heroin Affect the Brain?
Heroin is a powerful opioid drug that affects the brain in many ways. It works by attaching to opioid receptors in the central nervous system, flooding these receptors with dopamine and endorphins, which are chemicals that create feelings of pleasure and euphoria. Over time, however, repeated heroin use can cause changes in the brain’s structure and function, resulting in dependence and addiction. Without proper treatment, people who are addicted to heroin may continue using the drug despite negative consequences, such as loss of relationships and employment, financial problems, legal issues, or health issues.
Fortunately, there are many effective treatments for heroin abuse and addiction. With the help of a qualified treatment professional at an addiction treatment facility like Greater Boston Addiction Centers, people can develop the tools they need to recover from opioid abuse and live healthy, happy lives.
Effective Heroin Addiction Treatment at Greater Boston Addiction Centers
At Greater Boston Addiction Centers in Needham, MA, we offer a wide range of personalized heroin addiction treatment programs that have been proven effective in helping people overcome opioid dependence. The following programs have proven to be instrumental in the treatment of heroin and fentanyl addiction:
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
- Evening intensive outpatient program
- Traditional outpatient program (OP)
- Medication-assisted treatment program (MAT)
- LGBTQ+ friendly rehab program
- Aftercare program
Some of our most effective therapeutic methods include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Motivational interviewing (MI)
- Family therapy
- Group therapy
- Trauma therapy
- Relapse prevention therapy
If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin addiction, we urge you to seek help as soon as possible. Our compassionate team of treatment professionals can work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that fits.