What is Heroin?
Heroin is a fast-acting opioid that people use recreationally for its euphoric, downer, and numbing effects. The drug is usually smoked, snorted, or injected. Heroin (like morphine) comes from the resin of poppy plants. The euphoric effects (the “high”) from heroin happens within seconds, which makes it a dangerous drug. Like all opioids, heroin limits the brain’s ability to feel pain.
Heroin users may initially conceal their use, but as the addiction progresses, signs and symptoms become more prevalent. The good news is that there is hope. Medically assisted programs such as rapid heroin detox, are available for those suffering from heroin addiction.
Heroin is a highly addictive illegal substance. Using it regularly causes tolerance, which leads to physical dependence. As a result, symptoms of heroin addiction can vary depending on the genetic makeup of the user, the frequency of drug use, the amount of the drug used, the level of dependency, and other factors. Addiction treatment includes rapid heroin detox.
Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Addiction and Abuse
These are some of the most common symptoms of heroin addiction:
- Sudden mood swings
- Constricted (tiny) pupils
- Cycles of alertness and sudden nodding off
- Slurred speech
- Scratching and flushed skin
Addiction Warning Signs
- Needles or syringes
- Burned spoons or aluminum foil
- Displaced shoelaces, ties, or belts (used to tie injection sites)
- Small containers (usually tiny plastic bags) with brown or white residual
- Pipes or soda cans with holes (used to smoke the heroin)
Side Effects of Heroin Abuse
Repeated use of heroin changes the physical structure of the brain, which can cause severe damage to both the peripheral nervous system and the body’s hormonal functions. Also, studies have shown that the damage caused by heroin use often leads to a decrease in the user’s ability to make decisions, cope with stress, and control behavior.
Heroin users are seldom aware that their dependency is inflicting harm on their lives and the lives of the people around them. They neglect to care for their livelihoods and their bodies — acquiring more heroin becomes far more important than anything or anybody else.
Heroin is typically used intravenously, which can lead to many severe physical consequences. These may include contracting infectious diseases such as HIV or hepatitis, liver disease, seizures, kidney dysfunction, dehydration, unhealthy weight loss, and abscesses.
Long and Short Term Effects
The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), clearly states the long-term side effects of heroin use. Furthermore, the behavioral consequences can be as harmful, if not more, than physical ones. To illustrate, here are some of the most observable behaviors:
- Deceptive behavior (primarily lying and hiding)
- Withdrawal from friends and loved ones
- Lack of interest in healthy hobbies or activities
- Decreased performance of responsibilities, including school or job
- Hostile sudden behaviors
- Stealing or unexplained disappearance of items
Furthermore, people who continuously use heroin develop a tolerance for the drug, and if discontinued, they become susceptible to feel a withdrawal syndrome. Symptoms of heroin withdrawal can set in a few hours, and they usually peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose.
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Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
Consequently, the length of time someone abuses heroin, how he or she uses, and the amount will all be essential factors in how dependent the brain and body are. These factors will also dictate the severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms. Most Common Withdrawal Symptoms Include:
- Runny nose
- Muscle spasms in the legs (which cause them to kick)
- Dilated pupils
- Aches and pains in the muscles and joints
- Extreme restlessness
- Abdominal cramps
These More Severe Ones Should Require Medical Assistance Because they Can Put the Person at Additional Risk for Medical Complications. Some of the Symptoms to Watch out for include:
- Dehydration (continuous vomit or diarrhea)
- Rapid heart rate
- Extreme depression
- Impaired respiration
After physical symptoms, psychological ones follow, including anxiety, depression, and severe cravings for the drug.
The Importance of a Medical Heroin Detox
Heroin is a highly addictive drug, physically and emotionally. Due to its powerful effects, those who suffer from heroin addiction should access inpatient medical heroin detox to come off. Unsupervised withdrawal may have medical or emotional complications that could be life-threatening. The support of specialized medical and mental health professionals during this challenging phase is crucial for the safety and success of a detoxification treatment for heroin addiction.
Archaic forms of heroin treatment involve admission to a drug rehab facility. Unfortunately, these rehab centers have drug counselors who lack the medical education required to identify and treat withdrawal symptoms. Other options are buprenorphine based drugs, that although much safer than street drugs, it is also addictive. Methadone maintenance has also been at the forefront of treatment, but also extremely addictive and one of the most difficult opioid withdrawals there is.
In our opinion, the first stage of coming off the drug is a successful heroin detox. Without it, one can never achieve full recovery. Heroin detox can trigger extraordinarily uncomfortable and dangerous withdrawal symptoms. As a result, people can face immediate relapse if not properly managed.
Rapid Detox for Heroin and Fentanyl
Rapid detoxification is a procedure that sedates patients while given medications to induce and speed the withdrawal period. This process allows patients to complete detoxification while comfortably sleeping in an ICU private room within an accredited hospital. The antagonist medication used during detox also binds to the opiate receptor sites, which eliminates most of the physical cravings.
Anesthesia detox prevents the patient from going through the unnecessary agony of long and challenging heroin withdrawal symptoms. This type of treatment can provide patients a much higher chance of success in completing opioid detoxification.
Medical heroin detox plays an essential role in helping people get through the withdrawal symptoms safely and successfully. Heroin detox is a process uncomfortable enough to cause many people to keep on using or give up during withdrawal. Providing patients the chance to sleep through anesthesia-assisted detox helps reduce the risk of relapse, while also providing a much more comfortable and safe way detoxing. Furthermore, medical staff can give medications to lessen discomfort while ensuring that patients’ condition is continually monitored.
Waismann Method® – Medically Assisted Heroin Detox Treatment Specialists
Waismann Method® of anesthesia detoxification involves pushing the opioids off the receptors in the body. Our rapid heroin detox program aims at eliminating heroin from your system and reversing its damaging effects. Therefore, this regulation allows for a steady journey of recovery and a more balanced mental status.
If you’re looking for a heroin detoxification treatment program, Give us a call. Let us talk to understand your health needs and provide you with treatment options. We believe everyone should get the best chance to overcome withdrawals. Heroin is not the end of the road. Therefore, you now have the opportunity of building a brighter future for you and your family. For individual treatment options, give us a call today. Let us help you find a life free from heroin addiction.