Heroin addiction is sweeping the nation at an alarming rate. In many cases, the resurgence of heroin addiction is a result of increasing regulations on opioid painkillers. Some individuals become trapped in heroin addiction after becoming dependent on prescription opioids. In other cases, individuals begin using heroin after trying other illegal drugs.1
Heroin addiction takes a strong toll on individuals and their families. Addiction and dependence on a substance as powerful as heroin requires a multi-faceted treatment approach. Lasting recovery is a challenging goal because this drug is so powerful, but heroin recovery is possible, and much easier with proper support.
Emotional effects of heroin abuse can include the following:
- Loss of trust in yourself
- Loss of the trust of others
- Emotional distress and intense mood swings
- Inability to cope with or fulfill obligations of your employment
- Anxiety over how to obtain drugs
- Anxiety over financial difficulties
- Anger or frustration that is difficult to control
- Distress over failed or lost relationships
- Guilt over failure to perform normal responsibilities
Heroin addiction causes mental distress. You will not be able to think and reason while addicted to heroin the way you could when you were clean. The following symptoms are the behavioral changes that a person with heroin addiction manifests, showing how far their mental outlook has fallen:
- Lying and acting deceptively
- Paying little or no attention to appearance and personal hygiene
- Loss of motivation to reach goals
- Stealing or repeatedly borrowing with no ability to give back
- Acting “out of character”, irrationally, or impulsively
- Isolating or seeking out new social groups that do not seem healthy
Types of Heroin Treatment
Addiction is a brain disorder, and although perhaps a few bad decisions led to it, addiction itself is not a decision.
Inpatient care is a good option for those who have fallen victim to heroin addiction. One of the benefits to inpatient treatment is that this illegal drug will not be available or offered to an addicted individual in any level during recovery. Rather, medical help can be provided, in a safe location, which will help the addicted person move through the withdrawal process of detoxification.
Outpatient care involves getting treatment for addiction through a series of appointments without actually staying overnight. Outpatient care means that you will have more personal responsibility to follow the instructions of your care program. It can be a wonderful follow-up program after inpatient treatment and before returning to normal working life. Many people choose to live in a supportive sober-living home while attending outpatient treatment.
Integrated Treatment for Mental, Physical and Spiritual Healing
Mental illness sometimes accompanies heroin addiction. Powerful opiates may trigger latent mental illnesses. In other words, if a person already has a family history of an illness like depression or bipolar disorder, the use of a powerful illegal drug may trigger that illness into action. In other situations, individuals become dependent on drugs or alcohol in an attempt to escape the pain of mental illness. Fortunately, integrated treatment is designed to address both of these issues in one dedicated location.
Early in treatment, your concerns regarding treatment and addiction will be addressed in a private consultation. Along with your initial physical examination, this consultation can help answer questions you and your family may have about treatment, and also help your treatment team understand more about your background, life experiences, and family history.
Physical changes happen with addiction. You might have experienced a change in your weight or heart health. Perhaps muscle strength has diminished or feels like it has diminished, which may give you a posture that makes you look to others like your arms and legs are heavy. There may be scars on your arms from needle injections, and even abscesses or infections that fester at the site where the drug enters your body. You may have felt the disorientation that comes with heroin abuse. Other common symptoms include shortness of breath and cycles of being hyper-alert followed by suddenly just feeling groggy and tired.2 While these physical symptoms may be alarming to loved ones, many of them are fully treatable.
Spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional assistance are all available with one call to help to fight your addiction. It is possible to become your authentic self once again. Rehabilitation treatment will not hurt you; it will protect you from developing further hazards to your health and your future.
Families are deeply impacted by heroin addiction. There is the danger of legal repercussions from illegal activity involved in the drug acquisition, which might involve custody issues and the loss of custody of children. Truly, even inpatient care would be a small price to pay to avoid such a permanent and painful complication.
Speaking with your treatment center of choice will help you to determine what the potential costs will be in terms of your expected level of commitment, compliance, and financial obligation. Many health care providers arrange for drug addiction treatment to be covered through insurance, and this can be considered with you in mind. Treatment can often be completed in just a matter of weeks or months, but the results can last a lifetime!
1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. DrugFacts: Heroin. Found online 2/12/16 at https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/heroin
2. MedlinePlus. Heroin. Found online 2/12/16 at: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/heroin.html