If you’re concerned about your well-being or want to get help for a loved one, you may wonder – what is the heroin epidemic? Heroin is an opioid, which is a group that consists of highly addictive drugs, including prescription medication and synthetic drugs. Heroin continues to wreak havoc in the lives of millions worldwide. In 2017, the number of reported opioid overdose deaths was 47,000, with nearly 64% of the cases involving heroin.
Heroin Addiction and Withdrawal
Heroin is so potent that out of everyone who tries the drug, one in four gets addicted. The drug releases chemicals such as endorphins and dopamine that make the brain feel good. The brain releases these chemicals typically to reward behavior that is essential for survival, help loved ones, or appreciate food. Once your mind links heroin to these pleasant feelings of reward, you become dependent on the drug to function normally.
There are several signs of heroin addiction to look out for, such as:
- Chronic heroin use, despite the personal and professional problems the drug causes
- Trying to cut down the dose or quit, but failing consistently
- Persistent cravings
- Developing a tolerance, meaning you’ll have to increase the dosage to achieve the same ‘high’ as before
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
Once your body is dependent on heroin, you’ll start to feel sick when you’re not using it. The withdrawal symptoms begin to appear within a few hours of your last use, and they are often unpleasant and painful. Medical detox at an addiction treatment center in Palm Springs will offer a safe way to manage and alleviate these symptoms.
What Is the Heroin Relationship to Other Drugs?
People struggling with a heroin addiction also have a higher risk of experimenting with other drugs. Painkillers in the opioids category produce similar effects on the brain, which makes them an ideal over-the-counter alternative to heroin. However, these prescription pills are costlier, so addicts usually start with painkillers and switch to heroin as it’s cheaper and easier to obtain.
Today, addicts crush the painkillers into a powder form so that they can snort or inject. These methods of administration end up introducing the person to heroin because this is how people typically consume illicit drugs. OxyContin is the most widely abused prescription opioid in the US. According to statistics, an estimated 50% of heroin addicts start by abusing prescription painkillers before graduating to the hard drug.
Heroin Addiction Treatment and Rehab
Now you know what is the heroin epidemic, and its effects on society at large. Seek treatment for a successful recovery. Comprehensive treatment is available for people suffering from opiate addiction, and those who also suffer from co-occurring mental health conditions. Expect a variety of treatment programs, including:
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Medication-assisted detox therapy
- Peer support groups
- Individual therapy
- Group counseling
- Dialectical treatment program
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
Professionals perform detox and treatment at a rehab setting where they can supervise individuals. Heroin withdrawal symptoms can be painful, even fatal, at times if you attempt to treat the addiction at home. Medical detox also enhances the chances of realizing long term recovery.
Overcome Heroin Addiction at Phoenix Rising
At our rehab facility, you’ll focus entirely on your recovery journey without any environmental triggers and distractions from the outside world. The length and type of treatment you’ll receive will depend on the number of drugs you use, medical history, the severity of withdrawal symptoms, and underlying health conditions.
Once you complete the psychotherapy program in Palm Springs, CA, you’ll fully understand what is the heroin epidemic’s impact on society. Don’t let heroin addiction cause pain and suffering in your life. Contact us today at 855.232.8211, and we’ll get you started on recovery.