Chemical dependency on heroin is debilitating. It demands your complete attention and focus — very few things outside of it matter. Enrolling at Phoenix Rising’s heroin addiction rehab center can put you back in control of your life. If you have a substance use disorder (SUD), you probably have been hiding it from yourself and others for quite some time now.
Let’s start with the basics. How does it affect you, and how does it happen?
How Does Heroin Affect the Body?
When you take heroin, it quickly enters the body and binds the opioid receptors located in many areas. It mainly binds the receptors that are involved with feeling pain and pleasure. It also affects the areas controlling breathing, sleeping, and heart rate.
For this reason, if you’ve been taking heroin over a long time, you may experience insomnia, infections of the heart valves and lining, and lung complications.
It can be challenging to quit taking heroin for the same reason that many people find themselves taking it the second time. From the first time you try heroin, your brain chemistry changes, and as a result, you find yourself craving more.
There are other long term effects, including:
- Collapsed veins, if you inject the drug
- Abscesses, or tissues that have swollen and filled with pus
- Liver and kidney disease
- Mental disorders
- Damaged tissue on the lining of your nose if you snort or sniff the drug
- Constipation and stomach cramping
- Irregular menstrual cycles for women
- Sexual dysfunction for men
How Heroin Takes Over
Many people initially try heroin for the euphoric rush. True to its reputation, the drug typically delivers. For a brief few minutes, individuals experience a rush of dopamine that translates into a high. Then, they spend a few hours drifting in and out of consciousness.
Users likely feel relaxed. Because they like the way they felt, they’ll often try doing it again. However, repeated use will often lead to addiction. Therapists at the heroin addiction rehab center Southern CA trust frequently hear about this turning point.
At the Phoenix Rising residential treatment center, clients repeatedly recount how heroin took over. One day, they awoke to withdrawal symptoms. They would have done anything for the next fix, and it scared them.
Are You At Risk?
Anyone who uses opioids or heroin is at risk for developing an opioid use disorder. But some factors increase the risk. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of those risk factors are:
- Personal or family history of substance addiction
- Heavy use of tobacco
- History of severe anxiety or depression
- Contact with high-risk environments and people
If you or a loved one have one or many of the risk factors, it doesn’t mean that they necessarily have or will have an SUD. These are just some things to be aware of.
Signs You May Be Addicted to Heroin
During the early stages of heroin usage, you might not have any symptoms of a disorder, particularly if you’re taking steps to hide the use. As your use increases, it becomes more difficult to hide. Signs of heroin addiction can include:
- Agitation or drowsiness
- Slurred speech
- Constricted pupils
- Memory problems
- Needle marks (if injecting heroin)
- Runny nose or nose sores (if snorting heroin)
- Reduced sense of pain
- Change in appearance, lack of personal hygiene
- Changes in behavior such as secrecy or aggression
- Money issues such as missing money or needing more and more without a logical reason
- Problems at school or work
- Risky or dangerous behavior
One of the singular features of addiction is that the person is not able to stop despite multiple attempts while knowing the negative consequences of continuing. If you are using heroin, you have probably realized that you need to use more and more heroin to get that same blissful feeling you used to get. This is called building tolerance, and you may be on your way to an overdose.
Detox: The First Step in Heroin Addiction Recovery
Now that we’ve covered the basics, what can you do about it?
Detox–Recovery begins with detoxification. This is the process that rids your body of the toxins that have built up in your body through your drug use.
The length of time it takes for you to detox depends on:
- The severity of your addiction
- How long you were addicted
Heroin withdrawal can be extremely painful and debilitating. In the detox center, you will have 24-hour monitoring in case of an emergency. Symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Extreme muscle and bone pain
- Sleep disturbances
MAT Treatment for Heroin Addiction Recovery
Medication-assisted treatment at the heroin rehab center can keep you comfortable while you go through withdrawal. Similarly, you won’t suffer from dehydration and other side effects. After about a week, you’ll break the physiological dependency. That’s a huge step.
Next, you begin clinical care. Because you selected a residential stay at our heroin addiction rehab center, you’re not at risk for early relapse. You now collaborate with therapists to define a care protocol. Options include:
- Trauma informed care, which benefits you when the past presents you with significant triggers for heroin abuse. People who have suffered trauma frequently turn to drugs to ease the psychological pain.
- One-on-one talk therapy that encourages you to pinpoint the reasons why you began abusing the drug and any issues that might be causing emotional discomfort.
- Group therapy can help you build coping skills and develop ways to avoid a relapse. Groups offer support and encouragement.
- Dual diagnosis treatment that teaches you to manage underlying mental health disorders. If you have a co-occurring condition, they need to be treated simultaneously.
- Behavioral counseling, which expands your options for coping skills development.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is designed to adjust the patient’s behavior and expectations as they relate to drug use.
- Family therapy is useful in mending the family relationships that have been broken due to your heroin use. It provides education to family members about SUD and discusses how their behavior might have contributed to the problem.
- Experiential therapies that include recreation, psychodrama, and equine therapy.
How a Residential Heroin Addiction Rehab Center Could Change Your Life
In a residential treatment program, you will live at the facility. This keeps you safe from the distractions, environments, and people that influenced your heroin use. This is your time to work on you and take care of yourself.
Intensive Outpatient Programs and General Outpatient for Heroin Addiction
If you enter an outpatient program, you will be able to live at home and attend your individual and group therapy sessions at the treatment center. The difference between outpatient and intensive outpatient is the days per week and the duration of the therapy sessions.
Outpatient programs are recommended for people who have a mild to moderate addiction and who have a family and social support system. Sometimes it is used as a step-down from the residential program.
Our facility takes advantage of our beautiful Palm Springs location. We help you break away from the routine life you’ve had. We have something for everyone, whether you need help in our equine therapy program or physical fitness options, which include an in-house gym, a pool, and a jacuzzi.
In addition to our evidence-based approaches to therapy, we also provide a variety of alternative methods, like art and psychodrama therapy.
We strive to create a treatment plan that works for you. Treatments build on each other and give you new tools and strategies to get you through your new life in sobriety. By experiencing consistent victories during a heroin addiction rehab program, you develop the confidence to keep going. Most importantly, you create a vision of a drug-free lifestyle.
Aftercare Rounds Out Your Stay at the Rehab Facility
Phoenix Rising is the heroin rehab center Southern CA trusts because we offer an aftercare protocol. Remember that recovery is a lifelong process. It’s not something you do while going through the heroin rehab program. Therefore, it’s just as vital to consider what comes after residential care.
After you complete your residential therapy and leave our facility, you can find local support groups. They encourage peer-to-peer accountability. This step is something for which we prepare you for during your stay at the heroin rehab center.
It’s a lot like group therapy, which can be enjoyable. Similarly, it protects your sobriety. Research shows that the longer you stay in some form of treatment, the better your chances of heroin addiction recovery.
Imagine Your Future
Imagine yourself living a sober life. You don’t have to continue abusing heroin, which has by now lost its appeal. Phoenix Rising operates the heroin addiction rehab center that can make the difference in your life that you have been waiting for.
At the Phoenix Rising heroin addiction rehab center, we routinely work with people just like you– good people who want to regain control of their lives. Join some other good people and start imagining a drug-free future. Contact us now.