Heroin Anonymous Meetings in San Diego, CA

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Heroin is an illicit substance derived from morphine, a legal prescription pain reliever. Heroin characteristics mirror those of other opiates and can cause fatal overdoses.

Heroin addiction is a rapidly growing problem across the country.  Heroin use contributes to the year-over-year increase in opioid deaths, a trend that has emerged since 2000. It is estimated that nearly 1 million Americans use heroin every year. Hundreds of thousands eventually develop a heroin addiction.

What is Heroin Addiction?

Heroin use becomes an addiction when the person experiences the following symptoms:

  • Tolerance: The individual needs to consume higher and higher amounts of the drug to achieve the same high.
  • Dependence: Continuous drug use alters the body and brain’s chemistry. As a result, the person may feel they cannot function without the drug in their system.
  • Withdrawal: When the person doesn’t use, they experience physical and psychological symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety, and cramping.

Who is at Highest Risk for Heroin Addiction?

Heroin abuse is rising amongst all demographics in America. There are some risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing a heroin addiction:

  • Being prescribed an opioid painkiller
  • Use of other substances, such as alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine
  • Certain socioeconomic markers, such as low household income and lack of health insurance

What Happens During Heroin Withdrawals?

Withdrawing from opiates like heroin is a painful and draining process. Symptoms may start as soon as 6 hours after the last use. Common signs of heroin withdrawal include:

  • Muscle cramps and aches
  • Pain
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Mood swings
  • Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting

Symptoms continue to worsen for up to 72 hours and then subside.

While the timeline for heroin withdrawal is relatively short, symptoms such as gastrointestinal distress can cause serious health issues. 

Some withdrawal symptoms persist for weeks or months after heroin detox.  Protracted withdrawal symptoms include mood disorders, cravings, and fatigue.

Intense cravings can trigger a relapse. For this reason, people recovering from heroin addiction can benefit from support services, ranging from receiving residential drug treatment to joining a peer support group.

What is Heroin Anonymous?

Heroin Anonymous (HA) is a 12 Step peer support group that accepts individuals overcoming heroin and other opioid addictions. HA groups take place across the country.

What are the Steps Taken Towards Complete Heroin Recovery?

Heroin addiction treatment occurs in stages. The first step is acknowledging the issue and taking steps to stop use.

Depending on the severity and length of the addiction, recovery treatment may begin with attending a drug rehab in San Diego to complete the detoxification process. 

After detox, recovering addicts may remain in residential care or enroll in an intensive outpatient program to undergo a combination of treatments. This can include medication-assisted treatment and psychotherapy. 

Once the individual has stabilized, they may continue their recovery journey in the context of their everyday life. At this stage, peer support groups like Heroin Anonymous can be a vital source of social support and encouragement.

Are There Any Virtual Heroin Anonymous Meetings?

Yes. Virtual Heroin Anonymous meetings are accessible to anyone with a smart device and internet connection. Meetings are generally scheduled on a weekly or monthly basis.

Can You Find Heroin Anonymous Meetings in San Diego?

According to Heroin Anonymous World Service, there are three active HA meetings in San Diego and surrounding cities. 

Spoon-fed Recovery

In Person
Weekly on Sundays, 6:00pm
737 E Grand Ave, Escondido, CA 92025
Contact: Danielle P. (619) 832-4700

I.V. League 

In Person
Weekly on Mondays, 7:00pm
God’s Garage; 4811 Cass St. San Diego, CA 92109
Contact: Andrew B. (858) 335-5964

Poison I.V.

In-Person
Weekly on Saturdays, 7:30pm
Immanuel Lutheran Church 1900 S Nevada St Oceanside, CA 92054
Contact: Emilee S. (720) 810-0526

Is Narcotics Anonymous (NA) The Same as Heroin Anonymous?

Heroin Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous share many similarities, but they are not the same organization. Both programs follow the 12-Step approach for addiction recovery.

However, NA resources are not tailored to a specific substance. Instead, the program helps individuals manage the cycle of addiction itself. Heroin Anonymous focuses on the addictive nature of heroin and opiates and how people can overcome their dependency.

So, while NA is open to anyone grappling with any type of substance addiction, HA is specifically for people dealing with opiate abuse.

Will My Insurance Cover Heroin Addiction Rehab?

Many health insurance providers are obligated by the Affordable Healthcare Act to provide some coverage for heroin treatment services. However, policy variables such as deductibles and copays can impact out-of-pocket costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Heroin affects the brain by attaching to receptors in the brain. This triggers a release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and activates the brain’s reward centers. This produces a short-term state of euphoria. Over time, heroin destroys brain cells and causes neurological and hormonal imbalances.

Heroin also interferes with the automatic brain functions that control heart rate and breathing. Overdosing on the drug can cause users to lose consciousness and eventually stop breathing.

Heroin use with other issues, such as a mental health disorder, can make the problem worse.

The rise in heroin use over the past two decades has contributed to an increase in overdoses. Over 13,000 people died from a heroin overdose in 2020. This represents a year-over-year increase of 7%.

Naloxone is a fast-acting medication that can reverse the effects of opioids. It binds to the same opioid receptors as heroin and blocks its effect.  Naloxone is available in injectable and inhalable versions.

Heroin enters the body as an inactive substance. However, enzymes in the body break heroin down into morphine, and the metabolites 3-monoacetylmorphine and 6-acetylmorphine. Morphine acts on the receptors and causes euphoric effects on the brain.

While heroin and morphine are both addictive opiates, heroin is able to enter the brain at a much faster rate and at a higher concentration than morphine. This is one of the reasons why Heroin has no accepted medical use, while morphine can be prescribed for pain.