Did you know that over 23 million Americans are currently battling an addiction to either alcohol or drugs?
Unfortunately, not many of these people get the help they need to beat their addiction and regain control of their lives. But, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do.
By educating yourself on addiction you can learn how to help people suffering and know when is the right time to intervene. Heroin addiction is a widely misunderstood affliction that affects millions, but if we all learn more then we might have a chance of getting those numbers down.
To find out more, we’ve put together a guide looking at is heroin a stimulant and more, as well as treatment options for sufferers.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is actually made from morphine, which you probably know of! In fact, morphine is a commonly administered drug for pain relief and is used across hospitals around the world. However, where morphine is a natural substance and administered in controlled circumstances, heroin is often mixed with various other substances and is taken in uncontrolled circumstances.
You can find heroin in a number of different forms; either in a white or brown powder, or a black, tar-like substance. It has a whole heap of different names you might hear it called, including smack, dope, and junk. It’s an incredibly addictive substance that leaves people heavily dependant on it, and heroin addiction is hard to battle alone.
Is Heroin a Stimulant?
Heroin isn’t a stimulant; it’s actually a depressant. This means that it will slow down brain function and the nervous system when taken. The person who’s using it can find their blood pressure dropping, their heart becoming irregular, and their temperature becoming lower.
Heroin works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, causing intense feelings of wellbeing and relief from pain. It’s this feeling that makes it so appealing and keeps people coming back for another dose. Soon, the body is dependant on heroin and without it will go into a nasty withdrawal phase.
Long-Term Effects of Heroin Addiction
Heroin users often keep taking the drug over a long period of time and can quickly develop some nasty side effects. These include:
- Sexual dysfunction for men
- Collapsed veins (if injecting)
- Infection of the heart lining or the heart valves
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Lung problems (including pneumonia)
- Mental disorders (such as paranoia, antisocial personality disorder, and depression)
When heroin is cut with other substances, like powdered milk or sugar, these can also clog the blood vessels that lead to vital organs around the body, leaving permanent damage. Sharing needles can also lead to problems, such as increasing the risk of diseases like hepatitis and HIV.
Taking heroin is incredibly dangerous and leads to around 14,000-15,000 deaths in the US every year. Unfortunately for those who become addicted, it’s also very hard to get off of.
Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Addiction?
If you’re worried that someone you love might be battling heroin addiction, there are certain signs to look out for. These include:
- Significant and sudden weight loss
- Despair and hopelessness
- An ability to focus
- Water eyes
- Runny nose
- Flu-like symptoms that don’t go away
- Sleep problems
- Bruising of the skin (or scabbing)
- Withdrawal from social interaction
- Drastic mood swings
- Financial problems
If you notice these problems, it’s so important you don’t ignore them. Heroin addiction recovery needs a good support system to work and without your intervention, they may struggle to stop taking the drug or seek help themselves.
Heroin Treatment Options
Once you’ve spoken to the person in your life and identified that they have a heroin problem and need help, there are some different treatment options available.
The first thing to do if you’re unsure is to speak to a professional. You can call our team at Restore Detox Centers in San Diego any time to receive help and advice, or send us a message if you’d prefer.
Then, look into the services available at addiction treatment centers to learn more. Your loved one will need a supervised drug detox to help them withdraw from the drug safely and in a comfortable, secure environment. There are then two options you can choose; inpatient or outpatient treatment.
Outpatient treatment should only be used for people who really can’t leave their life for a little while and stay at a facility, including if they have children. Even in these cases, make sure every solution has been explored before you opt for outpatient treatment.
With the stresses of daily life and availability of drugs, it’s much harder to make a full recovery when you’re not staying at a detox and addiction center.
Inpatient or residential treatment involves the person moving into a safe facility to fully recover. They’ll have access to a range of heroin addiction treatment options around the clock, including medical care and group and individual therapy, and will be in an environment that’s free of any non-prescribed drugs. This method has a much higher success rate and is the best place to detox and heal after an addiction.
Heroin Addiction Treatment at Restore
There is a huge range of different treatment options available for heroin addicts to make sure they resolve past trauma, create new positive thinking patterns, and feel safe returning to the outside world. At Restore Detox Centers, these include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Music and expressive arts therapy
- Meditation and mindfulness therapy
- Group yoga sessions
- Personal trainers and fitness classes
- Relapse prevention
- Family therapy
Find Help For Heroin Addiction
Now we’ve answered is heroin a stimulant? and looked at the facts of addiction, it’s time you find help for your loved one. Learn more about Restore Detox Centers to make sure it’s the right treatment option, or get in touch with us to find out more. When it comes to addiction, we’re always happy to help.