Heroin is a highly addictive and illegal opioid that’s commonly sold on the streets. It’s derived from morphine, a natural substance taken from the seed pod of opium poppy plants that grow in Southeast and Southwest Asia, Mexico, and Colombia. Heroin is usually sold either as a white or brown powder or as a black sticky substance called black tar heroin. People commonly inject, snort, or smoke this drug to experience a euphoria and sedative high. With long-term abuse, a severe and life-threatening opioid use disorder can develop. If you or someone you know has become dependent on heroin, our heroin addiction treatment center in Sebring can help.
Common Heroin Effects
Like other opioids, heroin works by attaching to opioid receptors in the central nervous system (CNS) and other regions in the body. When bound to these receptors, heroin not only blocks pain signaling from the body to the brain but also stimulates the reward system of the brain to cause euphoria and elevated mood.
Other common side effects of heroin include:
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Heavy feeling in the arms and legs
- Severe itching
- Nausea and vomiting
- Clouded mental function
- Going “on the nod” (in and out of consciousness)
This sensation of euphoria combined with the numbing effects of heroin is what makes the drug so addictive. The longer a person uses heroin, the more of it they’ll need to experience this high, which is the result of tolerance. After a while, their body becomes dependent on this drug to function normally or experience any pleasure, which encourages drug-taking behavior.
Long-term effects of heroin include insomnia, collapsed veins in people who inject the drug, infection of the heart lining and valves from the cutting agents in heroin, constipation, stomach cramping, and more. Despite these severe side effects, a person with heroin addiction will struggle to quit without the support of a professional heroin addiction treatment program.
Signs of Heroin Use
Catching substance abuse early can make the heroin addiction recovery process quicker and often easier for the individual. If you suspect that your loved one is battling addiction, here are some signs of heroin abuse to look out for:
- Neglecting responsibilities at home, such as chores, due to drug use
- Neglecting personal hygiene
- Neglecting scholastic and academic responsibilities (i.e., flunking classes) due to heroin use
- Skipping school or work to use heroin
- Sudden, inexplicable need for money
- Engaging in secretive behaviors
- Legal problems as a result of heroin use
- Lying and stealing from loved ones to buy more heroin
- Sudden changes in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies
- Relationship problems as a result of heroin use
- Wearing long sleeves and pants during warm weather to hide track marks from intravenous heroin use
- Appears lethargic or stoned
- Changes in eating
- Constant runny nose
- Deterioration of personal appearance
- Difficulties problem solving
- Drug paraphernalia around the house – glass pipes, used syringes, rubber tubing
- Dry mouth
- Flushed skin
- Impaired coordination
- Increased sleeping or difficulty sleeping
- Itching and rash
- Nausea and vomiting
- Nodding off suddenly
- Slowed breathing
- Slurred speech
- Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing
- Weight loss
Those various factors may contribute to the development of a person’s addiction to heroin, and the result is the same: an inability to quit heroin abuse despite the evident consequences on the individual’s life. Fortunately, our inpatient Sebring drug rehab offers treatment for heroin addiction that can help.
What Our Heroin Treatment Offers
When someone is physically dependent on heroin and then suddenly tries to stop using it, they usually experience different uncomfortable and even painful symptoms called withdrawal symptoms. The physical symptoms of heroin withdrawal – such as diarrhea, vomiting, achy muscles and bones, and flu-like symptoms – can often make quitting the drug more challenging because the discomfort tempts the individual to start using again.
To prevent relapse and help people quit, our Florida heroin rehab offers medically assisted detox that offers medication-assisted care to reduce the discomfort of withdrawals and make the detox process smoother. Not only does this process reduce the temptation to jump back into drug use, but it also reduces the risk of complications like severe dehydration, which can be fatal in extreme cases.
In addition to detox, our heroin addiction treatment in Florida also addresses the psychological aspects of addiction, such as mental illness, trauma, or other symptoms. Our Highland County, Florida, substance abuse therapy includes programs like CBT, DBT, and biofeedback to help clients get the most out of treatment, change their habits, and develop a lifestyle that’s conducive to sobriety.