Heroin Rehab Center
Heroin Rehab Center
Heroin is one of the most notorious drugs on the streets and has been so for many years. It is highly addictive and can be extremely deadly as well. The reputation that heroin has earned is well-known, but the facts about heroin, its effects on the body, and the ways in which a person can overcome an addiction to this powerful drug are largely misunderstood.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is an illicit street drug in the opioid family. Opioid drugs are derived from opium, which is a white, milky substance that comes from the seedpods of the poppy plant. Opium, in its purest form, has been used for centuries to various degrees. Heroin is just one of the many manifestations of opioid-based drugs. Many prescription painkillers are also opiate drugs, including OxyContin, and Vicodin.
Heroin is a potent opiate-based drug that people get into their body in numerous ways. The most common way that people use heroin is to inject it directly into the veins. However, heroin can also be smoked or snorted. Generally, this is only done with the purest forms of heroin.
Heroin has become an extremely popular street drug in recent years. This is partially because the devious minds that run the illegal drug trade have created cheaper versions (i.e. less pure versions) of heroin to flood the streets with. Commonly referred to as "black tar" heroin, this type of heroin is sticky and dark in color.
What Heroin Does to the Body
When a person uses heroin, there are many things that happen inside of the body as it interacts with the drug. However, a person ingests heroin, whether through smoking, snorting, or the more common injecting, that drug will quickly make its way into the bloodstream. When it does, it gets circulated throughout the body and eventually reaches the brain.
In the brain, the heroin begins to attach itself to specific receptors in the nerve cells. There are numerous effects that this reaction can have. First and foremost, heroin attaches to nerve cells in a way that blocks pain signals from being delivered properly. This means the person will experience little to no pain, even if they have a serious injury or pain condition. The pain-blocking effect is the primary reason that other opioid drugs like OxyContin and morphine are used as prescription painkillers.
On top of these pain-reducing effects, heroin has additional impacts in the brain and body. Heroin has a major impact on dopamine, an important hormone in the body. Dopamine is best known for being a hormone that controls experiences of pleasure. However, it is also responsible for other necessary processes in the body including digestion, breathing, and a person's heart rate.
Heroin causes large quantities of dopamine to be released in the brain. When this happens, digestion slows as do the heart rate and a person's breathing. Too much heroin, and therefore too much dopamine, can result in sudden cardiac arrest or cause a person to simply stop breathing. Additionally, many people who use heroin or take other opioid drugs also experience digestive issues, namely severe constipation.
Heroin, Dopamine, and Euphoria
Dopamine is also a chemical in the brain, as previously noted, that is known to be associated with happiness and euphoria. It is sometimes known as a feel-good chemical in the brain. And because of this, the flood of dopamine that occurs when a person uses heroin can cause them to feel euphoric and beyond happy.
The problem becomes that the body will eventually stop releasing any dopamine at all without the signals sent by the heroin. This means that the person will no longer be able to experience pleasurable or even pleasant feelings or emotions without being under the influence of drugs. This leads to further heroin abuse because not being able to experience any of those feelings is extremely unpleasant, and the surge experienced when abusing the drug is so potent.
The dopamine surge and subsequent euphoria, therefore, create a vicious cycle. And this vicious cycle plays a major role in addiction as well as a person's difficulty in overcoming their addiction. Knowing these physical and emotional effects of heroin on the body, it is easy to see why addiction is so often the consequence of any heroin use or abuse.
Heroin Rehab Center Options
If you have a heroin abuse problem or addiction, the only way to successfully overcome it is through the help of a heroin rehab center. Heroin addiction is powerful. The chemical reactions mentioned previously are a big part of that but there are also mental and emotional reasons that people end up starting heroin abuse and becoming addicted. This means, in essence, that an addiction to heroin is a highly complicated matter. It is so complicated that efforts to overcome a heroin addiction alone are almost always unsuccessful.
Heroin rehab centers are the best alternative to that cycle of failed recovery attempts. Such a heroin rehab center will offer a few different types of treatment programs for those who wish to overcome their addiction.
The first is outpatient treatment. Outpatient addiction treatment requires the least commitment as far as time goes. The person will generally spend a few hours every week in treatment and will be on their own in their regular daily life the rest of the time. This leaves a large margin for error in that relapse can very easily occur.
The next step up in terms of intensity of treatment is intensive outpatient treatment. When a heroin rehab center offers an intensive outpatient treatment program, they may also refer to it as partial hospitalization, day treatment, or simply IOP. These programs generally take up about six or eight hours a day, five days a week. This gives recovering addicts the opportunity to spend evenings and weekends at home while also getting the treatment that they need to overcome their addiction.
The most effective and intensive treatment option at a heroin rehab center is inpatient treatment, sometimes referred to as residential treatment. These are the treatment programs commonly associated with the idea of rehab. A person will spend all day and night in the treatment center, often for a few weeks or even a few months. This offers a great deal of structure as well as provides a safe place where relapse is impossible.
Heroin Addiction Therapies and Treatments
In addition to the range of types of treatment programs available in a heroin rehab center, there are also various therapies and other treatments that might fall within those programs. Generally, for example, a person will receive both individual and group therapy for their addiction.
Medical care is also a major part of the heroin addiction recovery process. When a person comes into treatment, they will need to detox before other treatments can begin. Detox gets the heroin out of a person's system. It also involves going through withdrawals. Withdrawal symptoms for heroin include chills, extreme abdominal cramping, nausea, and body aches.
Medical treatment can help a person through the detox process. There are medications like suboxone and methadone that are specifically designed to help ease a person's experience of withdrawals, shorten the detox process, and even help to maintain sobriety once detox is complete. Doctors in the heroin rehab center will administer these medications at set intervals and varying doses to help with this process and will work with the individual patient to determine if long-term medical maintenance would be beneficial.
Taking care of medical issues that were caused by heroin abuse and addiction will also be important when a person is in rehab for heroin. If the person is malnourished, which is a common affliction among those with heroin addictions, they may be given a specialized diet or even be put on a feeding tube if they are in particularly bad shape. Once stabilized, sessions with a dietician or nutritionist may also be a big part of the treatment program.
There are also different types of therapy available, particularly in the group therapy category. Art therapy, for example, is a treatment that allows recovering addicts to express themselves through drawing, painting, and other forms of art. This type of therapy also often involves discussion about the works that the participants have created. Learning to express feelings in a healthy way such as art is a coping strategy that can be very useful later on in recovery as well. Other versions of art therapy may include music therapy, dance therapy, recreational therapy, and the like.
Equine therapy is another interesting option that some heroin rehab centers offer. This type of treatment involves working directly with horses. Horses are emotionally intuitive animals and working with them can be very helpful in fostering emotional awareness, relationship building, and a sense of responsibility and accomplishment. Other interesting therapy options can include spiritual therapy, meditation, acupuncture, chiropractic care, yoga, and more.
Getting Help Today
When you enter a treatment program, you will generally be given a list of different therapies offered. Aside from core therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy or goals groups, you will likely be able to pick and choose which therapeutic options would be the most beneficial to you in your heroin addiction recovery.
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