Currently, the United States is facing a major heroin epidemic that is affecting thousands. Over the past decade, heroin has taken the nation by storm and found its way into the homes and lives of many, whether it be the user or the family of those using. With the rise of heroin abuse, a heroin addiction treatment program in California is one of the most effective ways to get help and avoid becoming another statistic.
All About Heroin
Heroin is a highly addictive opiate that comes from Morphine. It’s a naturally occurring substance that individuals extract from the seeds of the poppy plant. It typically comes in two forms: a white/brownish powder or a “black tar” form. Pure heroin comes in a white powder and predominately comes from the Middle East. The powdered “China white” form is higher in purity and remains the most prevalent among the eastern states of the U.S. Users can snort, smoke, or inject the drug. The black tar form is hard and sticky in consistency. Its dark color is the result of crude processing that leaves behind impurities.
The rise in heroin use has been largely influenced by the ongoing problems we’ve seen with people abusing highly-addictive prescription painkillers like OxyContin, Opana, Vicodin, and Percocet. Since the introduction of OxyContin, overdose deaths across the U.S. have quadrupled. Many addicts will start off with painkillers because they do not possess the same stigma and are seen as more socially acceptable. In many cases, they are prescribed these by a doctor to treat moderate to severe pain and sadly, many become addicted. As an addict’s painkiller habit becomes more and more expensive, they often will switch over to heroin, because of it’s cheaper cost.
In 2010, the makers of OxyContin implemented an abuse-deterrent formula, which made it much harder for addicts to snort, smoke or inject the drug. Upon this reformulation, many addicts made the switch over to heroin. Since then, heroin-related deaths have tripled in the U.S.
Why Seek Out a Heroin Addiction Treatment Program in California?
Heroin is a central nervous system depressant and is converted back into Morphine, once it enters the brain. It binds to cells in the brain known as opioid receptors, many of which are involved in the perception of pain. It induces an intense feeling of euphoria and relaxation in the user. There are numerous signs of use to be watchful of. If these signs remain consistent, then it is important that you or a loved seek heroin addiction treatment options as soon as possible. Some signs of heroin abuse and addiction include:
- Slurred or incoherent speech patterns
- Decreased performance in school or work
- Irregular sleeping patterns
- Loss of interest in hobbies or relationships
- Isolating from family and friends
- Erratic or hostile behavior towards friends and loved ones
- Borrowing or stealing money from family and friends
- Shortness of breath
- Constricted “pinned-out” pupils
- Constant fatigue (nodding off)
- Dramatic weight loss
- Needle marks or abscesses on skin where they shoot up
- Constant itching
Signs of Heroin Withdrawal
Whenever you take any drug consistently and for a prolonged period of time, your body will become desensitized to its effects and when abusing heroin, your body will in fact, become physically addicted to the drug to function properly. Over time, addicts will develop a tolerance and will need more and more of the drug to induce the same desired effect. This leads to a higher risk of overdose.
Over time, the drug changes the way the user’s nerve receptors work in their brain and they will become physically dependent on the drug. This occurs even in people who take painkillers as prescribed. Once they stop using the drug, they will go through a period of severe withdrawal. Some signs of heroin withdrawal include:
- Profuse and unusual sweating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Extreme cramping in limbs or “kicking”
- Severe insomnia
- Cold sweats
Heroin withdrawal is especially painful and often requires medical attention. Many heroin detox programs in Orange County include the use of detox medications such as Suboxone and Subutex to help ease the patient through the detox process. These medications are specifically to treat the pain that occurs with opiate withdrawal. A heroin addiction treatment program in California will help you safely detox from the drug without the worry of complications from withdrawal. Constant medical supervision keeps you safe and comfortable during this first step of treatment.
Medical Side Effects of Heroin Addiction
Heroin is extremely potent, which carries a long list of side effects that could worsen without a heroin addiction treatment program. These side effects change as the disease progresses and vary depending on the addict’s age and other health factors. Some serious medical side effects of heroin addiction include:
- Infectious diseases such as HIV, and Hepatitis B and C (spread through shared needle use)
- Pulmonary diseases
- Cardiorespiratory problems
- Liver disease
- Arthritis and other rheumatologic problems
Finding Help at Morningside Recovery
When it comes to an effective heroin addiction treatment program in California, Morningside Recovery Center is your destination. We provide numerous addiction therapy services that help our clients break free of their addiction. Our rehab programs provide the necessary tools each client needs to take control of their life and to achieve lasting recovery. Dual diagnosis treatment is also available to those who struggle with addiction as well as an undiagnosed mental health disorder. To learn more about addiction treatment services in CA through Morningside Recovery, call us today at 855-416-8202. Find out our team can help you begin making better choices, every day.