Heroin is an illegal drug people make using morphine, which is an opioid.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, heroin can be a white or brown powder, as well as a sticky substance called black tar.
When someone continues to use heroin, they risk building a tolerance to the drug and need more to produce the same pleasurable feelings they had when they first started using it. This is a dangerous cycle that can lead to a heroin addiction.
At CenterPointe Hospital, we provide clinically excellent care for people who are struggling with heroin addictions. By working with our highly experienced team, you can break the cycle of addiction and live a life free of heroin.
Signs & Symptoms of Heroin Addiction
When someone is abusing heroin, they may display certain signs and symptoms of heroin addiction. However, the symptoms of heroin addiction can vary depending on different factors. These might include the person’s genetic makeup, how long they’ve been using heroin, how much heroin they typically use, and if they use other drugs. Common signs and symptoms of heroin addiction include:
- Mouth is excessively dry
- Skin is flushed and warm
- Struggles to think clearly
- Nose is constantly runny
- Has intense changes in mood
- Has trouble getting quality sleep
- Spends more and more time alone
- Has an unexpected, sudden need for money
- Wears long sleeves and pants even in summer
- Suffers from stomach cramps and constipation
- Alternates between wakefulness and drowsiness
Heroin Addiction Statistics
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported the following statistics on heroin addiction in the United States based on the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health:
- Approximately 902,000 people age 12 or older used heroin in the past year.
- Among young adults ages 18-25, an estimated 62,000 used heroin during that same time.
- Heroin use among adults age 26 and older was even higher than among young adults, with 840,000 using heroin in the past year.
Effects of Heroin Addiction
The effects of heroin addiction are not only devastating, but they can also be life-threatening. Not everyone is impacted by a heroin addiction in the same way. However, there are certain negative consequences people commonly experience when they struggle with this disease. These include:
- Legal problems or incarceration
- Trouble maintaining a job
- Difficulty performing at school
- Financial struggles, poverty, or homelessness
- Damaged relationships with loved ones
- Domestic or intimate partner violence
- Isolation from friends and family
- Lung, liver, and kidney damage
- Collapsed veins and abscesses at injection sites
- Infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B or C
- Death from health complications or overdose
- Development of a mental health condition
- Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
If you think that you might be struggling with a heroin addiction, it’s crucial to reach out for professional support as soon as possible. By receiving treatment for a heroin addiction early on, you can prevent any long-term effects from occurring.
Learn About Treatment for Heroin Addiction
You might think that long-term rehab is your only choice when it comes to heroin addiction treatment. However, there are many different options that fit a range of needs.
At CenterPointe Hospital, we offer a continuum of services for people whose lives have been disrupted by heroin addictions. Inpatient treatment, residential treatment, partial hospitalization programming (PHP), and intensive outpatient programming (IOP) are available for adolescents and adults, while inpatient and outpatient programming are available for seniors.
Our main hospital is located in St. Charles, Missouri, and we also have two outpatient clinics in St. Louis and one in Maryville, Illinois. Each of our heroin addiction treatment centers provides the highest-quality care in an environment of dignity and respect. We encourage you to contact the location nearest you to get more information on the services offered at that site.
The Benefits of Heroin Addiction Treatment
When you find the right place to get heroin addiction treatment, it can change your life for the better. You can take back control from this destructive disease and start rebuilding the parts of your life that were destroyed.
One of the benefits of seeking care at a heroin addiction treatment center is that professionals can support you while you go through the withdrawal process. Withdrawal can be painful and intense, and many people relapse because it’s so tough to complete it without the help of experts. But experienced professionals can offer ways to minimize the discomfort of withdrawal, allowing you to get a firmer foothold in the early stages of recovery.
Getting heroin addiction treatment can also be beneficial because you can make critical behavior and lifestyle changes. By making these adjustments, you can decrease your chances of encountering some of the triggers that may have previously led you to abuse heroin. During your time in treatment for a heroin addiction, you may also learn healthier ways to manage triggers and intense emotions, helping you avoid future relapse.
Therapies Used to Treat Heroin Addiction
Getting heroin addiction treatment at a place that meets your specific needs can make a world of difference. At CenterPointe Hospital, we personalize everyone’s care following a detailed assessment of their heroin use, medical history, and treatment history.
Before starting heroin addiction treatment, you may take part in our on-site medical detoxification services. By participating in detox, you can complete withdrawal under the supervision of medical professionals who will monitor your comfort and safety throughout this process. You may also take part in medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which combines medications like Suboxone and Vivitrol with therapy.
Depending on your unique needs and therapeutic goals, your treatment plan may also include:
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy
- Experiential therapy
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
- Medication management services
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
A heroin addiction can destroy your health and relationships, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Let the experts at CenterPointe Hospital help you find your path to lasting recovery.
This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at CenterPointe Hospital.