Synthesized from morphine or naturally extracted from the flowers of the opium poppy plant, heroin binds to opioid receptors in the brain and produces feelings of euphoria and ecstasy in users. Heroin can be sniffed, snorted or injected, which results in immediate delivery to the brain and a powerful “high.” Whether in white powder form or its sticky tar form, continued use can cause changes in brain chemistry, affecting receptors in the brain associated with pain and reward. Because some of these receptors are found in the brainstem, which governs bodily functions like respiration and blood pressure, use of heroin can critically slow these processes, resulting in asphyxiation and death.
Although the “rush” associated with heroin use is associated with pleasure and elation, the body quickly builds a tolerance to the drug, forcing the user to increase the amount ingested to produce these feelings. Because of this, short term use of heroin can quickly cause physical and mental dependence on the drug. Increased use causes degradation in user’s white matter, negatively affecting decision-making skills and the ability to manage stress.
Repeated heroin abuse causes physical and mental addiction, pushing the addict to seek heroin regardless of the negative consequences of their use and you will get along with California addiction treatment to resolve it in all the ways. Life becomes dull and meaningless without the high produced by heroin. Social consequences can include isolation and alienation from loved ones, job loss, and legal issues. The medical consequences can be severe, with users experiencing higher than average rates of HIV/AIDs, Hepatitis C, overdose, and death.
Prevalence and Statistics
Compared to other prescription, illicit, and legal substances, heroin use and addiction is not particularly high in the United States. That being said, heroin use has been steadily increasing since 2007, with the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimating that its use has almost doubled from 90,000 people using heroin in 2006, to 156,000 in 2012. Following that trend, heroin admissions into drug treatment programs has shot up from 11% of admissions in 2006 to over 25% in 2012. Heroin has migrated from urban areas into rural communities around the country, and is most commonly abused in adults between the ages of 18 and 25.
Some of the increase in heroin use is thought to be attributed to the rise in prescription medication abuse. Because prescription opiates are becoming more accessible both through medical professionals and on the streets, some of these users are turning to heroin as comparable, cheaper alternative to their “designer drugs.”
Recovery from Heroin Addiction
With a full staff of medical professionals, counselors, and therapists, Northbound Treatment Services is committed to teaching our clients the tools they need to recover from heroin addiction. Because of the severe withdrawal associated with quitting heroin use, many of our clients immediately enter our one EIGHTY detoxification facility, where they will be slowly detoxified under medical supervision.
After detoxing, we establish an individualized treatment plan tailored to the specific needs of our clients, giving them the best chance at achieving long term sobriety. We offer a variety of treatment programs, including residential treatment, gender-specific treatment, Christian-based programs, and college and career programs designed to help our guests continue their educations and careers.
If you or a loved one is fighting heroin addiction, contact one of our experienced professionals today. We can help you on your path to a successful, fulfilled life.