The four Major Ways for Quitting Heroin are:
Quit Heroin with Drug Rehab
Methadone or Suboxone Treatment
Quitting Cold Turkey
Heroin Addiction, and Treatment
Heroin is one of the most abused drugs in the world. Made from morphine, this drug is commonly mixed with water and then injected with a needle. Additionally, it can be smoked or snorted. Regardless of how heroin is administered, it is a dangerous substance that has claimed thousands of lives.
Heroin Addiction Symptoms
Anybody who uses heroin is sure to face a variety of addiction symptoms. These vary from one person to the next, but commonly include:
- Shortness of breath
- Dry mouth
- Constricted pupils
- Sudden changes in behavior or actions
- Cycles of hyper alertness
- Droopy appearance
While these symptoms are commonly associated with heroin use, they can also be traced back to other types of drugs. Below are some of the specific warning signs, such as the use of paraphernalia used to administer the drug:
- Burned silver spoons
- Needles or syringes
- Aluminum foil with burn marks
- Straws with burn marks
- Missing shoelaces
- Small plastic bags with white residue inside
Anybody who is addicted to heroin feels compelled to continue using the drug because of how it makes them feel, as well as the fact that they are afraid of what will happen if they attempt to stop.
Withdrawal symptoms can set in immediately, with some people experiencing these within a couple hours. Common symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Heroin cravings
- Severe muscle aches
- Bone aches
- Profuse sweating
- Intense cramping
- Cold sweats
- Runny nose
Anybody who is faced with heroin withdrawal symptoms should understand the importance of seeking medical attention. Long term dependency often times leads to complications during withdrawal, so it is best for a medical professional to be present during this process.
While most people are aware that heroin is an illegal drug, some are not familiar with the finer details associated with it. Here are some of the facts to consider:
- The number of heroin related overdose deaths is increasing. Over the past decade, a growing number of people, from one side of the world to the next, have died as a result of a heroin overdose. Fortunately, proven treatment strategies have been developed, allowing those who are addicted to the drug to remove themselves from this dangerous cycle with the help of a professional.
- Surviving an overdose is possible, but depends on a variety of factors. Studies have shown that most deaths related to an overdose occur within three hours of administering the drug. For this reason, the faster somebody seeks medical attention the better chance there is that he or she will be able to survive the overdose.
- Heroin is manufactured from opium poppies from four primary locations: Mexico, Southwest Asia, Southeast Asia, and South America. Of course, this does not mean that other parts of the world are incapable of producing the drug. For example, the majority of the world’s heroin is produced in Afghanistan. That being said, most of the heroin found in the United States comes from South America.
For those who do not understand the finer details of heroin abuse, a closer look at various statistics shows just how serious this has become. Here are some statistics that are sure to open your eyes:
- There are approximately 9.2 million people in the world who use heroin. Along wit this, it is estimated that 13.5 million people take some form of opioids.
- As noted above, 93 percent of the world’s opium supply comes from Afghanistan.
- According to the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, there were 153,000 heroin users in the United States. This number may be low, however, with other estimates reaching as high as 900,000.
- According to a 2008 report from the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction, opiates, primarily heroin, accounted for four of every five drug related deaths in Europe. This report shows that heroin use is not just prominent in the United States.
- Heroin accounts for roughly 18 percent of all drug and alcohol treatment admissions in the United States. In other words, nearly one out of every five people who check into treatment are addicted to heroin.
Although quitting heroin can be extremely difficult, it is not impossible. Many people have been addicted to this drug, but received the help necessary from a professional treatment facility to get their life back on track.
Heroin treatment typically consists of both behavioral and pharmacological treatment.
The majority of heroin abusers must go through detoxification before they begin with a long term treatment program. During this time, it is common for the person to be faced with withdrawal symptoms, including but not limited to pain, discomfort, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. This is an important part of the heroin treatment process as it helps decrease the chance of a future relapse.
Many medications have been approved for the treatment of heroin addiction. The most commonly prescribed drugs include:
- Methadone. Not only does this fight against the high that heroin abusers get from the drug, but it can also prevent withdrawal symptoms.
- Buprenorphine. In short, this drugs helps reduce the craving for heroin without any dangerous side effects.
- Naltrexone. This blocks the action of opioids in the brain in a non-addictive form.
Behavioral therapy is available in inpatient and outpatient settings. There are two primary types of therapy including:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy. With this therapy, patients are taught how to deal with stress and what they can do to reduce temptation.
- Contingency management program. Patients are monitored closely, and for each negative drug test they are rewarded.
While both types of behavioral therapy provide a variety of benefits, NIDA research shows that this approach is most successful when combined with pharmacological treatment.
With a growing number of people beginning to experiment with heroin at an early age, there is no wondering why there is an estimated 150,000 new users every year. Although heroin is one of the most dangerous drugs in the world, an addiction can be overcome with the proper treatment plan.