SunCloud Health offers integrative, intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization for adolescents and adults of all genders – “Supporting your desire to live free from self-destructive behavior as you embark on a life long journey of recovery”.

Heroin and Opiate Addiction and Treatment

Signs of Heroin Addiction | Heroin Addiction Treatment and Heroin Addiction Symptoms

What are the signs of heroin addiction? What are some heroin addiction symptoms?

Sun Cloud Health offers personal, dignified Heroin addiction treatment options near Chicago.

Heroin is a highly addictive, synthetic illegal opiate or narcotic and comes in the form of a white or brown powder, and a black or sticky substance. Heroin is made from morphine, a natural substance made from the resin found in poppy plants and can be mixed with water to be injected directly into the bloodstream, snorted or smoked. When the seed pod in the poppy plants is refined, it becomes morphine, a legal narcotic drug, when it is further refined, it’s transformed into various forms of heroin. Heroin can be abused in any number of manners depending upon the purity of the drug and the individual user’s preference. Heroin can be abused in any number of manners depending upon the purity of the drug and the individual user’s preference. Users take heroin by smoking, snorting, or injecting, with injecting being the most potent format and the most popular way of taking it. Once someone takes a “hit” and heroin hits the brain, the user experiences a powerful rush of dopamine, the “happiness” neurotransmitter in our brain, and resulting euphoria. The intensity of the rush typically depends on how much is taken but can also be related to the purity of the substance. This dopamine hit can bring an extremely intense temporary feeling of comfort and happiness to users, which is what makes the drug so addictive.

What Do We Know?

What Do We Know?

  • Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them. [1]
  • Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder. [2],[3],[4]
  • An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin. [2],[3],[4]
  • About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids. [2]
  • The Midwestern region saw opioid overdoses increase 70 percent from July 2016 through September 2017. [5]
  • Opioid overdoses in large cities increase by 54 percent in 16 states. [5]

Risk factors for heroin addiction

The precise cause is unknown. Addiction is generally thought to be the result of a number of factors working together, such as:

Psychological issues: Many mental illnesses exist for years without proper diagnosis or treatment. Individuals struggling with certain types of mental illnesses may use heroin as a means to control some of the unpleasant symptoms of the mental illness.

Brain Chemistry: As heroin causes the release of pleasurable neurotransmitters in the brain, individuals who have a deficiency in these neurotransmitters may seek out heroin or other opiates in order to feel sensations of pleasure.

Environmental: People who are raised in an environment in which close relatives or caregivers openly abuse drugs are at a higher risk for developing an addiction later in life. Additionally, those who begin to abuse substances such as heroin or marijuana at an early age are at a higher risk for developing addiction down the road.

Genetic: Individuals who have a first-degree relative who struggles with addiction to heroin or other substances are at a higher risk for developing addiction later in life.

Heroin Addiction Treatment

You may think of heroin and another street drugs as your “drug of choice.” But at SunCloud, we consider it your “drug of no choice” or “drug of addiction.” As addiction takes over, your ability to actually make choices is swiftly taken away. With the drug in command, you may feel totally powerless to regain control of your life. In helping you start on a path to wellness, we don’t ask, “Why the addiction?” Instead, we’ll encourage you to ask yourself, “Why the pain?”

In our experience, addiction is driven by deeper causes that typically involve physical, spiritual or emotional pain. By dealing with the underlying pain, we will help you exchange unhealthy addictive behaviors for healthier ones – leading to a balanced and abundant life.

At SunCloud Health, we approach addiction treatment in a holistic, integrated and medically informed way. We meet you where you are. As one wise teacher has said, “Only when compassion is present will people allow themselves to see the truth.” We will help you learn to allow pain to be your teacher, so you can expand far beyond it rather than seeing pain as the enemy.

[1] Vowles KE, McEntee ML, Julnes PS, Frohe T, Ney JP, van der Goes DN. Rates of opioid misuse, abuse, and addiction in chronic pain: a systematic review and data synthesis. Pain. 2015;156(4):569-576.[2] Muhuri PK, Gfroerer JC, Davies MC. Associations of Nonmedical Pain Reliever Use and Initiation of Heroin Use in the United States. CBHSQ Data Rev. August 2013.[3] Cicero TJ, Ellis MS, Surratt HL, Kurtz SP. The Changing Face of Heroin Use in the United States: A Retrospective Analysis of the Past 50 Years. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(7):821-826.[4] Carlson RG, Nahhas RW, Martins SS, Daniulaityte R. Predictors of transition to heroin use among initially non-opioid dependent illicit pharmaceutical opioid users: A natural history study. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016;160:127-134.[5] Vivolo-Kantor, AM, Seth, P, Gladden, RM, et al. Vital Signs: Trends in Emergency Department Visits for Suspected Opioid Overdoses–United States, July 2016-September 2017. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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What are the Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Addiction? Tell-tale signs you should be able to recognize

Signs and symptoms of heroin addiction

The symptoms of heroin abuse will vary among individuals based upon their genetic makeup, length of use, frequency of use, and amount of use. Common symptoms of heroin abuse include the following:

Mood symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Euphoria/Mania

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Lying to cover up heroin use
  • Sudden need for money
  • Problems with the law
  • Inability to fulfill obligations at work, home, or school
  • Increased risky behavior
  • Increased libido

Physical symptoms:

  • Tolerance
  • Increased lung infections
  • Dry mouth
  • Heaviness in extremities
  • Slow, unsteady gait
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Physical dependence

Psychological symptoms:

  • Impulsive behaviors
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Psychosis
Signs of Heroin Withdrawal

When someone who abuses heroin requires higher and higher doses to become high, physical dependence and heroin addiction develop. They will experience withdrawal symptoms when the drug use is stopped or cut back dramatically. Withdrawal symptoms tend to appear within a few hours after the last dosage and peak within 48 to 72 hours after the last dosage. It’s important for individuals who are struggling to kick heroin usage to do so in a medically-monitored treatment program to prevent and treat any dangerous side effects.

Withdrawal symptoms from heroin include:

  • Restlessness
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Cold flashes with goose bumps
  • Involuntary kicking movements
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Strong drug cravings
  • Death

Take the First Step. Your Recovery Begins Here.

Click below to send a secure message.
Or call us at (866) 729-1012 from 8am-7pm.

Heroin addiction and co-occurring disorders

Individuals who struggle with heroin addiction often have co-occurring mental illnesses. The most common co-occurring disorders include:

  • Depressive disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Other substance abuse
Heroin Addiction Treatment

Heroin addiction treatment is paramount to the successful recovery of heroin and opioid addicts, as it is an extremely difficult drug to quit on one’s own without additional help.

How is heroin addiction treated?

Heroin addiction can be treated and people who have been struggling with this addiction for many years can get better. The right combination of medication, detox, rehab, and therapies can allow individuals who are addicted to heroin go on to lead happy, healthy, and sober lives.

Treatment of heroin addiction typically involves drugs like methadone, naloxone or other types of medication, which help patients to manage the often-severe withdrawal symptoms that can accompany cession. Inpatient programs in treatment centers are one of the most effective options as medical supervision is necessary, but in less severe cases, outpatient programs may also be effective.

The first step in recovery will be detoxification, and the rest of the treatment will likely involve a combination of medical monitoring, medications, and counseling.

The experienced team at SunCloud understands that treating alcohol and drug addiction requires a blend of compassion with advanced medical and psychotherapeutic skill.  From our experience in successfully treating hundreds of patients, we’ve learned that addiction is often paired with other self-destructive or addictive behaviors. People who face a cluster of issues are often described as having co-occurring conditions. They may also be described as having a dual diagnosis.

In caring for those facing drug or alcohol addiction, we dig deep on all fronts.  We understand that other sources of emotional pain, and even other addictive behaviors, may have led to your problems with drugs or alcohol. Therefore, we will help you address all of these related factors as you enter treatment.

We also realize that psychiatric conditions such as depression, trauma or anxiety may have played a role in leading to your drug or alcohol use. You may even be abusing other substances to cope with the side effects of your addiction.

The SunCloud Health team offers a full range of effective treatment options for men and women who are struggling with alcohol and drugs. The therapy that will work best for you will be determined after we’ve talked with you and learned more about your unique needs.

The following are types of therapy we provide for the treatment of alcohol abuse disorder:

  • Expressive and experiential therapy
  • Skills-based therapy such as DBT, ACT and CBT
  • 12-step recovery programs and facilitation
  • Education about the disease, its effects on you, your mind, your soul and your body
  • Group sessions to teach and practice healthy interpersonal and relationship management
  • Regular psychiatric consultations
  • Family therapy, including family participation if appropriate
  • Yoga and body image therapy, when appropriate
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)

It’s almost always possible to recover from heroin addiction. The important thing is that you get help fast before the disease takes a toll on your long-term health.

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Thinking about seeking help or know someone who does? Click below to have one of our professional team members contact you.

Treatment at SCH is really different.  I have been to several so I know… Most treatment centers are focused on normalizing eating behaviors, weight restoration (or loss) and that is pretty much it.  At SunCloud  this stuff all matters but treatment is much deeper and so much more!  I have been encouraged to look at what drive me to the disordered eating behaviors in the first place.  I have looked at early childhood trauma, I have looked at dysfunctional and unhealthy relationships in my family, I have learned skills to help me respond differently to my thoughts and feelings and most importantly I have learned that I am not alone in my journey.  Dr. Kim and her team genuinely care.  This place is special.  Thank you TK for suggesting I seek treatment at SunCloud!!!!

~ SCH patient

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