Heroin Addiction Symptoms and Treatment

Category: ,
Author: NP Addiction Clinic
Published: April 28, 2021

Heroin addiction is a disease of the brain that is chronic, and potentially fatal. Heroin addiction is highly addictive and often contributes to long-term use, as well as the risk of death from an overdose.

Symptoms of heroin addiction may involve any or more of the following:

  • Breathing problems
  • Changes in conduct that occur suddenly
  • Hypervigilant intervals interspersed with periods of unconsciousness or "nodding out"
  • The appearance of droopiness, as if the extremities are heavy


18 behavioral signs that may suggest heroin abuse or addiction:

  1. Behaviour that is deceptive and secretive
  2. Drowsiness and sleepiness in excess
  3. Voice that is slurred or incomprehensible
  4. Reduced academic or occupational results, including absenteeism or job loss
  5. Dishonesty and a disheveled look
  6. Apathy and a lack of ambition for future goals
  7. Withdrawal from family and friends
  8. Spending time with new acquaintances that claim to be suspect
  9. Loss of enthusiasm for hobbies and activities that were once regarded as essential or enjoyable
  10. Stealing money or things from loved ones on a regular basis
  11. Make remarks that suggest a decline in self-esteem or body image on a regular basis
  12. Even in hot weather, wear long sleeves or trousers to hide track marks
  13. Weight loss that is noticeable
  14. Runny nose on a regular basis
  15. Marks from injections on the arms and other parts of the body
  16. Near injection sites, infections or abscesses
  17. Loss of menstrual cycle in females
  18. Skin picking causes cuts or scabs.


Continued Drug Rehab Treatment and Aftercare

Psychotherapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, are often used in modern, evidence-based treatment systems. This method explores the root causes of a person's desire to consume drugs while still treating co-occurring mental health issues including anxiety and depression.

Inpatient Drug Rehab Program

Individuals undergoing inpatient care must live in the facility full-time for many weeks, speaking with counselors, clinicians, and support personnel about different aspects of their rehabilitation. They are given a bed, eat meals with the other tenants, and are required to participate in group meetings, therapy sessions, and other constructive activities.

Residential treatment has as one of its main goals the removal of the addicted person from conditions that cause and sustain drug abuse, allowing him or her to concentrate solely on rehabilitation.


Inpatient Treatment Has Its Advantages

When someone becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, they are likely to face serious consequences as a result of their actions. Physical, mental, social, legal, or financial issues can arise. A person's issues with family or at work may put them in potentially life-threatening circumstances. This stage of recovery necessitates a safe, drug-free climate, such as that provided by residential treatment.

Inpatient Drug rehab treatment also includes medical supervision and social assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If present, co-occurring conditions such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) must be treated in the recovery plan to ensure the person receives the medication they need to maintain long-term sobriety. Patients often transition to less intensive types of care, such as outpatient treatment, after a 30-90 day residential stay.


Program of Partial Hospitalization (PHP)

People who participate in a partial hospitalization program (PHP) have a structured daily routine that includes therapy, counseling, support groups, and other events. The key difference between PHP and inpatient care is that PHP patients are able to go home and are not expected to stay in the center overnight. This schedule allows them to see their families for support while also holding them accountable. Many who have already undergone residential care or who do not have especially serious addictions benefit from a PHP program.

After a person completes a treatment program, they may need continuous emotional support in order to sustain long-term rehabilitation. Former heroin addicts may maintain their sobriety by visiting health services, counselors, and therapists on a regular basis. Therapists assist people in identifying and overcoming stimuli, as well as dealing more healthily with everyday stressors. They can also help people learn more effective coping skills and gain a greater understanding of the factors that lead to their addiction.

Finally, support groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) provide emotional support and transparency in a secure, supportive environment. These classes are often used as part of larger treatment plans. Nonetheless, they can be found in a variety of standalone sites, such as churches and community halls.


Medications to prevent relapse

Medication-assisted therapy (MAT) is a helpful and often necessary method of weaning people off heroin. This is achieved by the use of drugs that help to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings while also preventing potential substance use. Suboxone and subutex

Naltrexone is the safest FDA-approved drug for treating opioid addiction symptoms. Naltrexone is a full opioid antagonist drug. It works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain. It prevents heroin from stimulating receptors and causing euphoria in this way. As a result, the person's need to use opioids is reduced. Naltrexone is a very effective drug that can be used for months or years to avoid relapse if appropriate.

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