Rehab For Heroin Addiction
Heroin remains one of the deadliest drugs to make its way through the United States. For this reason, as well as its increasing prevalence, many people seek a ‘heroin rehab’ to help themselves overcome this potentially fatal habit.
Initially, the drug was produced for commercial use in 1898 and served as a replacement for codeine and morphine, which doctors had started to suspect of being addictive. The medical fraternity’s first look at heroin concluded that it was a better painkiller than those previously used and even more potent than morphine, from which it was synthesized.
Unfortunately, they didn’t realize that heroin had the same side effects. By 1910, several thousand people were addicted to the drug because of its constant use in pain control. Prescription of the medication fell off and eventually it became outlawed entirely, but it saw a resurgence in the 80s and 90s.
During this time, prescription painkillers carrying several types of opioids had led to hundreds of thousands of people becoming addicted. When these individuals lost their prescriptions, they needed a substitute. Heroin was cheap, easy to make, and quick to distribute. The illicit drug trade soared as the drug made its way into places that no one would have suspected a mere decade ago.
Today, we understand how dangerous heroin is and how easily someone can become addicted to it. Yet, even though we are well aware of the ill effects of this drug, it continues to have a significant impact on American society. The CDC notes that heroin overdose deaths increase by 6% from 2018 to 2019. But what makes this drug so attractive that people keep taking it even after knowing how dangerous it can be?
What is Heroin?
Understanding heroin starts with figuring out what it is and what it does. Heroin is an opioid, which means it’s derived from a product of the poppy plant. In the case of heroin, its base is the painkiller morphine.
Heroin’s use as a painkiller dates back to the turn of the century. It is pretty effective at numbing pain, which is why it was prescribed to those suffering from chronic pain in the early twentieth century.
Morphine addicts in the early twentieth century started using heroin as a way to wean themselves off their morphine addiction. The result was that they, in turn, became addicted to heroin. Heroin’s use as a painkiller would be much less problematic if it weren’t so good at causing euphoria.
Heroin, as with most opioids, interacts with opioid receptors in the brain. When they do so, they cause the brain to flood with a chemical known as dopamine. In the human brain, dopamine is responsible for a feeling of well-being and euphoria.
A dopamine rush usually accompanies something like accomplishing a task. The feeling of success generates dopamine, making you feel good about your actions.
Heroin and other opioids bypass this process, allowing your brain to score “free” dopamine without the effort of creating something new. The result is that an individual becomes addicted to the feeling of that dopamine flood – something that no activity or accomplishment could recreate.
How Dangerous Can Heroin Be?
After the first use of the drug and each time after, the brain becomes tolerant to heroin’s effects. This tolerance translates into needing more of the substance to get the same feelings. Eventually, this spirals into overuse of the substance and, on occasion, overdose.
Heroin rewires the brain so that the user can’t function without it. When someone can’t function without heroin in their bloodstream, they are considered dependent. With each hour that they don’t have it in their bloodstream, the urge to find and use it gets stronger and stronger.
The body will even go to great lengths to ensure that the person will do what it takes to get the drug. Addiction is a brain disease that makes people go to great lengths to acquire the medication, even so far as to break laws or act out of character.
It’s this addiction that’s the real threat that heroin presents to users. When a person becomes addicted to a substance, they will do anything to satisfy their habit. This mindless obedience makes them a danger to both society and themselves.
They become suggestible and easily manipulated. What’s more, because of the body’s tolerance to the drug, they will need to take more to get back that feeling of the first time they used it.
The chase for that initial moment of euphoria leads them to take more and more of the substance, endangering their lives and sometimes leading to overdoses. These overdoses can prove fatal.
Heroin’s presence on the streets of the United States is nothing new. Because of the variants and amount of drug dealers involved ins selling the drug, there are dozens of variants, each with its own source of manufacture.
Law enforcement has had a hard time closing down any of these rings. Because it’s so easy to get in most cities and is relatively cheap compared with other opioids, heroin sees a lot of use in individuals who have been cut off from their supply of prescription painkillers.
The overdose deaths have spiked since lockdown, with people using drugs more frequently, leading to a higher volume of overdose deaths due to heroin.
How to Get Off Heroin?
Being addicted to heroin isn’t a hopeless situation. With the proper support alongside trained medical and psychiatric personnel, breaking dependence on the substance is possible. California has a wide range of facilities that cater to all types and classes of recovering people.
Each of these facilities has its own unique approach to helping its patients overcome heroin addiction. However, the thing they all have in common is that they try to bring the recovering person out of their habit safely. The heroin rehab process has a set methodology that each of these rehab centers relies on.
Heroin Drug Rehab Process
The heroin drug rehab process begins with detoxification. The heroin rehab timeline starts with breaking the user’s physical dependence on the substance. This process can take as much as a week and might be uncomfortable for the user since they will have to go through a physical withdrawal period.
While this can be done at home, it’s safer to undergo this process in a rehab facility where medical personnel can pay attention to the person’s recovery. After the patient finished detoxification, they go through therapy and other long-term treatment to help overcome their psychological dependence on the substance.
Different rehabilitation facilities approach long-term treatment in their own ways. Behavioral therapies help recovering individuals adjust their thinking to better cope with their psychological urges.
These therapies are critical to deal with the problem long term. Individuals are only entirely recovered from addiction when they no longer feel the urge to use, even when presented with the drug.
Unfortunately, it’s during this long-term period of treatment that relapse is most prevalent. Support groups and networks help to give recovering people a better chance at overcoming their habits and staying clean until their urge to use dissipates completely.
Heroin Rehab: A Timeline
Getting off heroin starts with taking the first step, which is visiting a rehab facility. A rehabilitation center such as The Discovery House begins by evaluating a person through a short questionnaire.
Psychologists may also be present to do a detailed assessment of the person’s mental state and discover if they have any co-occurring disorders.
If they do, a dual diagnosis treatment may be necessary to treat their conditions alongside their addiction. Once the facility has made its initial decisions on the patient, they can enter detoxification.
In detox, a recovering person goes through controlled withdrawal. For heroin, withdrawal starts within the first six hours after a person has stopped using the drug. Within the first two days, pain starts increasing, beginning with muscle aches and spasms and including abdominal pain.
These physical symptoms are typically accompanied by mental symptoms such as insomnia, hallucinations, and paranoia. Between the third and fifth day, psychological symptoms hit their peak.
The recovering person may try to satisfy their urges in any way they can. It’s at this point that detox usually fails when done at home. After this period of heroin withdrawal, the physical symptoms dissipate. By the end of the seventh day, the symptoms may no longer be present at all.
Detox is a necessary part of the recovery process because it helps to evacuate heroin from the body. Once a person is physically dependent on a drug, they cannot properly recover from their addiction.
Rehab facilities usually have specialized locations to help their patients deal with detox in a safe environment. They also have staff monitoring the state of every individual as well as the medical team on call in case something were to happen.
The withdrawal process is unpredictable, and there’s no telling if there would be adverse side effects. These rehab centers prefer to have medical staff at the ready just in case.
Once a person completes their detoxification, they can then move on to other treatment options.
Inpatient heroin rehab centers offer recovering persons a place to stay that helps them focus on overcoming their habit. These facilities can be a bit more expensive than others, but that’s because they offer privacy as well as a controlled environment for individuals to deal with their habits.
Inpatient treatment has amenities on the site that can help a person trying to overcome addiction. Psychologists typically visit with patients regularly and even have group therapy sessions with others.
These facilities are perfect for helping individuals who have a hard time balancing their everyday lives and overcoming their addiction. Family members and close friends are allowed to visit, but only for a limited time, to offer the recovering person less interaction that may distract them.
Unfortunately, these facilities require that the person take an extended leave of absence from their job because they will have to stay there full time.
Outpatient treatment is another option for heroin addiction rehab. Outpatient facilities are a more affordable option for recovering persons because they don’t have to pay for room and board at the location.
Instead, they can go about their lives regularly, going to treatment on a schedule. Typically, individuals who opt for outpatient treatment are more responsible for managing their recovery. They would have to make it to the facility on time for their therapies and meetings.
The positives of being this proactive with treatment are that the person can continue their lives without much change. There’s no need to take time off from employment to deal with their recovery. Outpatient facilities can be quite helpful in overcoming heroin addiction in many individuals.
How Much Does Heroin Rehab Cost?
Heroin rehab facilities vary in cost and complexity. Luxury heroin recovery centers can be quite expensive, but most inpatient and outpatient facilities offer flexible cost schedules for their patients.
Because addiction affects an individual’s earning potential, not every recovering person can cover the cost of recovery upfront. Instead, many recovery centers offer payment plans that a person can choose.
Occasionally, insurance may cover rehab costs, but that would depend on the type of coverage a person has. In other cases, a business may choose to cover the cost of its employee’s treatment as an investment into their working for the company.
While heroin rehab isn’t cheap, it is affordable. The long-term cost benefits of choosing recovery are apparent when compared to the cost of maintaining a heroin habit.
Heroin Rehab in Southern California
Heroin rehab in Southern California allows a recovering person to access some of the best care in the country. The best heroin rehab in the US is right here in this state.
The region plays host to several different facilities and a large, diverse population of recovering individuals. Recovery in this area also gives a person access to a massive support network of peers overcoming their own dependence and addiction.
The Discovery House deals with many patients from the region, and we’re dedicated to offering world-class recovery support for every visitor. Give us a call today to schedule a meeting with our trained staff. Let’s help you overcome your heroin habit and return to society.