Heroin is an opiate drug manufactured from morphine, a psychoactive drug that’s naturally produced in some varieties of the poppy plant. Listed on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, heroin is a highly addictive and illegal drug, and heroin addiction is becoming an increasing concern for many cities and states across the country, including West Chester.
Heroin addiction can set in quickly, and getting help for heroin addiction or abuse is essential for preventing catastrophic physical and mental health problems and improving patients’ quality of life.
The effects of heroin include intense feelings of euphoria and a keen sense of wellbeing, which is one reason heroin addiction is so prevalent. Using this drug just once can set an individual on the road to physical dependence.
Another reason that addiction is a major risk when abusing the drug is that it produces a high tolerance very quickly, which means that before long, larger doses will be needed to get the same euphoric effects. Over time, this causes changes in brain function and structure that result in withdrawal symptoms when heroin use is discontinued.
Overdose deaths associated with this drug have exceeded the number of traffic fatalities in the state each year, and Pennsylvania has the third highest rate of heroin addiction in the country. In most counties, this if the drug most often cited during drug treatment admissions.
This opiate can be snorted, smoked, or injected directly into the bloodstream. The presence of paraphernalia, including baggies, balloons, pipes, syringes, and burnt spoons, is a sign that someone you know may be abusing it. Other signs of abuse include:
Signs and symptoms of an addiction to this drug include:
Over time, heroin abuse and addiction can cause major mental and physical health problems, including:
The first phase of heroin addiction treatment is medical detox, which is supervised by a team of physicians and mental health professionals and involves medications that are administered as needed to prevent or alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Medical detox breaks the physical addiction to heroin so that the psychological aspects can be addressed.
After detox, various psychotherapies are utilized to address the underlying issues that led to the abuse and addiction. These issues may include a co-occurring mental illness, issues of abuse, and faulty beliefs and unhealthy thought patterns. Treatment therapies will be conducted in group, individual, and family settings.
The final phase of treatment is the implementation of an aftercare program, which provides ongoing support after treatment and helps patients navigate the transition from rehab back home. The aftercare plan will include ongoing therapy and other components based on the individual’s particular issues, needs, and unique challenges.
If you or a loved one are addicted to this harmful and dangerous drug, call Drug Treatment Centers West Chester for help at 347-542-5767.
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