5 Things to Know about Treating Heroin Addiction


treating heroin addictionWith drug overdose ranking first among all other causes of adult accidental death in America, it is increasingly important to be aware of some critical factors regarding drug treatment. The last ten years have seen the largest increases in heroin use among the young adult population on record; more than double the number of previous decades. Heroin holds the title for being one of the most addictive and dangerous drugs on the black market.

Enough is Never Enough

The opiate drug category includes a variety of intense legal prescription drug painkillers and the illegal drug heroin. Opiate drugs bind directly with opioid receptors in the brain to cause an incredibly intense, yet brief, sense of pleasure and well being. Heroin has a dangerously high risk of addiction because in order to maintain this fleeting sensation, more and more of the drug must be consumed as the body quickly adapts to its pleasurable effects. As the body undergoes this surge of extra dopamine, it develops a dependency on the substance for continued functionality. However, the substance also has the effect of destroying the body’s central nervous and endocrine systems in the process.

Heroin is Toxic

Overdose and infectious disease from shared needles are the most obvious risks from heroin abuse. Additionally, it is extraordinarily toxic. Heroin devastates the respiratory system leaving the user almost completely vulnerable to infectious diseases of the lungs. It can also cause liver damage and kidney failure.

Detox as Soon as Possible

Detoxing is the process of removing heroin from the body. The human body is actually in a constant state of detoxification from numerous pollutants in our environment. This is why we have livers and kidneys. Typically, our bodies perform this task without our noticing it. However, when we undergo extensive periods of constant ingestion of pollutants and toxins, our body cannot keep up with the task and alters its normal functioning, making the absence of the toxin extremely painful and even dangerous. This is why it is imperative to have the supervision of trained medical professionals when attempting to detox from a drug as powerful as heroin.

Your Body Chemistry is Unique

When deciding which form of treatment for heroin recovery to undergo, remember that drug addiction has very different causes which vary from person to person. Even for one individual, there is often more than one underlying cause, from psychological traumas to genetic dispositions. Each of these contributing factors needs to be addressed in the appropriate way. Consult a treatment professional for the best advice on which combination of methods will work best for you or your loved suffering from addiction.

Never Let Your Guard Down

Like all chronic diseases, addiction is considered to be a long term illness which means long term treatment is necessary to ensure permanent success in recovery. This by no means implies that an addict must remain in rehab for indefinite periods of time or that they must return to rehab periodically. What this means is that recovering addicts and their families must be proactive about formulating a plan to avoid relapse. This often translates into regularly attending support groups or periodic therapy sessions to ensure the recovering addict remains on track.

For assistance with a heroin addiction in your family, contact LEAD Recovery for guidance and support on the journey of recovery.  Our 24/7 help line is always open.  

Call us at (800) 380-0012.