Tag Archives: heroin addiction

Am I Addicted to Heroin? Signs You May Need Inpatient Rehab for Heroin Addiction

rehab for heroin addictionAll addiction feeds on denial and it is very common for people to continue abusing heroin for ages after their use has developed into full-blown addiction without acknowledging that there is a problem. If you are beginning to see that you might have a problem, it’s good to take some time and consider whether or not you are dealing with an addiction that may require inpatient rehab.

The following tips will help you to decipher whether you’re dealing with a serious problem or if your heroin use may be something that you still have full-well under control. Remember though, most people who abuse heroin are addicted and cannot stop without professional treatment in an inpatient rehab center.

Dependence vs. Addiction

It is important to remember that heroin use disorder is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of abuse drug use behaviors, including dependence and addiction. These two terms refer to different things.

Dependence refers to a physical reliance on heroin. You must continue using the drug to stave off withdrawal symptoms.  This occurs because your body is no longer producing endorphins naturally and you don’t “feel good” without the heroin triggering your body to release the natural feel good hormones. Normally, your body would produce enough endorphins to stop withdrawal, but increased tolerance to heroin disrupts the body’s attempt to maintain equilibrium.

Addiction, on the other hand, is classified as a disease. It is considered a “chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and drug use, despite harmful consequences.” by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Cravings will drive addicts to continue using regardless of the outcomes or consequences that result.

Whether you’re dependent on heron to get out of bed each day, or you have an addiction that makes you feel sick, uneasy and otherwise like you cannot possibly making it through life without this drug, you need help. Call 1-888-605-7779 to find an inpatient rehab that will support you needs.

If I am Dependent, Do I Really Need Rehab?

If you have an addiction, you certainly need to enter into a structured, formal inpatient rehab program. There is no doubt that this is true. However, as dependence is not as severe as addiction, many people feel they should be able to conquer the withdrawal process independently. Sadly, that’s not necessarily true.

Yes, heroin dependence is easier to treat. Typically, it can be managed with medication after an appropriate detox period. However, there isn’t a home substitute for professional care and medication. While you could try to control your use it’s best to go to the experts and undergo a period of rehabilitation to ensure your health and healing.

Is it Possible to be Dependent without Being Addicted?

Yes. It is possible that you are dependent on heroin, but not addicted however it’s unlikely. Heroin dependence quickly transitions into heroin addiction. Unlike other drugs that may cause dependence that lingers for some time but isn’t technically an addiction, heroin use tends to flow straight past dependence to addiction with almost no time in between the change. If you think you’re merely dependent, try quitting—if you can’t quit on your own, seek the help of a professional inpatient rehab center by calling 1-888-605-7779.

Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

If you’re secretly using heroin, you may be able to keep it hidden for some time but your drug use will eventually show. Your loved ones and friend will figure out that you’re struggling. Even if you make it a point to only use when you know you have privacy and won’t have to be around others who will judge you a time will come where you can’t hide anymore. The symptoms of the addiction will become evident and your ability to “wait” for the perfect time to get high will no longer be possible because your cravings and withdrawal will outweigh any rational decision making that you have left. This is the first MAJOR sign of heroin addiction.

Additional signs of addiction include:

  • Constricted pupils for up to 5 hours after getting high.
  • Disorientation and shallow breathing.
  • Lack of self-care and hygiene.
  • Cycles of use that cause rapid weight loss or weight gain.
  • Physical indicators including: diarrhea, muscle cramps, yawning, sneezing, and tremors.

Additional Signs of Addiction to Heroin

Drowsiness is such a common sign of heroin use that the condition has its own name: the nods. When a person uses heroin, they experience a euphoric rush that extends for a few, short, minutes. After that, users experience a state of drowsiness that lasts for hours. Therefore, drops in energy, an increase in periods of drowsiness and their frequency, and sleeping at strange times can all be signs of recent heroin use. You might also observe slow or slurred speech and mental fogginess.

If the heroin addiction is the product of IV drug use, there will be additional signs of the drug use which include:

  • Bruises
  • Scabs
  • Needle marks
  • Scars
  • Abscesses (infections of the skin that create large masses)

Unless a recent medical procedure has taken place there is no reason for these marks to be present. Track marks and other signs of intravenous heroin use are most commonly seen on  a user’s arms due to the abundance of easy-to-penetrate veins, but these signs may also appear between the toes, on or around the ankle, or on the neck.

If you think that you or a loved one might be addicted to heroin, call 1-888-605-7779 today for help. We’ll support you and help you get into inpatient rehab.

10 Ways to Beat Opiate Addiction – Infographic

Opiate addiction can be tough to beat. Emotionally you may feel overwhelmed, drained or otherwise unable to kick the habit alone. Physically you feel awful and as if the only possible way to feel better is by taking one more pill or using one more dose of heroin. No matter what your chosen opioid is, these tips will help you kick the habit and come out free from the addiction that’s currently in control of your life.

For help finding an inpatient rehab center that will guide you through the healing process, call 1-888-605-7779 today.

infographic ways to beat opiate addiction

The first 5 tips to help you get clean are:

  1. Seek Help with Detox
  2. Slowly Taper to Reduce Withdrawal Impact
  3. Use Over-the-Counter Medications as Needed
  4. Consider Methadone or other Maintenance Medications
  5. Seek the Help of a Support Group

Seek Help with Detox

The assistance of a controlled medical detox facility in inpatient rehab can help you to SAFELY overcome opioid withdrawal. According to WebMD, you will likely need some help overcoming withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • cravings
  • nausea
  • chills
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea

Medical detox will not only provide you with the support you need, but also the around-the-clock care necessary to ensure your safety during withdrawal. This is especially important if you are addicted to methadone or if you have been using high doses of opiates for a very long time. As your body adjusts to life without the narcotics you may suffer from serious complications in the early days of withdrawal. Symptoms may include lowered heart rate or other complications.

Slowly Taper to Reduce Withdrawal Impact

Daily reduction in the overall amount of the drug that you are taking can help you to reduce the impact of withdrawal on your body–but this is ONLY if you are able to taper the drug without continued use in excess of what a tapering schedule recommends. Most addicts are unable to effectively taper medication without the help of a doctor or other healthcare professional. However, when under the guidance of a medical practitioner in an inpatient rehab center, you can slowly taper the drug off reducing the impact of withdrawal as the body adjusts to the small change in the dose being taken over time.

Use Over-the-Counter Medications as Needed

Whether you are withdrawing in a residential detox program or on your own at home, over-the-counter medications such as tylenol, ibuprofen, and anti-diarrhea medications can help to reduce symptoms. If you’re in a residential rehab center or detox setting, you may also be given prescription medications to help ease symptoms of opiate withdrawal. These medications may include librium, ativan, valium, or other forms of anti-anxiety or anti-seizure medications to reduce the stress you feel during this challenging time.

Consider Methadone or other Maintenance Medications

Methadone is a widely accepted opioid replacement therapy that has been used to reduce cravings and minimize withdrawal symptoms for many years but it’s not for everyone. Before you even consider methadone or other maintenance medications such as buprenorphine or naloxone or Suboxone you MUST seek the help of a medical provider. Failure to seek medical treatment may lead to serious complications and can reduce the overall effectiveness of these medication maintenance programs. Individuals who take methadone or other maintenance drugs for opioid recovery generally find themselves on a 12-month or longer recovery plan that includes slowly tapering the medications off to reduce withdrawal impact.

Seek the Help of a Support Group

Many different types of support groups exist to help those who are addicted to opiates and other drugs or alcohol. The most common support group is Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Meetings take place around the world in public settings and are generally open to anyone interested in learning more about the 12-step recovery and healing process. You don’t have to be sober to attend an NA Meeting, but you do have to WANT sobriety and you do have to be willing to listen to others and provide support in this environment. Other forms of support include family support groups and programs that are offered in inpatient rehab centers. For help finding the support you need, call 1-888-605-7779 today.

5 ways to stay clean and overcome opiate addiction

The additional tips listed to help you remain clean and sober during the early days of opiate addiction recovery include.

6.  Consider Residential Rehab or Inpatient Rehab

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Outpatient Rehab

8. Remain Positive Despite the Worry

9. Learn How to Cope without Drugs

10. Stay Active and Involved in Your Recovery

Consider Residential or Inpatient Rehab

During residential rehab you are given around-the-clock care in a supportive environment where the only thing that matters is your recovery. Medications are provided to ensure your safety. 24-hour care is provided and you will receive counseling, therapy, and support as needed. ONLY inpatient rehab can provide you with the treatment support you need around-the-clock. While it may seem scary at first to think about leaving your family and friends behind, living in a residential rehab center for 30, 60 or 90-days can change your life. If you’re ready to get sober, call 1-888-605-7779 and we’ll help you find a local rehab center that can help.

Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Outpatient Rehab

If you attend an inpatient rehab program, your next step will be outpatient care. If you choose not to go into residential treatment, you likely still need counseling and support in order to get sober and to stay sober. Treatment in an outpatient rehab center offers flexibility that works around your busy schedule allowing you to remain actively involved in your family, work or school while also receiving medically assisted treatment for opiate addiction. Counseling and support are provided during normal business hours allowing you to get the help you need in a slightly less invasive environment.

Remain Positive Despite the Worry

It’s easy to fall victim to your own worry–especially when you’re trying so hard to overcome opiate addiction. The best advice you can be given is to remain positive. Seek ways to avoid triggers. Find opportunities for positive change. Don’t be afraid to set meaningful goals that will help you to achieve your dreams–staying sober is all about staying positive in recovery. Always do your best to have an “I can do this” attitude and you’ll find each day comes a little bit easier than the last.

Learn How to Cope without Drugs

Emotionally, opiate addiction takes over your feelings and you get a sense that you can no longer “feel good” or “feel ok” without drugs. Learning how to cope with triggers, stress, or emotional upset can be one of the most challenging elements of recovery. Stress relief activities such as exercise can help as can spending time with a pet or loved one when you’re feeling like you want to use. Relapse becomes a dangerous side effect of recovery as you inch your way into the future of sobriety. Learning how to cope with life in recovery without returning to the use of opiates such as heroin or prescription painkillers ensures that you remain on the right side and that you do not fall victim to relapse.

Stay Active in Recovery

Staying active means not only taking part in an exercise program or hobby to pass the time but also to remain active in your recovery efforts. Don’t let your guard down and don’t allow yourself to feel as if you can just let your feelings go. Seek support, stay involved in your counseling and therapy sessions, and do anything you can to beat cravings besides allowing yourself to slip back into your previous habits of drug use. If you do relapse, seek immediate counseling and support to help you get back on track–call our helpline at 1-888-605-7779 today to find a rehab center that can further help you to achieve your recovery goals.

9 Startling Heroin Use Statistics Confirming the Opioid Epidemic – Infographic

Heroin use is at an all-time high and the number of people dying as a result of this drug is heartbreaking. Help is available. If you or someone you love is addicted to heroin, please call 1-888-605-7779 today.