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Heroin use is a widespread problem that affects people across the country. Here in Florida, use of heroin has spiked in the last decade. Sadly, so have the number of deaths associated with heroin use. It is usually not possible to quit heroin use without medically assisted detox and treatment. Fortunately, help is available. Our West Palm Beach treatment facility specializes in heroin detox, and can help you reclaim your life.
How Heroin Affects The Body
Pure heroin is a man-made drug that is derived from morphine, which is an opioid. In its pure form, heroin has a powder consistency, and can be either snorted or smoked. Another form of the drug, known as “black tar heroin,” can be injected. When first used, the drug stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain, causing a euphoric high. Heroin changes into morphine once inside the body, and binds to the neuro-receptors of the brain. The brain then signals a continued need for heroin in order to feel normal. Heroin causes the body to build a rapid tolerance, requiring more of the drug to feel the same euphoric high.
Not surprisingly, continued heroin use can– and inevitably does– lead to a variety of physical, emotional, and mental complications. Some of the physical complications depend upon the method of ingestion, but heroin does most of its damage in the same way regardless of how the user takes it. For example, snorting heroin can damage the septum, cause nosebleeds, and cause lifelong respiratory problems. Smoking the drug tends to do significant damage to the lungs, mouth, and liver. Lastly, IV heroin use can lead to anything from scarred or collapsed veins and skin abscesses to pulmonary infections and kidney damage.
Yet despite the stigma our culture attaches to IV drug use, smoking, snorting, or even eating heroin for extended periods does often permanent damage to the mind, body, and spirit. It also damages the user’s relationships with friends, family, and co-workers (if they manage to hold down a job). It is true that IV use exposes to a greater risk of overdose death, but it is the emotional, mental, and social harms it causes that make heroin such a terrible drug to become dependent on.
Over time, heroin seriously degrades the brain’s ability to function. Users begin to feel urges to use more often, while experiencing less of the desired feeling with each use. As addiction advances, the pursuit of heroin becomes the primary focus of the user’s life. Days or even hours without use can lead to withdrawal symptoms. This is known as Heroin Use Disorder (HUD), and should be treated by medical professionals.
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
If you try to stop using heroin on your own, severe withdrawal symptoms will occur. These include:
- Slowed breathing and heart rate
- Clouded mental functioning
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sedation and drowsiness
- Hypothermia (body temperature lower than average)
- Coma or death (due to overdose)
These withdrawal symptoms are the main reasons why a heroin detox program is the safest way to stop using. At ARIA in West Palm Beach, we have the resources that you need, including heroin addiction treatment and drug detox. We want your cessation of heroin to be as comfortable as possible. However, you first must decide whether or not you need a heroin detox program.
How Does A Heroin Detox Program Work?
When you contact ARIA, our intake team will conduct a thorough physical and psychological exam to better understand your needs. Please let us know about any medications or other drugs you may be taking. We may also ask about your family history and your current living situation. Our team will create a care plan that is unique to your specific needs. Know that we view addiction as a medical condition, not a moral failure. You will be treated with dignity and respect during your stay with us.
Once you are admitted, our medical staff will use appropriate medications to slowly purge heroin from your body. At the same time, we will monitor and treat symptoms of withdrawal to keep you as comfortable as possible. You will be offered plenty of fluids and nutritious meals/snacks as needed. We will also monitor for rare but serious symptoms like seizures or blackouts. Know that our medical team is highly qualified to treat these symptoms and keep you safe. The process may take a few days to over a week or more depending on your specific needs.
What Happens After Detox?
Once your body is heroin-free, you will enter our residential treatment program. Here, you will continue to receive medical treatment as needed. You will also spend most of your day in therapy. Our program offers both individual and group therapy to treat the emotional and mental aspects of addition. We also offer family therapy, to help your loved ones heal as well. Our program will help you regain your quality of life and reintegrate back into the world drug free.
Is Medically Supervised Heroin Detox Right For Me?
If you are unsure if you require a heroin detox program, ask yourself the following:
- Are you unable to meet family, work, or school obligations due to heroin use?
- Are you experiencing sudden mood swings or bursts of anger?
- Are you “doctor shopping,” which is going to multiple doctors to get heroin?
- Are you isolating yourself from friends or family?
- Are you experiencing legal or financial issues because of your heroin use?
- Are you more concerned with using heroin than any other aspect of your life?
Did you answer “yes” to any of these questions? If so, our heroin detox program might be just what you need to get your life back on track.If you are struggling with heroin use, please contact us today. We accept most major insurance plans and offer customized payment options. You deserve the best heroin detox program out there and the joy of a drug free life.