Thursday, December 27, 2012

IV Drug Use - Relapse Prevention Tips

IV (Intravenous) drug use is one of the quickest means of getting a substance into the body - to the brain - and producing a “high”. As such, many drug users find themselves opting for hypodermic needle injections to help streamline their addictions. Unfortunately, it often takes a little longer for these types of users to maintain sobriety following a successful recovery stint. In this entry, we will discuss some tips to help avoid IV drug relapse.


One of the most effective ways to combat relapse is finding a hobby to throw yourself into. Idle hands often turn to old habits. The more time you spend thinking about using, the more likely you are to act. What may initially prove a simple distraction, may ultimately become an entirely new passion or outlet.


Do your best to avoid relapse triggers. These can include places, people and even smells that remind you of prior use. It is especially crucial to avoid areas or neighborhoods where you previously used or bought drugs.


Weed out the negative and discouraging relationships from when you were using and focus your attention on people with goals and ambition! Though it can be tempting to rehash “the good times” with old pals, the risks associated with it far outweigh any good. If these people are really your friends, they will understand and support your decision. 


Items such as pipes or needles have no purpose anymore. Make sure to rid your property of any and all drug supplies, taking care to ensure that any used needles are disposed of properly.


Locating and attending local support groups on a regular basis is a wonderful means of affirmation and support for the recovering addict. Groups like NA or AA offer training, education, and guidance to those looking to maintain a clean, happy and healthy lifestyle.


If you or someone you love is suffering from a drug addiction, Above It All treatment center is the place to call. Pick up the phone today, and let our team of addiction specialists help you back on track towards the life you deserve. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Behind Teens & Drug Use

Teenage drug use is perhaps one of the most serious issues facing our great nation. While pot is the most common substance among this demographic, it is far from the problem that cocaine, meth and heroin can be. In order to grab hold of this issue, we must first study the reasoning behind it.


Obviously, there is no one answer to explain teenage drug use. However, several common traits are often shared between these adolescents. Curiosity is an easy one. Children and teens are curious individuals by nature, and tend to push boundaries more than individuals in their 20s and 30s. The more often teens are subjected to stories about the effects of these substances, the more intrigued they become.

Peer pressure is yet another reason many teens opt to experiment. Though many scoff at the mere notion of peer pressure, it is important to note that this factor does not necessarily come from a group of friends actively pressuring someone to experiment. More often than not, this “pressure” is felt passively via the desire to “fit in” and be part of the crowd.


A look back into a teenager’s personal history may provide insight as to where they began looking for escape. Many studies have pointed to abuse or neglect as reasons for early adolescent experimentation. The pain caused by these factors will often create a void… one that can easily be filled by drugs and alcohol.

Need Help?

If you know a teen struggling with substance abuse, our Los Angeles drug rehab center is available to help.  Give us a call today, and let us help your teen back on track towards the happy, healthy and fulfilling lifestyle they deserve. Call now!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Drug Addiction’s Effect On Society

When it comes to addiction, the negative effects stretch far further than the addict themselves. Friends, family members and society as a whole must take on the burden; each playing their part on emotional and financial levels alike. In this entry, we will discuss the role addiction plays in our society.


Child neglect, family dysfunction, citizen endangerment and divorce place stress on the institutions of church, school and family.


Inefficiency, absenteeism, health insurance costs, pilferage and training expenses place strain on corporation budgets alongside an economy whose operation is dependant upon their profitability.


Drug-related crimes are often violent, disruptive, and random, causing a need for specialized law enforcement teams, services and equipment that ultimately drains funding from other pertinent community assets. In addition, drug-related offense cases muddle the court systems, ultimately delaying enforcement productivity.

Public Welfare

Preventative and restorative justice programs, parole and probation services, social work, specialized physical therapy and vocational rehabilitation are programs funded by hard-working taxpayers.

Public Health

Diseases such as hepatitis B and AIDS endanger the population, while increased emergency room dependency from patients drains public health resources.

Hazardous Materials

The public’s cost of addiction is only heightened by expenses associated with drug testing programs for convicted felons and employees, as well as hazardous waste cleanup for illegal drug processing and production.

Public Impairment

It’s no secret that impaired drivers cost lives. The more users there are, the higher the risk that someone will get hurt.


If you’re seeking help for a drug or alcohol dependency, our rehab center in CA is available to take your call. Pick up the phone today, and let our team of addiction specialists steer you back on track towards the healthy, happy, and productive lifestyle you deserve.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Brain Chemistry Repair Following Addiction

While the physical symptoms of heroin withdrawal typically peak between the 1-3 day mark, our brain chemistry often takes far more time to fully recoup. Many addicts experience bouts of intense anxiety and depression for some time following cessation. As such, users are placed at high risk of relapse. Repairing this brain chemistry over time offers recovering addicts a better chance of long-lasting recovery, while working to lessen the relapse risks.


1 – Schedule a consultation with a drug rehab in CA that specializes in heroin addiction. Be prepared to communicate all aspects of your addiction, including use history, previous mental illness problem, and your concerns regarding withdrawal and recovery.

2 – Make sure to follow instructions pertaining to medication and treatment. Discuss your current medication needs alongside any potential timing issues to ensure you receive the full benefit.

3 – Begin attending 12-step meetings on a daily basis. Prioritize your meetings above all else, while asking for support from friends and family members. Locate meetings that are located around your work and home to ensure that you’re never far from help.

4 – Begin including any and all follow-up counseling and treatment appointments in a planner and be sure to keep them. Communicate any changes in your mood, including instances of anxiety, depression, or cravings with your addiction counselor to help ease your stress levels.

5 – Purchase and take daily vitamins to aid in the replacement of necessary nutrients diminished by your addiction. Not only will these vitamins aid your physical recovery, but help address imbalances in your brain chemistry. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

What makes heroin so addictive?

Heroin is so addictive because of the euphoria is provides for the user. When heroin enters the bloodstream, it heads directly to the brain and begins to take affect. The drug plays tricks on the rewards system and causes physical dependency and makes you want to use over and over again. When you are caught in an addiction to heroin and want to become clean, the first step is to open up about the addiction and then make the decision to enter a heroin detox program.

Did you know heroin is extremely dangerous and you may become an addict after just one use? There are many people who think of themselves as immune to addiction and are surprised to find they are struggling with a heroin problem. Just because you might be a successful, wealthy, educated person does not mean you won’t struggle with heroin addiction because you are no different or special than anyone else. If heroin addiction has touched your life, then consider enrolling into a heroin addiction detox program.

After taking heroin, the abuser experiences a “rush,” the intensity of which depends on the amount of drug taken and how the abuser takes it. The rush is accompanied by a warm flushing of the skin, dry mouth, and a heavy feeling in the extremities, which can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and severe itching. Heroin blocks pain messages transmitted from the body. After the initial effects, abusers will be drowsy for several hours. Mental function is clouded by heroin’s effect on the nervous system. Cardiac functions slow; breathing is also severely slowed, sometimes to the point of death. Overdose is a particular risk because the amount and purity of the drug cannot be accurately known.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Heroin Use is Associated with Infectious Diseases

Injection drug users often neglect basic actions that would protect their health. If they share needles, they risk sharing hepatitis, HIV or other diseases. Injection can collapse veins, cause infection in the heart lining or valves or abscesses. Unless treated, most of these conditions can progress to more serious conditions that result in death. For example, local infections resulting from the adulterants in black tar heroin from Mexico can turn into necrotizing fasciitis, a fast-moving infection that progressively kills more and more tissue. Black tar heroin may be adulterated with dextrose, burned cornstarch, instant coffee, and sometimes dirt.

Drug users often neglect other basic personal care as well. Many fail to keep themselves clean and groomed and ignore illnesses. Their worlds are mostly consumed with making sure they have enough of the opiate to prevent dope sickness from setting in. The further they go down the road toward addiction, the more this pattern of drug abuse will consume their attention and shatter the pattern of their earlier sober lives. When extended, this effect of heroin use can destroy the person's sober living skills to the point that they no longer know how to make drug-free decisions.

Most heroin addicts have such a severe dread of the dope sickness that kicks in during withdrawal that they will do almost anything to prevent this experience. They are sure that they can't survive or enjoy anything in life if they are not high on heroin, so they refuse to admit the problem and resist efforts to help them.

If you are tired of the day to day fear of receiving a death sentence caused by the use and addiction of heroin, contact us at Above It All Treatment and Recovery Center.  We will show you how we can design a program that gives you the best possible chance of a successful recovery.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Find a Heroin Detox Program

Heroin detox is the first and most important step in ridding yourself of one of the world’s most addictive, dangerous drugs. Without the right heroin detox program, addicts often fail in their attempts to get clean.

Aren’t all heroin detox facilities basically the same?

Not at all. Heroin detox centers vary in how they handle the difficult withdrawal symptoms associated with the drug. Some heroin detox centers, for example, offer “rapid detox” or “detox in a day” services that are downright dangerous. Rapid detox centers often use general anesthesia as part of their speedy detox, but in a 2005 Columbia University study, that methodology led to multiple patient deaths.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms can be nasty. The good news is that high-quality heroin detox or opiate detox programs will give clients medication designed to ease these symptoms. Still, recovering addicts may experience one or more of the following during detox:  Nausea, Body Pain, Insomnia, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Sweats and Cold Flashes.

Getting a cavity filled isn’t the most enjoyable experience, but letting it grow and ultimately rot, you’d be in much more pain by the end of the day. Just like you’d want the best dentist to handle that cavity — someone with the proper level of experience and commitment to minimizing discomfort — the same requirements should be sought in a detox facility.

Deciding on the right rehab treatment center is a very important decision. It can make the difference between someone being successful in recovery. Most drug rehab centers are good. The question becomes how you know if it is the right treatment center for the person. The right criteria to use should include: staff, quality of the program, reputation, and their rate of success.
At Above It All Treatment and Recovery Center, we are here to help you walk the road to relapse free recovery.  We take the time to design a program that is centered on you in order to give you the best chance of a successful recovery.  Contact us today and find out how we can help you.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Is Senior Citizen Drug Abuse Really A Problem?

Yes. In the United States, it’s a serious, growing problem. In 2005, 184,400 Americans who were admitted to drug rehab programs — 10% of the total — were over 50-years-old, up from 143,000, or 8% of the total, four years earlier.  The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which released the figures, expects 4.4 million older substance abusers by 2020.

Here are some traits of these senior citizen addicts:  Alcohol abuse is the dominant problem, though prescription drug abuse is rising fast. Alcohol rehab is desperately needed for many in this age group.  Older adults are harder to lure into treatment, in part because of a generational reluctance to airing one’s dirty laundry in public. Interventions may be necessary to get some seniors into alcohol rehab or drug rehab.  Once in treatment, senior citizens are often highly motivated and are more likely to complete a program.  Some types of drug abuse, such as use of street drugs like crack and heroin, are less common among older adults.  Many senior citizen addicts do best in a treatment program that is focused on older adults.

The behavior of older addicts is different than a teenaged or even middle-aged user. Seniors are not as likely to curse at one another, raise their voices in anger or blast music past midnight. Not only are seniors less likely to exhibit such behavior, they often prefer not to be around others who act this way. This is why senior-specific treatment programs are so important — they surround recovering addicts with others that they can relate to, making group-therapy sessions much more productive.

Life moves fast. Sometimes the days we have on this earth seem like many, but they’re gone before we know it. Don’t let your last days — or those of your loved ones — be filled with the blackouts, self-doubt and depression that come from addiction.

If you are a senior citizen that is suffering from any type of substance abuse, Above It All Treatment Center can help you with a program that is designed with you in mind.  Contact us today and see how we can help you.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Heroin Addiction & The Brain

Heroin is an extremely addictive and illegal opiate from the same family tree as opium and morphine. Derived from poppies and sold in either a sticky tar-like form or powder, heroin is consumed by smoking, sniffing, or injecting direction into the bloodstream. Heroin users commonly describe the high as an intense surge of euphoria followed by a heavy, warm sensation – similar to slipping into a pool of warm water.

The Brain

The brain is the control center for the entire body with a seemingly endless assortment of chemicals named neurotransmitters. When these chemicals are released, they attach to specific areas call neuroreceptors. These special areas are found within the brain, the nerves existing it. Neurotransmitters have an array of shapes, which correspond to unique neuroreceptors.

The Brain & Heroin

Oddly enough, heroin possesses the exact same makeup of the endorphin neurotransmitter. These endorphins serve as the body’s “joy” chemical, and is released by the brain as a response to stress and pain. The body and brain possess natural endorphin receptors, and due to heroin’s endorphin makeup, the drug fits perfectly into the receptors. Because the brain has no control over the exact amount of heroin that meets the receptors, the effect of the drug is often much more intense than a typical endorphin rush.


The human brain is not able to distinguish between external chemicals and those it creates to serve the same function. When high amounts of these external chemicals are introduced to the brain, the brain will adjust to ensure proper balance. As such, a smaller amount of the natural chemicals are produced, and receptors are gradually shut down. This results in users requiring more of the external chemical to achieve the same effect. If an addict decides to quit using heroin, the body will go into withdrawal due to the lack of endorphin production. In these cases, addicts must continue their addiction to avoid becoming sick. However, with long enough abstinence periods, the brain will slowly begin to recover, and endorphin levels will return to normal. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Heroin Addiction & Pregnancy

Heroin is an extremely addictive opiod, used illegally by many due to the intense feelings of relaxation and euphoria it produces. Once a tolerance is achieved, users will require more of the substance to ensure the same experience.

When pregnant women use heroin, the drug is absorbed by the child via the placenta. As such, it’s not uncommon for babies born to heroin users to become addicted to the drug before birth.

 An unborn child of a mother struggling with a heroin addiction holds a heightened risk to experience complications, premature birth, or even stillbirth. However, even considering the severity of these risks, addicted mothers are encouraged never to attempt detox without first consulting a certified physician.

Babies who are exposed to heroin are placed at high risk for an array of afflictions following birth, including intracranial hemorrhage, hypoglycemia, premature birth, low birth weight, and breathing issues. During the withdrawal process, babies will commonly experience a variety of symptoms ranging from moodiness and aches to seizures, vomiting, and fever.

Methadone Treatment

Methadone works to alleviate or even completely eliminate an addict’s heroin cravings while blocking the effects. This allows users to make the transition from heroin addiction to sobriety without the severity typically experienced during withdrawal. This is extremely important in the case of pregnancy due to the fact that withdrawal symptoms may potentially lead to uterus contractions, premature birth, or miscarriage.

Long Term Effects

Little is known regarding the long-term effects that methadone and heroin have on children. Many babies born to addicted mothers must attend special education classes at school, and others may be forced to repeat a grade or two. Whether these results are due to drug exposure or other factors is unfortunately unclear. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Skin Health & Heroin Abuse

Heroin – a derivative of morphine - is an extremely addictive and dangerous substance. Because heroin is a depressant, the drug works to inhibit the body’s functionality while providing a lowered sense of anxiety and heightened relaxation. In addition to organ damage, heroin has a detrimental effect on the human body, including an array of skin issues.


As a result of a decreased appetite, heroin addict often suffer a loss of essential vitamins, including Vitamins C and A – both of which are used to promote healthy skin. This lack of proper nutrition can also result in a heightened risk of bruising. Addicts who inject the drug will often be seen with bruises surrounding the injection site. This is typically caused by aggressive pressing of the needle to the skin, or simply dull needles. 


Many addicts often experience a short-term crawling or itching sensation on the skin’s surface. Heroin and other opiates work to release histamines, causing itchiness and skin inflammation. Scabs and cuts on the skin’s surface are quite common for heroin addicts due to excessive picking and scratching. Lack of proper nutrition will also cause dehydration, resulting in itchy, dry skin.


When heroin is injected, scars can appear. These particular scars are often referred to as “tracks”. Chronic heroin addiction will ultimately result in increased dose frequency in an effort to achieve the same effect as before. After enough time has passed, toxins can build up underneath the skin. In addition, the excessive skin puncturing will inevitably result in collapsed veins, causing dark, permanent scars.


Heroin addiction can often result in skin issues, such as cellulitis – a bacterial skin infection. Repeated injections will ultimately cause inflammation and skin pain. Injections, especially where dirty needles are concerned, can result in abscesses or boils, seen as deep, pimple-esq lumps. These types of boils will fill with puss, swell, and cause intense pain to the user. If left untreated, these types of injections can result in death. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Heroin Addiction – A Mental Disease?

Heroin addicts fight a debilitating disease that negatively affects their mental and physical well-being. It is important to understand that this addiction is not a mental disease, but rather a physical issue. In this entry, we will outline some of the effects and symptoms associated with this deadly addiction.


Surfacing in the 19th century, Heroin was initially introduced as an opium-based pain reliever. Today, the drug is illegal due to the fact that it is extremely addictive when taken in pill form, smoked, or injected into the blood stream.


The direct effect of heroin is the shutting down of the nervous system. With continued use, the drug will eventually lead to respiratory issues and blood diseases. Many addicts also experience severe malnutrition, depression, and flu-like symptoms.


An addict attempting to kick their heroin addiction must go through the withdrawal process. Due to the severity of the withdrawal symptoms, physicians suggest addicts seek out medically monitored detox to help ensure a safe, healthy and comfortable transition into sobriety. Without proper detox, addicts place themselves at risk for extreme depression, anxiety, body aches, nausea, paranoia, and insomnia. 


While many often label heroin addiction a mental disease, it is only able to coexist with other disorders. Studies find it widely uncommon for addicts to show signs of anxiety of depression following or prior to recovery…unless of coarse the conditions existed prior.

Need Help?

If you or someone you know are looking to combat an addiction to heroin, our Above It All treatment specialists are available to help. Give us a call today, and let us help you get on track towards the happy, healthy and productive lifestyle you deserve. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Teens & The Heroin Epidemic

To most people, heroin addiction brings to mind an image of sickly addicts in a dark downtown alleyway, sharing dirty needles to get their high. Unfortunately, this generalization only caters to a small portion of the heroin epidemic, as the drug continues to infiltrate America’s youth.

Shock & Awe

For many loving parents, raising children in a quiet suburban community seems the perfect way to counter the lure of inner-city drug addiction. But behind the picket fences, cul-de-sacs, and ice cream trucks, families throughout the U.S. are finding that these issues may not be so easily avoidable after all.   

Why Heroin?

Heroin comes from the same family as oxycodone, codeine and morphine. With prescription drug abuse a common suburban trend, many teens find the transition to heroin a natural progression. While prescription pain killers may be easier to locate, the expense associated with an addiction is often more than most teens are able to accommodate. Heroin is able to offer the same type of rush at a price much lower than its prescription brethren, with a heightened ease of availability.  

What To Watch For

While most parents would like to believe that their vigilance and determination in keeping a drug-free household is enough, heroin addiction is often an issue that can remain undetected for long periods of time.

Parents are encouraged to trust their instincts. Has their performance or attendance at school recently changed? Are they suddenly associating with a new group of friends? Are their old friends avoiding contact? Have their eating habits recently changed?

Though many of these signs can be viewed as “typical teenage behavior”, it’s important to take note and pay extra attention when something appears “a little off”. Open up a dialogue with your teen in regard to their behaviors, while making point to communicate your love and concern in a calm and collected manner. Threats and accusations will get you nowhere. Listen, breathe, and digest.

The Bottom Line

No family is safe from the ills of heroin abuse. Whether you reside in the slums or a luxury penthouse, drug addiction is an issue that must be confronted head-on in order to protect your loved ones from its grasp.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Physical Signs Of Heroin Addiction

Though most illegal drugs carry their share of health risks, the addictive nature and unhygienic administration associated with heroin make it particularly dangerous. Withdrawal is both debilitating and painful, posing a heightened risk for relapse. Various effects on the user’s health generally appear quickly and escalate as use continues. However, the physical deterioration associated with heroin addiction generally rears its head long before other signs of disease or complication make an appearance.


Severe heroin users will typically utilize intramuscular and intravenous injection methods to ensure a faster high. At its peak, heroin addiction requires users to administer these injections multiple times per day to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Addicts who administer injections in an aggressive manner may incur dark splotches and bruising around the injection sites.

Respiratory Issues

Heroin addicts will commonly experience intense bouts of shallow breathing following use. Regardless of whether it is injected or inhaled, heroin works to irritate the internal organ and muscle tissues. Due to their irritated lung lining and suppressed immune system, many addicts become more susceptible respiratory infection.


Glassy eyes and dilated pupils are a common sign of opiate addiction. The pupils in a healthy person’s eyes shrink in light settings and dilate in dark. The pupils of a heroin addict are often found constricted even in low-light settings; dilating only once the heroin has begun to where off. Long-time heroin addicts will commonly exhibit erratic pupil behaviors as injections become more and more frequent.

Hot and Cold

With each injection, the user’s heart rate accelerates. This causes a noticeable pink hue around the face and extremities. Though some users may exhibit signs of hyperactivity following a rush, others will often become more isolated, removed and subdued. Chills, shivering, and clammy skin often follow the initial warmth caused by the rush. Convulsing and chills are just a few of the initial signs associated with the withdrawal process, which can begin after only a few hours post use. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Malnutrition & Heroin Addiction

Many of the dangers associated with heroin addiction do not come directly from the drug itself. Of these, perhaps malnutrition is the most concerning. Though heroin use is not the cause of malnutrition, the drug does affect the appetites of its users. Unfortunately, this appetite loss will often lead to malnutrition.


While malnutrition is not a major concern in the larger scope of heroin addiction, it does work to negatively affect other types of complications surrounding the issue. Disease, infection and rheumatological issues may result from extreme malnutrition, as the lack in food nutrients inhibit the body’s immune system’s ability to maintain itself. As such, infection and disease are free to take over the struggling system.


Malnourished addicts will often appear underweight, with digestive issues and poor complexions. Fatigue and muscle aches are also common.


In addition to its effect on the body’s ability to ward off disease and infection, malnutrition can ultimately pose issue with bodily functions. Hair and body will stop growing, women will stop menstruation, and the risk for tooth decay is heightened.


In an effect to counter the damage caused by malnutrition, physicians will provide nutrient-rich supplements to the individual. However, this alone will not address the issue completely. Addicts will continue living with appetite loss until the drug is removed from their system completely. Relapse will likely result in a return to the malnourished state.


Many people hang on to the belief that malnutrition only affects long-term heroin users. However, studies show that that addicts can in fact suffer from the condition after days without food or consuming foods that lack nutritional value.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Oxy To Heroin – A Deadly Transition

When the makers of OxyContin - Purdue Pharma – altered their formula in an attempt to inhibit OxyContin abuse, they had no way of knowing the move would ultimately spawn a radical surge in heroin addiction throughout the U.S. Though OxyContin abuse has decreased substantially over the past couple years, heroin use has all but doubled.

Many law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. are reporting large pockets of heroin use in areas previously unknown to the drug.

In a recent study performed by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, over 2,500 individuals in 39 U.S. states where questions about their transitions to heroin use.

Less Oxy Abuse

Of the 2,500 patients questioned, the most common response provided by OxyContin users regarding their switch was, “Because of the decrease availability of Oxycontin, I switched to heroin.”


- Heroin users have doubled from 2010 to 2012
- 30 day OxyContin users dropped from just above 47% to 30%
- OxyContin was listed by 36.6% of patients as their primary drug in 2010
- The percentage dropped below 13% by 2012

Overdose More Likely

In an effort to feed their opioid addictions, OxyContin users unable to access the drug shifted towards more powerful pain drugs, or to heroin. With this development lies the all too real danger that users are much more prone to accidental overdose.


Though the pressure is off Purdue Pharma, the repercussions associated with their changes have ultimately resulted in a mass opioid migration. Paved in good intentions, though it may be… the road we’re on does not appear a shortcut to greener pastures. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Long Term Effects Of Heroin Use

Heroin is a drug made from morphine, a natural substance in the seedpod of the Asian poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder. Heroin can be injected, smoked or snorted. Heroin abuse is a serious problem in the United States. Major health problems from heroin include miscarriages, heart infections and death from overdose. People who inject the drug also risk infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.

Regular use of heroin can lead to tolerance. This means users need more and more drug to have the same effect. At higher doses over time, the body becomes dependent on heroin. If dependent users stop heroin, they have withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, diarrhea, vomiting and cold flashes.

Snorting, smoking or injecting heroin just once is bad enough, but using the drug repeatedly over an extended period of time creates a number of serious physical and psychological problems.

One of the most common, and serious, health problems associated with long term heroin use is heart disease.  The drug creates and infections and malfunctions in the areas surrounding the heart which, consequently, can lead to a high incidence of heart failure and pulmonary complications. Especially susceptible are those with a family history of heart disease.

Kidney failure occurs after prolonged stress on the system due to heroin use.  Loss of a function kidney puts the heroin user at greater risk of serious illness or death. Kidney disease is one of the less talked about consequences of heroin use, but remains a great risk for those who use the drug over months and years.

Those who inject heroin into their veins using a syringe need to be VERY careful.  Sharing needles with other users is the quickest way to contract HIV (which can lead to full-blown AIDS) or Hepatitis B or C. This is a very serious problem. Studies have shown that high percentages of HIV and Hepatitis cases come from shared needle use.

Heroin use affects the immune system, and consequently, the body’s ability to fight disease.  Combine that with the generally unhealthy lifestyle of the long term heroin user and you’ve got a breeding ground for serious viral illnesses such as pneumonia and tuberculosis.

If you use heroin and want to avoid any of these long term effects, then today is your lucky day.  Above It All Treatment and Recovery Center can set you up on a program designed for you to break your addiction and lead a drug free life.  Contact us today to begin your relapse free recovery.

Monday, September 3, 2012

What Is The Heroin Addiction Rate

The rate of heroin addiction in the general population has always been difficult to gauge. People who use heroin are typically more mobile (thus more difficult to track), may or may not exhibit signs of heroin addiction and due to the illicit nature of their addiction, more apt to lie or omit the truth of their addiction. As a result, nationwide figures tend to underestimate the scope of heroin addiction. Nonetheless, even conservative estimates point to a large and growing problem.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) is published each year and offers a conservative yet largely accepted picture of drug use in the U.S. According to the 2009 report, the number of persons who were dependent on or abused heroin jumped from 213,000 in 2007 to 399,000 in 2009.

The 2009 NSDUH also produced statistics indicating that first-time heroin use increased. Between 2002 and 2008, the average annual number of heroin initiates was slightly over 100,000. In 2009 the number increased significantly: 180,000 persons over the age of 12 injected, snorted, smoked or inhaled heroin for the first time. The average age of new users was 25.5, tracking with previous years.

Injection—into a blood vein or muscle—continues to be the most prevalent method for using heroin. Rates of inhalation have fluctuated over the past few years, mirroring the availability of low-cost, high-purity heroin. New and more affluent users continue to favor non-injection routes of administration, but as usage continues, injection, which offers the most potent high and quickest onset, tends to become the preferred method. All routes of administration are equally addictive.

Whether you are a newbie to the world of heroin addiction and a long time user, Above It All Treatment and Recovery Center has a program that is just for you.  We can help you beat that addiction and become drug free to live a long and happy life. Contact us today.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Identifying Heroin Addiction

Because of its sheer destructiveness, heroin addiction is relatively easy to identify. Very few heroin addicts are able to maintain the appearance of a normal lifestyle while using, and the physical effects of heroin are hard to disguise. What’s more, after prolonged use, users typically abandon most efforts that would conceal their addiction, as their priorities have shifted so completely toward their addiction.

Signs of heroin addiction vary based on the state of the user—whether he or she is intoxicated (“high”) or, as is more often the case, in withdrawal. After repeated use, generalized symptoms appear, including unsettling changes in personality and physical appearance.

Heroin addiction is painfully apparent in long-term users. The scars of their addiction are visible in every aspect—social, spiritual, psychological and physical—of their being. Families in crisis, careers destroyed, potential wasted: these are the legacies of long-term heroin use.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, heroin’s toxicity isn’t limited to the actual active ingredient. Illicit heroin often contains contaminants or additives that can result in permanent damage to the lungs, liver, kidneys and brain.

Heroin users often drink alcohol, smoke and use other illicit drugs, frequently to counter the effects of withdrawal while they find their next fix. As a result, heroin users can display a range of symptoms that reflect their poly drug use.

If you are finding that you fit into any of the categories above, then we can probably provide you with some help.  Above It All Treatment and Recovery Center can design a program around you to stop the addiction and ease your withdrawals.  We can help you pick yourself up and start treading down the long road to recovery.  We are here for you. Contact us today.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Heroin Does Not Discriminate

Drug addiction doesn’t discriminate amongst its victims. In fact, addiction to drugs affects people of all ages, genders, socioeconomic levels and classes. It’s easy to make assumptions about those who struggle with addiction; the most popular assumption to make is that they are lacking willpower and mental fortitude. This just isn’t the case. Addiction is a life-threatening disease that literally alters brain chemistry.

Two approaches to heroin addiction rehabilitation are generally taken. The first is to substitute heroin use with a longer-acting opioid such as methadone or buprenorphine. The doses of these drugs are slowly reduced over time. Studies have shown that methadone treatment is safe for heroin dependency patients who are pregnant. The second approach uses benzodiazepines to suppress the anxiety that is associated with heroin withdrawal. This approach is used with caution, since benzodiazepines are also an addictive drug, whose withdrawal causes many more fatalities than heroin itself. Some addiction rehabilitation programs offer detox under anesthesia – where large doses of opiate-blocking drugs are administered to an anaesthetized patient. Rehabilitation programs for heroin almost always include a behavior change component, which is needed to help users devise strategies to combat the addictiveness of heroin.

Given its extremely addictive properties, many reformed heroin addiction patients will return to use the drug. Heroin use in newly-detoxed patients is particularly dangerous, since tolerance to heroin rapidly decreases. Doses that may previously have been acceptable to the user may, after detox, be lethal.

At Above It All Treatment Center, we care what happens to you.  That is why we provide a detailed examination of you, your life and your addiction so that we can provide you with a personalized plan that will assist you on the road to a successful recovery.  Contact us today and see what we can do to return you to a successful and rewarding life.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What are Heroin Withdrawals?

When going through heroin withdrawals, the first sign of withdrawals is when you begin to feel aches within your legs, followed by discomfort in your stomach when your stomach feels like it is going to rip apart, you get cramps and you are VERY irritable and want to keep moving your stomach because if you keep still it gets worse. This is followed by a serious yawning that continually progresses steadily and every time you yawn you produce tears but that's not annoying. Ironically the yawning feels good, almost euphoric to the rest of the withdrawal symptoms.

Then on the second day you get a serious case of diarrhea and your stomach is constantly grumbling, you have no energy whatsoever.  It only takes a little bump of Heroin or an opiate pill to get rid of it. That’s why it’s so hard to get through withdrawals because it’s the idea that only one little drug can get rid of all your problems. Your neck feels so restless that you can’t keep your head up. You don’t want to eat, you have no desire to eat, you just want to lay there and get some heroin. You vomit on random occasions.
On the third day of withdrawals (the worst day of them all) you can't get out of bed. It really is that bad. And that is if you got any sleep while suffering from the stomach cramps.

One minute you're very hot and sweating, the next minute you're extremely cold (but still sweating), you constantly feel uncomfortable...constantly one or the other of the extremes, you're never "just right".
While going through withdrawals never sounds like fun, it can also be dangerous to go through it on your own.  Contact us at Above It All Treatment Centers to see how we can help you by designing a program that will help you make it through the withdrawals with as little discomfort as possible.  Our certified counselors will start you on the road to a successful recovery with little chance of relapse.  

Monday, July 30, 2012

How Does Heroin Addiction End

George had been missing for three days. His mother sat by the phone hoping to hear from the search party. Across the room the minister was breathing a prayer. George had been a member of his church, having started attending at the age of eleven. He was a quiet sort of boy who minded his own business - was moody at times.

At the age of fifteen he started running around with the wrong crowd. It was at a dance that one of his friends put a "joint" of marijuana in his hand and told him to drag on it. At first he was scared and refused. But when he saw everyone else doing it - he tried it. The smoke swirled through his head. In five minutes he was dancing like a demon -he forgot his problems - he even forgot about God.

The next day he wanted to try it again. Big thrill "great kick - really packed a wallop. This time it chased away the blues. That night he was deathly sick - head throbbing, vomiting - he had to have another joint of "grass." This was the first step toward a life of addiction.

He was now smoking one after another. Often six and seven at a time. But even seven joints didn't "bug" him anymore. The pusher said he felt sorry. He pulled out a small cellophane bag containing a fraction of an ounce of pure, white heroin. "Just sniff it up your nose," he was told. "You'll stay high for two days. Its better - cheaper not habit forming. Marijuana is kid stuff. Try some "horse." He took his first free sniff out of curiosity. It was everything the pusher said it would be. He felt like a king - his conscience didn't bother him. He was fearless - he had a feeling of superiority.

The next day George was looking for another "deck" of heroin. It cost him a lot this time. Three weeks of sniffing was all he could take. The thrill was wearing off. His friends were all "skin popping." They claimed it was a quicker fix and that it conserved the powder. His buddies had "the works." When he first saw them "drilling" with the needle he was upset. It was his turn - but he chickened out. A friend drilled him. It knocked him out. When he awoke - he sat "goofing" for two hours.

It was soon costing a lot each day to keep him high. He could no longer borrow as he owed everyone in the neighborhood. He began to work "angles."  He sold all his clothes at the pawn shop. Just twenty-two years of age - he refused to believe he would ever be a drug addict. He even hated the sound of it.
It was late that same night when his mother was called to the morgue to identify him. The funeral will long be remembered. His body was wrapped in asbestos with only his face showing.
If this is the life that you are facing, it almost always ends with a casket and devastated loved ones identifying the body at the morgue.  You have the power to prevent your life ending this way.  Contact us at Above It All Treatment Center and let us start you on the road to getting your life.  Our personalized plans are designed with you in mind.  We are here for you.  All it takes is for you to make the first contact.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Heroin Addiction And Your Rehab Options

Unfortunately, we're all too familiar with the devastating consequences that a Heroin addiction can have, for both the addicts and those close to them such as friends and family. Our top priority is to permanently liberate addicts from of all the suffering and problems that are caused by Heroin addiction, which we do by providing the very best drug intervention services and rehab treatments.

Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive drug. It is both the most abused and the most rapidly acting of the opiates. Heroin is typically sold as a white or brownish powder or as the black sticky substance known on the streets as "black tar heroin." Although purer heroin is becoming more common, most street heroin is "cut" with other drugs or with substances such as sugar, starch, powdered milk or quinine. Street heroin can also be cut with strychnine or other poisons. Because heroin abusers do not know the actual strength of the drug or its true contents, they are at risk of overdose or death. Heroin also poses special problems because of the transmission of HIV and other diseases that can occur from sharing needles or other injection equipment.

I cannot stress how important a holistic body detox cleanse is if you have been using drugs, especially impure drugs like heroin. Some of you are probably thinking how is doing this going to help me with my substance addiction? Well, let me just say you will learn more here soon. Basically in the first step it will help get your body free from a variety of junk and toxins that may have been accumulating from years of drug abuse in an unhealthy manner.

Above It All Treatment Center offers an affordable substance abuse treatment program, at our drug rehab center for heroin abusers and addicts to help them begin the recovery process. The first step to recovery begins with the realization that the cycle of addiction can be broken. Above It All Treatment Center offers you a choice of treatment options from holistic  to 12 step programs.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New Wave of Heroin Addiction

While new regulations and law enforcement efforts have significantly reduced the supply of prescription drugs, they have inadvertently driven many users to another type of opiate that is cheap, powerful and perhaps even more destructive—heroin. Across the country, experts are seeing abuse of heroin at striking levels. “It’s an epidemic,” said Dr. Joe Gay, director of the regional addiction and mental health clinic Health Recovery Services, who has studied patterns of drug use in Ohio. A flood of cheap heroin from Mexico, which is now one of the leading sources of the drug to the United States, is another reason for the return of the scourge.

According to the Justice Department, the drug is showing up in new areas, including upscale suburban towns where heroin was once rare. Suburban father Randy Mayer explains his attitude before his daughter got addicted, “There was never a thought that ever entered my mind that I would ever lose a child through addiction.” He continues, “Watching this thing grab her and not let go, I mean, it was a horrible time.” Teens emphasize the difficulty of avoiding heroin when its use is so prevalent. “It’s just hard being young and staying clean,” says Holly Yates of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. “I mean this town; it’s just, like, that’s all that’s here.”
Yates started using painkillers in the ninth grade, at parties and hanging out with friends. The pills were everywhere, easy to get and cheap. By the time she was 18, she was abusing oxycodone, Percocet and other pills every day. Then they stopped being enough. 

“My cousin, she was into heroin and I started hanging out with her,” said Yates, a hazel-eyed 20-year-old. “She told me about it, and I was like, ‘I want to try it.’ The first time that I shot it up, it was like, ‘Where has this been all my life?’”

If you are one of those who have become trapped by the addiction to heroin, we can help. Contact Above It All Treatment Center and let their professionals design a personalized recovery program just for you.  Once implemented, it will set you on the road to a full, relapse free recovery.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Are You Battling Heroin Addiction?

Battling with heroin addiction isn’t a rare thing. Thousands of people in this country struggle with it, yet out of that number only a fraction of them succeed and ever get the treatment they need.  Heroin addiction is not only a damaging and painful experience for the individual addicted to the drug, but also the people in their lives, including family, friends, and loved ones. 

Heroin addicts entering recovery are very often in a debilitated condition after months or years of not taking care of their personal needs. The nutrition provided as soon as the person walks in the door of a drug rehab facility begins to heal the damage and make it possible for withdrawal symptoms to be lightened somewhat.

As with all addictive substances, it is easy to get addicted to heroin but it's not so easy when a person wants to stop using it. Heroin will wreak its vengeance in the form of "dope sickness," severe flu-like symptoms with deep muscle and bone pain, sweating, vomiting and nausea. Heroin withdrawal is bad enough to prevent many people from being able to face getting clean and sober again. Heroin addicts may feel that they are trapped in a never-ending cycle of having to find heroin, smoke it, snort it or shoot it, experience the high and then find more before the high ends in relentless cravings.

A patient must first undergo detoxification, because heroin rehab can only begin after a patient has completely removed all traces of heroin from their body. The best heroin rehab centers offer their patients heroin detoxification immediately followed up with long-term behavioral health therapy for the mind. At these leading heroin rehab centers patients learn the coping mechanisms they will need to help them counteract any urges and temptations they may encounter after they have successfully completed their heroin rehab.  

The best quality heroin rehab centers will have: licensed medical staff to safely detox their patients from heroin, behavioral health counselors trained in drug addiction therapy to provide education and understanding of the behavioral aspects of heroin addiction, and finally referrals of outpatient support after individuals have successfully completed the heroin rehab program.

At Above It All heroin treatment facility, we provide our  patients with the immediate detoxification that they need and then design a personalized treatment plan that will lead them into a lifetime of relapse free recovery.  Contact us today and find out how we can help you.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Would Your Teen Use Heroin ?

If you think your teen would never touch heroin, think again. A recent SAMHSA study found that an alarming 40 percent of teens don’t perceive any great risk in trying heroin once or twice, and almost 19 percent of teens don’t perceive any great risk in trying heroin once or twice a week. Unfortunately, heroin is a highly addictive drug that can quickly produce physical dependence and whose strength varies from dose to dose, leaving users vulnerable to overdose each time they use it. If your teen is using heroin, it’s important to recognize the problem and seek treatment right away. 

Drug abuse destroys lives. For adolescents, this destruction can be even more severe and far-reaching. Studies show that people who become chemically dependent at an early age are more at risk for developing addictions that are very resistant to treatment and have a higher likelihood of developing other substance abuse problems and relapsing later in life. Heroin rehab can save your teen from a lifelong battle with addiction.

As you enter into your heroin treatment, your inner dynamics begin to change. It may not seem like it, but even during your detox period, you have started your self-transformation. No longer are you focusing on doing whatever it takes to obtain and use heroin. Now, you are focusing on the future, one which is sober. To explain this better, it is important to consider the types of treatments you will go through.

One of the best programs for breaking a heroin addiction is the 12 step addiction recovery treatment program.  It provides a structured program to reprogram your inner self to resist heroin and the need for it.  You can find a 12 step program rehab center in Los Angeles CA by contacting Above It All Treatment Facility.  We are here to help you with the finest staff in the Los Angeles area.  Let us help you break your addiction.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Free Reign to Make Any Decision

In life, we are pretty much given free rein in most areas of everyday living.  Free rein is defined as the unrestricted liberty of action or decision.  Most of us have free rein to make any decision or to take a course of action every day.  Some of these decisions or actions will have detrimental consequences and others will not.  Some will have short term effects and others will have long term, and perhaps even fatal, consequences.
Heroin abuse is one of those actions that can have long term, detrimental consequences and can even spread to affect our families, friends and others.  Heroin is an illegal highly addictive drug and its use can lead to some devastating realities down the road.  Heroin is the most abused and fastest acting opiate currently in use.  Usually sold as a white or brown powder that is “cut” with another substance such as powdered milk or sugar but occasionally with strychnine or other poisons to make it stretch further.

Short term effects  of heroin include the a surge of pleasurable sensation, also known as a rush,  and an accompanying warm flushing of the skin, dry mouth and a heavy feeling in the arms and legs and may include some vomiting and severe itching.  After the initial effects, users may experience drowsiness for several hours, clouded mental function, slowed cardiac function and severely slowed breathing, sometimes even to the point of death.

Long term effects of heroin use include a sever addiction that becomes a chronic, relapsing disease, acquiring infectious diseases such as hiv/aids and hepatitis B and C, collapsed veins heart problems and arthritis.  Long term effects can also include jail time for most users at some point.

If you have started down the path of heroin abuse, you may want to use your free rein to seek help early and possible avoid some of the conditions brought on by extended heroin use.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Heroin Abuse – Effects, Symptoms & Recovery

As with most illegal substances, heroin abuse has both negative long and short-term effects. Whether smoked, snorted or injected, the drug will almost immediately begin to affect the central nervous system of the user. In this entry, we will outline some of the more common effects associated with heroin use along with proven recovery and detox options.


Once heroin enters the body, users begin experiencing an intense feeling of euphoria.  Described as a “warm skin flush”, “heavy” limbs and dry mouth, the initial high quickly transitions to a state alternating between drowsy and alert… commonly referred to as “nodding off”. Mental functions become hazy, and a slowed breath rate may even extend to respiratory failure.


Those with prolonged use habits may gradually begin experiencing a number of the effects listed below:

-       Liver disease – Studies show that roughly 70-80% of new hepatitis C infections in the United States can be traced back to sharing of drug needles.
-       Added risk for heart valve and lining infections due to a disregard for sterile needle practices.
-       Kidney disease.
-       Abscesses and skin infections – More commonly in users with collapsed or scarred veins.
-       Pulmonary issues


Perhaps the most frightening effect associated with prolonged heroin use is the risk of death by overdose.

Because heroin is illegal, it’s cut and mixture with additional ingredients cannot be regulated. As such, users place themselves at great risk by never knowing exactly how pure or potent the drug is until it is used.


Though feared by many, the detoxification process found within heroin rehab centers serves to wean addicts from the drug in a safe and healthy fashion. These programs provide patients with medications and 24-hour supervision to help minimize withdrawal symptoms while ensuring a comfortable transition into sobriety.


Those interested in combating their heroin addiction should seek out a reputable heroin rehab facility. From detox to counseling and therapy, these rehabilitation facilities provide addicts with the knowledge, resources and tools needed to overcome their dependency in a safe, healthy and positive manner.

When it comes to choosing a substance abuse rehabilitation, heroin addicts are encouraged to locate a facility that specializes in heroin addiction treatment and recovery. In this way, patients can rest assured that their needs and goals are address in a specific and personalized fashion.