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.

Monday, May 21, 2012

How To Avoid Relapse Post Heroin Rehab

Completing a heroin rehab treatment program is a great accomplishment. It is not, however, the end of your recovery experience. The choices made following rehab are perhaps just as important, if not more so, than those made during rehabilitation. Maintaining proper aftercare and discipline is a crucial aspect in maintaining sobriety throughout the transition back to the day-to-day routine.

Because addiction is a disease, avoiding relapse and the triggers associated with it is a major factor is maintaining sobriety once treatment is complete. Most all drug rehabilitation programs work to provide patients with relapse prevention tactics as part of their rehabilitation and aftercare programs.

5 Relapse Prevention Tips

1)      Avoid keeping your feelings in. If you attend addiction support groups as part of your aftercare treatment, these forums can be a wonderful place to express your feelings and emotions.  In this way, you’ll be able to alleviate excess tension while obtaining help and support from peers who have been through similar experiences.
2)      Commit to an activity or hobby to keep yourself occupied. Take up an instrument, exercise class or volunteer at a retirement facility. Dust off the old brain and choose a class at your local community college to keep the old chef dream alive. The busier you are, the less opportunity you’ll have to resort to old habits.
3)      Steer away from acquaintances and friends who don’t support your decision to remain sober. Surround yourself instead with friends and family members who support your recovery and are committed to keeping you on a positive path.
4)      Do your best to avoid situations that may tempt you to use. This includes emotional circumstances and areas that have pushed you to use in the past. If you must attend events or places that cause you to dwell on your addiction, be sure to map out a feasible escape plan.
5)      Those who relapse are not failures. THOSE WHO RELAPSE ARE NOT FAILURES. If you happen to slip up, it will do you little to dwell your mistake. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and take the next step forward. It can be easy to let one mishap excuse a return to negative behaviors. Do not let one simple mistake alter the positive steps you’ve made. Consider contacting your substance abuse rehabilitation center for support and advice during this difficult time. Recovery is never an overnight process. With time, drive and determination, you WILL be able to achieve the happy, healthy and fulfilling lifestyle you’re striving for. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Heroin Detox Methods

People who use heroin for an elongated period of time will eventually form a physical dependency to the drug. Heroin is an extremely addictive substance that places the user in a euphoric state by inhibiting the opiod receptors within the brain. The detoxification process for heroin can often result in a number of negative physical symptoms. As such, it is recommended that addicts seek medically monitored detox programs to help combat the withdrawal process.


Detoxification refers to the process of removing unwanted substances from the body. The symptoms associated with heroin detox commonly include strong cravings, bone and muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, neausea, sweating and more.

Residential Care

Locate a reputable heroin rehab center to complete your detox. These facilities will serve in providing you with a supervised, safe and drug-free environment to complete the detoxification process. In most cases, facilities will recommend an extended stay of 3-6 months to help patients adjust to sober living.


Find a substance abuse rehabilitation facility that can provide you with medication to combat your addiction. Methadone is one of the more common medications - used to diminish withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. Alternative prescriptions include Buprenorphone and LAAM. Be sure to discuss your options with your addiction specialist before and during detoxification to ensure a safe and healthy detox experience.


Whether you decide on individual sessions, family counseling or a support group, your participation in therapy will do wonders for your sobriety transition. Drug-free behavioral patterns may be developed through cognitive-behavioral therapy along with new and specialized means in dealing with stressful situations.


Many patients find their participation in activities meditation and reading to aid in their detoxification experience. By keeping a focused and positive mindset throughout the process, you will have already begun building the foundation from which to base your new, happy and sober life. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Treating Heroin Withdrawal

Heroin is an illegal substance classified within the opiate family. Withdrawal from the drug begins once an individual drastically reduces or quits taking it following an extended period of routine use. Common withdrawal symptoms include sweating, goose bumps, insomnia, diarrhea and vomiting. In this entry, we will outline a few ways to combat these symptoms.

Step 1 – Get in touch with your general physician. Though they may be unable to treat your symptoms personally, there is a good chance they’ll be able to refer you to someone who can. If you do not have a general physician, you may want to consider a trip to your local urgent care or emergency room.

Step 2 – A variety of medications are common in treating heroin withdrawal.  Some medications may even reduce the withdrawal period. Popular medications include buprenorphine, methadone and clonidine. Additional medications may be prescribed to patients experiencing extreme diarrhea or vomiting.

Step 3 – Locate and enroll in a residential heroin rehab facility. Not only will these facilities help you through the detoxification process, but will serve to educate and prepare you for a happy, fulfilling and sober existence post program completion.

Step 4 – Locate local meetings for support groups such as SMART Recovery and Narcotics Anonymous to keep yourself in a sober mindset. Many recovering addicts find solace and support within these groups; ultimately reducing the relapse risk.

Step 5 – Seek out private counseling following completion of substance abuse rehabilitation.

Step 6 – Undergo an evaluation to determine the presence of any underlying depression or mental illness. If a diagnosis is made in the affirmative, you should strongly consider appropriate treatment measures to help avoid future relapse down the road.