Heroin and Opiate Addiction

A man uses heroin and wonders what the heroin addiction facts are. Here at Recovery Ways, we are experienced in providing heroin addiction treatment to patients of all ages and backgrounds. Our staff is comprised of Masters level clinicians who are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality care and treatment. Unlike many other facilities, we are licensed to administer individualized Suboxone treatment plans that will aid with the heroin addiction treatment process.

Heroin is a potent illicit opiate drug with one of the most infamous reputations. Opiates come from opium which is derived from the poppy plant. All opiates are highly addictive painkillers. Heroin is usually made by synthesizing morphine, codeine or other natural opiates. According to the National Center for Health, 4 out of 5 new heroin users started out misusing prescription pain relievers. The rate of heroin overdose showed an average increase of 37% per year from 2010 – 2013.

It is a well-known fact that the earlier in life someone begins to abuse a substance, the more likely it is that the substance abuse will progress to a critical stage. A 2010 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse revealed that the average age of first-time heroin users is around 21 years old. This study also revealed that 140,000 of the people participating in the survey used heroin for their first time within one year prior to the study. These astonishing results show that many Americans are suffering from heroin addiction and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) considers this an unprecedented opioid epidemic. The Center for Disease Control stated there were 10, 574 overdose deaths related to heroin in 2014.

Dangers of Heroin Addiction

Heroin is one of the most dangerous and most addictive drugs available. It activates the “feel-good” chemicals in the brain, dopamine, and endorphins. These chemicals are naturally released but when heroin enters the system, the brain learns to associate the drug with these chemicals making the user rely on Heroin to experience the “feel-good” chemicals or even “normal.” The intense high or “rush” that the user feels/seeks lasts only a few minutes. With continued use the user needs increasing amounts of the drug to feel “normal”, and can cause a slue of other debilitating heroin addiction symptoms. The chemical link along with the difficult and extremely painful withdrawal symptoms of heroin makes it one of the hardest drugs for a user to quit on their own. Withdrawal from heroin is so painful and difficult people have been rushed to emergency room for severe pain life-threatening symptoms. These symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, chills, involuntary movements, insomnia, depression, and muscle and bone aches. Heroin detox & withdrawal can be fatal to an unborn baby, and pregnant women who want to get sober are maintained on a dose of methadone to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

While it may be an inexpensive drug, addicts can spend hundreds of dollars a day on the habit. Heroin can be smoked, sniffed, or injected (which increases the risk for HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis C, and other infections).

Common names for Heroin

In its purest form, it is presented as a fine, white, powder. However, it is more often found to be a rose gray, brown, or black color due to the additives used to dilute it. It can be diluted with sugar, caffeine, powdered milk, starch, or even “cut” with other poisons. Some additives do not fully dissolve when they are injected into the body and can clog blood vessels that lead to the lungs, kidneys, brain, or other vital organs. Because of the additives, users buying heroin on the streets can never be sure of the strength of the drug, which constantly puts them at a risk of an overdose. If a person overdoses on Heroin, their breathing and heart rate will slow, their lips and fingertips will turn blue, their skin will be cold and clammy, and they may suffer convulsions or go into a coma. Street names can reflect the color, texture, and other factors about the heroin.

Heroin is also known as:

  • Junk (Dope, Smack)
  • H (Big H)
  • Hell Dust
  • Nose Drops
  • Thunder
  • Brown Sugar (Brown Crystal)
  • Horse
  • Scag (Skag)
  • Tar (Black Tar)
  • White (White Lady, China White)
  • Mexican Mud
  • Nod
  • Chiba (Chiva)
  • Snowball
  • Black Pearl
  • Dragon (smoking heroin is referred to as “Chasing the Dragon.”)

Get help for a heroin addiction today.

Heroin addiction is a very serious issue that has very serious and dangerous consequences. If you or a loved one is in need of heroin addiction rehab Recovery Ways can help. Recovery Ways offers effective and affordable dual diagnosis substance abuse treatment with three locations in the Salt Lake City area. If you’re ready to get help for your heroin addiction and live a life in sobriety, we are here to listen.

Contact our admissions coordinators by clicking here or calling 888.986.7848.

Signs of Heroin Use

If you’re concerned that a family member or loved one may be abusing heroin, the drug user may not be honest about the substance they are abusing. It may come down to you looking for the signs, symptoms and paraphernalia of the substance to find out what drug your loved one is abusing. If you’re trying to help someone you suspect is addicted to heroin, you have come to the right place to find the signs and symptoms of heroin abuse. If the individual is not cooperative and resisting treatment, an intervention may be the next step towards placing them in an effective heroin rehab program. The signs and symptoms of heroin abuse can range depending on many different variable. Some of these variables may be how the person has been using heroin, any previous medical conditions and even their emotional and social state.

The warning signs and symptoms of heroin addiction can range in duration and severity. However, regardless of if the symptom is short term or long term, the addiction should be treated. Treatment for heroin abuse should be dual-diagnosis and address any associated mental health issues. Treatment may begin with inpatient detox and continue with residential or a partial day PHP program.

The warning signs and symptoms of heroin abuse will range from slight to severe, but all will need to be medically addressed and possibly treated. The user will be affected both physically and mentally by abusing the drug. These are some of the most common signs and symptoms of heroin abuse:

  • Sleepiness or nodding off
  • Continued use despite heroin-related problems
  • unexplained periods of euphoria followed by severe fatigue
  • failing to quit or cut down use
  • confusion or disorientation
  • persistent cravings
  • declining responsibility and work or study performance
  • increased tolerance to heroin
  • covering the body with clothing, not warranted by the weather
  • experiencing withdrawal or feeling “junk sick”
  • lying
  • tiny (constricted) pupils
  • thefts, criminal activity, missing money
  • odd sleeping patterns
  • weight loss
  • scabs and sores from picking at skin
  • runny or itchy nose
  • slurred speech

Heroin addiction symptoms are serious. Do you need help?

Heroin abuse and the subsequent addiction symptoms can be very damaging. If you, a friend or a family member are ready to seek treatment please contact us now.

For treating heroin addiction symptoms and other drug abuse issues, Recovery Ways offers the following rehab programs:

Drug paraphernalia

  • Syringes
  • burnt spoons
  • tiny plastic bags or wrappers
  • rubber tubing
  • glass pipes

Drug paraphernalia, or items that could be used in the sale or consumption of heroin can be found in many places. Some of those addicted to heroin may feel ashamed, and the outward signs of the addiction are not as visible. These people may find comfort in hiding their heroin paraphernalia. Others may disregard their feelings of public shame and leave their paraphernalia out in the open. Do not let the visibility of paraphernalia be the determining factor if you suspect someone is abusing heroin. Their are both short-term and long-term signs and symptoms of heroin addiction which are more telling.

Short Term Effects

  • the high or “rush”
  • slowed breathing
  • slowed heart rate
  • clouded mental functioning
  • nausea and vomiting
  • drowsiness or sedation
  • hypothermia
  • coma
  • death (due to overdose)

Long Term Effects

Heroin quickly breaks down the immune system leading to long term effects such as:

  • bad teeth
  • inflammation of the gums
  • constipation
  • cold sweats
  • itching
  • coma
  • respiratory illness
  • muscular weakness
  • partial paralysis
  • arthritis
  • reduced sexual capacity and long term impotence in men
  • menstrual disturbance in women
  • inability to achieve orgasm (women and men)
  • loss of memory and intellectual performance
  • introversion
  • depression
  • pustules on the face
  • loss of appetite with extreme weight loss
  • insomnia

Need help finding heroin addiction treatment?

Heroin addiction is a very serious issue with serious consequences, both physically and emotionally. If you are in need of heroin addiction treatment rehab Recovery Ways can help provide those services. We offer effective and affordable dual-diagnosis substance abuse treatment in the Salt Lake City area. If you’re ready to get help for your heroin addiction and live a life in sobriety, we are here to listen.

Contact our admissions coordinators by clicking here or calling 888.986.7848.