Most people who use heroin know that it is dangerous and leads to addiction (and in some cases, overdoses). Heroin creates an intense feeling of euphoria and an individual can become addicted after one use. What many don’t understand is that heroin is physically addicting and the withdrawal can be uncomfortable. It is that uncomfortable feeling that keeps those who use heroin unable to stop on their own. Those who develop heroin addiction must seek detox and treatment.

How Heroin Works

Heroin is an addictive substance that comes from morphine. Although pharmaceutical companies make morphine from the seeds of poppy plants, heroin isn’t a regulated drug like morphine. Poppy plants are the source of opium, which is used to make both heroin and morphine.

As a strong opiate, heroin has an intense effect on the reward system in the brain. It increases the production of dopamine, a naturally created chemical by the brain. However, when heroin is introduced into the body by the addict, the brain stops naturally making its own. With a structure similar to endorphins, another chemical in the body, heroin also reduces the perception of pain. Heroin enters the brain rapidly and changes back into morphine. It binds to opioid receptors on cells located in many areas of the brain, especially those involved in feelings of pain and pleasure. Opioid receptors are also located in the brain stem, which controls important processes, such as blood pressure, arousal, and breathing.

The effect on dopamine production, however, is what makes heroin so addictive. The brain becomes accustomed to the high chemical levels and can’t function without heroin anymore. The association in the brain that heroin is a reward, along with the physical withdrawal, is why users find it difficult to quit without help.

How Heroin Affects the Body

When people use heroin, they describe its effect as an intense sense of well-being. The drug reaches the brain quickest when injected, which makes an addict experience a rush. This rush only lasts for about 2 minutes. The overall high lasts for about 4 or 5 hours as heroin travels through the body.

Heroin provides a brief escape from intense pain, depression, and anxiety.  it creates a false sense of euphoria.  On the surface, these effects seem rather harmless.  However, heroin has many negative side effects. Some of them make using the drug dangerous. These side effects include:

  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Trouble breathing
  • Collapsed veins
  • Vomiting
  • Cardiac arrest/death

When people use heroin for long periods of time, they build a tolerance to the drug. This tolerance creates a need to use more heroin to achieve the desired effect. Due to this addiction, the brain can’t produce dopamine on its own anymore, causing the body to feel abnormal without the drug. Increasing doses of heroin to satisfy this need puts users at risk of overdose and death.

Heroin Addiction Signs

It’s important that people with addiction get help to reduce the risks of the above side effects. However, users don’t usually seek treatment on their own. Family members and friends can learn about addiction signs to determine if their loved ones need treatment.

Friends and relatives might notice that their loved ones have bloodshot eyes, small pupils and changes in motivation. Some people who use heroin become secretive, lose weight, let their appearance decline and appear drowsy often. Another major sign is financial trouble where it wasn’t a problem in the past. If they’re typically close to certain family members or friends, they might begin to neglect those individuals.

Treatment for Heroin Use

Treating heroin addiction involves a combination of therapy, lifestyle changes and support groups. At Silver Pines Treatment Center, we offer all of these options through our residential program. Treatment through a professional rehab center is the safest and most successful way to achieve recovery.

Some common therapies that staff use include cognitive behavior therapy, holistic therapies, and individual and group therapies. Therapists also help clients learn skills to change their lifestyles and prevent relapse following treatment. Along with being a big part of rehab, support groups are important in aftercare to provide support for individuals to stay sober.

Silver Pines Treatment Center Understands the Need for Comprehensive Heroin Treatment

With a home-like atmosphere, Silver Pines Treatment Center provides a safe environment for rehab treatment. We offer comprehensive heroin addiction treatment for men and women. that is designed so that there is minimal to no interaction among genders. This method removes further distraction from their journey to recovery.

Silver Pines Treatment Center provides several types of treatment programs, including detox and residential treatment. Some of our unique offerings include:

  • Caring staff
  • Individualized treatment planning
  • Gym
  • Nutritionist
  • Holistic approach
  • Structured days

Don’t let addiction ruin the life of a loved one or yourself. Get help overcoming and managing addiction at Silver Pines Treatment Center. Call us now at (866)-345-2147 to begin enrollment.