The physical effects of heroin addiction can be devastating to the body, creating such a strong dependence that it is unsafe to discontinue use without proper medical support. Fortunately, help is available to ensure individuals with substance use disorders may be successfully weaned off of opioids and opiates, allowing them to concentrate on living in sobriety. At Clearhaven Recovery, we will connect you with the detox program most suitable for your needs, enabling you to restore control over your life. Contact our team at 833.970.2054 to take the first critical steps towards permanent healing today.
What Are the Physical Effects of Heroin Addiction?
Heroin is a highly concentrated derivative of morphine, which works by slowing down the body’s metabolic and cardiac systems. It evokes a euphoric state when injected, smoked, or snorted, creating a full-body sense of warmth and relaxation.
Due to its potent and immediate effects (it may have a half-life of as little as 30 minutes), it can cause an almost immediate addiction for many users. Individuals who have formed a dependence on heroin can also quickly establish a tolerance, requiring larger and more frequent doses or resort to additional drugs or alcohol to re-achieve the initial high. As they continue to use heroin, the following withdrawal symptoms will appear with increasing frequency:
- Agitation and panic
- Restlessness and anxiety
- Bouts of erratic behavior
- Extreme sweating
- Hallucinations, insomnia, and night terrors
- Fever, runny nose, and other flu-like symptoms
- Intense muscular aches and convulsions
- Difficulty concentrating
Some users may also demonstrate track marks in their forearms. However, public awareness of this symptom has increased the likelihood of dosing via alternate injection sites, such as between the fingers or toes.
Other Effects of Heroin Addiction
Unfortunately, heroin is one of the most catastrophic substances to an individual’s overall physical health. Over time, this can result in overwhelming cravings, with the pursuit of heroin becoming a full-time occupation, as well as:
- Extreme weight loss
- Decreased appetite leading to malnutrition
- Scars from repeatedly scratching the skin
- Permanent damage to the heart, kidneys, lungs, and nervous system
- Collapsed veins, blood clots, or stroke
- Increased risk of contracting HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C
If individuals cannot discontinue heroin use, they also face an increased likelihood of accidental overdose or death.
What Kind of Heroin Addiction Treatment Is Available at a Heroin Rehab Center?
Individuals with a dependence on heroin must first complete a physical detox program. For the client’s safety, detox should happen under 24/7 expert medical supervision. Many of the immediate withdrawal symptoms will emerge during this time, although specific pharmaceutical supports such as methadone can be strategically used to increase the client’s comfort. Spa treatments such as massage may also be used to expedite healing. This detox period generally lasts for five to ten days, though it may vary based on the client’s usage history and co-occurring disorders.
After the physical detox stage, the real work of addressing the underlying reasons behind heroin use begins to prevent future relapse and create the foundation for successful recovery. Depending on their age, history of use, and other factors, every client will require an individualized plan for treatment, which may include a combination of:
- Individual, group, or family therapy
- Instruction in life skills
- Yoga, meditation, and other mindfulness practices
- Ongoing outpatient support
Find Heroin Addiction Treatment at Clearhaven Recovery
If you suffer from a dependence on heroin, every passing day increases the risk that you cause intractable harm to your physical health. Do not wait to reach out for help. Contact Clearhaven Recovery today at 833.970.2054 to discuss the first steps to obtaining the immediate treatment you need to regain control of your life.