Heroin Addiction

Heroin Addiction Recovery in South Carolina

Heroin is a highly addictive drug derived from morphine that user’s snort, smoke, or use intravenously to feel the euphoria it produces. With heroin being so cheap, it has infiltrated many neighborhoods, targeted every class of people, and has become accessible to younger adults under the age of 18.

Heroin use in young adults has more than doubled, and 45% of heroin users claim to have started this addiction with prescription painkillers. This makes sense, as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) writes that the rate of prescription opioids in South Carolina is higher than the national average.

Individuals suffering from heroin addiction in South Carolina should receive heroin addiction recovery treatment in order to avoid painful withdrawal symptoms or an overdose. Putting off treatment will ultimately make addiction more severe and make it harder to quit.

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What Is Heroin?

Heroin is an opioid that binds to brain receptors to release a rush of hormones associated with feelings of pleasure. This is what causes the euphoric high that can be immediately and powerfully addictive.

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Heroin Addiction

Heroin addiction is both psychological and physical. It affects the mind as an individual feels an emotional dependency on the drug and chemical addiction. The brains of people that suffer from heroin addiction have been rewired to depend upon the presence of the drug to function normally. Thus, as a person becomes addicted to heroin, he or she may find it difficult to feel pleasure without the assistance of heroin.

Heroin Addiction Recovery Treatment

The first step of treating heroin addiction is detox. During detox, it’s important to find ways to manage withdrawal symptoms. Although heroin withdrawal is painful, symptoms begin to fade after the first two or three days, and many disappear after a week.

An addiction treatment facility may prescribe medication to help ease the discomfort of heroin withdrawal symptoms. Although acute withdrawal symptoms typically last no more than a week, treatment for heroin addiction takes longer.

After detox, those suffering from an addiction to heroin have two options for heroin addiction recovery treatment: inpatient care and outpatient care. Inpatient programs require patients to live at an addiction treatment facility while they receive treatment. Outpatient care offers many of the same programs as inpatient care. The difference between the two is that outpatient care patients are able to live at home when they aren’t undergoing treatment.

A comprehensive, personalized outpatient program costs less than inpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment can also eliminate the need for inpatient care.

Outpatient Programs (OPs)

Our OPs at The Owl’s Nest include group and individual counseling, as well as random toxicology screenings to ensure that patients are committed to their personal goals. Patients who participate in our OPs are not required to remain at our addiction recovery facility, but that does not mean that OPs cannot efficiently resolve their issues. Our outpatient services can help with a variety of problems that range from repairing broken family bonds to learning about life skills, to maintaining sobriety.

We offer multiple forms of outpatient care for heroin addiction recovery. We’ve also found the 12 step program to be highly effective, which is why we integrate it into our outpatient care.

Our general outpatient program requires only a few hours a week of treatment. Those who need more care and support can choose from our partial hospitalization program and our intensive outpatient program.

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs)

IOPs may be used as a level up or down from PHPs and OPs, respectively. Patients should expect to devote anywhere from three to five days a week to this type of program. Psycho-educational and didactic community counseling, as well as individual therapy, are all part of our IOPs. During an IOP, our staff will make sure that our patient-centered care plans help people achieve their personal goals.

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs)

PHPs are the most structured and time-consuming form of outpatient care. Those in a PHP should expect to participate in a variety of therapies, such as didactic group therapy and holistic therapy. Patients should also anticipate devoting eight hours a day, five days a week to PHP treatment.

What Are the Symptoms of Heroin Withdrawal?

Symptoms of heroin withdrawal may appear 6-12 hours after the last use, the peak after 1-3 days, and then taper off within approximately a week. Abusers with a longer history of heroin use may suffer from post-acute withdrawal syndrome, also known as PAWS. In this case, symptoms may reoccur for weeks, months, or even years.

Symptoms of heroin withdrawal may include:

  • Depression
  • Muscle spasms
  • Cold sweats
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unstable moods
  • Trouble breathing
  • Intense heroin cravings
  • Bodily aches and pains
  • Nausea
  • Increased anxiety
  • Shaking

The length and severity of withdrawal symptoms will vary based upon the level of dependency on heroin, length of time of drug use, mental health, and other factors. Depression and difficulty feeling pleasure can lead to suicidal tendencies. Cravings can lead to overdose.

Impaired respiration can lead to lung infection. Hypertension, rapid heart rate, anxiety, and seizures are all serious health risks that can all stem from heroin withdrawal symptoms.

Heroin Overdose Symptoms

A heroin overdose occurs when a user takes too much heroin. Overdose can happen for a variety of reasons. New users may not realize how strong the drug is and accidentally overdose with the very first hit. Long-term abusers may increase their dosage as tolerance rises and accidentally overdo it. Because heroin is illegal and unregulated, users can easily be mistaken concerning the strength of dosage and accidentally overdose at any time.

Individuals should be aware of common heroin overdose symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Muscle spasms
  • Dry mouth
  • Extremely small pupils
  • Discolored skin, fingernails, tongue, or mouth

If you live with or have a loved one who is addicted to heroin, obtaining and being trained to administer Narcan (naloxone) is typically very easy, especially in urban areas. Narcan will reverse the effects of an overdose in most cases and potentially save the victim’s life. Even users who survive overdose may experience long-term effects, including brain damage, infection in their blood or organs, and long-term psychosis.

Achieve Heroin Addiction Recovery in Florence, SC

The Owl’s Nest can provide the support individuals need to overcome temptation and move forward with their heroin addiction recovery. There is a stigma attached to addiction, which may deter people from getting the help that they need.

The Owl’s Nest provides judgment-free outpatient treatment and supportive housing to help people take back control of their lives. Contact us now to see how we can help you break away from the chains of addiction.

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