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Heroin Addiction

Understanding Heroin Addiction

Heroin addiction is a severe mental health disorder, and many people won’t be able to cut down or stop their heroin use on their own. Thankfully, there are several evidence-based treatment options offered at Malibu Detox’s heroin addiction treatment center that can start you on the path to recovery.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, over a million adults in the United States struggle with heroin addiction each year. People living with a heroin addiction face a host of negative physical and mental health symptoms, including withdrawal, cravings, and the risk of overdose.

But what causes heroin addiction, and what makes it so difficult for people to achieve sobriety on their own?

Causes of Heroin Addiction

There is no single cause of heroin addiction. Instead, dozens of factors can influence whether a person first uses heroin, transitions to heroin abuse, and develops an opioid use disorder.

Some of the most common risk factors for developing a heroin use disorder include the following:

  • Co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD

  • A genetic predisposition to substance use disorders

  • A lack of social support

  • A history of trauma

  • Chronic stress or pain

These risk factors can increase the likelihood that people experiment with heroin use on their own and may accelerate the transition from heroin abuse to heroin addiction.

But importantly, after a substance use disorder has taken hold, heroin addiction can quickly spiral out of an individual’s control. Heroin abuse can lead to lasting brain changes that make it difficult for people to see an alternative to heroin abuse. It can create powerful drug cravings and diminish a person’s ability to stop on their own.

Addiction is not a choice. People living with heroin addiction are often both mentally and physically dependent upon the substance and will need the assistance of targeted heroin addiction treatment services in order to achieve sobriety.

Heroin Addiction Symptoms

While each individual experiences the effects of a substance use disorder differently, heroin addiction has a common set of signs and symptoms that indicate that person may struggle to achieve sobriety on their own. Some of the most common signs that heroin addiction has become a problem include the following:

  • Experiencing unwanted and invasive heroin cravings

  • Unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop using heroin

  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities that used to be important to you

  • Continued heroin use despite worsening physical and mental health

  • Using heroin when it is dangerous to do so, such as while driving

  • Multiple failed attempts to cut down or stop heroin use on your own

  • Growing tolerance for heroin use, meaning it takes more heroin to achieve the desired effect

  • Continued heroin use despite consequences at work, school, or home

Heroin use can lead to addiction extremely quickly. Using heroin just a few times can lead to several of these symptoms, which can be treated and overcome at a heroin addiction treatment center. But how does heroin treatment help people achieve recovery?

heroin addiction treatment

How Treatment Works

Evidence-based treatment for heroin addiction takes place across several different levels of care, each of which plays a key role in the recovery process. People struggling with their heroin use often face debilitating physical, mental, and social consequences as a result of their addiction and need comprehensive mental health treatment in order to recover.

Heroin Detox

The first step for most people looking to overcome their heroin addiction is attending a medically supervised detox. At Malibu Detox’s heroin detox centers, people can receive targeted medical treatments that alleviate the symptoms of heroin withdrawal and make the process much more comfortable.

The heroin withdrawal timeline is relatively short but can be incredibly uncomfortable if left untreated. The typical timeline is as follows:

  • 12-24 Hours After Last Use: People begin to enter heroin withdrawal and experience milder symptoms, such as chills, cravings, sneezing, or runny nose

  • 24-72 Hours After Last Use: Heroin withdrawal symptoms grow in severity, including new symptoms, such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, and insomnia. Withdrawal symptoms peak at roughly 72 hours.

  • 72 Hours to 1 Week After Last Use: Withdrawal symptoms slowly begin to subside, typically resolving after seven days

At a medical heroin detox, you can receive effective heroin withdrawal treatment that vastly reduces these symptoms. Treatment includes medications that can target the same opioid receptors as heroin does, but to a much lesser degree.

Yet while detox is an important first step in overcoming heroin addiction, it typically isn’t sufficient to produce long-term recovery. Detox must be followed by further addiction treatment in order to produce lasting results.

Residential Treatment

Residential treatment is the most common form of heroin addiction treatment following a stay at our heroin detox. Residential treatment programs offer a home-like environment for people to rest and recover in and provide intensive behavioral therapies that teach people the skills needed for a lasting recovery.

Therapies offered at residential treatment include:

Together, these therapies teach people how to overcome lingering heroin withdrawal symptoms, learn to manage stress with healthy coping mechanisms and build healthy and productive lives in recovery.

Residential heroin treatment centers offer all of these services in a comfortable environment, where clients are surrounded by peers who share a common goal of overcoming substance abuse.

This builds lasting support networks for recovery, allows people to put the skills they learn in treatment into practice, and has been shown by countless studies to reduce the likelihood of returning to active drug abuse.

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Start Treatment at Malibu Detox

Malibu Detox offers the best evidence-based treatment programs for people who are struggling with heroin addiction. Reach out to our team to learn more about how we can help you or your loved ones achieve a lasting recovery by calling (424) 234-2027 or filling out our confidential online contact form.

We know how difficult taking the first steps can be, but you can recover with the help of Malibu Detox.

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