Heroin Addiction Treatment
Nearly 80% of the fatal overdoses in South Carolina in 2021 were caused by opioids. Although much of them were fentanyl-related, heroin continues to be a problem throughout our home state. Is it possible to escape from heroin addiction? How can you detox from heroin without so much pain? There are resources, and there is hope at Owl’s Nest.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is a highly addictive drug derived from morphine, which in itself comes from the seeds of poppy plants. It can be consumed via ingestion or injection and is commonly found in white or brown powder form, as well as the sticky brown “black tar” form.
As an opioid, heroin connects to the opioid receptors in the brain, blocking pain signals and causing a sense of euphoria. The body constantly seeks stability, so it adjusts to heroin over time, requiring more and more to create the same result. Before long, even a casual user can become addicted.
Signs of Heroin Addiction
Like other drugs, there are physical, behavioral, and psychological signs of heroin use and addiction.
Physically, heroin users often exhibit needle marks, “pinprick” pupils, slowed movement and speech, poor hygiene, and sudden weight loss. They may show sudden changes in behavior, from mood swings to agitation or apathy. They will begin withdrawing from their usual hobbies and social activities, choosing the drug above all else. Any interruption of a user’s regular consumption schedule can trigger withdrawal, causing sweats, nausea, diarrhea, and more.
Knowing the signs of a heroin overdose — and what to do to stop one — can save a life. Like other opioids, heroin cause the normal function of the heart and lungs to slow down when taken in excess. As breathing slows, the person’s lips and fingertips will turn blue, and they may become nonresponsive. The skin could grow cold as the heart rate slows, and you may notice sudden muscle spasms or gurgling sounds from a blocked airway. If you see these signs, stepping in is vital. Administering naloxone (Narcan) to someone overdosing can save a life. Naloxone is available across South Carolina without a prescription. Click here for more resources on where to find it.
Heroin Withdrawal & Medication-Assisted Treatment
Anyone can stop a heroin overdose before it starts by pursuing heroin addiction treatment. For many, the first stop is detox. Clearing the mind and body of substances is crucial in beginning the transformative recovery process.
Withdrawal symptoms will start within the first six to 24 hours after your last dose. You may experience headaches, nausea, sweating, cramps, cravings, and other physical ailments. While uncomfortable, heroin detox is not dangerous or fatal. However, detoxing under the care of a professional team can make withdrawal and detox much more comfortable. If you can withstand the symptoms and avoid the cravings, you will likely stay on the path to recovery and pursue treatment.
In addition, centers like Owl’s Nest can provide medication-assisted treatment when appropriate. Our clinical team will work with you to determine if it is necessary and beneficial to prescribe substances like suboxone to make lasting recovery more accessible.
Get Help for Heroin Addiction
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is just one of the ways in which Owl’s Nest provides customized addiction treatment for clients across a comprehensive continuum of care. No matter where you are in your addiction, we can support you through detox, treatment, and aftercare so you can find the freedom you’ve been searching for. Recovery from heroin addiction is possible. Many people on our team have done it and are thriving today. Let hope take flight in your life today. Reach out for help.