Opiate use has a long history. Ancient Sumerian physicians were writing prescriptions for opium on clay tablets 8,000 years ago. Derivatives of the opium poppy were commonly used for ailments and aches of all kinds by the ancient Chinese, Arabs, Egyptians, Indians, Greeks, and Romans throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance and into modern history. Whenever and wherever there was ready access to opiates, abuse, and addiction followed. Today, we understand how opiates such as heroin interact within the brain, leading to tolerance, dependence, and addiction. If you are worried about your heroin use or that of a loved one, consider professional rehab starting with heroin detox in Rehrersburg, PA, or opioid addiction treatment in PA.
A faith-based addiction rehab in Pennsylvania provides excellent, evidence-based treatments for heroin addiction. Why is heroin so addictive? What constitutes heroin abuse? How does heroin detox work? How long does rehab for an opiate addiction last? Keep reading to get answers to these and other questions.
Why Is Heroin So Addictive?
Heroin’s addictiveness has everything to do with the way it works in the brain. It disrupts some important systems. One of them, the endocrine system, produces chemicals that are in charge of regulating mood and sending messages back and forth between nerve cells throughout the body.
The flood of heroin that creates initial sensations of euphoria and serenity takes control away from the endocrine system. Over time, the brain no longer can do the job of producing endorphins, serotonin, and other chemicals necessary for proper functioning. It has become dependent on heroin. Dependence is a short step away from addiction.
Heroin abuse affects:
- The ability to feel pleasure
- Emotional regulation
- Stress management
- Decision making
Soon, someone dependent on heroin realizes that the drug no longer creates feelings of euphoria but simply allows them to feel normal. Increasing amounts of heroin become necessary in order to maintain the status quo.
Heroin Abuse and Addiction
All use of heroin is considered abuse because this controlled substance has no legal medical applications. It can only be acquired illegally from street sources linked to traffickers who bring it into the country, mainly from Afghanistan.
You may have an addiction to heroin if you notice some or more of the following physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms.
- Sudden weight loss
- Respiratory infections
- Dry mouth
- Shortness of breath
- Constricted pupils
- Loss of motivation
- Mood swings
- Delusions and/or hallucinations
- Lying about drug use
- Hiding heroin
- Poor personal hygiene
- School or work failure
- Long sleeves and pants to hide track marks
- Nodding out in public or while talking
The most concrete way to know that you or someone you care about is addicted is if there are signs of withdrawal within hours of the drug being withheld or otherwise unavailable.
Heroin Abuse Rehab
Do not wait to get help for heroin addiction. The toll opioids take on the neurological and other systems of the body is profound. Medically supervised detox will help you withdraw safely from heroin with a minimum of negative or painful symptoms. Then, either an inpatient or outpatient program can usher you onto the path of recovery through the use of evidence-based treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Peer support, a trigger-free setting, and the option to participate in faith-based treatment are all part of a reputable heroin addiction treatment program.
Learn how you can leave heroin behind you and live a sober life of wellness and recovery. Reach out today to a heroin addiction treatment center in PA.