Heroin Addiction Treatment
Through Sprout Health Group’s highly individualized treatment program, an addict can effectively learn to lead a healthy lifestyle once again.
Heroin is an opioid painkiller. It is synthesized from a drug commonly used by hospitals to suppress extreme pain called Morphine. The number of Heroin users is steadily increasing every day. Experts believe the increased use of Heroin is in correlation with increasing price tag of the expensive opioid prescriptions such as Oxycodone. Also individuals who use Heroin may use the drug simply because they do not have a legal prescription for an opioid and do not have a friend or family member who has one that they can get some from.
According to research conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are nearly five million Americans over the age of twelve who have at one point in their life used heroin. They found that one in four people who have administered heroin will become addicted to the substance. They also discovered that 215,000 emergency room cases were due to Heroin related incidents in 2010. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reported that there has been a forty five percent increase in fatalities caused by Heroin just in the four year span from 2006 to 2010.
There are many ways to administer Heroin. Heroin can be inserted into the bloodstream with a needle, it can be smoked using a pipe, or it can be inhaled. Once the Heroin is incorporated into the bloodstream it makes its way to the individual’s brain in the form of Morphine. The brain has a great deal of opioid receptors that the Heroin, which has now transfigured into Morphine, will attach to and intensify the various physiological functions each of the receptors specifies in. In a normal healthy brain, the natural opioid produced by the brain will block the pain stimulus passageway ultimately relaying to the individual that they are pain free. When an addict takes an excessive amount of Heroin their respiratory system and the areas of the brain that regulate blood pressure and arousal become suppressed. With these symptoms in mind, patients in normal hospital settings who receive high levels of opioids due to extreme pain are closely monitored by their healthcare facility. In most situations, these individuals are kept in the intensive care facility of a hospital for fear of hypoventilation and hypotension.
Hypoventilation can absolutely devastate an individual’s vital organs, especially their brain. The brain is damaged by the lack of oxygen being received and consequently the brain cells begin to die off. The damage to the brain could be irreversible or even lead to the individual falling into a coma. Other organs tissues begin to die because they are affected by the lack of oxygen as well. Hypoventilation can also lead to respiratory arrest.
Heroin is a fast acting drug because it is rapidly absorbed into the user’s bloodstream and can surpass the blood-brain barrier without difficulty. The blood-brain barrier filters the blood that gets transferred to your brain and spinal cord tissue. The fact that Heroin can simply surpass the blood-brain barrier significantly increases the user’s probability of developing an addiction. Heroin, like any other substance you can become addicted to, rewires the brain to only feel euphoria when that substance is consumed thus creating a vicious cycle of use and abuse. When a person integrates Heroin into their bloodstream they feel an overwhelming rush of euphoria followed by a series of drowsiness and alertness. The abuse ultimately will lose their ability to make decisions, normalize their behavior, and appropriately respond to stressful situations. Ultimately, the individual loses themselves and their ability to control their addiction.
Prolonged Heroin use will result in swollen, pus-filled, abscesses, cramps in the stomach region, heart infections mainly in the valves and pericardium, liver damage, kidney damage, and even unexpected abortion in pregnant women. Pneumonia is also a common result of prolonged Heroin use due to the damage caused by irregular breathing patterns. Detoxing from Heroin is just as serious as being addicted to Heroin. Symptoms of Heroin withdrawal include inability to rest, inability to sleep, irritation, pain in both muscle and bones. The worst system is the insatiable craving to continue Heroin use while detoxing to rid oneself of all the symptoms. This is the biggest cause of a relapse. It is reported that Heroin addicts will randomly be victim to goose bumps and cold flashes. They also have been documented to uncontrollably kick.
The treatment for Heroin addiction includes nutritional and psychological support while the addict is medically-assisted through their detox. It is imperative an addict receives medical attention when detoxing because prolonged Heroin use affects the individual not only mentally but physically down to the structure of their cells and tissue. The nutritional support they will receive is needed to assist the patient’s body in repairing itself. The addict’s immune system will be severely damaged due to Heroin use. One of the objectives of treatment will be to rehabilitate the compromised immune system in order to effectively fight off infection. For severe addicts, narcotics may be administered in order to alleviate some of the symptoms of withdrawal.
An imperative part of the Heroin treatment is re-educating the addict on proper behaviors.The addict will be informed that their severe cravings are caused by direct fluctuations of the brain’s chemical and structural configuration.
The licensed therapists here at Sprout Health Group are fully trained to assist the addict in making a conscious effort in avoiding the addiction causing triggers. Substance abuse is a result of one’s emotional well being and they must be taught to handle those issues in a healthy manner. Sprout Health Group offers a variety of science based cognitive behavioral therapies that are client-centered.
Sprout Health Group’s therapy programs include individual therapy sessions, along with group sessions and family counseling sessions. They also offer psychoeducational workshops that help rehabilitate the patient. Sprout Health Group emphasizes the importance of family involvement in an addict’s treatment. Both the family and the addict will learn what a heroin addiction is and how it affects the entire family. The family will also be educated on how to appropriately support their loved one through the rehabilitation process and throughout the rest of their life.