Heroin addiction is an ever-growing problem in New York City, and it’s the most frequently cited substance during treatment admissions in the county.
Anyone can be affected by addiction, regardless of gender, age, or social background. For more information on identifying and treating drug addiction, call Alcohol Drug Treatment Jackson at (601) 326-1554.
Heroin is an illegal and highly addictive drug that’s processed from morphine, which occurs naturally in some varieties of the poppy plant. Heroin is sold as a white or brownish powder that can be snorted, smoked, or injected. Addiction can set in quickly, due in part to the deeply euphoric and calming effects of the drug.
Addiction to this drug can set in notoriously quickly for a number of reasons, including the irresistible effects of taking the drug. Another major factor in its addictiveness is that heroin produces an extremely high level of tolerance very quickly.
Developing a tolerance means that more and more of the drug is needed to feel the same effects, and these higher and higher doses cause shifts in brain structures and functions, which are the hallmarks of addiction, more quickly than other drugs.
Some of the signs that someone you love may be using heroin include:
Over time, abusing heroin can take a devastating toll on your health. Just a few of the many negative health effects of heroin include:
Heroin addiction treatment starts with medical detox, during which the drug is withheld from the body to break the physical addiction and help restore brain function back to normal. During medical detox, medications like Clonidine and Methadone are administered to help alleviate the intense withdrawal symptoms and shorten the duration of detox.
After detox has broken the physical addiction, treatment therapies are used to address the far more complex psychological issues behind the addiction. These will likely include cognitive-behavioral therapy to help patients replace harmful thoughts and behaviors with productive and healthy ways of thinking and behaving, and motivational interviewing to help patients identify their own internal motivation to recover.
The last phase of addiction treatment is aftercare. An individualized aftercare plan is set in motion after treatment to help prevent those in recovery from using again, which can cause a relapse of the addiction and require another round of detox and treatment. The aftercare plan will include ongoing therapy, participation in a community recovery group, and other components based on individual need.
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