Heroin is an opioid analgesic drug synthesized from the naturally occurring molecule morphine. Also known as diacetylmorphine, morphine diacetate or diamorphine, heroin is two to four times more potent than morphine with a faster onset of action. Heroin addiction is typically treated with a combination of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, with relapse prevention programs also administered during residential and aftercare regimes.
Heroin addiction treatment is available across the United States, with some rehab centers specializing in particular treatment programs and others offering a wide range of services. If you or anyone you know is living with heroin addiction, it’s important to make contact with a specialized drug treatment center as soon as possible.
Get more information on Heroin addiction treatments contact Drug Rehab Centers New Canaan at (203) 242-8275.
While heroin is used medically in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, the vast majority of heroin in circulation is produced for the black market. Heroin addiction is a big problem in the United States, with formal detox and rehab treatment often required to break the bonds of dependence. Medical detoxification enables the cessation of use, with rehab addressing the underlying reasons for addiction.
Heroin does have some legitimate medical uses, with the drug prescribed in the United Kingdom for the treatment of acute pain associated with severe physical trauma, myocardial infarction and post-surgical pain. It can also be used to treat chronic pain conditions in certain situations, including end-stage cancer and other terminal illnesses.
Also prescribed as a maintenance therapy for addicts in some countries, it has been proven superior to methadone and buprenorphine in improving the social and health situation of long-term addicts. It is not used medically in the United States, either as a pain relief medication or during opioid replacement therapy.
The vast majority of use is recreational in nature, with this drug widely taken for its euphoric and relaxant qualities. While various methods of administration are possible, most people choose to inject the drug intravenously for the most potent effect. Users report an intense rush after taking the drug, with an acute transcendent state of euphoria experienced as the drug is metabolized into 6-monoacetylmorphine (6-MAM) and morphine in the brain. The existence of 6-monoacetylmorphine and fast onset of action is thought to be responsible for the addictive potential it holds, with addiction causing tolerance and the existence of a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome upon discontinuation or significant dose reduction.
Typical withdrawal symptoms include sweating, general feeling of heaviness, excessive yawning, malaise, anxiety, depression, akathisia, chills, severe muscle and bone aches, priapism, tears, rhinorrhea, sleep difficulties, insomnia, cold sweats, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, and watery eyes. These symptoms can last for days or weeks, with the severity of symptoms dependent on the extent and length of addiction.
A medical detox period is typically applied to enable cessation of use, with patients evaluated and stabilized before being directed towards rehab programs. Prescription opioids and opioid antagonists are both used during detox, with access to medications highly dependent on each individual case.
Dependence requires a multifaceted treatment approach, with medications used alongside behavioral therapies and relapse prevention programs. Opioid replacement therapy is often administered to treat long-term and treatment resistant addicts, with methadone or buprenorphine often prescribed on a long-term or indefinite basis.
A range of behavioral therapies are also used to treat the precedents of addiction, with typical treatment models including motivational therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy. Relapse prevention techniques and systems are also useful, with recovering addicts taught how to recognize triggers, avoid high risk situations and cope with negative situations without resorting to compulsive behavior patterns.