While opiate addictions in general can be difficult to overcome, heroin exists as one of the most addictive opiates on the market. Heroin effects not only carry an incredibly strong addiction potential, but also cause widespread damage to the body over time.
According to the Harvard Gazette, death rates from heroin abuse and overdose saw a four-fold increase between the years 2002 and 2013. Heroin abuse rates also saw a 150 percent increase between 2007 and 2013. For these reasons, if you’ve experienced overdose episodes or engaged in heroin abuse for an extended period of time you’ll likely require some form of heroin inpatient rehab as these programs specialize in treating both the physical and psychological effects of heroin addiction.
Heroin’s Damaging Effects
Heroin acts as a powerful depressant, slowing down the body’s major systems in dangerous ways, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This drug exerts its effects at individual cell sites throughout the brain and central nervous system, disrupting normal neurotransmitter production rates and over time, creating a self-perpetuating state of chemical imbalance throughout the brain and body.
In cases of chronic, long-term use, heroin can cause any number of health problems to develop, including:
- Heart disease
- Psychological disorders, such as depression and anxiety disorders
- For IV users – skin abscesses, bacterial infections in the blood vessels, collapsed veins
For people trying to recover from heroin addiction, these conditions and others can compromise their efforts in terms of limiting one’s ability to engage in the treatment process.
Heroin Inpatient Rehab
The Need for Medical Treatment
Chronic heroin addictions carry an 80 percent relapse rate within the first year of recovery, partly because of the medical complications that develop out of long-term opiate use. In order to best equip a person for managing the challenges that come with recovery, heroin inpatient rehab programs take a multi-layered approach to treating heroin addiction.
Without needed medical treatment, the effects of a medical condition can make it that much more difficult to maintain abstinence for any length of time. Heroin inpatient rehab interventions work to stabilize brain and body functions while at the same time addressing addiction’s psychological aftereffects through intensive behavioral therapies and group work.
The brain chemical imbalances left behind by heroin often become the most problematic issue recovering addicts face in recovery. In effect, heroin inpatient rehab programs use these medications to help support damaged brain cell functions, which in turn provide considerable relief from the withdrawal and cravings effects that plague the recovery process.
Medication-assisted therapies are specifically formulated to restore a normal chemical balance in the brain. Medications commonly used in this capacity include:
If you’ve abused heroin on a frequent, long-term basis you’ve likely noticed the adverse effects it’s had on your body and mind. While drug treatment programs in general do treat opiate addictions, long-term heroin abuse requires the type of comprehensive treatment approach that heroin inpatient rehab provides.
If you or someone you know struggles with heroin addiction and have questions about addiction, or need help locating heroin inpatient rehab programs in your area, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-442-6158 Who Answers? for further assistance.