The growing opioid epidemic is a widespread public health emergency across the country. As heroin use and addiction have increased, so have heroin-related overdose deaths.
At Tulip Hill Recovery, our approach to heroin addiction treatment in Murfreesboro, Tennessee provides the highest-quality treatment and therapy for our clients. This ensures a safe and healthy recovery.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is an illegal and highly addictive opiate drug. It is processed from morphine that is extracted from the seed pod of opium poppy plants. Heroin is classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act due to its high potential for abuse and no accepted safe medical use in the United States.
What is Heroin Addiction?
Prescription opioids, such as oxycodone, are used to treat moderate to severe pain. As such, they are usually prescribed following surgery or injury, or to treat pain from conditions such as cancer. In the 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured doctors that patients would not become addicted to opioid pain relievers.
However, in recent years, opioids have been commonly prescribed for chronic pain conditions like back pain or arthritis. Consequently, this over-prescribing has led to the misuse of opioids and therefore become the largest contributor to the heroin epidemic. Opioids are highly addictive and anyone using them can quickly become dependent.
As a result, restrictions were put in place to reduce opioid prescriptions. However, this increased the demand for illegal heroin. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, research data shows the misuse of opioid medications often leads to the use of heroin.
When heroin enters the body it is converted to morphine and binds to opioid receptors. These receptors control pain and pleasure. A chain reaction ultimately occurs in the brain’s neurons, causing the pleasure circuits to fill with dopamine, triggering a surge of happiness. Hence, heroin is commonly used recreationally for its euphoric effect. Heroin use has been driven by its low cost and availability.
Regular use of heroin builds a tolerance, causing the user to need more and more to achieve the same effect. Over time, at higher doses, the body becomes dependent on the drug. Dependent users will experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using heroin. What’s more, there are major health complications from using heroin.
Health Complications from Heroin
- Mental disorders
- Damage to the heart, brain, lungs, kidneys, and liver
- Infections and tissue damage
- HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C from sharing needles
- Irregular menstrual cycles and miscarriage
- Sexual dysfunction
- Scarred or collapsed veins
- Immune reactions such as arthritis
Heroin addiction treatment in Murfreesboro helps clients manage their cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Fortunately, we can help them stop heroin use and prevent these medical issues from occurring or getting worse.
The Risk of Heroin Overdose
In addition to the many health risks of using heroin, there is a substantial risk of a heroin overdose. Heroin is illegal in the United States so there is no control over the quality and strength. Also, people usually mix it with other substances that can be poisonous and dangerous, including very potent fentanyl.
Because of this, someone using heroin has no way of knowing what is in it or how potent it is. For example, using the same amount they used last time or even a small amount could cause an overdose.
Additionally, a heroin overdose can cause serious injury or even death. Like other opioids, heroin is a central nervous system depressant. Therefore, it slows down brain function. It causes irregular heartbeat, lowers body temperature and blood pressure, and causes breathing to slow or stop.
As a consequence, a person may lose consciousness, lapse into a coma, or die. Also, people who use heroin often use it with alcohol or other substances, adding to the risk of overdose.
Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Addiction
When someone has been using opioid medications and no longer has access to it, they may resort to using heroin. While others may start using heroin recreationally and quickly become dependent. Signs and symptoms vary based on the individual and many factors. In fact, a person using heroin may only appear sleepy.
However, eventually, people may find it difficult to function normally as addiction takes control of their lives. The wide range of signs and symptoms may include the following:
Physical Signs and Symptoms
- Nodding off
- Slowed breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weight loss
- Constant runny nose
- Decrease in personal hygiene
- Slurred speech
- Appears lethargic
- Increased sleep and difficulty waking up
- Impaired coordination
- Flushed skin
Behavioral Signs and Symptoms
- Neglecting responsibilities such as work, school, household chores, children
- Sudden and desperate need for money
- Unexplained absences and secretive behaviors
- Difficulty with relationships
- Legal problems
- Wearing long sleeves and pants during warm weather
- Changes in friends, hangouts, and activities
- Mood swings
- Angry outbursts
- Personality changes
- Lack of motivation
- Constricted pupils
- Problems breathing
Cognitive Signs and Symptoms
- Short-term memory impairment
- Decreased ability to problem solve
- Unable to pay attention
- Unable to multi-task
- Lack of self-control
- Diminished ability to make decisions
- Unclear thinking
- Declined interest in things
- Impaired judgment
- Impaired memory
- Attention difficulties
- Concentration difficulties
What Does Heroin Withdrawal Look Like?
As previously stated, heroin is highly addictive and users can build a tolerance very quickly. As a result, when someone who is dependent on heroin stops using it they will experience withdrawal. Because of this, people addicted to heroin will do a lot to avoid withdrawal as it is very unpleasant. Fortunately, it is not usually life-threatening.
So, not only is the brain craving the drug but the physical withdrawal symptoms make it even harder to resist using. It can range from mild to severe, according to the level of dependence, duration, and method of use.
Withdrawal usually begins six to 12 hours after the last dose and peaks within two to three days. Heroin withdrawal symptoms typically last around seven days but can last 10 days or longer in some cases. Opioid withdrawal is usually described as a flu-like illness. Hence, the slang term is known as “dope sick”.
Common symptoms of heroin withdrawal include:
- Watery eyes and runny nose
- Nausea and vomiting
- Joint, bone, and muscle pain
- Chills, fever, excessive sweating
- Mood swings and crying
Some symptoms, such as persistent vomiting and diarrhea, can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, elevated sodium levels, and heart failure. Unfortunately, people can and do, die during opiate withdrawal. However, all withdrawal symptoms can be safely managed with proper medical attention.
How We Treat Heroin Addiction
Recovery from heroin addiction is possible and there are many treatment options available. Initially, most people begin treatment by going through short-term detoxification or residential program. Then, our heroin addiction treatment program can be the next step to sober living.
First, our treatment begins with a substance use assessment of each new client. Second, we also complete a detailed mental and physical health screening as well. Co-occurring conditions are common with addiction. Therefore, this in-depth evaluation helps our team of professionals design an effective individualized treatment plan based on the client’s specific needs.
Tulip Hill Recovery offers the following for heroin addiction treatment in Murfreesboro, Tennessee:
- Partial Hospitalization Program Most people begin treatment by going through detoxification. Our PHP Murfreesboro program can be your next step. Alternatively, it can be a wise move after completing a residential program.
- Intensive Outpatient Program IOP allows a person to either live in sober living homes or in their own homes while receiving treatment. The individual attends treatment sessions multiple times a week.
- Addiction Treatment Therapies Addiction therapies are used to help those with substance use disorders. Each one has its place in teaching someone to overcome their addiction.
- Holistic Therapy Holistic therapy is non-medical and should be used along with other types of therapy. While improving physical health, it additionally elevates a person’s mood.
- EMDR Therapy People often suffer from symptoms of emotional distress that result from past or current life events. EMDR therapy in Murfreesboro helps take away the negative power this has over them.
- Rehab for Veterans Clients can draw on a variety of veteran-specific experiences while working toward long-term recovery.
- Addiction Treatment Aftercare Addiction treatment aftercare in Murfreesboro provides a safety barrier. It acts as the step between formal treatment and going it alone.
Heroin Addiction Treatment in Murfreesboro, TN
Indeed, heroin addiction can have serious consequences. Our compassionate clinical staff offers support and encouragement throughout the recovery process. Tulip Hill Recovery provides comprehensive treatment for heroin addiction, as well as meth, cocaine, and alcohol abuse in Murfreesboro and surrounding areas.
Contact our family-run treatment facility today to learn more.