Heroin Detox Program

OVERVIEW OF HEROIN

If there’s one drug that’s become a major point of contention, it’s certainly heroin. Of course, all mind-altering substances are problematic to one degree or another, but current rates of heroin use and addiction have reached epidemic-level proportions, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. With heroin use currently being higher than it’s ever been, it’s become important for us to be knowledgeable about the drug. In particular, we should be aware of where heroin comes from, its specific effects, how to identify heroin withdrawal symptoms, and what steps are required to overcome an addiction to heroin.

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WHAT EXACTLY IS HEROIN?

Heroin may seem like a modern drug, and while it’s true that heroin use has only recently reached epidemic levels, we actually have quite a history with heroin and heroin-like substances known as opiates. Heroin is a derivative of the opium that obtained from the opium poppy; our history with opium actually dates back thousands of years. In ancient Egypt, Babylonia, Greece, and many other nations in the North African and Eastern European areas, opium was used for such things as anesthetics during primitive surgical procedures, spiritual practices, and, of course, recreational enjoyment.

By the nineteenth century, opium was used quite commonly throughout much of the world, including in North America; however, it was around this time that the dangerous and addictive properties of opium were becoming more well-known, which inspired research into substances that could offer similar therapeutic value without the many side effects.

By the late 1800s, opium was marketed as a cure for alcoholism, but those who used opium were rapidly becoming dependent. This resulted in the emergence of many ‘opium dens’ throughout the United States. Around this time, researchers identified that many of opium’s effects could be attributed to one of two primary alkaloids that opium contains: codeine and morphine. In 1874, English chemist C.R. Alder Wright was experimenting with morphine and various forms of acid when he developed diamorphine, which is the more technical name for heroin. Upon creating the substance, Wright realized that diamorphine was much more potent than actual morphine and, through experiments with animals, documented a number of the drug’s effects, including an initial increase in heart rate followed by a marked decrease thereafter, prostration (a tendency toward hunched-over postures), intense sleepiness, and a number of other effects.

After Wright’s initial synthesis of heroin, the substance was largely disregarded until it was, again, synthesized 23 years later by Felix Hoffmann, a chemist who was working for Bayer in Germany. Hoffmann’s objective was actually to create codeine, which was less potent and addictive than morphine; instead, Hoffmann achieved a substance that was substantially more powerful and addictive. The head of Bayer’s research department chose the name “heroin” because of its German meaning, “strong” and “heroic”. As such, Bayer led the way when it came to the commercialization of heroin, marketing it for a variable of things, particularly as a non-addictive morphine substitute and as a cough suppressant.

The Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914 was put in place to better regulate the sale and use of heroin, making it available almost solely via prescription in the United States; however, just ten years later, Congress put a complete ban on the production, importation, and sale of heroin. Today, heroin is classified as a Schedule I substance, which means that it has strong addictive potential with no therapeutic benefits. Again, heroin was developed chiefly as an alternative to morphine in the hope that it would offer similar effects of morphine without the addictive potential and adverse effects. In the end, heroin ended up being one of the most powerful opiates we’ve yet found and is currently at the center of a global addiction epidemic.

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EFFECTS OF HEROIN

The effects of heroin are somewhat dependent on the route of administration. Although there are several ways in which to imbibe heroin, the three most common are via intravenous injection, insufflation (inhaling through the nose), and smoking. Of these three routes of administration, intravenous injection has the greatest bioavailability; in other words, injecting heroin directly into one’s bloodstream allows a person to experience the effects of heroin to their highest degree.

Upon imbibing heroin, users often feel a ‘rush’, which is the sensation of the drug’s effects quickly spreading throughout the body. It’s a very sensual feeling that’s been described as physical numbness or as a sense of warmth and tingling. As well, heroin is often described as causing users’ mouths to become quite dry and there’s the sensation that one’s limbs have become extremely heavy and more difficult to move. Meanwhile, the drug dampens one’s ability to feel pain, which makes sense since heroin belongs to the same class of drugs to which many of the most well-known and widely-used painkillers. There’s also an intense sense of lethargy and sedation.

HEROIN WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS

Heroin Withdrawal

When a person continues to use heroin frequently over a period of time, he or she becomes quite likely to develop a physical dependence that will require a detox once the addict decides to get clean. Although heroin withdrawal isn’t typically considered to be life-threatening in the way that alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawals often are, heroin addiction withdrawal is unanimously described as being one of the worst withdrawals from drug addiction and is quite unpleasant. For instance, there’s an intense physical discomfort due to the body being forced to deal with physical sensations.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms may only last a week or so, but the symptoms can be severe and may include (but are not limited to):

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Nervousness
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Muscle spasms
  • Cravings for drugs

OVERCOMING HEROIN ADDICTION

Although it’s quite unpleasant to be addicted to heroin, there are plenty of resources available to help individuals overcome this disease. Typically, heroin addiction recovery begins with a detoxification program, which allows the individual to overcome the physical aspects of the addiction prior to moving into the treatment phase of recovery. After detoxing, the individual can participate in individual counseling, group therapy, relapse prevention education, life skills training, and other important components. The idea is to help the individual achieve long-lasting sobriety by ensuring that each of his or her unique recovery needs are met while in treatment.

Finding the right help for yourself or a loved one can be an overwhelming and stressful process. We can remove those stresses by helping you find the right heroin addiction treatment program designed for YOU. Contact us here to start the road to recovery.

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Finding the right help for yourself or a loved one can be an overwhelming and stressful process. We can remove those stresses by helping you find the right rehabilitation facility. Call us now to start the road to recovery.

877-978-3125

Real Client Testimonials

  • Before coming to coastal I was hopeless, helpless, and my family wanted nothing to do with me. It wasn’t the first detox I’d ever been to, but it was the only one who showed me so much love and compassion. They gave me hope. It’s hard to put into words the amount of gratitude I have for this facility. The employees were my family when I had none. The staff went out of their way to make sure not only were my physical needs taken care of, but my emotional needs as well. From the first phone call prior to admission, to helping me set up continuing care, they never missed a beat. Even going as far as to help me with my legal issues via Zoom court. This isn’t just a detox, they are the family I never had. All of the techs, especially Karen, are phenomenal. They will take the time to listen to you, laugh, and cry(if needed) with you. If you are reading this and you or your loved one is suffering like I was, go to Coastal Detox. The level of care is more than I could ever put into a review. It wasn’t the first detox I’d been to, but it has been my last; I owe them everything I have today, including my life.

    Travis B. Avatar
    Travis B.
    12/07/2020
  • Had a really good experience at Coastal. The staff really went above and beyond in helping me get in and gave me the respect l, space and care I needed after I first got there. As I started to fell better they encouraged me to take part in groups which helped get me out of my head and bring positivity and health to my thinking. They had a great massage therapist, who came daily and it was evident the nursing staff genuinely cared. Got to know some of the staff as well and I’m grateful for the cooks Joe and Chris. Those guys literally made us sirloins and pork chops for dinner. Also I gotta thank Chris and Chris for helping me get in and setting me up with a transition plan. Real grateful for that help, I’m not sure if it’s management intention to hire guys named Chris but they got a good thing going there. Overall, I’m clean and sober today and walking it out. Coastal gave me a base that set me up for the success that I’m walking in today

    Brandon B. Avatar
    Brandon B.
    1/16/2020
  • My family is very thankful for Coastal Detox. They have went above and beyond for my son a few times. Unfortunately he has needed their help more than once and they have ever turned their back on him, even when he was at his worst. Jeannie and Chris have been amazing and kept me informed through the entire process. They truly care about the addict and want to help them especially when it would be easy to give up on them. I had many detox facilities be rude and uncaring to me when I was searching for help for my son, but Coastal never did that to us. I don't know the names of all the team members that have helped my son but I know their are many and y'all are angels!! One day we will be able to pay it forward and help someone as you have helped us. Thank you for all you do!!

    Brenda A. Avatar
    Brenda A.
    1/01/2020
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/13/2019
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/06/2019

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