Heroin is an illegal depressant drug and is one of the most abused and fast actings of all opiate drugs. It can be snorted, injected or smoked, depending on the method it has slightly different effects, such as different intensities and time of effect. It causes euphoria by binding to opioid receptors in the brain. Aside from the pleasant feelings it also causes poor cognition, slow movements, and dry mouth. The long-term effects of heroine are more dangerous as they control liver and kidney diseases, bacterial infections, pneumonia, collapsed veins and organ damage. Injecting heroine using unhygienic or dirty syringes causes infections such as hepatitis and HIV which can be contagious as addicts share the injections. The heroine is also often mixed with other drugs and substances which make overdoses often fatal.
Heroin gets its users physically and psychologically dependent. It is very rare that people consume it without developing an addiction; most people get dependent after the very first use. Addiction can have a lot of causes such as bad living conditions, mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety, and a family history of drug addiction. But the addiction itself can cause a lot of psychological issues such as bipolar disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
There are three steps to treating heroin addiction.
Step 1: Heroine Withdrawal
The first step is completely stopping heroine intake and flushing out the drug already present in your body. This is also called the detoxification process which takes place at rehab centers or hospitals. As soon as the last trace of heroine leaves your body the withdrawal symptoms start, these include, vomiting, diarrhea, insomnia, cold flashes, muscle and body pain. Doctors will prescribe medication depending on how severe the symptoms are. They withdrawal can last up to a week but the worst of it usually ends after two days is. The worst part about going through the symptoms is that you know you can end them just by taking heroine. So when you stay in a rehab center where there is no way to access drugs, you will manage to get through it. Stopping the intake of heroine at home always causes relapse as you can go and get it.
Step 2: Therapy
After the detoxification process ends the psychological part of the treatment starts. There are counselors, therapists and support groups. They help you identify your triggers and teach you how to deal with them, therapists also help you figure out the reason why you started taking heroine initially. If you took it due to stress or depression then they will show you new ways of dealing with them instead of taking drugs.
Step 3: Maintenance
Once you leave the rehab centre it is not a good idea to immediately run home. The best way to transition from rehab to an independent life is by staying at a sober home for a while. They don’t have as strict rules as rehab centers but you will be surrounded by other sober people and there will be therapists to talk to. You should also continue attending meetings even when you start living at home.