Contrary to popular belief, people from all walks of life use heroin. Unfortunately, the decades-long opioid epidemic continues to lead many people to heroin and even stronger opioids like fentanyl. Young adults often experiment with heroin and other opioids, often leading to abuse and heroin addiction. At NuLife Behavioral Health, we’re here to help you and your loved ones recover.
If you or someone you love is struggling with heroin, don’t quit cold turkey. The team at NuLife Behavioral Health can help. Our substance abuse treatment programs provide accessible, comprehensive help in Massachusetts. Call us now at 888.568.2057 to learn more about the benefits of heroin addiction treatment at NuLife Behavioral Health.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is an opioid derived from the opium poppy. Originally developed in the 1800s as a hospital-grade painkiller, heroin is now an illicit street drug. This means heroin is not regulated by the FDA and it’s hard to know how strong a dose is or what is really in it. Unfortunately, laced heroin is on the rise. By adding stronger synthetic opioids like fentanyl to heroin, distributors cut costs and increase the risk of overdose and opioid-related death for heroin users.
Known for their intense painkiller effects and temporary euphoria, opioids are a popular choice for pain management, post-op, and general surgery. For many people, heroin is an unhealthy way to find relief for mental and emotional pain. Today, at least half of people living with addiction also have co-occurring disorders like anxiety and depression. At NuLife Behavioral Health, we help clients diagnose and treat mood disorders alongside heroin addiction for holistic healing.
Once heroin enters the bloodstream, it converts to morphine. This provides immediate pain relief and euphoria, flooding the brain with dopamine, “the pleasure chemical.” Dopamine creates a “reward effect” tricking the brain into wanting more heroin in order to receive more dopamine. This is common with most drugs, which leads people to addiction. When someone becomes dependent on heroin, they need a new dose every 6–12 hours to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Understanding Heroin Withdrawal
Opioids like heroin can be difficult to stop using because they change a person’s brain chemistry. When someone stops using heroin, they experience intense withdrawal symptoms. Often called “dope sickness” during withdrawal, the brain sends messages to the body that it will die without more heroin. This is a natural survival response that makes it hard to stop taking heroin on willpower alone. Symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Reckless behavior
- Drug-seeking behavior
- Drug cravings
- Erratic behavior
- Changes in sleep habits
- Changes in appetite
During withdrawal, people can become a danger to themselves or others. Therefore, the safest and most effective way to stop using heroin is a dual diagnosis substance abuse treatment program like NuLife Behavioral Health.
Compassionate Heroin Addiction Treatment in Massachusetts
Heroin can be one of the most difficult substances to stop using without psychiatric and medical support. At NuLife Behavioral Health, we put mental health at the forefront of addiction recovery. We believe the best way to help our clients is by meeting them where they are. This means providing comprehensive dual diagnosis, mental health treatment, and extensive addiction recovery treatment for each client’s needs. With a warm, welcoming atmosphere, our clinics give clients the space to be themselves and reconnect with loved ones. Our programs provide a range of outpatient options and referrals for residential and aftercare programs. No matter where you are in your recovery, NuLife Behavioral Health can help.