Heroin is a profoundly addictive drug, and its continual use brings about high levels of physical dependence. When abusers use heroin they often describe a pleasurable sensation, or what they call a “high.” This feeling of total euphoria is what gets users hooked to the drug.
Physical dependence in this context refers to a change in the abuser’s physiological state that results from the chronic use of heroin, causing them to physically crave the drug. This dependence leads to continued use in order to prevent the harsh withdrawal symptoms that accompany heroin addiction.
Heroin users start to feel withdrawal symptoms only a few hours after they’ve taken last hit. They may start to experience discomforts such as muscle pain, bone pain, restlessness, cold flashes, and diarrhea. These withdrawal symptoms can worsen after the first 72 hours since a user’s last dose, but start to subside after about 7 days without the drug. At this point, it is common for addicts to suffer from depression, weakness and some continued symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
In severe cases, some addicts may experience withdrawal symptoms for weeks, or even years. This is because heroin addictions are considered a behavioral state associated with the compulsive use of drugs, which is why these addicts are susceptible relapse even after long periods of abstinence.
The reality is that heroin is one of the hardest drugs to quit. Detoxification is not enough to help a heroin addict achieve sobriety. A combination of other recovery treatment programs and therapies will be needed during recovery. At Arizona Addiction Recovery Center, we offer services that are specifically designed to treat people suffering from heroin addictions.
What Makes It So Difficult To Maintain Sobriety?
It is extremely difficult to overcome a heroin addiction. Some of the obstacles that hinder most addicts from overcoming heroin dependency include:
Unpleasant Withdrawal Symptoms
It’s nearly impossible for a heroin addict to quit cold turkey. The withdrawal symptoms can be more than unpleasant, and the need to use hits hardest when the abuser feels they can no longer cope with what they’re feeling. The overwhelming desire to use heroin is one of the biggest issues that addicts must conquer, and this becomes increasingly challenging when they have to deal with additional withdrawal symptoms. Because of the severity of these symptoms, it’s better to seek treatment where medical professionals can assess your level of addiction and plan a proper detox.
Believing That Your Own Will Is Enough
Believing in yourself is not enough to help you overcome heroin addiction. It helps to an extent, because trusting that you can get through the process is an important element in achieving sobriety. But heroin addiction is a disease that alters the chemical function of your brain. Resisting the urge to use can be extremely difficult, and something you cannot trust yourself to do when your thought-process has been severely damaged. Your brain must be reprogrammed if you are to successfully overcome addiction.
Expecting Fast Results
Believing that addiction treatment alone is enough to help you recover and abstain from substance use is something you should throw out the window; maintaining sobriety is a journey with no destination and should be viewed as a lifetime commitment.
Misconceptions About Relapse
The assumption that when a recovering addict relapses it means that the treatment was a complete failure is a horrible misconception. Addiction relapses are very common, and happen to almost every addict who is trying to stop using. The important thing to remember with addiction recovery is that it takes time. If and when an addict falls off the wagon, it is easier for them to bounce back if they have the right support and understanding.
Mental Illness Is Often Ignored
Scientific evidence shows that there is a link between drug abuse and mental illness. Many people who abuse drugs are plagued by psychological and/or emotional problems, which they feel they cannot escape from or resolve. Heroin is often the drug of choice used to cope during these circumstances. The problems arise when the addiction is treated, but the underlying psychological issues are neglected.
At Arizona Addiction Recovery Center, we conduct counseling sessions for clients and their family members to discuss unresolved issues affecting each and every one of them. By encouraging patients to open up about the issues that may have led to their addiction, it allows us to identify any underlying problems and find the best ways to help the addict.
Recovery and Long-Term Care
When heroin addicts come to us for help, we encourage them to enroll in our inpatient treatment program so that we are able to closely monitor their progress. Our program is very comprehensive and involves detoxification, treatment, and counseling.
We encourage heroin addicts to join group therapy because they can get to meet other people who are also struggling with substance abuse. Group meetings are held regularly, and they provide a comfortable space for addicts of different backgrounds to bond by sharing their past experiences and future aspirations.
Once a client graduates from our treatment program, we encourage them to enroll in one of our aftercare programs. They can enroll in more than one program if they wish to do so, as re-entering the real world as a newly recovered addict can be a very trying experience.
The reason Arizona Addiction Recovery Center offers these programs is to provide recovering addicts with guidance, support, and care after treatment. Our priority lies in helping clients maintain their sobriety and live happy, fulfilled lives. If you or a loved one is struggled from a heroin addiction, please don’t hesitate to contact our facility. We’re available 24/7 and always here to help.
Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Arizona Addiction Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 888-512-1705.
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