Heroin is an opiate drug that has become infamous for its powerful addictive properties and high rates of overdose. Most often sold in a white or brown powder form but also available as a sticky dark brown “tar,” users can inject or smoke this drug to achieve a euphoric high that floods the brain with artificial pain-killing chemicals.
Heroin has been a consistent problem all over the world for decades. This drug has been increasingly popular in news articles claiming that an epidemic has hit the streets of various cities, especially those where crime or unemployment rates are very high. When a high percentage of a city’s population is addicted to drugs because of poverty, emotional stressors like gang violence and widespread availability, it becomes the responsibility of the community to do something about it.
But we mustn’t forget that there are people attached to these addictions that need compassion and understanding, not a set of handcuffs strapped to their wrists. A new methodology is taking over that focuses on the rehabilitation of those addicted to drugs like heroin, and people are slowly beginning to understand the deeper issues with addiction.
Heroin Is an Opiate: How Does It Affect the Brain?
The best way to start overcoming these stigmas is to understand that the drug truly takes control of the brain and body, sometimes after only one use. Those who struggle with addiction to heroin are chemically dependent on the drug; many reach a point where they need the drug to feel any normalcy or happiness because of the way it affects brain chemistry.
Heroin is a type of opiate, which is a derivative of the opium poppy plant used for thousands of years for its pain-killing properties. Modern opiates are a class one narcotic in the United States because of their ability to affect the sympathetic nervous system — the system that controls functions like heart rate, breathing, blood vessel dilation and oxygen intake. Using opiate drugs like heroin significantly slows these processes and blocks pain receptors, resulting in a sleepy, enjoyable high. However, overdosing on heroin can result in insufficient breathing or cardiac arrest as the lungs slow and heartbeat fails.
With continued use, heroin abusers need increasingly more of the drug to experience the same level of high. This is known as drug tolerance, and it occurs as the brain starts to rely on the drug to produce enough neurotransmitters to stabilize your mood. The more tolerance you develop, the more heroin you need to move beyond a stable mood and into a high. This is one of the reasons that so many heroin users overdose: before they realize it, they are taking dangerously large doses of the drug in an attempt to achieve a high. This also has the effect of making the time between highs feel worse, which further encourages users to continue using. Some signs that may indicate a steadily worsening heroin habit include:
● Erratic behavior
● Mood swings
● Personality changes
● Unexplained financial difficulty
● Track marks on the body from injections
● Changes in social circles
● Legal trouble
● Flu-like withdrawal symptoms
Treat Heroin Addiction in Recovery Centers, Not Jails
The problem with heroin addiction, much like every opiate addiction, is that those affected are put into prisons for taking these drugs when the problem is much bigger than violating laws. Addiction goes much deeper than what we see at face value, and people are beginning to understand this idea. No matter how much we jail these people that are affected by heroin addiction, they will not stop using. Even in these facilities, they will find a way to get drugs.
But in addiction recovery centers, we understand the extent of the healing process. We know that it is possible for a person struggling with addiction to overcome their habits and successfully establish a new, substance-free life. We also know that addiction stems from a much deeper place than random criminal activity or delinquent boredom — the stigma of drug abusers as deserving of punishment is simply not true in the vast majority of cases.
In treatment at Cypress Lakes Lodge, we want our patients to feel comfortable seeking treatment and never worry about any judgments related to heroin addiction. Coming forward and admitting you need help is the very first step in overcoming heroin addiction in Texas. We can help you get real treatment for heroin addiction that will detox the body and free the mind from all stresses and anxiety, allowing you to start over sober with a clean slate.
Treatment for Heroin Addiction in Texas
The cycle of heroin addiction can be nearly impossible to break on one’s own due to the progressive intensity of withdrawal and cravings. When it comes to highly addictive drugs like heroin, it is vital to seek treatment at a center that can help you at every stage of the recovery. At Cypress Lakes Lodge, we are here for you from the moment you enter our programs in the Houston, TX area. What’s more, we know that your recovery doesn’t end when you leave; we offer resources to help you stay sober for the rest of your life.
We are keenly aware that heroin addiction can wreak havoc on your body and mind. We employ a holistic approach that seeks the source of your addiction and provides healing that begins there and extends to your life and relationships — we do not just treat you for addiction, but for its underlying causes and its effects as well. Our expert therapists provide a range of integrative therapies to help you get back to health and sobriety, including:
- Individual and group therapy
- Meditation and mindfulness
- Nutritional education
- Art and music therapy
- Writing therapy
- Family counseling
Detox and Dual Diagnosis
Withdrawal symptoms of heroin can be painful, and at worst they can be deadly. If you or someone you know is ready to seek treatment for heroin addiction, encourage them to reach out to a treatment center that offers a monitored detox period before entering recovery therapy. At Cypress Lakes Lodge, we can make sure that you get through detox as safely and comfortably as possible with close supervision and medical management when necessary. After this initial detox phase, we can begin right away to work with you on other mental and physical therapies.
We are also qualified to work with patients whose addiction is accompanied by a different mental health disorder, a condition known as a dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis is a very common concern for those who are struggling with addiction. Often, mental health disorders like depression or anxiety lead people to abuse drugs to manage their feelings; and in other cases, long-term addiction causes these disorders as brain chemistry changes after prolonged drug abuse. Research has shown that dual diagnosis patients are significantly less likely to relapse when they are equipped to manage their mental health disorder — Cypress Lakes Lodge can teach you healthy coping mechanisms and help you find long-term doctors and therapists so you don’t need to turn to drugs to feel happy.
Contact Cypress Lakes Lodge
If you or someone you love is abusing or addicted to heroin, we encourage you to reach out for help right away. For premier addiction recovery treatment in the Houston, Texas area, call Cypress Lakes Lodge to learn more about our programs. We are here to guide you as you begin your journey back to a substance-free life, and we pledge to provide the tools you need to find lifelong recovery without relapse. Contact our helpful staff today at 409-331-2204.