Heroin Addiction

Heroin Addiction

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Heroin Dependence or Addiction

Heroin is an illegal and extremely addictive substance. It is a falls under the category of opiates and is occasionally used as a pain killer. Heroin is sold and used in a number of forms including:

  • White or brown powder
  • Tar heroin (a black sticky substance)
  • Solid black chunks

These different forms of heroin can be smoked, snorted, or injected under the skin, into muscle, or directly into the veins. Heroin is a highly potent drug, and it starts affecting one’s body quickly which makes the chances of overdosing a distinct possibility. The immediate and pleasurable effects of heroin make it the drug of choice for abuse. The effects include:

  • A surge of enjoyable feelings called the “Rush”
  • A warm, calm feeling
  • A heavy, slowed feeling in the arms and legs
  • An increased sense of well-being and confidence

Effects of Heroin on the Body

Despite the pleasurable effects of heroin, it is a very dangerous drug and wreaks havoc on the body. Here are a few basic effects of heroin on different organs of the body:

Brain: May result in day time sedation and chronic use may even lead to major depression.

Heart: There are chances of contamination of the heart lining due to heroin abuse.

Blood Vessels: Repeated heroin injections may cause the veins to collapse.

Liver: Injection is a common way of heroin intake and shared needles may cause hepatitis.

Digestive System: Heroin abuse causes slowing of digestive system resulting in constipation.

Nervous System: Chronic heroin abuse may lead to increased sensitivity to pain.

Immune System: Heroin abuse weakens your immune system, making your body susceptible to disease.

Respiratory System: Ensuing respiratory depression can lead to slowed breathing which is potentially fatal.

Warning Signs of Heroin Abuse

Heroin addiction is deadly, and there are many noticeable signs and symptoms. The symptoms depend on the quantity and frequency of abuse. Here are some of the common warning signs one should look out for in various stages of addiction:

Immediate Symptoms
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Itching
  • Dry mouth
  • Flushed skin
Delayed Symptoms
  • Feeling drowsy and sleepy for several hours
  • Having a foggy mental state
  • Slowed breathing
  • Slowed heart rate
  • “Nodding,” where the individual will alternate between periods of being awake and asleep
Long-term Abuse Symptoms
  • Needle marks and bruising on the injection sites
  • Skin problems like abscesses and infections
  • Heart problems
  • Disease in organs including the liver and kidneys
  • Collapsed veins from repeated injections

Withdrawal Symptoms of Heroin

When an individual stops using heroin after a long time of constant usage, he/she will manifest withdrawal symptoms. Even though heroin withdrawal is not fatal, it can be dangerous and extremely uncomfortable. At Akua, we provide 24×7 supervision and help the individual safely navigate the early stages of recovery. Here are some of the basic withdrawal symptoms:

  • Widespread pain in the bones and muscles
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting
  • Feeling cold
  • Involuntary kicking movements
  • Strong cravings for more of the substance

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How Akua Can be Helpful

It is possible to overcome heroin addiction completely, and it is best if the treatment is started in the early stages. At Akua, we provide holistic treatment programs combining the time-tested traditions of East with the scientific approach of West to help our clients safely beat their addiction. Our recovery plans are highly individualistic in nature so that all the unique requirements of our clients are addressed, and they can overcome their addiction with relative ease. Our dedicated staff is always there to help the clients whenever they hit a rough patch. At Akua, we believe in perfection and strive to give the best possible care to those who seek help. We provide all the three levels of care

Detox from Heroin
Integrated Detox Program

Heroin detox is the first stage of recovery and has the following components:

    • 24 hour supervision
    • Gender-specific recovery programs
    • Psychiatric and nursing support
    • Group and individual counseling and therapy
    • Prepare the clients for the next phase of the treatment
Inpatient Drug Rehab Centers
Residential Program

This is the second stage of recovery and usually consists of the following:

    • The duration may vary depending on the severity, though it typically lasts for 30 days
    • Gender-specific recovery programs
    • 24×7 guidance and support from our clinical team
    • Nutritious diet plans and meals prepared by our private chef
    • Recreational activities on weekends such as movies, beach activities, etc. under the supervision of the staff
Outpatient Heroin Treatment
Intensive Outpatient Program

This is the last stage of recovery and will look like this:

  • The typical duration is of 20 -30 sessions which translates to 30-45 days
  • Mindfulness relapse prevention
  • Evening meetings (AA or any other 12 step meeting)
  • Group and individual assignments
  • Transportation and housing provided