Heroin Addiction Treatment From the Comfort and Privacy of Home
In 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services declared the rise of opioid addiction in the United States a public health emergency. Because opioids are so addictive, the risk of relapse is high, and an actionable plan is necessary for successful recovery. With more people needing help with opioid and heroin addiction than ever before, ALYST Health is committed to making addiction treatment available and accessible to as many people as possible with the realization that conventional treatment centers aren’t always a realistic option.
That’s why we developed a fully at-home approach to opioid and heroin addiction recovery that prioritizes privacy, routine, and integration with everyday life. Our comprehensive approach includes:
Our opioid and heroin addiction treatment model provides the option to bundle each of the above services as a holistic concierge solution, or we can offer them individually to help participants achieve their specific recovery goals.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids are known for producing a euphoric effect by binding to opioid receptors in the brain. These receptors trigger the brain’s reward system, providing an immediate sense of well-being, but they ultimately make it difficult to find pleasure in anything else. Heroin and other opioids create the same chemical response to varying degrees, have very similar detoxification processes, and are extremely addictive. Opioids are commonly prescribed as pain relievers that can act as a gateway to using heroin. Studies show 80% of people who use heroin started after first misusing prescription opioids.
What’s the Difference Between Opioids and Opiates?
The word opioid describes any substance that binds to opioid receptors in the brain to create a feeling of euphoria, whether it’s all natural, semisynthetic, or synthetic. Opiates, on the other hand, only refer to naturally derived opioids such as heroin, morphine, and codeine. In other words, all opiates are opioids, but not all opioids are opiates.
What Are the Signs of a Heroin Addiction?
Some clear signs that someone you care about may be struggling with an opioid or heroin addiction include:
- Runny Nose
- Abnormally Small Pupils
- Vomiting and Nausea
- Burnt Foil or Spoons
- Dry Mouth
- Mood Swings
- Taking More Medication Than Prescribed
- Actively Seeking Out Medication
- Shallow Breathing
- Severe Itching
- Weight Loss
- Disoriented Behavior
- Drowsiness or Falling Asleep Abruptly (“Nodding Off”)
- Memory Loss
- Personality Changes
- Track Marks and Scarring From Injections
- Lack of Emotion
- Loss of Motivation
- Stealing From Loved Ones
- Inability to Fulfill Responsibilities
- Lying and Manipulation
- Abnormal Behavior
- Financial and Legal Problems
Another sign of heroin/opiate use is withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms may vary depending on the individual, but some common symptoms include:
- Heart Arrhythmia
- Restless Legs
- Profuse Sweating
- Loss of Appetite
- Muscle Aches and Pain
How Are Heroin and Opioids Used?
Common routes of administration are intravenous (IV), inhalation, and insufflation (snorting). Intravenous is a direct injection using a needle into a vein. IV drug users are especially vulnerable to contracting viral infections such as Hepatitis C or HIV.
Inhalation is very common for individuals first experimenting with opiates and is often done by smoking through a straw or “tutor” to inhale smoke directly off aluminum foil. There are also other methods of inhalation, such as vaporizing.
Insufflation is another route of administration, the most common form of which is snorting.
Why Is Opioid Addiction Considered an Epidemic?
The United States is currently experiencing an opioid epidemic as drug overdoses have become the leading cause of death, with over 100 Americans dying each day from a drug overdose. From 2016 to 2017, the percentage of opioid or heroin-related overdose deaths rose by 30%.
What Are the Most Common Opioids?
Some of the most commonly abused opioids are:
What Are the Long-Term Side Effects of Heroin/Opioid Abuse?
Long term use of heroin and other opioids can lead to:
- Mental Health Disorders
- Collapsed Veins (IV Users)
- Abscesses (IV Users)
- Liver and Kidney Disease (Hep-C)
- Infection of the Heart Lining and Valves
- Pneumonia and Other Lung Complications
- Damaged Nasal Tissue
- Clogged Blood Vessels
- Damaged Hormone Level
If you or someone you care about may be struggling with opioid addiction, take the quiz to clarify what to do next.
Opiate addiction is life-threatening. If you or a loved one are at risk, please fill out the form below or give us a call for a free assessment.