Salvia Addiction Rehab

Heroin Addiction Rehab Center

Heroin addiction is on the rise in America, due in part to the increase in opioid painkiller addiction. As a member of the opioid drug class, heroin can be used interchangeably with prescription opioids, and that has brought heroin back from obscurity. Heroin is an extremely dangerous drug, and anyone addicted to it should seek residential heroin addiction treatment as soon as possible. Fortunately, heroin addiction can be overcome with hard work, determination, and expert assistance from trained treatment professionals.

What Is Heroin Addiction?


Heroin is perhaps the most notorious of all illicit drugs, with a dark and frightening reputation that is well earned. A byproduct of the poppy plant, heroin belongs to a class of drugs called opioids, which are used by millions of Americans as prescription painkillers. Like other drugs in its class, heroin binds quickly and easily with opioid receptors that occur naturally in the human brain. It offers a burst of initial euphoria before making users feel blissfully calm and relaxed. Heroin delivers potent relief from emotional and physical pain.

One unique aspect of opioid drugs is that they can all be used interchangeably. So someone dependent on painkillers like OxyContin or Fentanyl can smoke, snort, or inject heroin as a way to relieve their cravings. Because heroin is less costly than prescription drugs, many opioid painkiller addicts are turning to heroin as a cheaper alternative, and this is driving the recent upsurge in its use.

Effective Treatment for Heroin Addiction


Treatment for heroin addiction should begin in a residential treatment facility, where detox is followed by intensive behavioral therapy that will include individual, family, and peer group sessions.

Following heroin addiction rehab, the client should transition into an aftercare recovery and relapse prevention program, where psychotherapy will remain a part of the treatment regimen, as will regular attendance at peer group meetings where people recovering from substance use disorders can share insights and create a mutual support network. Medications to combat withdrawal symptoms may be taken indefinitely, or patients may be weaned off of them gradually during aftercare. But either way, these medications have been shown to decrease the likelihood of relapse for recovering heroin addicts.

While there is no cure for heroin addiction, individuals with a history of heroin abuse have a good chance of preserving their sobriety, if their commitment to recovery and lifestyle change is sincere. Heroin addiction recovery is a long-term process, but with commitment, determination, and the support of a world-class heroin addiction treatment program, individuals can find success on their road to recovery.

Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Addiction


As addiction deepens and heroin use becomes a daily habit, the signs of heroin use will become more blatant, causing a deterioration in physical appearance and behavior. The indicators of serious heroin abuse include:

  • Needle marks and bruising on the arms (if injecting)
  • Constantly running nose or nosebleeds (if snorting/sniffing)
  • Formation of non-healing abscesses on the skin
  • Heart troubles and chronically low blood pressure
  • Frequent illnesses or infections
  • Liver or kidney problems
  • Insomnia or excessive daytime sleeping (or an alternating cycle of both)

On the behavioral side, the telltale signs of long-term heroin abuse include:

  • Constant lying and evasiveness
  • Neglect of parenting, workplace, or other life responsibilities
  • Stealing to get money for drugs
  • Frequent run-ins with law enforcement (arrests for DUI, stealing, violence, etc.)
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Aggressive or erratic reactions to stress or disagreements
  • Missing appointments or other important events, usually without explanation
  • Inability to stop using, despite promising to do so

Under standards prescribed by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), qualified clinicians can diagnose an opioid use disorder, including heroin addiction, if certain distinctive symptoms are present.

The list of diagnostic symptoms includes:

  • Heroin consumed more frequently and in larger amounts than intended
  • Efforts to decrease or control heroin use that prove to be futile
  • Heavy time investments in obtaining, using, or recovering from heroin use
  • Intense, persistent heroin cravings
  • Neglect of duties at work, school, or in the home directly connected to heroin abuse
  • Continued use of heroin despite social or interpersonal problems
  • Social, recreational, or occupational activities sacrificed because of heroin use
  • Recurrent heroin use in situations where it causes physical danger
  • Continued heroin use despite deleterious effects on physical and psychological health
  • The buildup of tolerance for heroin
  • Experience of withdrawal symptoms

Six or more symptoms indicate a severe addiction, four or five a moderate addiction, and two or three a mild dependency.

When heroin addiction remains undiagnosed and untreated, the odds of heroin overdose rise significantly, as users will consume more and more of the drug until their body can no longer handle the stress.

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Heroin Recovery Is Possible

Heroin Addiction Causes and Risk Factors


Structural and functional changes in the brain will result from heroin abuse, and it is these changes that foster and reinforce the powerful cravings that keep heroin addicts chained to their dependency.

In addition to the neurological changes caused by frequent use, other risk factors for this type of substance use disorder include:

  • Genetic predisposition. The precise genetic risks for heroin dependency are not easy to calculate, but having a parent or sibling with heroin addiction increases the odds of heroin abuse significantly.
  • Family history. Exposure to abuse of any type, or parental neglect, or instability in the family unit in general, can set the stage for later battles with substance abuse.
  • Misuse and abuse of other drugs. Opioid painkillers are gateway drugs for heroin. Four out of five heroin users abused prescription opioids first, before switching to heroin because it is cheaper and/or easier to obtain. Overall, people who’ve abused any other drug are at greater risk for heroin dependency, although the relationship to opioid painkiller abuse is most decisive.

Private Heroin Addiction Withdrawal and Detox Treatment


The withdrawal symptoms of heroin are notoriously unpleasant, and no one should attempt to quit using heroin “cold turkey” without the assistance of medical professionals.

Common heroin withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Intense, obsessive cravings
  • Heavy sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Agitation, extreme restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe aches and pains
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Diarrhea

To handle such symptoms safely, people attempting to overcome a heroin addiction should check into a residential rehab facility that offers medically monitored detox services.

During detox, heroin addicts will receive comprehensive care services provided by trained doctors, nurses, and addiction specialists, who will tend to all of their physical and psychological needs and administer medications to soothe their suffering.

Detox is often an essential aspect of recovery from drug addiction, and patients in rehab will not begin the next phase of their residential treatment until they’re physically able, psychologically stable, and no longer dominated by cravings.

Knowing When It’s Time for Heroin Rehab


Getting help for heroin addiction is vital. But making that first step toward this important and potentially life-transforming move can be challenging for anyone who has tried to manage addiction on their own.

Residential treatment for heroin addiction is most effective because it allows an individual to focus on treatment for an extended period of time while learning the necessary skills for returning home and avoiding a relapse. Heroin addiction treatment is tailored to each individual and typically includes:

  • Detox
  • One-on-one behavioral therapy
  • Group therapy and peer support
  • Educational programs
  • Family therapy
  • Experiential and holistic therapies
  • Intensive workshops
  • Fitness/recreation
  • Relaxation strategies and stress management
  • Learning how to avoid relapses

Relapse prevention is an important part of treatment and includes learning what triggers marijuana use, how to avoid triggers, lifestyle changes, and learning and using healthy coping strategies.

We understand that in order for heroin addiction treatment to be successful, we must listen closely and truly understand your needs, aspirations, personal history, and treatment goals. All members of our care team align closely with you so that you feel safe, respected, and ready to do your work. With this approach, Alta Mira co-creates a profound healing experience with you so you can achieve your recovery goals and reclaim your life.

How to Help a Loved One Get Treatment for Heroin Addiction

Addiction is not a choice nor a sign of weakness. It is a condition of the brain that can respond to targeted treatment. When your loved one comes to Alta Mira, they will finally have a chance to be free from the debilitating effects of addiction.

While you can have an influence on your loved one’s decision to seek treatment, an individual struggling with heroin addiction must take ultimate responsibility for their own recovery. Your support and encouragement may be what finally convinces them to seek help for their struggles with heroin.

If you feel your loved one is in need of an intervention, our admissions team can work with you to help find the right interventionist to fit your family’s needs.

How Our World-Class Heroin Addiction Rehab Center Transforms Lives


During your stay at Alta Mira, you’ll have an individualized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. This will include comprehensive services for any co-occurring conditions that might be complicating or supporting your heroin addiction.

  • Comprehensive Neuropsychological Testing and Assessment
  • Individualized Treatment Plans
  • Evidence-Based Treatment Modalities
  • Holistic and Experiential Therapies
  • Luxurious Private Location

Our Transformational Heroin Addiction Treatment Program

Your first 30 days of treatment at Alta Mira is referred to as your Detox, Stabilization, Assessment period, which begins with private, medically supervised detox. During this time, our detox specialists will keep you safe and secure, monitored 24/7, as you rest in the privacy of your own room.

You can also expect:

  • Weekly meetings with a psychiatrist
  • Weekly meetings with a medical doctor
  • Neuropsychological testing and advanced psychological testing
  • Orientation to our recovery fundamentals and self-regulation skills development
  • In-depth family engagement and the option for loved ones to attend multiple 4-day family programs
  • Introduction to therapy groups

Following 30 days of stabilization, clients move on to the next phase of their recovery process at Alta Mira, which we call our Transformational Program. Key elements of our complete 90-day transformational heroin rehab program include:

  • Three individual intensive psychotherapy sessions per week
  • Weekly meetings with a medical doctor
  • Participation in advanced workshops to support introspection, foundational change toward recovery, and relapse prevention
  • Expanded neuropsychological assessment and continued weekly psychiatrist meetings inform tailored treatment adjustments and a refined individualized clinical approach
  • Practice and integration of recovery principles and self-regulation skills and continued family work to support improved individual outcomes
  • Intensive Workshops

Reclaim Your Life at Alta Mira’s Heroin Addiction Rehab Program


We believe individuals are best able to focus on their recovery when immersed in a secure, serene, healing setting. That’s why we provide comfortable surroundings while maintaining the most advanced and sophisticated San Francisco Bay heroin rehab program in Northern California. Clients can expect compassionate care from our best-in-class heroin addiction specialists.

Seeking a helping hand to guide you through these difficult times is not an easy decision. Our caring and experienced team at Alta Mira can help guide you through the next steps toward achieving lasting recovery.

Don’t let heroin addiction destroy your life. To begin your life-changing transformation, Contact us today.

Heroin Addiction FAQs

Repeated heroin use can blossom into addiction in a matter of weeks. One sign of heroin dependency is the regular occurrence of the physical side effects of consuming the drug, which includes:

  • Severe drowsiness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Flushed skin
  • Dry mouth
  • Itchy skin
  • Runny nose
  • Stomach upset
  • Slowed reaction times
  • Foggy mental states

Signs of a heroin overdose (a true life-threatening condition) include:

  • Bluish lips or nails
  • Severely dilated pupils
  • Shallow breathing
  • Dangerously weak pulse
  • Muscle spasms
  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Delirium
  • Extreme drowsiness to the point of collapse
  • Loss of consciousness

Anytime a heroin overdose is suspected emergency medical treatment should be sought immediately.

A potent opioid blocking drug called Naloxone is frequently administered by paramedics, police officers, or emergency department personnel to counteract the effects of an opioid overdose, and the faster it is given the better the odds of survival.

Heroin use over long periods of time can cause infection of the heart lining or heart valves, regardless of how it’s taken. It damages both the liver and kidneys, and also can lead to arthritis or other rheumatological problems. Intravenous drug users who use dirty needles are also at high risk for contracting infectious diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C and B. Heroin users can pass these diseases on to non-using partners through sexual transmission.

Heroin addicts often have reproductive problems, sexual dysfunction, and menstrual irregularities. If a woman becomes pregnant while abusing heroin, she may spontaneously abort, or if she gives birth, the baby may suffer from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. Babies born to heroin addicts are often premature, underweight, and may have other health problems. They are born addicted and have to go through withdrawal, while also being more susceptible to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and may grow up to have developmental or behavioral problems. Heroin can also cause or exacerbate mental illnesses such as depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and other personality disorders.