Heroin Addiction - Lansdale

Heroin is a highly addictive drug that's processed from morphine, which occurs naturally in some varieties of the poppy plant. This drug comes in a white or brownish powder, and it can be smoked, snorted, or injected. It produces an intense feeling of euphoria and wellbeing by stimulating the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is associated with reward and pleasure.

Heroin addiction is a chronic and relapsing disease that's characterized by the inability to stop using the drug, even though it's causing problems with finances, relationships, health, and/or the law. Heroin addiction causes changes in the brain's structure and functioning, and when someone with a heroin addiction tries to get off the drug without assistance, intense withdrawal symptoms set in and the user will most likely turn back to drug use to alleviate the discomfort.

Addiction in Lansdale

Heroin is the primary drug of concern in Montgomery County and Lansdale. The state of Pennsylvania is ranked third in the U.S. for heroin abuse, with the number deaths each year associated with this and other opiates like prescription painkillers outpacing the number of traffic fatalities in the state.

Why is it so Addictive?

Just once instance of using heroin can set someone on the fast track to addiction. The euphoric effects produced by the drug are intense, and even first-time users typically begin to crave that experience again almost immediately. Tolerance for the drug is built up very quickly, requiring more and more of it to get the same effects. It doesn't take long before brain function is affected, which will result in withdrawal symptoms when the user tries to stop taking it.

Signs of Use

Signs that someone may be using heroin include:

  • The presence of paraphernalia, which may include burned spoons, baggies or balloons, syringes, and glass or metal pipes.
  • Dilated pupils for the four- to five-hour duration of the high.
  • Neglect of personal hygiene.
  • Slurred speech.
  • A sudden decrease in energy and sleeping at unusual times.
  • Changes in behavior, including depression, withdrawal from friends and family, anxiety, restlessness, and aggression.
  • A general loss of appetite.
  • Needle marks on the arms, hands, legs, or feet.

Signs of Addiction

Signs and symptoms that someone may be addicted to heroin include:

  • Neglecting responsibilities.
  • Losing interest in hobbies.
  • Continuing to use the drug despite negative consequences.
  • Continuing to use the drug despite attempts to stop.
  • Building up a tolerance so that more heroin is needed to get the desired effects.
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when drug use is discontinued.
  • Lying about drug use.
  • Borrowing or stealing money.

Long-Term Health Effects

Over time, an addiction to heroin will likely cause any number of devastating health effects, which may include:

  • Chronic insomnia and constipation.
  • Lung complications.
  • Mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.
  • Sexual dysfunction.
  • Scarred or collapsed veins.
  • Bacterial infections of the heart valves and blood vessels.
  • Lung, liver, kidney, and brain infections and other serious organ damage.
  • Infection with HIV or hepatitis B or C from sharing needles.

Addiction Treatment

The first step of addiction treatment is supervised medical detox, which breaks the physical addiction. When heroin is withheld from the body during detox, it will produce withdrawal symptoms that may include intense cravings, body aches, abdominal cramps and diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, hot and cold sweats, and insomnia. During medical detox, medications will be administered as needed to address the various withdrawal symptoms.

After detox, the complex psychological issues surrounding the addiction will be addressed through a variety of therapies, including cognitive, behavioral, group, and family therapy. Any co-occurring mental illnesses or secondary addictions will also be treated.

After the successful completion of treatment, an individualized aftercare plan will be set in place to help prevent relapse. This plan will include ongoing therapy, attending recovery group meetings, and various other programs and assistance based on individual need.

Call Drug Treatment Centers in Lansdale today at 215-383-2672 and get the help you need finding a treatment center that suits all your needs.

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