In the opioid crisis, heroin is a major player. More than 13,000 people died of heroin-related overdose deaths in 2020, and while that annual number has slowly decreased over the last five years, the epidemic rages on. The destigmatization of rehab and getting help is vital to breaking the cycle of opioid addiction.
Fort Behavioral Health’s compassionate and dedicated staff are ready to support you every step of the way once you decide you’re ready to begin your recovery journey. Contact us at 844.332.1807 today for more information about our heroin rehab in Texas and your treatment options.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is an illegal and extremely addictive opioid derived from morphine, which is extracted from poppy plants. It is a Schedule I controlled substance, having no approved or designated medical use, and being high risk for abuse. Heroin is usually in the form of a white or brown powder but can also be a sticky black substance.
Heroin’s effects are felt almost instantly after the drug enters the system. Binding to and activating the brain’s opioid receptors, heroin produces a very euphoric high. But heroin also can impact heart function and breathing, making it incredibly dangerous to abuse.
Can You Smoke Heroin?
Heroin can be smoked, snorted, or injected, but the effects and risks associated with the drug remain the same regardless of the method of use. When smoked, heroin is typically burned on foil, and the burn-off is inhaled. IV drug use or injecting heroin carries the additional risk of transmitting blood diseases, while snorting can lead to damage to the nasal passages and tissues. All heroin use can lead to permanent damage to the kidneys, liver, brain, lungs, and heart.
The Dangers of Heroin Abuse
Many serious risks are associated with heroin use, from the severe long-term effects on overall health to the potential for overdose or taking an impure dose. Some people don’t stop abusing heroin even when they may want to because they fear the withdrawal symptoms they will face as the drug leaves their system so much.
Illicit drug manufacturers will cut their supply with anything from laundry detergent to rat poison or other over-the-counter substances. Most notably, they use fentanyl. Fentanyl-tainted heroin is responsible for most heroin-related overdose deaths. One can never be sure they’ve received heroin that has not been laced with something else to make it cheaper to produce.
Long-term heroin abuse can lead to opioid tolerance that results in future pain mismanagement, chronic and severe opioid constipation, chronic insomnia, abscesses in the skin from unsanitary needle use, increased risk of lung infections like pneumonia, new or worsening mental health issues, and heart infections. Habitual heroin abuse lowers one’s life expectancy significantly.
Many people long for recovery but fear heroin withdrawal symptoms, so they stay stuck in their cycle of addiction instead of seeking help. Heroin withdrawal can be extremely unpleasant, and symptoms include intense cravings, severe mood swings, chills, body aches, nausea and vomiting, severe sweating, stomach and body pain, and weakness. An individual in withdrawal is also vulnerable to seizures, strokes, and coma; heroin withdrawal can be fatal. It is recommended individuals enter a medical detox program as part of their professional treatment plan instead of attempting to break their addiction on their own.
Because heroin slows respiration, the body can’t get the oxygen it needs fast enough to continue to sustain itself. This can be incredibly dangerous. A person who has overdosed on heroin should receive medical attention immediately, and a treatment plan should go into effect once they are healthy enough to enter a rehab program.
Break Heroin Addiction at Fort Behavioral Health
Don’t wait to take the first step toward the life you want to be living, free of heroin addiction. Contact Fort Behavioral Health at 844.332.1807 today to speak with a specialist about your treatment options and how to enroll in a rehab program. Or, fill out our online form and let us get back to you.