Heroin addiction stages mirror those of other substances of abuse. For instance, someone addicted to methamphetamine may have started in the same way as someone with a heroin addiction. Getting treatment during the earliest stages, especially for a drug that creates physical and mental dependency, could be the key to ensuring lasting recovery. However, even those in a full-blown addiction can recover through appropriate treatment. To learn more about the treatment options available, contact Fort Behavioral Health today at 844.332.1807.
Experimenting With Heroin
First, the addict will try the drug. During this experimental stage, the user does not have a physical reliance on heroin. However, the short-term side effects of a mental “rush” or “high” can induce the user to take the drug more often. Therefore, even experimental use can lead to occasional or recreational use.
Occasionally Using Heroin
Occasional use or using the drug only recreationally marks the second stage of drug addiction. During this phase, instead of using the drug only once, you may use it when at parties or with friends. However, compared to the experimental stage, you have more frequent use.
If you are a recreational user of heroin, you still have a problem because heroin is an illegal substance. You could encounter problems with the law or lose your job even if you only rarely use the drug. Some people might be able to stop the recreational use of a drug. However, heroin creates a strong chemical dependency in the brain. Therefore, many occasional users will progress to regular use.
Regular Drug Use
Regular use happens when you have more weeks in which you use heroin than you don’t. Habitual use of heroin leads to changes in your lifestyle to support your drug habit. You may cancel social events or take more sick days at work. Some people lose their jobs due to poor performance caused by drug-induced concentration problems.
Regular use over a long period of time increases your chances of developing the more serious side effects of heroin use, which include:
- Collapsed veins
- Kidney or liver problems
- Infectious diseases, such as hepatitis B and C or HIV, from dirty needles
- Bacterial infections
- Heart infection
The more that you use heroin, the greater the chances are that your body could sustain severe, irreversible damage. Getting help from a heroin addiction treatment program as soon as possible can reduce your risks and help you to restore your body and mind to health.
During the uncontrolled addiction phase, you will not be able to stop using the drug on your own. In fact, you could put yourself at risk of physical harm by suddenly stopping the drug. Therefore, you should seek a professional heroin detox and addiction treatment facility that offers medical supervision during detox and expert support after.
If you attend medically supervised drug and alcohol detox at Fort Behavioral Health, you will have a comfortable, private environment with medical experts to keep track of your health. Heroin detoxification may require medication or other interventions to ease the transition from an uncontrolled addiction to sobriety from the drug. Without this help, the cravings and physical withdrawal symptoms may be too great for you to resist using heroin again.
Detox, however, is only one step toward recovery. Just as you went through multiple stages of addiction, you must also pass through several phases of recovery. For severe heroin addiction, you will likely need residential treatment that includes behavioral therapies, such as:
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Trauma therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) program
- Motivational interviewing (MI) program
- Somatic experience therapy
Seek Heroin Detox and Addiction Treatment Programs
Whether you are only an experimental user or have an uncontrolled addiction to heroin, you need treatment. Heroin addiction stages only reflect the strength of control the drug has over you. However, you can break away from heroin use by getting appropriate, evidence-based treatment. Phone 844.332.1807 to speak with one of our staff at Fort Behavioral Health. We can guide you to getting the help that you need to step away from heroin use and enjoy a fuller, drug-free life.