Heroin Addiction Treatment, Causes, Effects and Withdrawal
Heroin can be a white or brown powder, or a black sticky substance is known as black tar heroin. This opioid drug is highly addictive because the excessive use of heroin often develops a tolerance. In other words, users will need higher and/or more frequent doses of the drug to get the desired effects. Given that, a substance use disorder (SUD) may develop when you are abusing heroin.  It is when continued use of the drug causes issues, such as health problems and failure to meet responsibilities at work, school, or home. In this case, there is a range of treatments that are effective in helping people stop heroin use. However, heroin addiction treatment plans should be individualized to meet the needs of the patient.
Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine, a natural substance taken from the seed pod of the various opium poppy plants grown in Southeast and Southwest Asia, Mexico, and Colombia.
Causes of Heroin Addiction
Heroin is an opioid, and it binds to receptors in the brain to release the chemical dopamine. But, this release is only temporary which leaves some people wanting more of the “good” feeling.
Data from 2011 also showed that an estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids—a broad group of pain-relieving drugs—switch to heroin and about 80 percent of people who used heroin first misused prescription opioids.  Moreover, these prescription opioid pain medicines may include OxyContin® and Vicodin®.
The misuse of prescription opioids sometimes begins with legal drugs like painkillers that are prescribed after a surgery or some other injury. If you become addicted to these prescribed medications and cannot obtain them anymore, you may pursue illegal drugs like heroin to achieve the same pleasurable feeling. Therefore, anyone who takes opioids can be at risk for developing an opioid use disorder or an addiction to heroin.
In addition, addiction is multifaceted and can happen to anyone. It can include genetic, psychological, and environmental factors. Other risk factors are:
- Drug availability
- Drug trafficking patterns
- Association with drug-abusing peers
- Beliefs that drug abuse can be tolerated
how long does it take to get addicted to heroin
Signs of Heroin Addiction
Users may inject, sniff, snort, or smoke heroin, for instance. Some people mix heroin with crack cocaine, a practice called speedballing. And then, they typically report feeling a surge of pleasurable sensation—a “rush.”
The short-term effects of Heroin are:
- Dry mouth
- Warm flushing of the skin
- Heavy feeling in the arms and legs
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe itching
- Clouded mental functioning
- Going “on the nod,” a back-and-forth state of being conscious and semiconscious
Nausea, vomiting, and severe itching may also occur. After the initial effects, users usually will be drowsy for several hours. And the mental function is clouded. heart function slows, and breathing is also severely slowed, sometimes enough to be life-threatening. Slowed breathing can also lead to coma and permanent brain damage. 
The long-term effects of Heroin are:
- Collapsed veins for people who inject the drug
- Damaged tissue inside the nose for people who sniff or snort it
- Infection of the heart lining and valves
- Abscesses (swollen tissue filled with pus)
- Constipation and stomach cramping
- Liver and kidney disease
- Lung complications, including pneumonia
- Mental disorders such as depression and antisocial personality disorder
- Sexual dysfunction for men
- Irregular menstrual cycles for women
- People who inject drugs such as heroin are at high risk of contracting the HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) virus
Heroin Addiction Treatment Withdrawal
The National Institute on Drug Abuse also explained that those who are addicted to heroin and stop using the drug abruptly may have severe heroin withdrawal. Heroin Addiction treatment produces symptoms—which can begin as early as a few hours after the drug was last taken— Heroin Withdrawal include:
- Severe muscle and bone pain
- Sleep problems
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Cold flashes with goosebumps (“cold turkey”)
- Uncontrollable leg movements (“kicking the habit”)
- Severe heroin cravings
Heroin Addiction Treatment and Detox at We Level Up NJ
If you are addicted to drugs such as heroin, your very first step in recovery should be to medical detox in a safe and medically supervised setting. That is why We Level Up is here for you. We Level Up NJ Detox center medically assist patients to clear their systems of addictive substances, such as heroin.
For anyone who suffers from addiction, we know that just the thought of having to stop using can cause severe mental distress. Given that, the medical detox center will help you manage the medical detox process. A comprehensive team prescribing medications can alleviate your withdrawal pains while monitoring your health 24 hours. Assuring both your safety and comfort.
At We Level Up NJ, our thorough approach to rehabilitation supports several levels of care to ensure the best possible outcome for every patient who enters our doors. From an intensive and more supportive atmosphere for those in the early days of recovery to a comfortable residential-style living dynamic upon completion of detox, we are here to help guide you down the safe and results-based path to your sobriety.
Once detox is complete, a new doorway in treatment opens up, which is referred to as a residential level of care. Here, our residential care program slowly and effectively introduces the individual into an atmosphere of therapeutic growth, marked by Master’s level therapists, clinicians, group counselors, psychiatrists, and a community of like-minded individuals with the same aim: to attain sobriety and live a great life.
Some of the many modalities applied and practiced within our residential treatment facility are:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- 12-Step Groups
- Group Therapy
- Alumni Support
- Holistic Therapy
We Level Up NJ Addiction Treatment
Moreover, here at We Level Up NJ Addiction Treatment the needs of each patient are specific and personalized, as we aim to provide comprehensive support for mental health, addiction, and dual diagnosis treatment.
Patients in our residential therapy programs will live comfortably within the facility during this crucial and fragile time. Indeed, this supportive environment is designed to give patients 24-hour care for sobriety, removing temptations for relapse and applying an air of recovery into every component of the treatment timeline, including heroin addiction treatment. At We Level Up NJ, we find that when patients are living in a supportive community, especially during their early recovery process, they are able to truly focus on what matters most: their recovery.
Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.
 https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/heroin – National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28582659 – Cicero TJ, Ellis MS, Kasper ZA. Increased use of heroin as an initiating opioid of abuse.
 What are the immediate (short-term) effects of heroin use? NIDA. 2021, April 13. Retrieved on 2021, July 11