Heroin can change the structure of a person’s brain on the first use. The National Institute on Drug Abuse claims that 23 percent of people who use heroin will become dependent on it. The longer the heroin use goes on, the further the addiction sets in. However, it is possible for anyone to maintain sobriety no matter how long they have been using heroin. It takes commitment and teamwork with a therapist experienced in heroin use disorder.
Silver Ridge is a rehabilitation center in Asheville specifically designed to meet the needs of midlife adults. Our programs are built on the philosophy of acceptance and commitment therapy, wherein we help our clients accept negative emotions and make positive life choices. We have helped many established adults overcome heroin addiction in a calm environment where they can participate in individual and group therapy with their peers.
For most people, the first heroin use is not a pleasant experience. Heroin is a fast-acting drug, with the effects kicking in in seconds after it is injected into the veins. Reports from first-time heroin users detail feelings of nausea and vomiting when the effects first hit. This is enough for some people to quit the drug once and for all, but if someone chooses to try it again then they will start developing a tolerance to the unpleasant effects. With enough use, the body becomes accustomed to and dependent on the heroin, compelling the user to keep taking it for the pleasant effects while staving off the symptoms of withdrawal.
It is virtually impossible to beat an addiction by oneself, and this is especially true when it comes to heroin. Heroin withdrawal begins almost immediately after the last dose, which further compels users to take heroin as often as possible. The withdrawal symptoms peak between 24 to 48 hours later, and this is when the temptation to use again is at its strongest.
Heroin withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal cramps
- Restlessness and agitation
- Abnormal heart rate
- Muscle aches
It is dangerous to stop using heroin entirely without medical supervision. If you or a loved one are trying to stop using heroin, make sure you do it in a detoxification center where they can treat your withdrawal symptoms.
The Road to Recovery
Many people who want to stop using heroin are eager to quit the addiction once and for all. This drive is a good thing, but it can also be dangerous to their long-term sobriety if they try to rush through the program. Stopping heroin use is a great step towards recovery, but it is not the most difficult part. Maintaining sobriety is the true goal everyone should strive for, and that can only be achieved when a person takes the time and effort to learn how to resist heroin cravings.
When a client checks into a heroin rehab center like Silver Ridge, they will be given an intensive schedule that will keep them occupied all day, every day. By staying busy, a person has no time to think about heroin use, which helps fight back against the initial cravings. Much of this schedule will consist of therapy, meditation, and physical activity. An important purpose of these treatments is to teach people what they can do once they leave rehab to maintain their sobriety when they no longer have the intensive rehab schedule.
A More Personal Approach to Recovery
There are a few different approaches to heroin recovery, but all of them emphasize the importance of therapy and finding a support community. Many people think of the 12-step program when they consider recovery, but this is not the only form of treatment. The 12-step program mostly focuses on group therapy efforts, which are vital to recovery, but many people benefit from the more individualized approach of one-on-one therapy.
Silver Ridge is located in a quiet, secluded location near the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville. We take a holistic approach to recovery that addresses the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of each patient. Our multidisciplinary team helps patients explore the core causes of their addiction and equips them with the tools they need to maintain their sobriety long-term.