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Common Signs of Heroin Addiction

Man considers the signs of heroin addiction

When you observe yourself or a loved one displaying signs of heroin addiction, what do you do next? In most cases, you need to consider seeking professional help and getting admitted into a heroin addiction treatment program.

Heroin addiction is an opioid use disorder, which is a serious substance use disorder often characterized by intense physical and psychological dependence. Heroin is an illicit opioid made using extracts from the poppy plant. While heroin is illegal, many other opioids can be obtained legally when prescribed by a doctor. Opioid use disorder can be life-threatening, and it’s part of why the U.S. has been fighting the current opioid epidemic ravaging the country.

Opioids relieve pain and also cause the brain to release endorphins, which lead to feelings of happiness or euphoria. These characteristics make heroin and other opioids highly addictive. If you’re looking for a heroin addiction treatment program in Athens, GA, contact Athens Addiction Recovery Center today. Call 844.959.4998 or reach out to our team online.

What Are the Common Signs of Heroin Addiction?

Someone struggling with heroin addiction, or any other opioid abuse problem, may experience the following behavioral, physical, and psychological symptoms:

  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Irrationality
  • Itching
  • Social withdrawal
  • Stealing items of ranging value

However, tolerance is the main physical symptom of opioid use disorders. Over time, a person struggling with heroin addiction may need to increase their dosage frequency or size to achieve their desired euphoric high.

Why Should Clients Consider Getting Professional Help to Overcome Opioid Abuse Problems?

When heroin use stops or is significantly reduced in frequency or amount, withdrawal symptoms will arise in the next few days. These symptoms can be severe and intense and may include bouts of depression, heroin cravings, muscle spasms, and nausea. It’s generally recommended that heroin detox and withdrawal should be done under professional care and supervision.

If it’s so difficult to get through heroin detox and withdrawal, why should people consider undergoing professional addiction treatment programs? It’s simple: A difficult experience is still better than dying. Many opioid addictions end in death because consistent heroin use results in many negative health consequences, such as:

  • Brain damage
  • Collapsed veins
  • Constipation or stomach cramping
  • Heart damage
  • Increased risk of drug overdose
  • Increased risk of hepatitis or HIV
  • Infertility in women and sexual dysfunction in men
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Lung complications, such as pneumonia
  • Mental health disorders
  • Skin infections
  • Pulmonary infections

Heroin overdose can also occur, which can be extremely damaging to health or even fatal.

What Should Clients Expect from a Heroin Addiction Treatment Program?

Most heroin addiction treatment programs begin with a medical detox process. This often requires medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which uses FDA-approved drugs to reduce the effects of discomforting and sometimes life-threatening withdrawal symptoms that occur during detoxification.

After a client’s mental health and physical health are stabilized and the detox process is over, the client may begin attending behavior therapy sessions and other forms of care included in their customized addiction treatment program. Because withdrawal is often painful and can affect a client for a long time, MAT can coincide with these further treatments.

Finally, a good heroin addiction treatment program must also provide a customized aftercare plan for each client. This plan should be presented to them before they complete formal treatment — and must include information like nearby support groups to join, alumni programs, addiction recovery-related services, and more.

Ready to Learn More About Athens Recovery’s Heroin Addiction Treatment Program?

Are you searching for a heroin addiction treatment program in Athens, GA? Contact Athens Addiction Recovery Center today by calling 844.959.4998 or reaching out to our team online.