Heroin Addiction Treatment

Are you or someone you know struggling with addiction to heroin? Did you think this would never be a situation that you or your family had to face? Does it seem like there is no hope and that you are alone in this?

The truth is, you are not alone and a range of proven treatment options available at the Hader Clinic have been tailored according to best clinical practice to support both you and your family members. Our team are experts in this area and will meet you where you are and find an option that will work for you.

Firstly, when looking at addiction treatment for opiates, it is firstly important to understand the origins of the drug, what it does to the brain and some of the consequences of using the drug including the withdrawal symptoms. This way we can determine exactly what we are treating and why the options presented by the Hader Clinic work.

What is Heroin?

Heroin is refined from the milky sap-like resin of the opium poppy and is an illegal opiate.  This highly effective painkiller produces a euphoric high and makes the user feel an overwhelming sense of euphoria and pleasure.

Heroin mimics the natural endorphins released by the brain and these flood the space between the nerve cells. This stops them from reacting the way they should and produces the comforting high the drug is famous for.

Furthermore, heroin, when taken regularly the brain stops producing its own endorphins and begins to rely on the intruding chemical hence when someone stops using their brain over-fires to compensate. This is a very simplistic reflection of a complex chemical process and is the reason for the frequently acute and painful heroin withdrawal symptoms which are synonymous with this substance.

Heroin can be smoked injected or snorted. Moreover, in an effort to cease taking heroin and curb the consequences of its use, some addicts also end up reliant on opioid replacement therapies/substitutes. These substitute medications are designed to alleviate the severe heroin withdrawal symptoms which force the person to continue in the cycle of addiction and self-destruction.

What are the effects of Heroin addiction?

Heroin addiction has a potentially devastating effect on the individual and even over a relatively short period of time can have severe effects on their wellbeing.

Every addict’s path into addiction varies. This is a complex disease with many underlying layers which coupled together with trauma, abuse, depression and anxiety make it difficult to diagnose and treat without effective residential addiction treatment.

Physical consequences of heroin addiction

  • Loss of appetite
  • The weakening of the immune system
  • Insomnia
  • Bad teeth and inflammation of the gums
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Muscular weakness or partial paralysis
  • Reduced sexual capacity for men and women and long-term impotence in men
  • Menstrual disturbance in women
  • Heart problems, including infection of heart lining and valves
  • Infectious diseases spread by shared needles (HIV and hepatitis B and C)
  • Blood clots or tissue death resulting from collapsed veins
  • Liver disease
  • Arthritis and other rheumatologic problem
  • Changes in the brain chemistry – short term
  • Changes in the structure and function of the brain – long-term
  • Neglecting personal hygiene
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Unhealthy eating habits/malnutrition
  • Cravings
  • Tolerance

Psychological consequences of heroin addiction

  • Memory loss and reduced intellectual capacity
  • Triggers
  • Compulsion
  • Obsession
  • Lying to yourself/denial

Emotional consequences of heroin addiction

  • Apathy /Exhaustion
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Memory loss
  • Mood Swings
  • Paranoia
  • Fear
  • Loneliness

Social consequences of heroin addiction

  • Potential increase in risky behaviour
  • Financial problems
  • Sexual problems
  • Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Lack of interest in work/school
  • Lack of interest and ability in maintain relationships/friendships
  • Damaged relationships with family members
  • Isolation
  • Lying to others

Spiritual consequences of heroin addiction

  • Damaged self-esteem and self-worth
  • Damaged relationship with self
  • Lack of interest in life
  • Inability to function without the drug
  • Continued use despite negative consequences

The signs and symptoms of heroin addiction get progressively worse over time and there will be no resolution until effective heroin addiction rehab and aftercare are sought.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms

For many heroin addicts withdrawing from their drug of choice is a frightening prospect as they have done everything within their power not to feel the intense symptoms of heroin withdrawal. These are not usually life-threatening but can be particularly painful and unpleasant

Withdrawal symptoms from heroin can include:

  • Sweating
  • Restlessness
  • Tearing up
  • Runny nose
  • Chills
  • Stomach cramps
  • Pain in joints and/or muscles
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Insomnia

The two stages of heroin withdrawal – Acute and Post-Acute

There are often two stages of withdrawal process from heroin addiction. The first stage has immediate acute symptoms and these are usually both physical and physiological. During stage two, former users experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms or PAWS.

These refer to a number of psychological symptoms which can last for weeks or months after the user has stopped taking the drug. This is one of many reasons why residential heroin addiction rehab is the most effective way to treat this form of substance abuse. Moreover, it takes time for the brain to resume its normal functioning

Post-acute withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Cravings
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Lack of motivation
  • Inability to feel pleasure
  • Anger or emotional outbursts

Heroin withdrawal at The Hader Clinic

Heroin addiction withdrawal treatment is very specific and the symptoms may vary in severity and duration depending on the client. Usually, these are both psychologically uncomfortable and physically unpleasant.

Accurate assessment by our capable medical team determines the medications to be used and the length of the detoxification period.  This will depend on the individual’s circumstances and symptoms are always closely monitored by our skilled clinical and medical staff so they can be treated accordingly.

Our team are highly experienced in providing safe and effective heroin detox programs. They aim to keep clients as comfortable and supported as possible so they can participate in the daily schedule of the heroin addiction treatment program.

Heroin Addiction Rehab at the Hader Clinic

The road to recovery is rarely simple and the team at The Hader Clinic believe in offering as many options as possible. We would love it if everyone came and did Primary and Secondary Programs followed by Transitional Housing but understand that residential rehab is a big commitment.

As a gentle introduction to recovery, we offer a methadone/Subutex to abstinence outpatient programs in tandem with counselling and support. The idea of this is that at some point the client will be ready to commit to residential treatment as this model has the best-recorded outcomes long term.

Heroin addiction treatment at the Hader Clinic follows a tried and tested program that has been helping those with substance problems successfully recover, since 1997. This program seeks to treat the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual consequences of use through a variety of methods. Furthermore, the schedule includes daily exercise, process groups, individual counselling and psychosocial educational sessions.

At every stage of the process, clients are monitored, evaluated and their successes acknowledged. This really helps our staff to respond to what is going on for the clients and helps to instil an ever-growing sense of self-esteem and a new found confidence. This is a great way to start a whole new chapter with the help and support of people who really understand.



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