More than two million people sign up for addiction treatment every year. Sadly, that is only about one-tenth of the people who need it. As the incidence of substance use disorders rises, the stigma around addiction and the lack of knowledge about how rehab works are barriers to people receiving help. For those with a heroin use disorder, heroin addiction treatment is vital in achieving sobriety. Don’t let fear or the opinions of others get in your way. If you need help, you deserve to get it. If someone you love shows heroin addiction signs, get information about how you can help.
At Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge (PAATC), our goal is your healthy recovery. We are ready to answer your questions about treatment for heroin addiction. Reaching out is a healthy step you can take today, a step on your journey to sobriety. Our online form is easy to use, or you can call us at 844.442.8673.
Stages of Heroin Addiction
As with so many addictions, heroin use disorder doesn’t just manifest as a full-blown addiction. It happens in stages so that what seems like innocent dabbling one day is suddenly an addiction that has you in its grip. The stages are as follows:
- Experimentation – Experimental use of heroin is usually the result of curiosity, peer pressure, anxiety, or any number of other circumstances. The resulting euphoric high is often enough to compel further use, which leads to the next stage.
- Recreational use – This phase involves the occasional use of heroin at parties or when socializing. This is a dangerous stage because a chemical dependency in the brain can begin quickly. In addition, it is often challenging for people to stop using it even before they are addicted.
- Regular use – This means that the days and weeks you use heroin are more frequent than the days and weeks you abstain. You are starting to often think about the next time you’ll be able to use the drug and might see some physical or mental side effects.
- Full-blown addiction – You are entirely physically and mentally dependent on heroin. Your life seems to revolve around it, and you will not be able to stop using it on your own. At this point, heroin addiction treatment is your best option.
Three Major Heroin Addiction Signs
Heroin is brutally hard on the physical systems and creates significant changes in behavior and emotional condition. Three notable effects are listed below.
- Brain changes – Heroin directly affects the structures within the brain that manage the endocrine systems and produce hormones and neurotransmitters that regulate mood and emotions. Regular heroin use chemically interferes with normal brain function, making the brain dependent on the drug. White matter deteriorates with prolonged heroin use, creating deficits in decision-making and stress regulation. This dependence results in immediate and intolerable withdrawal symptoms if you stop using the drug.
- Behavior changes – When heroin has control of your life, you behave in ways that you would never have dreamed possible. To hide your addiction, you may push away the people who love you or lie, cheat, or steal to acquire drugs. You check out of life, choosing a drug-seeking lifestyle over experiences that once brought you joy and fulfillment.
- Psychological changes – Unless you are high, your range of emotions will become limited to hostility, depression, anxiety, and impatience. Nothing will make you laugh, give you joy, or move you. You face an endless cycle of psychological and physical restlessness and dissatisfaction that another dose of heroin can only alleviate.
Find Treatment at Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge
At PAATC’s heroin addiction treatment center, you can get the help you need. Reach out today to learn about our evidence-based treatments for heroin use disorder and the professional, caring staff with years of experience that provides them.
Peer support groups, one-on-one therapy, behavioral treatment modalities, faith-based options, and many more opportunities for healing can be yours at PAATC. Talking to one of our staff is easy. Just call us at 844.442.8673 or use our online form.