It’s said that everyone copes with life differently. However, while some are able to handle their problems healthily, some end up turning to vices that could negatively impact their body and mind. Nevertheless, people might settle with their respective coping mechanisms, whether they’re good for them or not, due to familiarity and comfort. In this article, we are going to discuss about heroin abuse treatment.
Worrying trends such as a spike in patient suicidal tendencies and others tend to not worry those who are deeply involved with comforting vices and the use of various illegal substances such as heroin.
What Is Heroin
Heroin is one of the many drugs originating from the opium poppy, a wildflower that’s cultivated in different parts of the world for its value. Once the opium poppies turn ripe and are harvested, they’re refined into morphine first before getting chemically modified to produce heroin.
As mentioned earlier, heroin isn’t the only drug that came from opium poppies. Along with fentanyl, heroin is classified as an opioid, albeit illegal in most areas of the globe.
What Are The Effects Of Heroin To Its Users
Opioids specialize more in the area of sedation or painkillers. In medicine, sedation is essential for operations and maintenance treatments alike. So, you could see how this kind of drug is already familiar in many life-saving settings.
Also called brown sugar, heroin got that name from how it’s supposed to be consumed. While many heroin users could snort it in its crystallized form, some inject the ‘brown sugar’ directly into their veins. Due to many heroin users’ aim to have that instant euphoria, they choose to overlook its unhygienic application.
Unfortunately, this euphoria also blindsides heroin users to overlook the rest of its immediate effects ranging from:
- Heavy limbs;
- Brain fog; and
- ‘Nodding’ or switching between wakefulness and drowsiness.
Prolonged use may lead to the user to experience the following:
- Bruising (on the injection sites);
- Veins collapsing;
- Heart infections;
- Mental disorders; and
- Lung diseases, and more.
How To Treat Heroin Abuse
Just by reading the effects of heroin consumption, you could probably tell how thoroughly heroin will force the user’s body to deteriorate each time they take it. Therefore, it only makes sense for users to undergo treatment options to fight off their problems.
Fortunately, more resources that offer reliable content are starting to pop up as time goes. With all the efforts exerted by the state and other concerned parties in fighting against heroin abuse, there’s a likely chance that a person who seeks medical help can gain recovery if they have the will to face the challenges ahead of them.
If you know someone who’s a user, make sure to get their consent first and agree to treat their heroin abuse concern. This way, treatments are believed to be much more effective with their cooperation and making a significant difference in their long road to healing and recovery.
Although it might be volatile for some, heroin is proven to have a high concentration level meant to target the brain and flood it with euphoria. But as high as the euphoria makes them feel, that’s how hard your mood will drop as soon as the drug wears off. And this is what makes treating heroin abuse challenging.
Because of how familiar their bodies’ been to reaching an impossible ‘high,’ forcing themselves to withdraw from heroin use completely might land a significant blow on their minds. In other words, they’d probably feel like dying without the ‘proper’ levels of high they were accustomed to before.
Since the issue here is how complete withdrawal will only lead to more harm, undergoing medication treatment helps alleviate that problem by prescribing drugs that are under opioids as well. Medical treatments are categorized into the following:
- Agonists are drugs designed to replicate the high they get from intaking heroin. Yet they provide a high that’s slower in reaching the brain compared to instant gratification. Taking them orally also helps slow down the euphoria’s effect.
- Partial agonists, meanwhile, are said to minimize the high the patient can get even further. Although it might sound ineffective, this type is administered by injecting it into the vein. This way, the patient will still feel the remnants of euphoria directly.
- Antagonists, on the other hand, don’t provide any amount of euphoria. Instead, it completely blocks out the part of the user’s brain that reacts to the high. While this seems like the best option, antagonists are rarely administered to patients because of how abrupt the changes they impart may lead to withdrawal syndrome.
The abovementioned drugs are best administered under the supervision of a medical professional. They can determine which type will suit best depending on a patient’s specific case. Make sure to reach out to a licensed health provider in your area to learn more about how to help a loved one battling heroin abuse.
Much like the medication treatment, there are many types of behavioral therapy available for different types of problems of patients like
- Aversion therapy;
- Cognitive-behavioral (play) therapy; and
- System desensitization.
With no medication involved, behavioral therapies replicate the ‘reward’ system the patient would get when intaking drugs like heroin. Carefully curated and continued psychological treatment may encourage them to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Other than the reward system, behavioral therapy could also focus on introspection. Here, the patient is prompted by a mental health expert to delve deeper into why they turned to heroin abuse in the first place. From there, they both analyze the patient’s line of thinking so they can figure out how to alter it to behave healthily.
Additionally, there’s also a way for behavioral therapy to alter how a patient views a certain thing entirely. For this kind of session, the patient is discouraged from returning to substance abuse when it’s associated with something extremely negative in their mind.
The primary goal of rehabilitation is said to be to acknowledge the issue of heroin abuse and address the factors behind it. Like the rest of the treatment options mentioned, this will be uncomfortable for the patient. Nonetheless, what you need to know is this could approach the problem spiritually or factually.
In terms of facts, the patient will learn the intricacies behind addiction as a concept. They’ll realize it’s not a disease anyone can cure easily by just popping a pill.
With the patient causing severe substance imbalance in their system, it’ll be difficult to simply ‘get over it’ due to how severely it altered the way their brain works. Additionally, rehabilitation gives light to what drug withdrawal symptoms a patient may undergo and how they’re a normal reaction.
On the other hand, the patient’s spirituality will be tackled with too to determine how they were led to heroin abuse. Pre-existing issues linked to their decisions will be brought to light with a mental health professional’s guidance. Only by acknowledging the root can the patient start on their path to heroin-free living.
A Reliable Support System
People facing heroin abuse treatment need to remember that they’re not alone in their recovery journey.
Substance abuse professionals will recommend they join support groups who are trying to overcome the demons brought by heroin abuse as well. Fellow former drug abusers could hold a deep understanding of what a recovering user is going through. By having consistent discussions with them, the patient could get tips on coping healthily while using these moments to breathe out their frustrations among people of the same feather.
Despite how helpful these support groups are, what might push them to recover could come from the support they’re getting from loved ones. The kind of love and support they can get from people they care about make a world of difference and could drive them to disregard the discomfort brought by recovery.
While it’s true that people have different ways of coping, there are still some that will do more harm than good – among them is heroin abuse. Because of how much damage heroin use causes to the individual, some would think there’s no chance for heroin abuse victims to return to leading a drug-free and healthy lifestyle. Fortunately, there’s a myriad of treatment options available that could give these people another shot at life.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions, and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of Credihealth and the editor(s).
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