Heroin addiction continues to destroy lives, bringing victims to their lowest point and creating chaos in the lives of those who most care about them. It knows no geographical boundaries and does not care who you are or what kind of family you come from.
If you or someone you love has struggled with addiction but are now ready to change your life with heroin addiction treatment, there is hope.
Recovering from addiction is not easy, but with the right resources, it is possible. Denver Recovery Center is here to help you on this journey.
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What Is Heroin?
Heroin has been an illegal drug in the United States since 1924. The drug itself comes from the opium poppy that grows naturally in South America, Asia, and Mexico. Like morphine, it comes from the resin of the poppy plant.
Heroin comes in a few different forms. The most common form is a white or brown powder. In other cases, it’s a black, sticky substance that people may refer to as “black tar heroin.” Depending on the form, it can be snorted or smoked but the most common way to use it is through injecting the drug directly into the bloodstream.
The Dangers of Using Heroin
People should seek heroin addiction treatment because of the dangers that come with using the drug. It causes numerous health problems and it is easy to overdose on. Those who use heroin for an extended period run the risk of issues such as:
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease or failure
- Skin infections
- Pulmonary complications
- Collapsed blood veins
Once people start using heroin, it is hard for them to stop. The uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that manifest when people stop taking heroin can often cause them to relapse; this temporarily ends the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, but it is very difficult to escape from this cycle. For this reason, it is important to seek professional help when detoxing from heroin.
4 Steps to Heroin Addiction Recovery (Recognizing Addiction, Detox, Rehab, and Aftercare)
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse and information collected by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly two-thirds of all drug-related deaths in 2017 were caused by an overdose on heroin or another opioid-based drug. It is a powerful drug that has the ability to form an instant addiction or even end a life with the first use.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that nearly one million Americans reported using heroin during 2015 and over 60% of those people had formed a dependency on the drug. The number of heroin users has steadily been on the rise over the last decade and reports show that is it infiltrating rural areas and small towns across the nation.
If you have found yourself living a life that is being destroyed by the effects of heroin, you are not alone. There is a way out of this struggle. By going through the four basic steps to heroin treatment you can change the direction of your path and begin to live a life that is happy, healthy, and drug-free.
- Recognizing Addiction
Perhaps the most important step to finding recovery from this addiction is recognizing that there is a problem. It is important to recognize the warning signs and other indicators to look out for if you are concerned about a loved one. These are also important things to evaluate if you think you might be addicted to heroin or another opioid drug.
Help can begin when the addiction has been recognized. The second phase of recovery is detoxifying the physical body from the harmful effects and powerful grip that the drug can have on a person. Medical detox is highly recommended because people who are addicted to heroin often suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms.
After the drug has been removed from the body, the next step is rehabilitating the person. This includes therapy to help change the patterns, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings the person may have. It can also help you find new ways of dealing with certain issues that could have initially led you to drug use. The rehab process is one of the most important steps in the journey to recovery.
Aftercare is an element of treatment that will need to continue long into the future after a person has successfully gone through rehab. Drug addiction is a lifelong struggle that does not end when the drug use stops. A critical part of the recovery process is aftercare services that keep you connected to a sober support network, help you with relapse prevention techniques, and encourage you to actively participate in healthy activities.
What are the Signs of Heroin Addiction?
Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs available today. If you are concerned that a loved one may be addicted to heroin, there are usually signs to watch for. Changes in physical appearance or patterns of behavior can become quite evident if someone has developed a dependence on the drug. Some of the warning signs you can look for include:
- Needle scars or “track” marks on the arms, hands, feet, groin, or legs
- Sudden weight loss
- Extreme drowsiness or sudden periods of sleep
- Bloodshot eyes
- Small or pinpointed pupils
- Dry mouth
- Shortness of breath or shallow breathing
- Abscesses or other unexplained skin irritations or open sores
- Extreme constipation
- Nausea or vomiting
- Severe itchiness
- Runny nose
- Disorientation or not knowing where one is or what is going on around them
- Secretive behavior
- Sudden financial problems or constant need to borrow money
- Lack of motivation
- Missing valuables
- Legal trouble
- Severe mood shifts or swings
- Sudden aggressiveness
- Erratic behavior
- Withdrawal from social events and friends
- Slurred speech or talk that doesn’t make sense
- Less attention to personal hygiene or appearance
- Wearing long sleeves regardless of temperature or weather
Other Warning Signs
- Needles or small orange caps laying around
- Small baggies found
- Silver spoons with black, burnt bottoms
- Missing shoelaces
- Aluminum foil or gum wrappers with burn marks
- Straws with melted ends or burn marks
- Sudden use of deodorizers or incense
Once heroin has taken hold of a person, the discontinuation from using the drug can be not only difficult but painful as well. Detox is the beginning of recovery from addiction. It is often necessary to go through this process with medical supervision. The benefits of medical detox may ease the process and are advisable over attempting to detox from this powerful drug on your own or with the help of friends or family.
Medically supervised heroin detox is provided in a controlled environment which is closely monitored around the clock by trained professionals who will make the patient as comfortable as possible during the detoxification process. Depending on the level and duration of drug use, it may be necessary to gradually taper off of heroin by using certain medications. There are several medications that are available today to help ease some of the discomforts associated with heroin withdrawal. While it is generally not a good idea to substitute the misuse of one drug for the use of another, doing so in an effort to detox from the primary drug while in a medically supervised environment is often the best plan of action for people who are addicted to heroin.
When you call Denver Recovery Center, you will initially speak with an intake counselor who will ask questions about your physical and mental health along with your substance use history. This helps us identify the best course of action for your specific needs. No two addictions are the same, and neither are the recoveries. That is why we create a treatment plan that is customized to your specific situation and circumstances with the ultimate goal of a healthy and sober new life.
Our facility does not directly provide medically supervised detox. However, we work with several facilities that are leading experts near you in the Denver area. When you call our facility and are ready to make this positive change in your life, we will connect you with a provider who can be there for you on this step of the journey. When the medical detox is completed we will welcome you into our facility to continue on with your recovery.
When the heroin has been physically detoxified you will be ready for the next part of the process. This step involves changing your way of thinking, the way you approach decisions in life, your patterns and your feelings towards drug use, and considering what may have initially led to using drugs in the first place.
The environment that is best suited for each individual to receive this therapy varies from patient to patient and we will determine the best treatment for your situation when you initially call our facility. Some patients will experience the best results utilizing multiple levels of care; others may only need one or two treatment options. Regardless of your need, Denver Recovery Center will be ready when you decide to enter the rehab portion of your recovery.
Inpatient Care: This is the most intensive level of treatment. With inpatient care, you will reside full-time at the rehab facility. This allows you to have 24/7 access to the licensed and trained professionals that you need. You will receive all of your meals from the facility, along with a schedule of therapy options, access to your counselor or case manager, and a wide variety of extra-curricular options. Your schedule will vary from day to day, but all of your activities will be focused on finding a new, healthier way of living life free from drugs.
Intensive Outpatient or Partial Hospitalization: This is the next level of care that you may experience during your treatment and it is an excellent option for many people ready to graduate out of inpatient care. With this level of treatment, you will spend the majority of your day at the treatment facility. During your time there, you will go to group sessions, attend one-on-one therapy, have time to interact with your fellow peers, participate in a variety of different activities, and have access to your counselor and case manager. The biggest difference between this level of care and inpatient care is the fact that at the end of each day you will leave the campus to go home (likely to a sober living home near the facility). This allows clients who are moving along the path of recovery to have a bit more freedom as they begin to emerge into their new sober lives.
Outpatient Care: With traditional outpatient care, you will live in your own home (or at a sober living home) and attend classes and meetings at the facility on a regular basis. You will attend therapy sessions or meetings with your counselor regularly, sometimes 2-3 days out of the week. The rest of the week is yours to schedule as you choose. Part of your ongoing care may include being reintroduced to everyday patterns of behavior, including getting a job or going to school.
Aftercare or Alumni Services: When you finish your treatment program, the journey is not yet complete. That is because addiction is a lifelong struggle and will therefore require lifelong attention and care. When you are done with the more intensive traditional forms of rehab, it is important to continue recovering actively by staying in touch with a sober support network and attending meetings or other program activities offered. Your counselor will help you prepare a plan for aftercare treatment that can ultimately help you remain sober and prevent relapse.
Heroin Addiction Treatments
One of the recurring problems with drug addiction is that the user can become accustomed to dealing with life’s everyday problems by turning to their drug of choice. They may feel that they are no longer able to cope with feelings or emotions such as stress, frustration, fear or anger without using. Part of a successful rehabilitation from addiction involves learning coping techniques and empowering the individual to be able to utilize methods and behaviors that do not revolve around using drugs.
During the rehab portion of your recovery, you will learn these coping mechanisms through a combination of different types of therapy. Some of these therapy methods are offered in a group setting and others will be one-on-one with your counselor. Some possible therapy types include:
- Group therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dual diagnosis
- Individual counseling
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Family therapy
- Holistic therapy
- Outdoor therapy
- Experiential therapy
Is There a Heroin Rehab Center Near Me in Denver, Colorado?
Fortunately, Denver Recovery Center is located just north of Denver, Colorado and provides the appropriate level of care that you or your loved one needs. If you are struggling with heroin addiction and are ready to change your life, our treatment program can help you get started.
We have highly skilled, compassionate, and well-trained staff members on-site that are ready to address your specific needs. Whether you are seeking inpatient treatment, outpatient options, or any of our many other services, we are here for you. Our program utilizes a variety of evidence-based treatments that can help you put your life back together and start rebuilding relationships.
Contact Us Today to Get the Help You Need
Don’t wait another day. If you are ready to end your struggle with heroin addiction, contact our facility now at (844) 307-2955. We can also help you determine whether your insurance will cover the cost of your treatment. You don’t have to go through this alone. Let us help you take the first step in your journey to a new life.