Heroin is an extremely addictive drug belonging in the opiate drug class. Prescription medications for pain management are also included in this family of drugs. Heroine derives from Morphine, which naturally occurs in different types of poppy plants. Heroin quickly enters the brain and produces a rapid pleasurable sensation. Many people refer to this sensation as a ‘rush’.  After the rush, the user will feel tired for many hours after and their breathing and heart rate will slow down considerably. This can sometimes result in death.

Heroin use can quickly lead to physical dependence and people who use it regularly who attempt to stop using it, will experience extremely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Typically, these withdrawal symptoms are at their worst a couple days after the last use, however, some heroin addicts may experience ongoing withdrawal symptoms that last for weeks. It’s really hard to recover from heroin addiction and typically, recovery often involves a minimum of one relapse and multiple backslides. Many people can’t give up heroin because the withdrawal symptoms can be painful.

Recovering from Heroin Addiction

Addiction and depression are typically deeply intertwined in the mind of the heroin abuser. However, there is hope for the individual struggling with heroin addiction. According to Biological Psychiatry, these individuals have substantial improvement in their depression when they go through a methadone maintenance treatment or residential rehab.

Medications & Behavioral Therapy

There are various treatment options for this type of addiction which include pain-free heroin detox medications like Suboxone, buprenorphine, Subutex and others. There are also various behavioral therapies as well. With the right combination of medication treatment and supportive services, individuals are usually able to kick the heroin addiction and return to a more productive and stable life.

Rehab & Dual Diagnosis

It is estimated through Advances in Psychiatric Treatment that 48 percent (almost half) of opiate users also struggle with depression at some point. While in rehab, treatment is personalized to the depressed patient’s needs. Therapists are trained in both addiction and psychotherapy counseling; therefore they understand the challenges of having to deal with a serious psychiatric disorder while going through rehab. Unless the user is treated for both conditions, they will likely relapse right after rehab. The good news is that various clinical studies have shown that treating both the substance abuse and depression simultaneously; there is an improvement in the depressive symptoms. Although there are definitely obstacles to recovery, there is hope for people who are dealing with heroin addiction and depression.

Symptoms of Withdrawal

The key here is to get professional help when you are dealing with the addiction as having to go through the withdrawal symptoms alone is not a good choice and could impact your health. Professionals have the ability to monitor you and treat you accordingly depending on the symptoms you are experiencing.  Some symptoms you will likely experience when stopping heroin use includes:

  • Muscle pain
  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Watery eyes
  • A runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Intense Cravings
  • Seizures (for the real heavy users)

Overcoming heroin addiction will not be easy.  In fact, it will be extremely hard, but again, there is hope and with a commitment to your healthy recovery, you can gain back control of your life.