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Understanding Heroin Dependence

Woman sits in group therapy and listens to stories about the long term effects of heroin

Heroin is a dangerous and highly addictive substance that can cause significant physical and psychological health problems. With long-term use, heroin dependence is guaranteed and will include psychological cravings that make it nearly impossible to stop without professional support.

Zelus Recovery supports Idaho teens and adults who are using heroin and need professional support to stop the addiction before causing irreparable harm. When you first arrive at our comforting center, we will run a full health assessment to determine the severity of the addiction and the appropriate treatment methods to address all aspects of the disorder. Our programs include group and private therapy sessions in person or through telehealth services.

To enroll in our heroin addiction treatment program, call 208.518.0797 today to schedule a consultation and begin a healing journey.

Understanding Heroin Dependence

Heroin is a dangerous narcotic that is derived from morphine, which is made from the poppy plant Papaver somniferum. It is 50 times more potent than morphine, and its long-lasting effects increase the risk of dependence and addiction.

Heroin dependence occurs when the body begins to form a physical need for heroin. When you take heroin, the chemical binds with opioid receptors and signals a massive release of dopamine and serotonin, two necessary neurotransmitters that contribute to its effects.

Symptoms of Heroin Dependence

If you continue to use this narcotic, the natural production of these neurotransmitters stops and will not resume until you take more or wait until your body has time to detox and resume normal functionality. If you try to stop suddenly without proper support, you will begin to go into withdrawals and experience:

  • Intense cravings for more heroin
  • Runny eyes and nose
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Muscle cramps, spasms, and pain
  • Bone and joint pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Cravings and withdrawal symptoms peak around 72 hours and can last another 2-3 weeks, depending on the length of abuse and amounts taken. During this time, the risk of relapse is extremely high, as is the risk of overdosing and death if they don’t take their lowered tolerance into account.

Zelus Recovery is a full-service addiction treatment center that supports individuals and their families who are impacted by heroin abuse. We take the time to get to know each patient personally so we can better support their recovery through a deep understanding of their condition.

The Long-Term Effects of Heroin Abuse

Heroin is a dangerous narcotic that should be avoided at all costs. The longer someone abuses heroin, the greater risk they have of developing functional changes in the brain. This can lead to a neurochemical and hormonal imbalance, negatively affecting their behaviors and cognitive abilities.

Other long-term effects of heroin abuse include:

  • Infections of the heart lining and valves
  • Skin abscesses
  • Chronic constipation
  • Increased risk of pneumonia and other lung complications
  • Depression
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Sexual dysfunction in men
  • Irregular menstrual cycles for women
  • Increased risk of HIV, hepatitis, and other transmittable diseases
  • Erosion of the nasal cavity

While there is no cure for heroin addiction, there are several beneficial treatment options to help people stop the abuse and maintain long-lasting sobriety. Treatment programs include behavioral therapies along with medical support to treat all physical and mental aspects of the addiction.

Call Zelus Recovery to Start a Heroin Addiction Treatment Program Today

At Zelus Recovery, our goal is to help people break their heroin dependence safely and with fewer risks of relapsing.

If you or a loved one is abusing heroin and are ready to make a healthy change, call 208.518.0797 or reach out online today to take that first step toward long-lasting sobriety. Everyone deserves a life free from the grips of addiction, and we are here to support you on your journey toward recovery.