Heroin Addiction Treatment
Mississippi Heroin Abuse & Recovery
In 2018, over 12% of all drug overdose deaths in Mississippi involved heroin . It’s a powerful and addictive drug, and as long as it remains as cheap and available as it is, access to effective heroin addiction treatment will continue to be important.
At Extra Mile Recovery, we don’t just believe in heroin detox and rehab, we believe in empowering our clients to get educated and stay clean for the rest of their lives. Below, clients and their loved ones can learn how heroin works, what heroin abuse does to the body, and how our individualized treatment plans have helped so many people move forward into happier, healthier lives in recovery.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is a potent drug that binds to receptors in the brain that cause the release of large amounts of dopamine, a chemical that causes euphoric feelings and dampens the sensation of pain. Heroin is known for being very powerful, and for making the user quickly build a tolerance — over time, users need more and more of the drug to get the same effects.
Heroin is an opioid derived from morphine, and is in the same class of drugs as prescription painkillers such as hydrocodone (Vicodin) and oxycodone (OxyContin). In comparison to prescription opioids, heroin is much easier to get, which is why many people who become addicted to these legal opioids — whether they have a prescription or not — turn to “street” opioids, such as heroin.
Heroin comes in a white or brown powder form, which can be snorted or smoked, or else sticky “black tar” heroin, which can be injected. Street names for heroin include smack, horse, hell dust, and big H. The combination of heroin and cocaine is called speedballing.
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Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Abuse
Some side effects of heroin use are shared with prescription painkiller opioids, including:
Flu-like symptoms: Dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, dry mouth, itching, and sweating.
- Mental disorders: Anxiety, paranoia, anger, depression.
- Disorientation: Confusion, difficulty thinking clearly, poor decision making.
- Instability: Alternating low and high energy, major mood swings, poor hygiene.
- Risky decision-making: Either from impaired judgment while using, or to acquire more heroin.
- Antisocial behaviors: Self-isolation, spending time with enablers, not doing things once enjoyed.
- Societal problems: New problems with school, work, money, and the law.
Heroin use typically has more obvious physical signs than most prescription opioids, often related to how it is taken, such as:
- Needle “tracks,” often on the inside of the arms
- Sores and skin infections from scratching
- Small “pinpoint” pupils
- Exhaustion and drowsiness
- Paraphernalia such as glass and metal pipes, lighters, rubber tubing, plastic baggies, and spoons
Long-Term Effects of Heroin Abuse and Addiction
Heroin doesn’t just have powerful euphoric effects, it also does powerful damage to the body over the years. It can lead to ongoing and deadly conditions including:
- Heart infections or clogged blood vessels
- Lung conditions like pneumonia
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Damaged veins or nose tissue
- Erectile dysfunction in men
- Irregular menstruation in women
Heroin also has a greater risk of overdose the longer it’s used. It quickly builds tolerance and dependency in the user, requiring them to take rapidly increasing amounts to feel normal, and with every change in dosage or frequency of use, the odds of overdose increase. Heroin is also often “cut,” or diluted, with fentanyl, which is cheaper to produce but far more potent.
Heroin overdose can slow or completely stop the user’s breathing, cutting off oxygen to the brain with the potential for coma, brain damage, or death. The opioid antagonist naloxone (the most common form is a medication called Narcan) can block opioid receptors in the nervous system in the event of overdose, but it must be administered in time.
Mississippi Heroin Detox and Withdrawal
As with the side effects above, many heroin withdrawal symptoms are shared with opioids, although some are more intense or unique to this stronger substance. Heroin withdrawal symptoms include:
- Intense cravings
- Mood swings and deteriorated mental health
- Dysphoria and suicidal thinking
- Dangerous degrees of flu-like symptoms
- Shivers and convulsions
- Muscle and bone pain
- Unstable blood pressure and heart rate
While timelines will vary for each individual and how long they’ve been using, heroin withdrawal is most intense for the week after they quit. Some people, however, experience Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS), in which they have symptoms like dysphoria or cravings for months or years after they’ve stopped using.
Heroin withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening, whether because of debilitating dehydration, suicidal urges or because the symptoms are unpleasant enough to lead to relapse, which carries an even higher risk for deadly overdose because the body’s tolerance has dramatically changed. We don’t recommend anyone tackle heroin detox without professional guidance, assistance, and aftercare.
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Heroin Rehab Center for Oxford, Tupelo, Jackson, and Mantachie
Heroin withdrawal (also called “dope sickness”) is uniquely intense, and the weeks and months after getting clean can present many challenges as ex-users continue to crave this intoxicating drug. Our staff at Extra Mile Recovery have first-hand knowledge of these struggles, both from working here and their own pasts with substance abuse, and have the experience and tools to help our clients overcome these challenges.
We combine evidence-based addiction counseling that helps clients understand the roots of their addiction with holistic therapies that heal their minds, body, and spirit, no matter how much heroin abuse has affected them. Heroin’s physical and mental damage is easier to undo when we find new ways to fulfill mental dependence and physical pleasure in healthy, sustainable ways. Combined with our relapse prevention training and personalized heroin addiction treatment plans, these services combine to help give our clients a second, sober chance at life.
To learn more about our heroin rehab center in Mississippi and our various addiction treatment programs, please call Extra Mile Recovery at 662-810-4146 today.