Heroin is part of a family of drugs called opioids, which can cause a strong chemical dependence in a short period of time. Like many other addictions, heroin addiction can be difficult or impossible to overcome alone—seeking professional help with opiate detox and substance abuse treatment in West Palm Beach is the very best way to break free from drug dependence.
Current trends indicate a dramatic increase in heroin use and heroin addiction in recent years. This video discusses a study comparing the demographics of individuals suffering from heroin addiction in the 1960s with those suffering from heroin-based addictions today. Not only will you learn more about the type of individual most likely to suffer from heroin addiction today; you’ll also learn more about the reasons behind the current increase in heroin usage.
Heroin addiction occurs because of the intense drug dependence heroin incites in the brain and body. This dependence is what makes heroin and other opiates such strong candidates for drug abuse, while also increasing the difficulty of the detoxing process without professional help. If you are suffering from a heroin or opiate drug dependence in West Palm Beach, working with a professional substance abuse counselor during the opiate detox process is an important first step on the road to recovery.
Heroin and the Brain’s Receptors
Heroin and other opiates work by binding to very specific receptor sites in the brain. These sites are designed to receive and bind endorphins, which are hormones produced within the body to reduce pain sensations and improve mood, making you feel “good.” However, opiates—including heroin—are more potent than endorphins, triggering a more extreme effect in the brain , typically called a high. This high is often what causes individuals to continue using heroin; some people are able to feel high every time they use heroin, while others lose the ability to feel good entirely, and continue to use heroin only to prevent the unpleasant side effects that occur during opiate withdrawal.
Heroin and Dependence
Heroin is known for its high incidence of drug dependence, which occurs as a result of physical and chemical changes in the brain over time. When heroin is frequently introduced into the body, the brain has difficulty regulating hormones and other neurotransmitters normally, which leads to withdrawal and side effects that include anxiety, cravings, pain, nausea, and changes in respiration and heart rate. Although these symptoms typically last only one to two weeks in the absence of heroin, they can present a significant obstacle that blocks many individuals during addiction recovery. Opiate detox is the process of removing all traces of heroin from the body, which slowly allows the brain to return to its original state; this process is often accompanied by the use of drugs such as Suboxone, which mimic the effects of heroin without causing the same severe dependence.
Detoxing is the process of eliminating an addictive drug from your body; this step is often the foundation of long-term addiction recovery. Understanding how heroin addiction and opiate detox work can give you the educational framework you need to understand why this treatment process is beneficial and how it will help if you are suffering from an opiate-based drug dependence in West Palm Beach.
I Can Detox Any Time I Want
Many individuals suffering from heroin addiction tell themselves they can perform their own detoxification whenever they want. However, the truth is that it is very hard to quit heroin and other opiates “cold turkey,” simply because these drugs create such a strong drug dependence even after a short period of time. Heroin withdrawal symptoms can range from severely uncomfortable to medically dangerous; in the vast majority of cases, it is these withdrawal symptoms that prevent individuals from detoxing on their own, not a lack of willpower or desire to quit.
Suboxone Treatment is Addictive
Suboxone treatment uses a substitute drug to prevent the body from experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms during opiate detox. However, Suboxone is not addictive in the same ways as opiates, and the Suboxone treatment is overseen by a qualified physician. Suboxone is only given during the detoxification process, then the patient is slowly weaned off the drug until they are completely drug-free. Once this has been achieved, additional substance abuse treatment can begin to achieve long-term freedom from drug addiction.
Heroin Detox is Inpatient-Only
One of the major benefits of Suboxone-based opiate detox is the ability to recover in the comfort and familiarity of your own home. This outpatient-based drug detox treatment is overseen by a physician, but can be kept private by allowing you to return home during detoxification, rather than remain in an inpatient treatment center. While it is typically not recommended that you drive while taking Suboxone, you can still maintain many other aspects of your normal daily schedule during treatment.
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