Choosing the Top Private Heroin Addiction Treatment Center
Heroin is a highly addictive and harmful drug. In fact, according to DrugWarFacts.org, it is considered to be the most addictive illegal drug. In a study that compared the addictive properties of six drugs, heroin ranked 5s and 6s (with 6 being the highest) on five factors of addiction – higher than any other drug.
Heroin and the Brain
According to Frontline, although many of the components of addiction are still not fully understood, scientists do know that continual use of heroin alters the brain’s reward circuitry. The pain and reward centers of the brain change. When drug use ceases, the neurons start releasing dopamine again. The chemicals in the brain become imbalanced, causing withdrawal to occur.
What makes addiction possible? According to Frontline, a shocking discovery was made in 1972 by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Neurons in the human brain have specific receptor sites for opiates such as heroin, codeine, morphine and opium. This caused researchers to wonder why the human brain has receptors for a plant. It was determined that morphine, the main ingredient in opiates, was structurally similar to endorphins. Endorphins are produced in the body naturally and considered the body’s natural opiates because they respond to pain and stress.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioid receptors are located all throughout the brain, including the brain stem, which controls many processes critical for life, including arousal, breathing and blood pressure. In fact, when a person experiences a heroin overdose, one of the first signs is breathing difficulties.
According to Frontline, when morphine from the heroin enters the brain, it acts as an imposter, mimicking the actions of endorphins. It locks on the receptor sites in the brain and produces euphoria or pain relief. Morphine is more powerful than the body’s own endorphins because a person can control how much morphine enters the brain. Since we as humans seek pleasure, many people are motivated by the ability to control the amount of pleasure they can experience. That is why heroin can be addictive.
Heroin provides a rush – an intense pleasure called euphoria that cannot be reproduced naturally. The only way to obtain such a high is to self-administer a drug like heroin to alter brain chemistry. People who try heroin can become addicted to the pleasurable rush. It some cases, it takes only one time to become addicted.
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
Opiates such as heroin cause classic withdrawal symptoms when use of the drug has stopped. Within 12 hours after heroin is last used, many physical symptoms occur and increase in intensity over the next several days. According to Frontline, these symptoms are flu-like in nature and include:
- Teary eyes
- Muscle cramps
- Goose bumps
- Muscle spasms
Treatment for Heroin Addiction
Various methods are available for heroin addiction treatment. Medications such as methadone, naltrexone and buprenorphine are effective in reducing the effects of withdrawal symptoms, decreasing cravings and preventing relapses from occurring. When combined with support groups and behavioral therapies, a recovering heroin addict has a good chance of remaining drug-free in the long term.
We can steer you toward the right combination of drug rehab services for your needs. Give us a call so we can connect you to a top private heroin addiction treatment center. Don’t delay recovery any longer. Get the help you need today.