Heroin is a potent and highly addictive drug. Period. Full stop.
If a loved one is hooked on heroin, there’s a good chance that outpatient simply may not be enough to overcome the pull of the drug.
Every situation is unique but heroin falls into that infamous class of drugs known as opioids that have been tearing people and families apart for over 2 decades now.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lay it out plainly:
- Nearly 841,000 people have died since 1999 from a drug overdose
- Overdose deaths involving opioids, including prescription opioids, heroin, and synthetic opioids (like fentanyl), have increased over six times since 1999
Concerning heroin specifically, the CDC notes that “nearly 130,000 people died from overdoses related to heroin from 1999 to 2019”.
The scope of the issue remains enormous and while inpatient heroin rehab isn’t a silver bullet, it does increase the odds of a sustained recovery.
What Is Heroin?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines it as “an opioid drug made from morphine, a natural substance taken from the seed pod of the various opium poppy plants grown in Southeast and Southwest Asia, Mexico, and Colombia. Heroin can be a white or brown powder, or a black sticky substance known as black tar heroin.”
It’s worth noting that heroin is an illegal opioid, the methods of ingestion of which are injection, snorting and smoking.
The emphasis on opioids here isn’t an accident, NIDA adds that “about 80 percent of people who used heroin first misused prescription opioids”.
In other words, when a person grows dependent on their prescription and that prescription runs out, they turn to buy heroin on the street as it has very similar effects.
Signs of a Heroin Addiction
To be able to do something to help an addict, you need to be able to recognize an addiction. The sooner the better.
The ability to hook people fast is a well-documented aspect of opioids and the signs of that look like this:
- Taking more heroin and in larger doses than planned
- Strong cravings
- Building a tolerance and needing to take larger doses to get the same effect
- Change in appearance
- Lack of motivation, depression
- Spending a lot of time getting, using and recovering from heroin
- Can’t cut back
- Secretive behavior
- Unable to meet expectations at work, home, and school
- Dry mouth
- Using is causing significant interpersonal problems
- Skipping events, activities or other things once loved in favor of using
- Finding yourself in increasingly dangerous situations, i.e., sharing needles
- Collapsed veins
- Using despite clear negative consequences
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using
Heroin takes a toll and it takes it quickly. Left unchecked, these signs and symptoms of addiction will only get worse over time.
Knowing When It’s Time to Go to Inpatient Heroin Rehab
There’s not necessarily a line in the sand that you would cross that marks the exact appropriate time to enter rehab.
As the above signs compound though, it’ll become more and more clear.
The key thing to look out for is the loss of control or the point at which heroin becomes the priority in your life. Where any and all decisions are being made through the prism of using heroin.
For rehab to have the best chance of succeeding, it’s important that you or your loved one is actively deciding to get better and not being coerced into treatment under some false pretense. In some cases that might even be achieved through an intervention.
If you’re concerned for yourself or a loved one and want to know if now is the time for inpatient rehab, please don’t hesitate to give us a call and speak to one of our addiction specialists.