Making the Change: Finding Heroin Addiction Help

Finding Heroin Addiction Help

The main thing to know right off the bat is that heroin is an opioid. Being in the throes of an opioid epidemic in this country for the last couple of decades, we are all far too aware of the damage this class of drugs can impart, unfortunately.

From 1999 to 2018, nearly a half million people, around 450,000, died from an opioid overdose. Absolutely catastrophic losses with the number of deaths actually 4 times higher in 2018 than in 1999 still. 

But that’s all opioids, what about heroin specifically?

The numbers are pretty startling, more than 115,000 Americans have died from overdoses related to heroin from 1999 to 2018. As recently as 2017, 652,000 Americans suffered from a heroin use disorder and the number of first-time users was 170,000 in 2016 compared with “just” 90,000 in 2006.

Just based on those figures and the sheer scale of death these drugs can rain, it should be readily apparent that it’s a profoundly dangerous substance to find yourself in the grips of.

Fortunately, and mercifully, some of these figures have started to level off and even began to decline in recent years though they remain troublingly high.

The thing is, opioids serve an actual medical purpose while heroin is a completely illegal, illicit drug and a disconcerting amount of people transition from opioids to heroin. 4 to 6% to be exact and add to that that 80% of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids and you can see why we address them together.

What Is Heroin?

Let’s rewind though real quick and discover what heroin actually is, as per the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

“Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive drug processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of certain varieties of poppy plants. It is typically sold as a white or brownish powder that is “cut” with sugars, starch, powdered milk, or quinine. Pure heroin is a white powder with a bitter taste that predominantly originated in South America and, to a lesser extent, from Southeast Asia, and dominates U.S. markets east of the Mississippi River”

It can be injected, snorted or smoked, all of which create a reaction in the brain extremely quickly and adds to the addictive nature of the drug.

Why Is Heroin Addictive?

In addition to being fast-acting, heroin packs a powerful punch. It’s converted to morphine and quickly binds to opioid receptors. This creates a rush of pleasure for the user that they begin to crave essentially immediately. Working on the reward system, the brain continuously asks for more and more heroin to match that initial feel and experience.

As you take more, tolerance starts to build so reaching that high or achieving that same rush requires ever more of the drug which is where the risk of overdose creeps in.

Your brain is fundamentally being rewired to go after these feel-good chemicals and ultimately the way out for many is heroin addiction rehab.

How to Find Heroin Addiction Help

Heroin addiction help is just a phone call away but we’ll get to that in a second.

Help is important with something as potent as heroin because of the potency of the drug and its highly addictive nature. As a nation, we’ve watched in horror the damage that opioids have wrought on our communities and the gargantuan effort it has taken to slowly start turning it around for individuals. Given that heroin is in the same family it’s clear that we need to tackle it just as vigorously.

At Principles Recovery Center we’re well equipped to bring you or your loved one back from the brink. Give us a call and let’s talk about getting your life back.

Tips for Maintaining Long Term Sobriety

tips for maintaining sobriety

Sobriety isn’t static. It’s not that famous “set it and forget it” infomercial slogan.

It requires a plan, dedication and some real follow through.

It’s something that constantly needs to be tended to and worked towards. In fact, in many ways you can think of sobriety like gardening. Getting seeds to grow into strong plants and beautiful flowers takes time, energy and attention. They take nurturing. The seeds of sobriety that are planted in rehab require the same. 

Why Is Sobriety A Lifelong Journey?

Detox and treatment are really just the very first steps in what will become your lifelong journey. Now, the connotation of “lifelong journey” might feel weighty and heavy, as if it’s something hard to slog through.

That doesn’t have to be the case and to be frank, it shouldn’t be the case.

The idea and aim of rehab is not solely to get you clean and sober, it’s to set you up with the tools you need that will allow you to comfortably travel the path of recovery for the long run. It’s kind of the planning phase, a way to lay the groundwork and build the foundation on which you can confidently tackle life’s obstacles without reliance on substances. Continuing to water those seeds is what the journey of recovery ends up being about.

Tips for Maintaining Sobriety

Maintaining sobriety is predicated on being proactive rather reactive, what that looks like in practice, is some of the following:

Aftercare – First and foremost, you should seriously consider aftercare options offered by your treatment center. If aftercare isn’t an option directly through them, there are plenty of other helpful choices. Support groups are a fantastic way to go and come in many different flavors with the classics like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous being well known to just about everyone. Not only do they provide much needed support and guidance but they have built in accountability and, perhaps most importantly, present opportunities to create sober minded friendships.

Help Others – This is a major part of being in a support group and helping others on their recovery journeys will come naturally the longer you go to meetings. There are plenty of reasons why helping others also helps you but the most notable are that it allows you to see how far you’ve come, it creates additional accountability for you to lead by example which encourages you to stay with your plan and path.

Stay with Your Plan – Any rehab worth its salt will help you put together a plan for lasting sobriety. Naturally, that will change as time goes by but the core tenets will likely remain intact. Staying with that overarching sobriety plan is vital.

Avoid the Myth of Moderation – For some people, there comes a point in their journey where they feel like they’ve got everything under control and the thought crosses their mind, “just one drink can’t hurt” or “I can handle just one quick hit”. Nope. Moderation for an addict is a myth. The point of all your work in rehab, all the hours, days, weeks and months was not to get you to a moderate drug habit. Addiction is a mental disorder and for those affected by it, the slippery slope back to addiction is very real. It’s best not be toyed with or chanced.

Know Your Triggers – A huge one. Understanding what can lead you back to using is essential in avoiding relapse. Know the external situations that can trigger you, the people, places, things, etc. and also be aware of the internal thoughts and feelings that can lead you there too. Having a good grasp on all of that can keep you on course.

Maintain Sobriety With the Help of Principles Recovery Center

Remember recovery is a garden that needs constant tending. Moreover, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. If you’re having trouble staying on the path, reach out to us at Principles Recovery Center, we’re happy to listen and help you right the ship.