While heroin overdoses are usually reversed through the administration of Narcan, when heroin is cut with certain dangerous chemicals Narcan may not work. The powerful addictive qualities of heroin make it difficult for users to quit, especially when they fear becoming dope sick. Since heroin is physically addictive, it can cause severe and harmful withdrawal symptoms that can make it difficult to detox without the help of a heroin addiction rehab center in San Antonio TX.
The increasing popularity of opiates, especially heroin, has led to record addiction rates in the United States. The significant impact heroin addiction has posed upon society has led the United States to issue a declaration of a public health emergency in order to combat the growing opiate epidemic. Street heroin laced with Fentanyl, a powerful prescription opiate, has led to a sharp increase in fatal and non-fatal overdoses. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that from the period of 2002–2014 there was a six-fold increase in heroin-related overdose deaths.
Although many opiates exist, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, heroin is unique because it is both highly addictive and relatively cheap. In fact, despite being illegal, the cost of heroin is substantially lower than other opiates. Due to its accessibility and affordability, heroin addiction has become an increasing public health concern. Clearly, the need for heroin addiction treatment has never been greater.
What Does Dope Sick Mean?
So, what is dope sickness? When you become physically addicted to heroin, you can experience a slew of uncomfortable, painful and even dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, your brain continues to crave heroin, making it hard to resist using. In general, the term “dope sickness” refers to any withdrawal symptoms associated with opioids—including heroin.
While withdrawal symptoms are not typically life-threatening, they can be very uncomfortable and dangerous for someone withdrawing from opioids. If someone experiencing dope sickness has a communicable disease such as hepatitis or HIV/AIDS, their symptoms could actually put others at risk. It’s important to note that withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the type of opioid you’re addicted to and the length of time you’ve been using it.
Symptoms of Being Dope Sick
- Restless legs
- Aches and pain
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Insomnia, fatigue, and exhaustion
- Dehydration and mood changes
Heroin causes your brain to release significant amounts of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that causes feelings of pleasure and happiness. The rush of dopamine is responsible for the intoxicating effects produced by heroin. In order to intensify the effects of heroin, many users choose to inject it. Injecting heroin leads to increased risk of contracting staph and heart infections, Hepatitis C and AIDS. Intravenous heroin use may also cause abscesses and cysts that require medical treatment.
When you immediately stop using heroin, or suddenly decrease your use, you can become dope sick. Dope sick means that you are beginning to experience withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms are severe enough to prevent you from working, going to school or meeting your daily obligations. The fear of becoming dope sick makes it difficult to recover from heroin addiction without help.
How is Heroin Addiction Treated?
Heroin addiction is a chronic mental health condition that is highly treatable. Recovery is possible regardless of what stage of addiction you are in. Treatment can include medically supervised detox, inpatient programs, and outpatient treatment. Some treatment centers may also utilize medication assisted therapy during detox and early recovery.
Evidence-based treatments like cognitive and dialectic behavioral therapy can help you identify and change negative thinking patterns, feelings and behaviors. Substance abuse education helps you learn healthy coping mechanisms. Treatment will also help you develop a strong relapse prevention plan to deal with cravings and triggers following discharge.
Finding Help for a Heroin Addiction Today
If you or a loved one is battling a heroin addiction, becoming dope sick may prevent you from quitting without help. Finding help is as simple as making a single phone call. San Antonio Recovery Center, the best heroin addiction rehab center San Antonio TX offers, knows what it takes to overcome addiction. To learn more about your treatment options and our programs, call us today at 866.957.7885.