Because it has not recognized medical benefits, heroin is illegal and among the most dangerous drugs available. Despite its legal status, heroin use, substance abuse, and addiction have reached record levels in the United States. Heroin laced with a powerful opiate called Fentanyl has led to a sharp rise in overdoses. The heroin epidemic has played a role in making drug overdoses the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.
While heroin is used in various ways, many users choose to inject it. Injecting heroin leads to exposure to infections and diseases that can cause abscesses, cysts and heart damage. While heroin addiction is a chronic, incurable condition, attending a heroin addiction rehab center in San Antonio TX can improve your ability to find recovery and maintain long-term abstinence.
The Heroin Epidemic
So, what is the heroin epidemic? While heroin use peaked in the early 1900s and in the 1960s, it once again increased in popularity in the 21st century. The creation of powerful prescription opiates like OxyContin and Opana created widespread opiate abuse. As abuse rates of prescription opiates began to increase, so did black market prices. The mounting cost of prescription opiates led to more people transitioning to heroin, which was far more cost effective.
The heroin epidemic reached its apex in 2017, when President Trump declared the opiate and heroin epidemic a public health emergency. At the same time, fatal heroin overdoses rapidly increased. Fentanyl laced heroin caused drug overdoses to become the leading cause of accidental death in the country.
The prevalence of heroin addiction led to a national need for increased access to treatment. Health insurance companies are now required to cover substance abuse treatment and federal funding for treatment programs has increased.
Treating Heroin Addiction
Heroin causes physical dependency. When you are physically dependent on heroin, it means that if you immediately stop using, you will experience uncomfortable and painful withdrawal symptoms.
Heroin withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Restless legs and cramps
- Aches and pain
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Insomnia and exhaustion
- Depression, anxiety and other mood changes
Since heroin causes your brain to release excessive amounts of dopamine, you can experience a depletion of dopamine during withdrawal. The lack of dopamine can cause feelings of depression, loneliness and anxiety.
In order to combat the heroin epidemic, access to treatment programs has drastically improved. Attending an inpatient detox can help mitigate and lessen the negative effects of withdrawal symptoms, making it easier to begin recovery.
Inpatient programs, which can last anywhere from 28 to 90 days or more, offer highly structured, safe settings to help you adjust to life without drugs. Treatment centers may also offer medication assisted therapy, such as Suboxone or methadone treatment.
Finding Help for a Heroin Addiction Today
If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, it is never too late, or too early, to reach out for help. The heroin epidemic has impacts millions of Americans, but recovery is possible. San Antonio Recovery Center, the best heroin addiction rehab center San Antonio TX has to offer, knows what it takes to conquer addiction. Call us today at 866.957.7885 to learn more about your treatment options.