Heroin is an especially dangerous opioid drug. There are many factors that make it perilous:
- It’s easy to become addicted to heroin.
- It’s easy to overdose on it.
- You risk infection through dirty needles if you inject it.
Unlike other opioids, there is no medical purpose for heroin. It’s usually a white or brown powder, though there’s also a black, sticky form called “black tar heroin.” It can sometimes be mixed with other substances, including fentanyl, a powerful and highly addictive opioid painkiller.
Heroin is taken by:
- Injection, or IV use
- Smoking (especially black tar heroin)
Due to the dangerous nature of this drug and the high likelihood of becoming addicted, it’s illegal in the U.S. If you’re addicted to heroin and ready to leave it behind, seek expert care at an addiction treatment facility.
How Do I Know I’m Addicted to Heroin?
There are several signs and symptoms that will tell you you’re physically dependent on heroin:
- Building up a tolerance, or needing more of the drug to get the same high
- Collapsed veins (from injecting intravenously)
- Pneumonia and other lung diseases
- Skin conditions, like abscesses and cellulitis
Just using heroin once can lead to serious addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates one in four people who try heroin develop an addiction. There are several risk factors that make you more likely to use heroin. They include:
- Having a mental illness, such as bipolar disorder or major depression
- Becoming addicted to prescription drugs, like oxycodone or other opioids
- Exposure to abuse, trauma, or substance abuse within your family
How Do I Recover from a Heroin Addiction?
A heroin addiction is very difficult to break, and detox can be dangerous. Recovering with the support of healthcare professionals and addiction experts is important.
When you arrive at Washburn House, you will complete a pre-screening evaluation with our clinical and medical staff. You may be referred to our Medically Monitored Detox program. Once you recover physically, you’ll work with our staff to build a treatment plan for your situation. Finally, you’ll develop a relapse prevention plan and aftercare plan to help you address any difficulties you might run into down the road.
You have several paths you can take at our treatment center. Each treatment option is designed for a different level of need. Whichever program you enter, our experienced staff will treat you with respect, dignity, and compassion.
Medically Monitored Detox
Withdrawal symptoms from heroin can begin as soon as a few hours after you last took the drug and include:
- Severe muscle and bone pain
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Feeling restless and jittery
- Cold flashes and chills
- Uncontrollable leg movements
Detoxing from heroin should always be done under medical supervision because heroin withdrawal symptoms can be very dangerous. The intensity of heroin cravings makes it difficult to not use the drug again, so addiction recovery at a treatment center like Washburn House is ideal.
Heroin detox is unique in that medication is often used to treat physical dependence. Buprenorphine and methadone bind to your brain’s opioid receptors and keep you from feeling withdrawal effects, but they don’t give you the high heroin does. Naltrexone is another treatment that reduces cravings for heroin.
Clinically Managed Inpatient Drug Rehab
This residential treatment program offers the most support at the highest level of care. Intensive groups will help you learn from and alongside peers with similar struggles. Individual therapy sessions will help you heal and learn skills to beat your heroin addiction and sustain a life of freedom.
Day Treatment/Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
Day treatment is a step down from inpatient care. After each day of learning new skills and coping mechanisms, you to go home in the evenings. You’ll still benefit from group and individual therapy, and you’ll also gain some practice applying your skills outside of Washburn House.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
When you’re in outpatient treatment at Washburn House, you live at home but still get several hours of group therapy and individual therapy each week. A large focus is placed on using what you’ve learned in addiction treatment at home and in your community. Your therapist and case manager will help guide you through difficulties you may encounter outside Washburn House and help you navigate your transition.
What Happens When I Get to Washburn House with a Heroin Addiction?
When you arrive for heroin addiction treatment at Washburn House in Worcester, you’ll be greeted in a warmly; our team is like a family! If you haven’t already been pre-screened, our trained and licensed clinicians and medical professionals will complete a pre-screening evaluation with you. This allows us to match you with the program that can best serve your needs.
How Long Does Recovery from a Heroin Addiction Take?
The physical symptoms of heroin withdrawal fade after five to seven days but could last up to 10 days if your case is severe. But the physical aspect is only part of recovery. It’s important for you to address the underlying issues that led to your addiction. Otherwise, you run a high risk of relapsing.
After completing detox, you’ll begin rehabilitative treatment, which includes behavioral therapy. You’ll work to address your dual diagnosis, traumatic events, or other factors that contributed to your substance abuse, and learn better ways of coping with them.
How long the treatment part of your recovery takes depends on the program you enter. Keep in mind that your memories of using heroin and the relief it brought you won’t go away; you may always feel tempted to use again. Addiction recovery is lifelong, and surrounding yourself with support is vital.
Does Washburn House Accept My Insurance?
Washburn House accepts most commercial health insurance plans. Learn more here.
What If I Don’t Have Insurance?
If you don’t have insurance, we also accept direct payments. Our main priority is getting you on the road to wellness, so if you aren’t sure how to pay for your treatment, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.
What Happens When I Leave Washburn House?
After addressing your reasons for becoming addicted to heroin, you’ll be better prepared to resume life in the community, but you’ll still need help. Your case manager and assigned therapist will work with you to develop an aftercare plan tailored to your unique situation. This plan will include resources like peer supports, outpatient programs, and support groups.
At Washburn House, we understand that your problem with drug addiction didn’t happen overnight. You’ll need to process what led you to it, unpacking the thoughts and feelings that kept you dependent on heroin. We want to work with you to start your new life on a promising path. Contact Washburn House in Worcester today to learn more about options for heroin treatment!