New Jersey Heroin Addiction Treatment
Guiding You on the Path to Lasting Recovery
When someone chooses to use heroin, they are introducing something to their body that will destroy it. Heroin’s impact on the body isn’t always apparent at first, but continual use has a profound impact on the user’s health. It’s important to educate yourself on the signs and symptoms of heroin abuse so that you can know when you or a loved one needs help.
Are you concerned about a loved one who is experiencing a problem with heroin addiction? Are you struggling with heroin addiction yourself? Heroin rehab can help. At SOBA New Jersey, based in New Brunswick, we can help you detox and manage withdrawal symptoms to ensure a safe and successful recovery. Continue reading to learn more, or reach out to us directly for to speak to one of our admissions specialists today. We are available 24/7 to assist you.
Contact us online or by phone at (888) 229-7989 to learn more about our New Jersey heroin addiction treatment program, as well as the insurance plans we accept.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is a Schedule II illegal opioid that’s made from the same part of the poppy plant that is used to make morphine. It usually comes in powder form except black tar heroin, which is a sticky, dark-colored substance. Heroin is an opiate, a type of naturally occurring opioid. Other opioids you may be familiar with are pain pills like hydrocodone, Vicodin, or OxyContin.
People who use heroin do so by injecting, sniffing, snorting, or smoking it. It enters the brain quickly, where it binds to opioid receptors and releases a flood of dopamine and other “feel-good” chemicals. These chemicals are responsible for the euphoric “rush” heroin users experience.
Once ingested, heroin also affects your heart rate and causes a sense of drowsiness, warm flushing of the skin, and a heavy feeling in the arms, legs, hands, and feet. The initial effect is a “high” (an immediate surge of pleasure), however, there are many short- and long-term negative effects of heroin use, abuse, and addiction.
How Addictive Is Heroin?
Heroin is extremely addictive, easy to overdose on, and often life-threatening. It is also easy to develop a tolerance to the drug, meaning the more you use it, the more you need it and the more of it you need.
Heroin addiction typically develops quickly. Within just moments after using heroin, users experience very intense feelings of euphoria and relaxation. Some call it a “rush,” which lasts between 10 and 20 minutes. After that, they will begin to crash, feeling dizzy and extremely tired for an hour or two. This crash encourages users to keep using, adding to the inherently addictive nature of the drug.
Over time, users can begin to develop a dependence on heroin, meaning they will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug. Heroin withdrawal is notoriously unpleasant, and many people are able to complete the process without professional treatment and support.
Understanding the Signs of Heroin Addiction
Heroin is an extremely dangerous substance that has a high rate of addiction. A person only needs to use heroin once or twice before their body physically craves or depends on the drug.
Heroin dramatically affects the way a person feels mentally, as well as the behavior they exhibit. Their friends, family, or coworkers may notice changes in their attitude and behavior before the user themselves notice these changes or admit that they are taking place. Because heroin users often keep their drug usage a secret, their addiction typically already has a stronghold over them before their loved ones can recognize the problem.
The negative effects of heroin don’t take effect right away. If they did, no one would ever want to use it a second time. Early on, heroin reels users in with feelings of euphoria and a sense of well-being.
They may also experience:
- Sensations of pleasure
- Relief from pain
- Relief from depression and anxiety
- A feeling of warmth throughout the body
- A sense of heaviness in limbs
- A sedative effect
- A sense of lethargy once the high fades away
- A slowed heart rate
When a heroin user reaches a state of heavy sleepiness with a slowed heart rate, they enter into a dangerous critical point when death from overdose can occur. It’s important to note that a person can die from overdose even after their first use because you never know how a person’s body will react to the substance.
There are long-term signs of snorting, injecting, and other heroin consumption methods to keep in mind as well. The impacts of heroin use can linger for months or even years after a person discontinues the use of the drug. They may even begin to affect a person before they realize that they have a problem.
Some of the most common signs of heroin abuse and addiction are:
- Dental issues, like receding gums or broken teeth
- Skin sores
- Extreme weight loss
- Drastic changes in sleeping patterns
- A weakened immune system
- Decrease of oxygen throughout the body, impacting the brain
- Track marks/swelling in the area the heroin is injected
- Infections at injection sites
- Liver and kidney trouble
- Abscesses in the mouth
- Infections of the heart and lungs
If you believe that a person close to you might be abusing heroin, looking out for these signs can be helpful for recognizing that they need help right away.
Remember, because there is no accepted legal or medical use for heroin, all heroin use is considered abuse. While not everyone who uses heroin is automatically addicted, addiction can occur with just a single use. Most people who continue to use heroin will become addicted.
Why a Heroin Detox Program Is Important
Heroin relapse rates are quite high, so undergoing a professional detox with around-the-clock supervision is the best way to stop using. Chances are, you’ve already tried to stop using heroin on your own but have found it to be more challenging than expected.
Medical detox is the first step in the heroin rehab process. It’s important to detox under the care of addiction specialists so that they can monitor your health and keep you safe during withdrawal. As your body detoxes from the harmful chemicals associated with heroin, the range of withdrawal symptoms can feel overwhelming. If you try to detox on your own, you could become frustrated and go right back to using. However, if you detox with the help of addiction recovery professionals, you’re much more likely to kick heroin for good.
Note that you should not try to quit using heroin cold turkey, as this can cause severe and dangerous medical complications—especially if you stop using for a while and then start back up at the same dose you had been using previously. Doing this could cause an overdose.
Typically, tapering off of opioids is the preferred and safer method to getting free from addiction. Some treatment centers offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to treat opioid use disorder. This means that you taper off heroin by taking an FDA-approved medication that helps reduce cravings for opioids. Common medications include Methadone, Suboxone, and Vivitrol.
Many people who have overcome heroin addiction mention that medication-assisted treatment helped them most in the beginning of their treatment, when withdrawal symptoms were the most severe.
Continuing Treatment After Heroin Detox
If you only treat the withdrawal symptoms during detox but don’t follow up with long-term treatment, you may not recover as fully as you’d like. By attending a treatment center, you’ll be able to receive help from trained experts that can help you address underlying issues that may have led to addiction in the first place. You’ll also learn valuable relapse prevention, coping, and life skills that can help you build a strong recovery.
You can choose residential (inpatient) rehab or outpatient treatment as the next step after detox. Residential treatment is for those who want to stay at the facility for the duration of their treatment. Outpatient treatment occurs at a facility in the community. The time for treatment will vary for each person. Typically, people start with a 28-day stay at a residential treatment center and collaborate with their primary counselor to decide the next steps. For severe cases of heroin addiction, residential rehab is almost always recommended.
Intervention & Treatment for Heroin Addiction
If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin addiction, it’s important to know that there are places to turn to for help. If you’ve noticed the physical signs of heroin use in yourself or someone important to you, then seeking out the support and treatment you need to overcome the addiction safely and effectively is an essential step to getting life back on track.
We offer integrated heroin addiction treatment in New Jersey for all adults ages 18 and up. In our safe, welcoming environment, you will receive a high level of personalized care and direct access to some of the state’s top clinicians. Our goal is to make the heroin detox and recovery process as comfortable and effective as possible, which is why we customize our programs to meet each individual’s unique needs. Our array of science-backed therapeutic treatments are designed to set you up with the skills you need to achieve lasting sobriety and heal from the inside out.
Reach Out for Help Today
If you’re struggling with heroin abuse or addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out for help today. Getting started on your unique recovery journey is as simple as a phone call. Begin our heroin detox program and get the care you serve. Our trained addiction recovery specialists are standing by to address any concerns or questions.
Here at SOBA New Jersey, we offer a full continuum of care that treats every stage of addiction recovery. Our addiction treatment program is split into three phases that help you build a strong foundation and gain a greater sense of self-sufficiency.
It’s time for you to overcome heroin addiction once and for all and go on to live the kind of life you truly desire. Call us at (888) 229-7989 today.
You or your loved one has decided to get on the path to recovery. This is the first and most important step, so be proud of that! Turning your life around and quitting heroin is no easy task. Knowing what to expect is helpful and can prepare you for difficult situations that may arise.
When someone addicted to heroin stops using, withdrawal symptoms kick in. They can appear as quickly as 6 to 12 hours after the last heroin dose. It may feel like a bad case of the flu, with the worst part of it lasting about a week.
Some immediate symptoms you may experience include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dilated pupils
- Abdominal cramping
- Muscle aches
After the initial withdrawal symptoms pass, post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) may kick in. This includes poor sleep, inability to focus, anxiety, depression, fatigue, memory loss, mood swings, and more. These symptoms last between 18 and 24 months, but as the user remains drug-free with proper addiction treatment services, the symptoms slowly begin to disappear.
The reality is that you have to fully go through detox in order to get free from heroin addiction. The good news is that there is effective treatment available for opioid addiction, and the safest place to start is in a professional heroin detox program. Typically, heroin withdrawal symptoms will peak within 3 to 4 days. From there, symptoms will decrease in intensity each day after.
The overall detox time will vary from person to person depending on factors like:
- How long the drug has been used
- The amount of drug used
- The frequency with which the drug is used
- The person’s overall physical and mental health
- The individual’s age and weight
- Available support systems
- How long the person sticks with treatment
At times, you can feel lost and confused when struggling with addiction or mental health. Our team understands what you are going through and works with you to reclaim the life you deserve.