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Heroin Addiction

Heroin addiction is an incredibly dangerous disease affecting countless lives each year. As an illicit opioid, heroin has damaging effects on those who abuse this drug, as well as their communities and the people around them.

If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin addiction, it is important to understand how this illicit drug works and what your options are in terms of treatment and recovery.

Heroin Addiction

What Is Heroin Addiction?

Heroin addiction occurs when a person must take more of the substance or else battle grueling symptoms. Using heroin is a slippery slope because it can escalate to addiction in a short amount of time. However, heroin abuse doesn’t always destroy a person’s life right from the start. In the beginning, heroin is deceptively pleasurable. However, even small doses lead to dependence and addiction.

Heroin activates opioid receptors in the brain that are responsible for the reward system. Early doses release a rush of dopamine into the body and slow down processing, which feels like a wave of relaxation. The drug blocks pain receptors and heightens feelings of pleasure. As a result, heroin is quickly habit-forming.

Over time, the brain adapts to the effects and requires greater fixes. For this reason, people often start abusing small amounts but before long they need to up their dosage to have the same effect. After becoming physically dependent on heroin, people need larger amounts of the drug to feel the same effects. Once addiction is formed, intense withdrawal symptoms set in each time the drug wears off.

If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin abuse, please reach out for help today.

Why Is Heroin Addictive?

Heroin, an illicit street drug, is created from the prescription-grade opioid known as morphine. Like morphine, heroin is naturally derived from parts of the opium poppy plant. For this reason, both drugs are considered opiates because they are naturally occurring opioids.

Although heroin stems from a natural substance, the illicit drug is developed in illegal labs and is then distributed by street gangs and drug rings. Unlike prescription opioid medications, heroin serves no medical purpose. As such, it’s a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substance Act. Yet, the drug is widely used around the world and overdoses occur at an alarming rate. After a person forms tolerance to the drug, they’ll have to keep taking more. Before long, heroin addiction feels like a trap they can’t escape from.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of
Heroin Addiction?

You can assess your own level of addiction, and the state of your loved one’s heroin use, by looking for certain signs and symptoms. While each person will be affected in different ways, some general effects are fairly universal with heroin addiction. Opioids impact all areas of the body, including one’s physical, behavioral, and psychological health.

The signs and symptoms of heroin addiction can vary from person to person but may include physical symptoms such as:

Heroin addiction may also be characterized by psychological symptoms, including:

Behavioral symptoms of heroin addiction may include:

This list isn’t comprehensive, and people can experience symptoms of heroin addiction in varying degrees of severity. Overall, addiction to heroin takes a serious toll, putting those who abuse it at risk for a wide variety of health complications including:

If you notice any of these signs in yourself or a loved one, it’s crucial to seek help. Heroin addiction is a dangerous disease, but with proper support and treatment, you can recover.

Heroin Addiction Facts & Statistics

Heroin abuse is an extreme issue today. The substance is easily accessible for anyone who wants to find it, which contributes to the problem. People of all ages use heroin. In general,  first-time users may believe they can’t become addicted if they snort heroin, rather than inject it. However, this isn’t true because any intake still creates a euphoric response that fades as the brain adapts. For this reason, people often graduate from snorting the substance to injecting it after they become dependent.

Heroin is one of the most dangerous opioid substances. Addiction is a steep downward hill that nobody intends to reach but many do. The numbers are unavoidable. There were more than 9,000 heroin overdose deaths in 2021 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Undoubtedly, part of the issue is the cultural message about drug use. Teenagers and other especially susceptible demographics may feel pressured to take drugs to be cool to their peers. The National Center of Drug Abuse Statistics (NCDAS) states that in 2023, 1 in 8 teenagers have abused an illegal substance and nearly 50% of teens have tried an illicit drug by the time they’re in the last year of high school. The toll heroin takes on people’s mental development, physical health, and social life is not worth the good feelings of the moment that it brings.

If you or a loved one are suffering from opioid addiction, please contact the team at Royal Life Center for assistance in entering professional treatment. 

Heroin Addiction and Mental Health

Heroin addiction negatively impacts mental health, both in previously healthy people and those already struggling with mental illness. In fact, heroin usage can lead to new development of mental illness, like anxiety, depression, or hallucinations. For those who already have a mental disease, drugs can be enticing as a way to numb the pain. For example, individuals with trauma like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or severe anxiety may find relief through opioids. Because of their pain-relieving function, they can dull anxiety and stress and make people feel good again. But heroin is empty relief, because before long the effects of the drug will make them feel even worse. For this reason, illicit drugs are especially dangerous for those with mental illness.

Fortunately, addiction recovery at Royal Life Centers includes treatment for co-occurring issues like opioid use disorder (OUD) and mental illness. To put it in perspective, there were roughly 2 million people with OUD in 2016, and 62% also had a mental illness. Yet, only between 24-30% received treatment for their disorders. Those with comorbid issues like OUD and mental disorders are in danger of overdosing and even dying from opioid self-medication.

Self-Assessment: Am I Addicted?

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When Do You Need Heroin Addiction Treatment?

In essence, everyone who abuses heroin needs to receive addiction treatment. Since it’s so addictive, and serves no medical function, anyone who uses heroin at all is in danger of becoming addicted. Treatment can’t wait for those who have increased risk, like people with co-occurring issues, long-time users, and those with health problems. If you or your loved one experiences any of the symptoms of heroin addiction, now is the time to seek help. Recovery is available, and at Royal, we make it convenient for everyone, no matter their situation.

How Long Is Heroin Addiction Treatment?

The length of treatment for heroin varies. With most drug detoxes, the timeframe to reach sobriety is about a week. Once the toxins are out of their body, guests can continue through the next levels of treatment to set themselves up for a successful recovery. Guests at Royal have flexibility to adapt their program to their individual needs. In fact, each guest works with a case manager to create a customized treatment plan. Although our levels of care have general lengths, guests can choose to spend more time in our recovery programs until they’re ready for the next step.

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Heroin Addiction Treatment Options

At Royal Life Centers, guests work through different levels of care. Each level is broken down to meet individuals where they are in their recovery journey. Everyone starts with detoxification to remove the substances from their system and reach a level ground of sobriety before moving forward. Next, individuals enter residential inpatient treatment, where they engage in therapy sessions 7 days per week.

After completing the inpatient program levels, guests can move into partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and end in outpatient treatment. Crucially, each stage focuses on inner work, addressing the root causes of addiction, relapse prevention, and establishing new, healthy coping skills to manage cravings, triggers, and stress. Medically-assisted treatment (MAT) is available for those who require it, including, but not limited to, guests with opioid use disorders.

Heroin Addiction Treatment at
Royal Life Centers

At Royal Life Centers, we believe every addiction has deep roots, our comprehensive care programs address guest’s holistic health. Just as heroin addiction has mental, physical, and behavioral outcomes, guests must heal their whole selves to truly recover.

By joining treatment at Royal Life Centers at Spokane Heights, you gain access to a comprehensive range of addiction treatment programs including:

When you decide to seek treatment with us, our diverse and compassionate staff will work with you to build an individualized recovery plan that caters to each of your care needs.

During each level of care, we emphasize mind-body-soul healing through therapies, case management, substance abuse training, personal reflection, and resources. Above all, we want to guests to feel welcome as they are and treated like people first, not their addiction. We also work to help prepare them to reenter society as confident, capable people ready to tackle hard situations. 

If you are ready to begin your recovery from heroin addiction, we encourage you to reach out. Our promise to you is that we will prioritize your wellness every step of the way. Your program will be adapted to you throughout your time with us.

Heroin Addiction Treatment in Washington State

Located in Washington, Royal Life Centers at Spokane Heights is just one of the many exceptional treatment facilities offered by Royal. Our comprehensive range of services includes top-notch detoxification and inpatient treatment options, as well as flexible outpatient programs and dedicated aftercare support. At Royal, we believe in providing our guests with the seamless ability to transition between centers, ensuring a continuous and effective recovery journey toward lasting sobriety.

Our heroin addiction treatment centers in Washington State include:

For more information about our heroin addiction treatment centers, call our 24/7 admissions team at 888-907-0898 or by filling out a secure contact form.

Looking for Heroin Addiction Treatment Services?

If you or someone you love is struggling with heroin addiction, please reach out to us to find out more about how our opioid detox services can help. We work with most private insurance policies and we have affordable self-pay rates if you do not have insurance. Give us a call and we will figure out the best treatment plan for you or your loved one.
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If you or someone you know has a substance use disorder, we hope you’ll begin your journey with us at Royal Life Centers.

If you would like to learn more Other Resources

Detox Program at Royal

The first step in drug and alcohol treatment is a detox program. During this level of care, you will undergo the detoxification process that will remove the toxins from your body while starting your time in therapy.

Residential Treatment at Royal

Our residential inpatient program aims to identify the underlying causes of addiction. Our clinical care includes intensive therapy, addiction education, goal-setting, and the development of healthy coping skills. 

Can Medication-Assisted Treatment Help Me?

During treatment for addiction at Royal Life Centers, we provide medication-assisted treatment services to ease the symptoms of withdrawal and curb cravings. Learn how these services can help you stay sober.

What Services are offered in Rehab?

Read a comprehensive guide on the services you can participate in when recovering from addiction. As you progress through the different levels of care, you will experience the benefits of evidence-based care.

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