Heroin Treatment and Detox Center - Malibu Horizon
A variety of effective treatments are available for heroin addiction. Treatment tends to be more effective when heroin abuse is identified early. The treatments that follow vary depending on the individual, but methadone, a synthetic opiate that blocks the effects of heroin and eliminates withdrawal symptoms, has a proven record of success for people addicted to heroin. Other pharmaceutical approaches, such as buprenorphine, and many behavioral therapies also are used for treating heroin addiction. Buprenorphine is a recent addition to the array of medications now available for treating addiction to heroin and other opiates. This medication is different from methadone in that it offers less risk of addiction and can be prescribed in the privacy of a doctor's office. Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) is a combination drug product formulated to minimize abuse.
Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive drug. It is both the most abused and the most rapidly acting of the opiates. Heroin is processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of certain varieties of poppy plants. It is typically sold as a white or brownish powder or as the black sticky substance known on the streets as "black tar heroin." Although purer heroin is becoming more common, most street heroin is "cut" with other drugs or with substances such as sugar, starch, powdered milk, or quinine. Street heroin also can be cut with strychnine or other poisons. Because heroin abusers do not know the actual strength of the drug or its true contents, they are at risk of overdose or death. Heroin also poses special problems because of the transmission of HIV and other diseases that can occur from sharing needles or other injection equipment.
Heroin is usually injected, sniffed/snorted, or smoked. Typically, a heroin abuser may inject up to four times a day. Intravenous injection provides the greatest intensity and most rapid onset of euphoria (7 to 8 seconds), while intramuscular injection produces a relatively slow onset of euphoria (5 to 8 minutes). When heroin is sniffed or smoked, peak effects are usually felt within 10 to 15 minutes. NIDA researchers have confirmed that all forms of heroin administration are addictive.
Injection continues to be the predominant method of heroin use among addicted users seeking treatment; in many CEWG areas, heroin injection is reportedly on the rise, while heroin inhalation is declining. However, certain groups, such as White suburbanites in the Denver area, report smoking or inhaling heroin because they believe that these routes of administration are less likely to lead to addiction. With the shift in heroin abuse patterns comes an even more diverse group of users. In recent years, the availability of higher purity heroin (which is more suitable for inhalation) and the decreases in prices reported in many areas have increased the appeal of heroin for new users who are reluctant to inject. Heroin has also been appearing in more affluent communities. Heroin is classified as an opioid drug that is synthesized from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder or as a black sticky substance, known as “black tar heroin". Malibu Horizon is one of the leading treatment centers for heroin rehab and detox. By using the most modern methods for heroin detox, clients are gradually, safely and comfortably tapered off heroin.
Heroin drug abuse and addiction treatments a process of education and behavioral therapy. In order to provide the proper behavioral treatments, Malibu Horizon rehab program starts by doing a complete and thorough evaluation and assessment of each of our clients.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been proven by research to be the most effective type of behavioral therapy for treating drug dependency, especially for heroin abuse. Our clinical team also uses a sophisticated form of Motivational Enhancement Therapy to properly address and treat each client's behavioral issues.
Malibu Horizon may prescribe FDA approved medications to help relieve a client's drug cravings.
How Heroin Affects the Brain
Heroin is gradually absorbed through the bloodstream where it gradually makes its way into the brain. Once in the brain, it is converted to morphine and then binds itself to receptors, known as opioid receptors. These receptors are located in various areas of the brain, especially those involved in the perception of pain, pleasure and rewards. Opioid receptors are also located in the brain stem, an important area responsible for auto processing, which is critical to maintain life functioning. These functions include breathing, blood pressure and circulation and sexual arousal.
Heroin abuse is associated with a number of serious health conditions, including fatal overdose, spontaneous abortion, and infectious diseases like hepatitis and HIV (see box, “Injection Drug Use and HIV and HCV Infection”). Chronic users may develop collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, constipation and gastrointestinal cramping, and liver or kidney disease. Pulmonary complications, including various types of pneumonia, may result from the poor health of the user as well as from heroin’s effects on breathing.
In addition to the effects of the drug itself, street heroin often contains toxic contaminants or additives that can clog blood vessels leading to the lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain, causing permanent damage to vital organs.
Heroin is an opioid, so it is a highly addictive drug that is processed from morphine and usually appears as a white or brown powder or as a black, sticky substance. It is injected, snorted, or smoked. Short-term effects of heroin include a surge of euphoria and clouded thinking followed by alternately wakeful and drowsy states.
More Resources About Heroin Abuse and Treatment
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