How Addictive Is Heroin?
Heroin is a highly addictive substance, and it can create a physical dependency and tolerance shortly after the first dose. That’s because the drug binds to the opioid receptors in the body, triggering the release of dopamine and giving users an intense feeling of euphoria.
When someone is physically addicted to heroin, their body finds the drug’s absence unusual. It doesn’t take more than just a few hours for users to feel the first withdrawal symptoms, such as severe muscle and bone pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, insomnia and intense cravings.
That’s not all. Studies also show that there’s a connection between heroin use and the loss of brain white matter. It only takes a few doses for users to begin to experience decision-making and behavior control problems. That can create the perfect framework for addiction.
What Kind of Therapies Successfully Treat Heroin Addiction?
Every heroin addiction therapy starts with a detoxification program that focuses on alleviating some of the most intense withdrawal symptoms. After the doctors ensure that the patient is safe from harm, they will continue the treatment with medication and behavioral therapies.
The purpose of medication in heroin addiction treatment is to stimulate the same opioid receptors as the drug but without the negative side-effects. Doctors tend to rely on three types of medications to help patients flush the drug out of their systems:
- Agonist (Methadone, which activates opioid receptors)
- Partial agonist (Buprenorphine, which activates opioid receptors but produce a less intense response)
- Antagonist (Naltrexone, which blocks the opioid receptors)
Cognitive-behavioral therapies help addicts recognize and avoid the situations in which they’re likely to use the drug. Therapists focus on helping patients develop the right strategies to cope with stressful factors and temptations. Using motivational incentives and rewarding negative drug tests are other excellent ways to encourage abstinence.
Get Help Now
If you or a loved one are addicted to heroin, it’s time to reach out for help. Don’t assume that you can quit the drug on your own. Receiving proper medical care and treatment that fits your unique needs will take you one step closer to regaining your life.
Find an NA Meeting in Santa Barbara
|Sunday 10:00 am||Discussion/Participation||Daniel Bryant Youth and Family Center||1111 Garden Street|
|Sunday 1:30 pm||Narcotics Anonymous (Spanish)||Daniel Bryant Youth and Family Center||1111 Garden Street|
|Sunday 7:00 pm||NA Speaker||Marine Center Classroom||125 Harbor Way|
|Monday 6:45 am||NA Varied Format||Alano Club of Santa Barbara||235 East Cota Street|
|Monday 7:30 pm||Discussion/Participation||Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church||909 North La Cumbre Road|
|Tuesday 6:45 am||NA Varied Format||Alano Club of Santa Barbara||235 East Cota Street|
|Tuesday 7:30 pm||Discussion/Participation||Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church||909 North La Cumbre Road|
|Wednesday 6:45 am||NA Varied Format||Alano Club of Santa Barbara||235 East Cota Street|
|Wednesday 7:30 pm||Speaker Discussion/Participation||First Presbyterian Church||21 East Constance Avenue
|Thursday 6:45 am||NA Varied Format||Alano Club of Santa Barbara||235 East Cota Street|
|Thursday 6:30 pm||Women Discussion & Participation||Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church||909 North La Cumbre Road|
|Thursday 7:30 pm||Men Discussion/Participation||First Congregational Church||2101 State Street|
|Thursday 8:00 pm||Discussion/Participation||Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church||909 North La Cumbre Road|
|Friday 6:45 am||NA Varied Format||Alano Club of Santa Barbara||235 East Cota Street|
|Friday 12:00 pm||Alano Club of Santa Barbara||235 East Cota Street|
|Friday 7:30 pm||Discussion/Participation Candlelight||First United Methodist Church||305 East Anapamu Street|
|Saturday 10:00 am||Discussion/Participation||Ledbetter Beach||At the Picnic Tables|