Heroin Dependence Explained

Information to Help Understand Heroin Dependence

Since America faces with a massive opioid epidemic claiming as many as 115 lives each day in the United States alone, according to the CDC, understanding an opiate such as heroin is very important for both you and your loved one’s safety. To better understand heroin dependence, we will explore the different facets of the drug itself and what happens to a person when they become addicted to it.

What is Heroin Dependence?

When someone is dependent on a substance such as heroin, it means that they feel unable to function at all unless they have a dose of heroin. Drug-seeking behavior takes over due to the chemicals and structural changes that occur in an individual’s brain. This behavior makes the person do things they would normally never do such as steal property just so they can continue with their habit. Heroin dependence reaches a point where the substance becomes as important as food or water.

Among the characteristics of heroin dependence is an intense craving, withdrawal symptoms, tolerance and various other negative effects that the abuse of the drug causes, especially over the long term.

When is it Dependence?

There are several heroin dependence symptoms that can be seen that can let you know when it is time to seek help. Heroin dependence symptoms include the following:

  • Altering your plans or daily schedules to accommodate acquiring or taking heroin.
  • A feeling of powerlessness over controlling the abuse of heroin, even in the face of known negative effects it has on your life.
  • Heroin use becomes uncontrollable: trying to slow down doesn’t work and you frequently end up taking more than you meant to.
  • With repeated use, the body tries to counteract the effects leading to a tolerance. This causes the person to have to keep using more of the drug to get similar effects.
  • Heroin withdrawal symptoms start a few hours after the last dose was taken. These symptoms are much like intense flu-like symptoms.

Heroin Addiction Recovery

Heroin addiction can negatively alter a person’s life completely. Almost all aspects of their life are impacted by the abuse. When dependence has formed to an opiate such as heroin, it can be difficult if not impossible to stop by yourself. The intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms become so overwhelming that sheer willpower alone is not enough to get you through it.

Thankfully, heroin addiction recovery is possible with the aid of a rehab such as WhiteSands. Rehabs are able to help an addict handle the withdrawal symptoms and cravings through the use of medications such as buprenorphine and methadone. Not only is the detox easier on the person, but they can be monitored for possible medical complications.

Recovery does not end at detox. Without treatment programs that aim to help the addict through their emotional and behavioral problems, it is likely that the person will return to heroin abuse after detox. Treatment programs are designed to bring about significant changes in the person’s attitude towards life, their behavior and their overall mental health. This is achieved through one-on-one and group therapy. In some cases, the use of alternative therapy such as working with horses or biofeedback can be very useful, and are added to the treatment plan.

Also Read: Tampa Drug Treatment Center

Whether you can afford to take time off work or school or have responsibilities in your life that you can’t ignore, there are programs that can fit your individual needs. Find help today by calling WhiteSands at (877) 855-3470.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.