One of the most illicit drugs used worldwide, heroin is responsible for inducing pleasurable feelings in an individual while disturbing the heart rate, sleep, and breathing cycle. And when taken in higher doses, it can be addictive and may lead to a fatal overdose. The reason why heroin affects an individual’s body function is that it binds with brain receptors to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for happiness and pleasure, in more amounts than usual.
However, the effects are only temporary, which makes people take more heroin to achieve the desired results. Hence, people build up a tolerance for it and take more frequent or higher doses, thereby developing heroin addiction or opioid use disorder. Also, as per the stats, heroin held the largest share of the market in Scotland, with 39%.
Though heroin addiction can happen to anyone, there are factors, such as heavy tobacco use, unemployment, family history of addiction, history of risk-taking behaviour, history of severe depression and anxiety, and exposure to high-risk environments that contributes to it, professional heroin addiction treatment is available and effective.
This article will explain the signs of heroin addiction, different methods of treatment available for heroin use and how you can find appropriate rehab centres in the UK.
Signs of Heroin Addiction
Though heroin addiction is hard to detect in the early stages as an addicted person goes to great lengths to hide the use, a few mentioned below makes it easier to find heroin rehabs on time.
● Memory problems
● Agitation or drowsiness
● Slurred speech
● Constricted pupils
● Needle marks
● Reduced sense of pain
● Runny nose or nose sores
● Problems at school or work
● Risky or dangerous behaviour
● Changes in appearance or decline in personal hygiene
● Changes in behaviour, like sudden secrecy or aggression
● Money issues, such as missing money or needing more
Detoxification, inpatient, and outpatient heroin rehabs are the common treatment methods for heroin addiction. However, in order to be effective, they should be tailored to an individual’s needs, which requires the assessment of the following factors, such as:
● How long the drug has been used?
● How severe the opioid addiction is?
● Whether a person has legal or employment problems
● Whether a person use any other substances
● If a person has any medical or mental health issue
● If a person has special age, gender, or cultural needs that should be addressed during the heroin addiction treatment process
Therefore, being in the right setting is essential to achieve the treatment goals an individual has.
Inpatient Heroin Rehab
Heroin addiction treatment typically involves two types of inpatient rehab centres in the UK.
First is standard inpatient treatment, which usually lasts about 30 days and takes place in a hospital or freestanding treatment centre. In this type of heroin rehab, individual or group counselling sessions are organised under the supervision of medical professionals so that people get around-the-clock support. The counselling sessions include behavioural therapy techniques, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). In severe cases of addiction, FDA-approved medications can also be used.
Other inpatient heroin rehab includes residential programs, which last about six months or longer and typically occur in freestanding treatment facilities or a group home. This type of rehab is well-structured and provides intensive behavioural techniques. In this setting, staff and other residents are taught to take responsibility for their actions to become productive members of society.
In addition, people having more extreme heroin addictions and an unstable home environment may benefit from specialised programs available at inpatient facilities, such as dual diagnosis treatment for heroin addiction, luxury heroin rehab programs, or treatment programs for veterans, women, and LGBTQ people.
Outpatient Heroin Rehab
Unlike inpatient settings, outpatient heroin rehab typically occurs in a clinic or office setting. In this rehab, patients attend scheduled individual and group counselling sessions and medication assistance provided by psychiatrists and nurse appointments. However, the length of treatment may vary, depending on the different treatment goals and progress each individual makes.
Outpatient treatment is much more flexible than inpatient because it allows the adjustment in the treatment intensity according to people’s requirements. For example, partial hospitalisation programs (PHP) are similar to inpatient treatment, providing at least 20 hours of treatment sessions per week and qualifying as the most intensive. On the other hand, intensive outpatient treatment is a step down from PHP, providing at least 9 hours of treatment services per week.
The standard outpatient rehab offers less than 9 hours of treatment services but allows people to stay home and attend treatment sessions by visiting the facility. This way, patients can work, go to school, and attend to responsibilities at home while recovering. Hence, outpatient rehabs benefit people with mild to moderate addictions who have a supportive family network, access to reliable transportation, are employed or attend school, and live in safe and stable home environments.
Medical detox or detoxification occurs when a person with heroin addiction starts experiencing withdrawal symptoms due to quitting it. It is usually performed at an inpatient, residential setting or a freestanding treatment centre. During detox, the patients receive 24/7 medical supervision and care so they don’t relapse or experience severe withdrawal symptoms. The medical supervisors also ensure the detoxification process is safe and comfortable for the patients. Common withdrawal symptoms that may occur include:
● Pain in the muscles and bones
● Uncontrollable leg movements
● Strong cravings
● Increases in blood pressure, pulse, and body temperature
Though heroin withdrawal symptoms are not life-threatening, they can aggravate other symptoms. For example, diarrhoea and vomiting may result in dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Hence, detoxification is an essential step that must be taken for addiction recovery under medical supervision. Also, detox is not an alternative to comprehensive heroin addiction treatment.
Getting into a Heroin Rehab Centre
Finding a rehab centre in the UK for opioid or heroin addiction treatment isn’t an easy task, but there are specific steps that one can take to make the process easier, including:
● Consult your doctor or therapist first to understand your condition or recommendation for a good facility that meets your needs.
● Reach out to your healthcare provider for an assorted list of rehab facilities in your area covered by your insurance plan.
● Brainstorm online to find the best heroin rehab centres available around you and narrow them down based on your criteria.
Starting heroin addiction treatment at any rehab can be difficult and involve a strict evaluation of a person’s needs. However, doing so will help patients get the best setting and a personalised treatment plan. Hence, before entering or choosing the rehab, one must learn more about the current and past substance abuse, physical and mental health history, living situation, family history of substance abuse, a physical exam, any problems they have with social relationships and work, and any legal issues. Counselling services Toronto also offer professional care.
So, don’t wait; contact the rehab centre today and resolve any queries you have about the treatment. They will help you understand what you can expect from the heroin addiction treatment plan, what your insurance will cover, and how long it will take.