Heroin is a highly addictive opioid drug that causes short-term pleasure followed by long-term health problems. The U.S. opioid crisis affects over 900,000 people annually. According to CDC, heroin use leads to thousands of deaths every year.
Heroin use disorder is a serious problem that requires immediate medical attention. Without professional medical assistance, quitting heroin is nearly impossible. Thankfully, patients can choose from various rehabilitation facilities with drug detox and recovery services. At New Directions for Women, we design a comprehensive rehabilitation program for women who want to battle their heroin addiction.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is an opioid drug manufactured from morphine, a natural narcotic derived from opium. This drug has highly-addictive properties. The first time a person tries heroin, they initiate a pattern of use that can be dangerous to their health and lead to a lethal outcome.
Repeated use of heroin causes physical and emotional dependence. If a dependent person doesn’t receive a regular heroin dose, they start experiencing withdrawal or abstinence symptoms. These symptoms can occur in just a few hours after the last use.
Appearance and Administration
Pure heroin looks like a white powder. Some types of heroin can be dark brown or black. People can use heroin in three different ways:
These methods can lead to addiction and have similar health consequences. Injections are especially dangerous since they carry the risks of infection through dirty syringes.
When a woman takes heroin, the drug reaches the brain quickly. Once in the body, it attaches itself to the brain’s opioid receptors. As a result, a person experiences a rush of happiness, euphoria, and relaxation.
When this happens, the brain “remembers” the good feeling, which can lead to addiction. The short-lived positive experience is quickly replaced with severe heroin withdrawal symptoms.
Heroin is a depressant. It depresses the central nervous system, slows down brain function, and affects a person’s breathing. When the dose reaches the body, a woman’s blood pressure and temperature drop, and the heartbeat slow down. An overdose could lead to coma or death.
Signs of Heroin Abuse
When women abuse heroin, they can exhibit a variety of signs, including
Women can also avoid their loved ones and pay less attention to personal hygiene. They have trouble concentrating at work or school, so their performance suffers.
When a woman is going through opiate detox withdrawal, she can experience the following:
For many women dependent on heroin, getting and using the drug is all that matters in life.
How Heroin Affects Women Differently Than It Affects Men
When it comes to illicit drugs, men are more likely to use them than women. Heroin isn’t an exception. Men visit emergency rooms and die from overdose more often than women do. However, it doesn’t mean that the heroin use problem is less acute for women than it is for men.
According to research, heroin use differences between men and women include:
Research shows that women are three times less likely to overdose on opioids than men. However, women are more at risk of overdosing in the first few years of their drug abuse history. Those who survive these initial years are less likely to overdose in the future.
For people struggling with heroin addiction, substance abuse treatment can be helpful. Mental health and drug addiction treatment centers provide people with the support they need to stop using. At a heroin detox center, people are removed from the substance and can work on root issues that may cause their substance use.
A well-designed, medication-assisted detox program is the first step toward successful recovery from heroin use disorder. When heroin starts leaving the body, women can experience severe withdrawal symptoms.
The detox program aims to help them through this challenging and often painful experience. Professional medical assistance is the key to ensuring successful detoxification and starting the journey toward complete recovery. Detox is a residential treatment program where the person stays overnight for monitoring and support.
New Direction for Women offers a comprehensive program for heroin detox in Orange County. After women complete the program and get the drug out of their system, rehabilitation begins.
Heroin Inpatient Treatment
Inpatient treatment is an essential part of the heroin rehab process. A facility that creates a comfortable environment for the patient is the key to staying away from drugs and focusing on recovery.
Women work with psychiatrists, therapists, and other rehab experts during inpatient rehab. A professional clinical team designs a custom program for each patient to ensure fast and effective rehabilitation. Evidence-based addiction treatment programs are provided to help people recover from substance use disorders and find long-term solutions.
The inpatient program can include different types of professional behavior therapy, wellness activities, family healing techniques, and much more. Since women with heroin addiction often have other mental health concerns, the inpatient treatment program designs holistic treatment to address them. After the inpatient program ends, women can take advantage of outpatient heroin rehab services.
Outpatient Treatment for Heroin
Some women may not feel comfortable with inpatient treatment. They can take advantage of outpatient drug rehab programs aiming to achieve the same goals while the patient lives at home. Outpatient programs offer the same treatment type, including appropriate behavioral therapy, medical assistance, and psychological support.
A woman can achieve satisfactory rehabilitation results by taking advantage of an intensive outpatient program while continuing her regular outside activities. Outpatient programs are more cost-effective than inpatient programs. However, they may only be suitable for some patients.
Finding Heroin Addiction Recovery in California
Heroin can be a physically and mentally addicting opioid that is challenging to quit. Heroin withdrawal can be common with daily use, so a medical detox is often preferred. With detox and additional rehab services, recovery from heroin addiction is possible.
New Directions for Women is a women-only heroin rehab center in Southern California. We have a variety of comprehensive rehab programs for women who want to find recovery from addiction and dual diagnosis. If you or a woman you love is struggling with heroin abuse, reach out to New Directions today. Our admissions team can answer any questions you may have and give you a better understanding of our program.