Heroin Addiction: How Does it Start and How Does Detox Treatment Work?
What is heroin and why is it such a powerfully addictive drug? Heroin is a very strong analgesic or pain relief drug. Like morphine, heroin is derived from opium, a well-known narcotic plant. According to pharmacological tests, heroin is more potent and thus highly effective than morphine or codeine.
The history of heroin use can be traced back to the year 1898 when the drug was first used commercially in the world of medicine by Bayer Company. It was such a highly effective drug in the medical world that many called it the wonder drug. Heroin was more effective than codeine in the treatment of pain and several respiratory diseases. It was however later found that continuous use of heroin in the treatment of pain and other conditions led to tolerance or dependence on the drug. Heroin medication caused less nausea and was more effective than morphine but unfortunately the drug was highly addictive.
As earlier stated, heroin is derived from opium. Prior to the introduction of heroin in the drug market, opium had already become a major problem for the US government, law enforcement agencies, and the medical world. In the 1850s, opium addicts were treated using morphine, which is less addictive and less potent than opium. However, morphine latter became a more serious problem than opium which made it imperative to find another “less” addictive cure. Heroin was developed as a solution to side effects of morphine but little did they know that heroin was many times more addictive than morphine. Heroin became a bigger problem than heroin. The pursuit of finding a less addictive treatment for opium addicts in the 1850s gave birth to the current problem of heroin addiction that is experienced in almost every part of the world today.
Recent studies show that heroin is the most widely abused drug in the United States today. It is only second to marijuana in terms of prevalence and usage. The US has over the years waged a long-standing battle against illegal drugs, especially heroin, in every way possible. One of the major approaches to minimizing the number of casualties resulting from the deadly heroin epidemic is the establishment of heroin treatment centers across the country.
The current state of heroin abuse and addiction in the US is alarming. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported that the number of individuals addicted to heroin in the US grew by 8,200 in 2013. To make matters worse, the majority of new addicts are young adults aged between 18 and 25 years, which is an active segment of the national population who should be working hard to contribute to the nation’s development but have been rendered useless by heroin addiction. It is for this reason that drug rehab centers and other drug treatment centers are being established in every part of the country. There are many Florida rehab centers which offer high-quality heroin addiction treatment to help combat the drug menace in our society.
There are many reasons why people use and later abuse heroin. Many use it as a form of pain relief medication leading to addiction while many others use the drug as a recreational activity and end up getting addicted to it. There are other heroin users who use large amounts of the drug to cope with diseases, stress, or anxiety but unfortunately end up as heroin addicts. Fortunately, there are numerous detox and rehabilitation facilities across the country where addicts can find treatment and a lasting solution to their addiction problem. Drug-dependent individuals in Florida have a wide range of detox, care, and rehabilitation facilities to choose from including Detox of South Florida.
Heroin is a powerful habit-forming substance, which is why the US government outlawed manufacture and importation of the drug for all purposes including medical use. The prohibition is due to the fact that the drug gives its users a euphoric feeling and is therefore frequently abused for recreational purposes. Unlike other recreational drugs where people become addicted due to peer pressure or simply out of curiosity, heroin addiction is quick and often requires a few instances of usage to develop into a full-blown addiction. Heroin cannot be used as a prescription for pain relief due to injury, migraine, infection or any other disease because patients normally develop heroin dependency after a short period of usage. A patient who uses heroin for pain medication eventually becomes an addict and cannot live a day without using the drug even after the pain or disease has been cured. It is a case of transferring from one manageable pain to another form of pain that cannot be managed without the drug.
Heroin addiction could happen to anyone regardless of race, social class, and age. The drug is widely accessible through illicit channels that permeate every sector of our society. Anyone seriously looking for heroin does not need a prescription as you can find it being sold anywhere from the streets and schools to bars and clubs. The US continues to battle with illegal heroin importers, distributors, and sellers known as peddlers on a day to day basis. There are special government and law enforcement agencies such as the DEA dedicated to battling the heroin and other illicit drug menace but somehow the drug still finds its way to the general population. Due to its prevalence, the drug can affect anyone. The drug addict you meet on the streets is someone’s parent, son, daughter, brother or sister. Heroin addiction can happen to anyone, without exemption. It is such a serious epidemic that, according to national statistics, 22 people, on average, die from heroin or painkiller overdose every single day in the United States.
As one of the most widely used illegal drug in the US, heroin is not just found in urban centers but in rural communities too. It is a drug that can be found virtually anywhere in the country. It can potentially affect anyone regardless of whether you live in a huge urban metropolitan city or in a rural community. Some of the worst affected regions are in the south of the country. This is because accessibility to the drug is higher or easier in the southern states. South Florida, for example, is a well-known hotbed of heroin. It is also one of the regions that are worst hit by heroin addiction in the country. Experts have pointed out that South Florida’s heroin problem is due to the fact that the region lies closer to the border where the drug can be smuggled in with relative ease.
The good news is that Florida has a good number of excellent drug detox and rehabilitation centers catering for all types of drugs and substances addiction problems including alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamines, and other commonly abused drugs.
While the US government and law enforcement authorities strive to eliminate manufacture, importation, distribution, and sale of heroin in our schools, clubs, and streets, the health authorities have taken a leading role in deterring the use of heroin and in treating individuals addicted to the drug. All over the country, health authorities are continuously educating healthcare providers and the public about the risks posed by heroin and other drugs to the society.
Health authorities are also monitoring the prescription of other drugs used in control of chronic pain and other emotional discomforts. There are also many government and private facilities providing addiction treatment to afflicted individuals in the form of heroin detox centers and other rehab facilities. Heroin addiction treatment centers have significantly helped to reduce the number of people addicted to heroin and other opioids.
The hardest thing for a heroin addict is the immediate cessation of using the drug. This is where detoxification comes in. Many addicts consider detox the most difficult step in their quest to overcome heroin dependence. There are many enquiries about Opiate detox centers from different areas of the world.
Detoxification is the process of eliminating all traces of heroin from the body without exposing the addicted individual to serious, often life-threatening, effects or symptoms of heroin withdrawal. Most heroin addicts continue to abuse the drug for fear of suffering heroin withdrawal effects. The intensity of symptoms suffered due to withdrawal from the drug depends on many factors such as the period the user has been taking drugs and the amount of heroin consumed in a given period. Some of the common symptoms suffered during withdrawal of heroin include nausea, extreme craving for the drug, muscle spasms, chills, abdominal pain, depression, agitation, anxiety, rapid heart rate, insomnia, and psychological stress just to mention a few.
However, there is a difference between detoxification and withdrawal. Medical detox is a professionally handled process of medication and therapy that is designed to reduce or ease withdrawal symptoms as the drug is being cleaned from the patient’s system. Detox aims to help the patient go through the withdrawal stage with the least pain or discomfort. The process lasts between 5 and 7 days depending on the patient’s history of drug usage. A heavy user may take up to 7 days to complete detox.
Detox can be conducted on an inpatient or outpatient facility. Due to the severity of heroin addiction, it is highly recommended that heroin detox should be conducted in an in-patient treatment center where the patient is monitored 24/7 for any form of withdrawal complications. A strong craving for the drug and relapse are some of the key symptoms of heroin withdrawal which is why it is important for the patient to be confined in an in-patient center during the detox phase of treatment.
Self-administering detox for heroin or other substances including alcohol and opiates can be dangerous. The process should be done under medically supervised conditions. Attempting to go “cold turkey” could have serious life threatening consequences.
It is also worth pointing out that by itself is not a complete treatment of heroin addiction. Once the patient has gone through the detoxification stage, he or she will need to enter into the next stage of treatment and rehabilitation which involves group or individual counseling therapies.
In as far as treatment and rehabilitation is concerned, a lot of effective methods of treating heroin addiction have emerged in recent years. The treatment processes are either behavioral or pharmacological.
The pharmacological approach in treating heroin addiction uses scientifically proven processes and medications to ease the detox phase of treatment and in the following stages of treatment. Heroin detox programs use the pharmacological approach as the first phase of treatment. Behavioral therapy aims at empowering the patient to overcome triggers and any other cause of relapse. Behavioral therapy relies on contingency management and psychological counseling. The therapist often uses a reward system in contingency management therapies. A patient who shows improved behavior and negative drug tests earns points or is rewarded in one way or another to encourage them to develop a positive or healthier lifestyle.
The cognitive-behavioral approach is used to transform the patient’s expectation of life and provide a new psychological attitude to drugs. The therapy sessions help to increase the patient’s productivity by developing their life skills and empowering them with psychological tools and knowledge to cope with or overcome problems and challenges in life.
A good combination of different treatment approaches in important in the patient’s journey towards recovery from heroin addiction. However, it is equally important to look for the most suitable treatment programs that match the patient’s unique needs and circumstances.
The State of Florida is well-known for drug and substance abuse. In fact, it is ranked among states with the highest rates of drug dependency in the United States. Statistics show that at least 10% of the state’s population has a dependency on either drugs or alcohol. 90% of Florida teenagers have at one time or another used alcohol, half of high school seniors across the state have tried marijuana, 17% experimented with cocaine, and close to 12.5% used hallucinogens. Statistics also indicate that 40% of college students who have had problems in academic performance use alcohol while 28% of college drop-outs across the state are alcoholic.
The statistics may be disheartening, to say the least, but there is hope in the numerous rehab centers in Florida where individuals going through the challenges of heroin or substance addiction can begin their journey of recovery from addiction.
Gastroenterologist and medical professional focused on addiction.
Doctor of internal medicine, C.F.O. He is Instrumental in the success of Detox of South Florida. He is known for his cheerful, ever happy and helpful attitude.
Doctor of internal medicine and medical director. She is known for her ethical practice and expertise in the various detox protocols and programs
Director of admissions.
Director of nursing.
Director of operations.
Research studies on addiction treatment have shown that some alcohol and substance addiction treatment and follow-up procedures are more successful than others. At Detox of South Florida, we emphasize on using the best approaches in alcohol or drug detox.
Our goal is to ensure that all our patients regain their physical and mental states of health. Our treatment is therefore tailored to address each patient’s unique conditions. The treatment involves a combination of detoxification procedures such as opiate detox, alcohol detox, and heroin detox, just to mention a few, with other intervention procedures such as group and individual therapy, relapse prevention education, after-care planning, and in-house completion programs aimed at ensuring long-term sobriety and prevention of relapses.
Every patient has his or her unique type and level of addiction which is why the treatment period will normally vary from one individual to another. While some patients go through a 30-day rehab program, others will require a 60-day or 90-day program to recover from alcohol or drug addiction. The time it takes to recover will depend on the assessment report provided by the assigned medical professional who evaluates your case.
As the best rehab in Florida, we believe a relapse should not be viewed as a failure but rather as a sign to help you get back on track by making necessary adjustments to your treatment.
Our rates generally depend on the services provided. The overall cost will be determined by factors such as professional treatment fees, facilities, food, and utilities.
Unlike other addiction treatment centers across the country, at Detox of South Florida, we take your treatment and recovery process very seriously. Your treatment against addiction is a comprehensive process that may be affected by unwarranted interruptions. All visitations must, therefore, be approved well in advance by the treating therapist. We do this to ensure that your safety, focus on recovery, and stability are maintained at all times. The only visitors allowed are significant members of your family and close friends.
When I first arrived I was very nervous and I kept thinking what have I done, 3weeks later, I was clean!... read more
When I first arrived I was very nervous and I kept thinking what have I done, 3weeks later, I was clean! It was the hardest thing I've ever done! With all the love from staff and people in detox, I got through, day by day! It was like a family! Everyone was so kind and caring! Best thing I've ever done for ME😊
I was in really bad shape when I entered the detox . I had severe withdrawals from heroin and... read more
I was in really bad shape when I entered the detox . I had severe withdrawals from heroin and they were quick to address them From top to bottom, this is a fantastic place to detox. The doctors, nurses, counselors, staff - and especially the techs - are incredible and caring. The facility is clean and the food is good. The rooms are simple but sufficient. I would highly recommend Detox of South Florida to anyone that is serious about overcoming their addiction(s).
Naturalistic remedies are available which could ease both physical and emotional discomfort.... read more
Naturalistic remedies are available which could ease both physical and emotional discomfort. I learned some breathing techniques and art of balancing life. My body and mind are at peace! Heal yourself!
I've been to multiple treatment centers and detox. Bar none, Detox of South Florida is the best care I have received.... read more
I've been to multiple treatment centers and detox. Bar none, Detox of South Florida is the best care I have received. The staff is compassionate and upbeat. The supervisor (behavioral health tech) Kevin is caring and works hard to make sure all patients are safe and well taken care of. I am grateful for this facility and hope anyone in need of detox chooses this place. The facility is clean and the food is good. I am a critical person and cannot find any issue to complain about. If you have any problem while you are here, the techs and Kevin help resolve the issue in a professional manner. If Roger Ebert was still alive, he would give Detox of South Florida two thumbs up! I am happy to be here and I know anyone that comes here will be happy too.
Throughout the program, assessment was done based upon my individual need... read more
Throughout the program, the assessment was done based upon my individual need. My addiction severity on heroin was gradually decreased and I gained mental health after the course. The best place to find yourself!
I was suffering from depression and unhealthy habits which couldn’t be reduced even after consulting many doctors.... read more
I was suffering from depression and unhealthy habits which couldn’t be reduced even after consulting many doctors. Had a visit to this center and they completely changed my lifestyle. Improved my self-awareness and trained me to manage stress. Best place for treating pain and anxiety!
The care I received at Detox of South Florida was the outstanding. The staffs are so kind full with patience.... read more
The care I received at Detox of South Florida was the outstanding. The staffs are so kind full with patience.
The detox of SF was outstanding with their technology,care and Staffs are very friendly. Highly recommended !!!... read more
The detox of SF was outstanding with their technology,care and Staffs are very friendly. Highly recommended !!!
The care I received at Detox of SF was the best. The staff, from the doctors, nurses and techs, all were so caring... read more
The care I received at Detox of SF was the best. The staff, from the doctors, nurses and techs, all were so caring and made this experience as painless as possible. They really care and it means the world. They listen to what you have to say and your needs and go above and beyond to help in any way possible. Mark especially, was amazing. I'm so thankful for all they have done to help get my life and also my friend's life back. They even let him come here as a scholarship when his insurance wasn't accepted. I highly recommend Detox of SF to anyone struggling with addiction.
The gave best quality treatment to my boyfriend that was awesome now he is perfectly healthy.... read more
The gave best quality treatment to my boyfriend that was awesome now he is perfectly healthy.
They reduced all my negative behaviors through a systematic approach. I am calm... read more
They reduced all my negative behaviors through a systematic approach. I am calm and matured after their therapy. Staffs are so kind and gentle!
I am so blessed to work for such an amazing company. Being the Director of Admissions at Detox of South Florida... read more
I am so blessed to work for such an amazing company. Being the Director of Admissions at Detox of South Florida, I've seen first hand how many lives we have saved. Never have I seen or worked for a company that has helped more people, with or without insurance. The owners of the Detox of South Florida truly care. From the BHT's to Clinical and Medical, everyone works together as a whole to make sure the needs of our clients are met and they get the best care in order to obtain long-term recovery.
“Experience and Knowledge We have the experience and knowledge necessary to keep you safe through every step of the detoxification process. With our Florida Detox staff experts by your side, it is easier to feel confident in every decision you make. ”