Is it possible to recover from heroin addiction?
Yes, heroin addiction is a treatable disease.
Unfortunately, there is no “cure” for addiction, but there are ways to manage it. Therapy, in conjunction with treatment, is often where recovering users learn healthy ways to deal with their addiction. There has also been extensive scientific research done on addiction, so you can be assured that the methods available have been tested and proven to show positive results.
You might relapse while in treatment or even after you complete treatment. If this happens, this doesn’t mean that you have failed or that treatment has failed. Sometimes, relapsing is part of the recovery process. However, many treatment programs are designed to prevent relapse, and people are more likely to relapse when they stop following their treatment plan.
How can I detox from heroin safely?
Detoxification with medical supervision is the safest way to detox.
The withdrawal symptoms you may experience can be intense and difficult to handle. Medical professionals are trained to help drug addicts endure the unpleasant withdrawals. They are also able to prescribe medications that can help ease the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms.
Anyone going through detoxification for heroin is at an increased risk of overdosing. The sam dosage that got you high before detox could be a dangerous amount after you have stopped using.
In extreme cases, if you do overdose or you withdrawal symptoms become too strong to handle, you will probably have to be hospitalized.
To talk to a professional about safely detoxing from heroin, call us at 701-380-5836. We would be happy to help you start your journey to living an addiction-free life.
How can I inject safely?
As mentioned earlier, frequently using increases your tolerance to heroin, so if you are going to use after some time of not using, be EXTREMELY careful because you could overdose. You might be in such shock that you miss your vein or measure incorrectly.
Some ways to make injecting safer are to:
- Use one needle for one use. Do not reuse needles. Needles are not meant to be reused.
- Do not share needles (or other supplies used to inject) with other people. You can transmit blood-borne pathogens this way.
- Inject in different spots. If you inject on the same spot of your body over and over, scar tissue will develop.
- Be hygienic. Make sure you wash where you inject with soap and water.
- Use with someone. Watch out for each other. Pay attention for signs of adverse reaction or overdose.
- Have a plan. Have more than enough supplies with you and plan out what you are going to do if something goes wrong.
- Carry naloxone. Tell close family and friends that you have it in case of an emergency, and have more than one dose, if possible.
Can you use heroin and live a normal life?
Heroin is highly addictive. So you’ll likely be spending a lot of money and time trying to get your fix. You’ll also build a tolerance and your dosage will likely increase the longer/ more you use. Because of this, you will experience withdrawal symptoms, which are very uncomfortable, if you try to go without it.
Additionally, drug abuse can lead to financial instability because users tend to priorities their drug use over other areas of their life. Some people even steal money from friends and family to fuel their addiction, which in turn ruins relationships.
Using heroin also changes the physiology of the brain and causes long-term hormonal and neuronal imbalances. Studies have shown that heroin use can cause deterioration of the brain’s white matter, which may affect decision-making abilities, the ability to regulate behavior, and how you respond to stressful situations.
How do I keep myself from OD’ing?
The best way to prevent overdosing is to quit using.
Obviously, that is easier said than done. The next best way to prevent overdose is to have a plan before you use. For example, check your measurements every time, use with someone else present who can check for signs of overdose, carry naloxone, etc..
Some ways of taking drugs are more dangerous than others. Injecting or inhaling a drug tends to make it get to your brain quicker than other ways, and it can increase your chances of overdosing.
If you are concerned about your drug use or overdosing, contact your doctor. They can give you good advice for safely using drugs and direct you to treatment programs that can help you manage your addiction.
If you are uncomfortable talking to your doctor, you can contact us! We have non-judgmental professionals available 24/7 to help people like you overcome their drug dependency. We understand how difficult heroin addiction can be. Call us at 701-380-5836 today!
For Loved Ones
What are some signs that someone is using heroin?
Pay attention to your loved one’s behavior. If you notice any unusual changes, you might what to check up on them.
Typical signs of heroin usage include:
- slurred speech
- lack of awareness
- constriction of pupils
- marks on skin (from injecting with needles)
If you notice these signs, talk to your loved one about their potential drug use. You might be the first person who knows about it. If your loved one denies that they are using, try to take them to a doctor to get their symptoms checked out anyway. If they do admit to using, offer to help them find help for their addiction. There are plenty of treatment options out there; one of them will be the perfect fit for your loved one.
What do I do if I suspect my family member or friend is using?
If one of your loved ones is using heroin, you will need the help of others. You cannot fix them on your own.
A first, easier, step to take, is to have your loved one explore this page and other pages on our site, that way they can get an idea of some ways their addiction may be negatively impacting them and those around them, and to show them that there are ways to get help.
A second, more difficult step, is to have an intervention. An intervention is a planned out meeting to talk to an addict about their addiction. Interventions include close friends, family members, and sometimes people from the user’s religious activities or work. The goal of an intervention is to get a user to agree to get professional help. Do not attack become confrontational at an intervention. Create a supportive environment for the user. The hope is that the user will feel so loved and supported by those at an intervention that they get help for themselves and for those around them.
Unfortunately, talking to your loved one once or having one intervention might not be enough. You may have to be persistent and have several conversations about their addiction and behavior with them. However, the betterment of their health is worth it. If you need help organizing an intervention or what like to speak to a professional about your concern for a loved one, call us at 701-380-5836 today.
What happens if someone uses heroin and stimulants together?
The combination of using heroin and stimulants together is called “speedballing”. The use of these two drugs together causes a “push-pull” reaction in the brain, because stimulants are “uppers” and heroin is a “downer”. People use cocaine and heroin together to get an intense rush with a high that is supposed to combine the effects of both drugs, while hoping to have minimal negative effects. However, that is not the case.
Most times, cocaine is the choice of stimulant used with heroin. Combining these two drugs can be deadly. Cocaine can cause anxiety, high blood pressure, and irregular heartbeat, whereas heroin can cause drowsiness and difficulty breathing. It’s not hard to see how the combination of these side effects could be problematic. The two together can result in uncontrolled and uncoordinated motor skills, and the risk of stroke, heart attack, aneurysm, or respiratory failure, which all could lead to death.
Educate your loved one on the consequences of combining heroin and stimulants. If you ever encounter your loved one having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.
Can my loved one get off of heroin?
Yes, heroin addiction is treatable.
There are many treatment programs available for heroin addicts. Some treatment options may include detox, individual or group counseling, residential treatment, or something completely different. No single method of treatment works for everyone. Nevertheless, the user has to want to make changes and stick with their program in order for it to be successful. They won’t get proper results if they don’t put in the effort.
Recovery from addiction means no longer using drugs and utilizing new, drug-free ways of thinking, feeling, and dealing with problems. This takes time and commitment to achieve. The longer a person had been using, the longer it is going to take for them to recover, as their brain has to undo all the damage it has undergone.
A professional can give your loved one an evaluation and recommend their best suggestions for them. If you need help finding a place to get an evaluation, or would like to talk about addiction treatment in general, call us at 701–380-5836. Our staff would be more than happy to help you or your loved one get on the path to recovery.
What are some things I should not do?
When handling addiction, you need to be tactful.
Don’t be confrontational. Being confrontational is a good way to receive a defensive response. A user will probably feel attacked if you approach them with anger or disgust and go on to tell them all the things they are doing wrong. Instead, be compassionate and make sure the addict feels cared for and understood.
Don’t be close minded. Quitting drug use when you have an addiction is not easy. Don’t think your loved one can “just quit”. Your love one’s brain has gone through chemical changes that make quitting incredibly difficult. That being said, they may relapse, even after treatment, but thats okay. Relapsing is part of recovering.
Don’t neglect your own health. Taking care of your loved one is very important, but you can’t take care of them if you aren’t doing well. It can also be draining to help an addict. Make sure you have your own support system for when things get tough too.
Furthermore, recovering needs to be the user’s decision. You can guide them and support them along the way, but it is them who needs to make lifestyle changes and stick to their treatment plan(s).
If any of your questions went unanswered, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 701-380-5836. Our trained professionals can answer any question you may have about getting yourself or your loved one a life without drug dependency.