Tag Archives: Heroin Rehab

Heroin Fact and Fiction

The fictions that surround heroin addiction and heroin addiction treatment are often made up and perpetuated by heroin addicts who want reasons to avoid treatment and continue using.

It’s unfortunate that these heroin addiction myths exist, but when you take the time to discover the facts, you can get the help you need to break free from heroin addiction – or help someone you care about enroll in heroin addiction rehab.

If you would like assistance in finding the right heroin addiction treatment type that can provide you with detox and psychotherapeutic services, contact us at 760-548-4032.

Fiction: No One Really Uses Heroin Anymore

False. Unlike marijuana and prescription drugs, heroin is not often used by teenagers so perhaps it was this fact that spawned this heroin addiction myth. In fact, in the United States, the average age for first-time use is 24. After years of abusing other drugs and alcohol, many Americans “work their way up” to heroin abuse.

It is estimated that about half a million Americans live with heroin addiction and a little more than half of them actively seek treatment each year. It is estimated that just under four million Americans have used heroin in their lives; people are certainly still using this deadly drug. Check out our heroin addiction statistics page for more information.

Fact: Heroin Detox Is Effective

There are multiple types of heroin detox and each one of them provides an effective and safe way to exit heroin addiction. Monitored by medical professionals in all cases, you may choose between a long-term medicated outpatient drug rehab detox and a short-term cold turkey heroin detox done in an inpatient facility. Both ensure your health and safety in the event of complications and provide you with guidance and support from caseworkers and/or therapists.

They also guarantee that your physical addiction to the drug will be broken if you follow the treatment protocol as recommended by the doctor.

Medications are available on an outpatient or inpatient basis – methadone and Suboxone – that can provide patients with fewer and less intense withdrawal symptoms. Depending upon the dose of heroin you are taking when you quit, one type of medication will be more appropriate. Consult with your doctor and get your questions and concerns addressed before you begin.

Fiction: Heroin Addicts Always Relapse, Even After Treatment

Not true.

There is a high recidivism rate (or rate of relapse) among heroin addicts even after treatment, but a slip doesn’t necessarily constitute a return to a full-blown heroin addiction.

Some find that it takes a few trips to heroin rehab to build a sustainable base in recovery, but many find success after a single stay in treatment.
Everyone is different and will heal more or less quickly according to a variety of factors, but thousands of heroin addicts have found the healing help they need at heroin rehab.


Fact: Heroin Can Be Addictive After a Single Use

Most heroin addicts report that they developed a physical dependence upon the drug after a few days of regular use. Many of them say, however, that their psychological craving for the drug happened after the first use. Depending on the other types of drugs and alcohol you use, your genetic predisposition for the development of addiction and the presence (or absence) of other psychological issues, it is possible to develop a heroin addiction that requires treatment after a very short period of time.

Fiction: Heroin Addiction “Preserves” Its Users

Woman with heroin needleNot true. There is a rampant myth that heroin addiction in some way protects its users from chronic illness and aging. In fact, heroin addiction can cause bacterial infections, heart lining and heart valve infections, arthritis, collapsed veins, poor circulation, liver and kidney diseases, and lung ailments like tuberculosis and pneumonia.

It absolutely does not keep you young or protect you from colds, the flu or any other disease.

In fact, heroin addicts are more likely to contract diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C.

Fiction: Withdrawal Symptoms Can Be Avoided Through Rapid Detox

No. There is no magic surgery, potion or bullet that will help you avoid heroin detox withdrawal symptoms if you are addicted to heroin. Blood transfusions or surgeries that profess to break you of your physical dependence upon heroin overnight are dangerous. Books, subscription programs or supplements said to help you treat heroin addiction at home are nothing more than a scam. The only way that you can break free from heroin addiction safely and effectively is to enroll in a heroin detox and addiction treatment program that stays with you from start to finish and gives you the time you need to stop using heroin at your own pace.

Fact: Heroin Rehab Is Available for You

If you are ready to get help quitting heroin, contact us today. We can help you find a heroin rehab that can help. Call 760-548-4032 now.

3 Steps to Effective Family Therapy After Heroin Addiction

Families take many forms in America today, but one thing all families share is an intense emotional connection between members. When a family member has a heroin addiction, however, emotional ties weaken.

A heroin addiction responds best to treatments that help someone understand how heroin use affects him and others. People with addictions easily deny problems, instead focusing on getting and taking more drugs. Treatments that allow a person to understand how addiction destroys personal life and family life motivate him to want to change and then seek change.[1]

Man consoling woman with hand on shoulderWhen family members are part of treatment, they learn to support a loved one in sobriety and heal damage brought by addiction, such as loss of trust and loss of respect. Plus, families who lived through a loved one’s heroin addiction need treatment to process their own feelings and learn ways to help a person in recovery. It’s important for everyone to take part in family therapy during and after heroin treatment. Such participation helps family members heal after an addict damages relationships during active addiction and offers techniques for building relationships as a loved one gets sober.[2]

Three basic steps help family members healing after heroin addiction strikes: 1) achieving sobriety for the addicted family member, 2) adjusting to sobriety, and 3) learning to maintain sobriety for the long haul. Though there may be slips or occasional relapses due to the chronic nature of drug addiction, the goal is to make drugs and alcohol a distant memory of daily life for anyone in the family.

Attaining Sobriety: The First Step in Family Therapy During Heroin Rehab

Getting into treatment is a huge step for an addicted loved one. Research shows heroin addicts need a personalized treatment plan – some respond best to a combination of talk therapy and medication-assisted treatment (drugs that manage heroin cravings, such as methadone) or talk therapy alone to allow complete abstinence.[3] The detox process is only the first step toward learning to stay sober; an addict needs support, especially family support, to live in recovery.

No matter how the rest of the family members feel about an addict’s behavior during active addiction, it’s important to be supportive. Choose a heroin rehab that incorporates family therapy into the overall treatment program and includes the needs of family members in treatment plan decisions.

Adjusting to Sobriety: Family Therapy During and After Heroin Rehab

During heroin rehab and after heroin detox, the focus should be on adjusting to life without heroin addiction. Understandably, the addict will go through the biggest adjustments. She must learn how to live a sober life again and interact with people on a more honest and forthcoming level. Living with a newly sober person is an adjustment for family members, too. Many families have trouble believing their family member is clean or will remain that way for long. Rebuilding trust begins during this period at family therapy.

Families who participate in treatment with their loved one give her a greater chance of entering treatment in the first place, a stronger likelihood of staying in treatment, and better odds of staying sober for longer.

Treatment programs that integrate family therapy into the plan explore reasons behind an addiction and involve family members in improving the situation after treatment. Family members should prepare to take responsibility for their own roles in the addiction, whether they contributed by ignoring the problem or enabling it as a way to keep people outside the family from seeing the addiction.

Maintaining Sobriety: Continued Family Therapy After Heroin Rehab

Couple in therapy sessionOnce the addicted family member successfully completes heroin rehab, family therapy should not stop. Finding a family therapist who specializes in drug addiction treatment helps everyone in the family as the addicted member works on maintaining sobriety. Knowing that the support of the family is behind her is crucial to success in long-term recovery.

While there is a place for peer recovery support groups, the participation of family members in recovery greatly increases a person’s odds of success. When families recognize the ways members either promote sobriety or discourage sobriety, they learn to focus on supportive, encouraging practices. Continuing family therapy gives members a chance to break bad habits by practicing better routines and openly discussing problems before they get worse. Good family support makes up for the everyday pitfalls, such as stress and temptation, which lead to relapse. It also gives the family the chance at a more loving and richer family life.[4]

Learn About Family Therapy and Heroin Rehab at Michael’s House

Contact us today to learn more about the family therapy we provide as part of our heroin rehab program here at Michael’s House in Palm Springs. We’re here to help the entire family heal after addiction.

[1] Feldstein Ewing, S. W., Apodaca, T. R., & Gaume, J. (2016). Ambivalence: Prerequisite for success in motivational interviewing with adolescents? Retrieved Apr. 3, 2017 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4963310/

[2] Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (2004) Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 39. Retrieved Apr. 3, 2017 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22514845/.

[3] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction. Retrieved Apr. 3, 2017, from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction.

[4] Liddle, Howard A.; Rowe, Cynthia L.; Dakof, Gayle A.; Ungaro, Rocio A. & Henderson, Craig E. (2004). Early Intervention for Adolescent Substance Abuse: Pretreatment to Posttreatment Outcomes of a Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing Multidimensional Family Therapy and Peer Group Treatment. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. Retrieved Apr. 3, 2017 from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02791072.2004.10399723.

3 Types of Heroin Detox

Methadone maintenance is considered the gold standard in heroin addiction treatment.[1] That is, most heroin addicts opt to take methadone on an outpatient basis when they are ready to stop using heroin. As part of their program, they must follow the federal guidelines[2] for the drug that requires them to show up in person at a methadone clinic or drug rehab and take a dose of methadone in the presence of a medical professional. They are also required to check in with their case manager regularly and attend group sessions. If they follow these guidelines without fail and pass all drug tests, they can earn take-home doses that allow them to bring a couple days’ worth of their medication home so that they don’t have to come into the clinic every day.

Heroin Detox: Suboxone Treatment

Suboxone treatment is the latest in heroin detox, and its big draw is the lesser federal standards and regulation. Heroin addicts don’t have to go to a clinic to take their Suboxone dose each day. Rather, they need only to find a doctor certified to dispense Suboxone, and then they are free to take their prescription for the drug in the comfort of their own homes. This is usually more appropriate for those with low-dose heroin addictions. For those addicted to high doses of heroin, methadone may be more appropriate until they can get the dose low enough to make the switch to Suboxone.[3]

Heroin Detox: Inpatient Options

You don’t have to take medication for months or years to detox from heroin if you don’t want to. You always have the option of choosing an inpatient heroin detox that prescribes nothing more than the medication you need to treat specific withdrawal symptoms. Rather than giving you replacement—like those discussed above which are medications meant to mimic the opiate action of heroin in your brain—you are given non-addictive medications to treat the aches and pains associated with withdrawal.

Heroin Detox: During and After

No matter which type of heroin detox you choose, it’s important to take part in addiction treatment that addresses the psychological dependence on the drug.

If you choose an inpatient heroin rehab, you can begin while you are doing your detox at the treatment center. If you opt for an outpatient heroin detox, you can choose an outpatient heroin addiction treatment program to complement. Addiction counseling, 12-step meetings, personal therapy and alternative treatments like yoga, meditation, acupuncture and other therapies can all work together to help you stay on track.

If you would like to start with an inpatient heroin rehab, contact us at Michael’s House for more information. We want to help you begin a life apart from drug use and abuse. We can even check your insurance coverage to see what may be available to you. Please call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline today.

[1] https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/treatment/methadone

[2] https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/legislation-regulations-guidelines

[3] https://www.fda.gov/downloads/drugs/drugsafety/postmarketdrugsafetyinformationforpatientsandproviders/ucm191533.pdf

Surviving Heroin Addiction

Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs. People who use heroin often develop a tolerance, which means that they need higher and/or more frequent doses of the drug to get the desired effects.[1] 

Heroin can take over someone’s life in short order. Each time you use heroin, overdose is a possibility. It’s like playing Russian Roulette –when the gun points at you, will it be loaded this time? Or will it be a friend that dies this time? It can be hard to see a way out of this kind of hellish maze. People can and do survive heroin addiction, but it takes courage to get help.

How Heroin Works And How It Kills

Heating heroin in spoonA heroin user likely snorts or injects the drug into the blood stream. Heroin users are commonly thought of as urban homeless criminals, but heroin use cuts across all ages and lifestyles. In 2012, approximately 669,000 Americans reported using heroin in the past year. This figure is up from an estimated 373,000 in 2007.[2]

Heroin acts as a depressant to the natural body systems in charge of breathing. Because of this, a heroin habit can lead to respiratory failure that leads to overdose which may cause death. The purity of heroin is often unpredictable. This fact makes the risk of an overdose ever present. The same amount of heroin used from one day to the next can be disappointing or fatal. It is also common for heroin deaths to occur from the drug being taken with other physical depressants like alcohol.

Heroin And A Risky Lifestyle

Heroin users are likely to do just about anything to be sure they have a steady supply. Not only do they have a strong urge to use the drug over and over, but they also try to avoid deeply unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. If getting heroin means they need to take risks, then they will take whatever risks are necessary.

People may offer sexual favors for drugs or cash. Others may take money from friends and family, commit crimes, or even sell drugs to get what they need. They spend time with shady characters that will not hesitate to kill if they don’t like the drug deal. A drug addict risks being put behind bars and getting caught up in a life of crime.

Getting Sober From Heroin

Getting sober is not easy, but it is definitely worth it. Heroin addicts in recovery can have withdrawal symptoms for several days at a time. Cravings can come and go long after their last use. Sobriety is ultimately better than active addiction, but daily life can be full of tests and temptations.

It takes a good support network and commitment to a high-quality drug program to make sobriety work. But even with all this, the addict has to want and work for sobriety each and every day. They have to be the one who makes sobriety their ultimate priority. Over time, sobriety can become more familiar than addiction. Surviving heroin addiction is possible – contact us today to learn more or get started today.

[1] https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/heroin What Is Heroin?

[2] https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin/scope-heroin-use-in-united-states What Is the Scope of Heroin Use in the United States?

Long Island Heroin Addiction Problem Continues to Grow

Addiction to heroin and prescription drugs has become a national epidemic, and New York has not been immune. In recent years, violent and grotesque details involving heroin addicts have been reported in Long Island and surrounding areas. New York is doubling its efforts to combat the growing problem of addiction.

“Every level of government must increase efforts to address the heroin crisis in New York,” New York congresswoman Nita M. Lowey: “Too many people in the Lower Hudson Valley are struggling with heroin and other opioid addictions. We must bolster efforts to combat this heroin epidemic.”

In response to a 2014 Heroin Task Force report, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced an $8 million dollar initiative to combat heroin addiction in the state.The question remains, will it be enough to make a difference?

The Challenge Facing Long Island

Long Island lighthouseThe sheer amount of heroin taken in recent drug busts, the number of those dying due to heroin overdose or heroin-related accidents, and the rate at which the wealthy residents of Long Island continue to fund local drug dealers is horrifying to New York officials. With approximately five New Yorkers dying daily from drug overdose and about two dying from heroin overdose each week in Long Island alone, the resurgence of heroin use is a frightening proposition.2

According to Center for Disease Control, factors in the rising rate of heroin use include its increased availability and relatively low price compared to prescription opioids. Approximately 75,000 New Yorkers have used heroin in the two-year period of 2013 through 2014.

It is unclear why New York treatment admission rates for heroin and prescription opioid abuse are so much higher than national averages. Relevant factors may include New York’s higher-than-average rates of insurance coverage and the state’s efforts to provide access to drug addiction treatment.3

Combating This Crisis

The first efforts to stem the tide of heroin addiction in New York started with Nassau lawmakers, proposing tougher sentencing for drug dealers connected to fatal overdoses. Then, Nassau County officials started a new awareness and educational campaign aimed at teaching young people about heroin, addiction, and the inherent dangers involved in experimenting with this highly addictive substance. Officials have expanded narcotic investigations and announced an anti-drug curriculum for the local school systems to further discourage youth from getting involved with heroin.

Despite being on the forefront of nationally-recognized best practices, the epidemic continues to grow in New York. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo convened a team of experienced healthcare providers, policy advocates, educators, parents and New Yorkers in recovery to serve on a Heroin and Opioid Task Force in 2016 to develop a comprehensive plan to bring the crisis under control. In the 2016 fiscal year, New York State allocated over $1.4 billion to the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services to fight this battle.2

Governor Cuomo has sought to increase access to emergency overdose antidotes and has passed laws to crack down on “doctor shopping” for painkiller prescriptions, often a gateway to heroin use.4

Strategies and Solutions

In addition to prevention measures and judicial punishments to deter those already in the business of selling heroin, Long Island is also looking at ways to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of rehab treatment for those struggling with heroin addiction. Suboxone, approved by the FDA for opiate addiction treatment, is already legal and prescribed in Long Island. Now Suffolk County officials are considering making this prescription a part of adolescent treatment to make the withdrawal symptoms more manageable.

Another goal has been to help parents identify heroin use and abuse among their teens, even when they don’t display the typical symptoms associated with heroin addiction.

Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey says: “We are seeing a lot of straight-A students and athletes that are heroin users. In almost all cases, parents do not suspect their kid is a heroin user because they are getting good grades or they are a successful athlete. By the time parents become aware of the problem it is too late. Their kids are hooked.”

In Massapequa – one of the hardest hit areas in Long Island – a new education program called “Too Good For Drugs” is in the works.2

Working Together to Win

Prevention education, early identification of heroin addiction, and early drug rehab treatment seem to be the best ways to combat the heroin addiction crisis in Long Island and beyond. The hope is that if there isn’t a market for heroin and other dangerous drugs, the dealers on the street will go peddle their wares elsewhere or, better yet, decide that dealing drugs isn’t profitable enough and find a new line of work.

Governor Cuomo Announces $8 Million to Combat Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse Among Young Adults Statewide, New York State.” Governor.ny.gov. February 27, 2015.Web. Accessed 5 June 2017.

“Combatting the Heroin and Opioid Crisis.” Heroin and Opioid Task Force Report. Governor.ny.gov. 9 June 2016. Web. Accessed 5 June 2017.

“Prescription Opioid Abuse and Heroin Addiction in New York State.” New York State Comptroller.June 2016. Web. Accessed 5 June 2017.

Bredderman, Will. “Andrew Cuomo Declares Current Heroin Crisis ‘Worse Than’ Crack Epidemic.” Observer. 25 May 2016. Web. Accessed 5 June 2017.

Top 10 Ways to Tell If Someone You Know is Using Heroin

Heroin user with needleMake no mistake; heroin is one of the most dangerous drugs available today in the United States. Heroin comes from morphine, an element found in the sap of opium poppies. Then the sap is turned into a white or brown powder or a black, sticky substance (black tar heroin).

Heroin is also an illegal, highly addictive drug. It can be sniffed, snorted, smoked, or injected into a muscle or vein. It is often mixed (cut) with other drugs or substances such as sugar, baking soda, powdered milk, or even poison. In some cases, heroin is used with other drugs such as cocaine or alcohol.

If someone you know has become addicted to heroin, they’re probably not going to come right out and tell you. So that means you are going to have to figure it out for yourself and that means knowing the signs and symptoms of heroin use.

The top ten signs of heroin use are:

  1. Grogginess, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting
  2. Euphoria and feeling immense pleasure
  3. Shallow breathing
  4. Abscesses or scars on the arms (or other areas where heroin might be injected)
  5. Often seems confused or disoriented
  6. The individual has contracted Hepatitis B/C or HIV/AIDS
  7. Poor performance at work or school
  8. The individual has withdrawn from friends and family (and begun hanging out with a new, “sketchier” set of friends)
  9. He or she has asked to borrow from you (and has been secretive about the reasons why they need it) or has stolen from you.
  10. The individual has had run-ins with law enforcement – after never having encountered any before.

Lastly, drug paraphernalia is another sign of heroin use. These supplies used to inject heroin are often called an outfit or rig. A rig typically consists of a spoon or bottle cap to cook the drug, a syringe or needle to inject it and a tourniquet or towel to find a vein. Cotton and matches are often used as well.

Heroin use is a very serious matter. Don’t overlook this drug use by passing it off as experimentation. Heroin overdose deaths have gone from less than 4,000 in 2002 to close to 20,000 in 2016. Overall, this is a 5.9 fold increase in fatalities.[1]

If a friend or family member exhibits one or more of the signs and symptoms above, it is possible that he or she may be using heroin. If this is the case, they need your help. Please call the number below to get in touch with one of our admissions coordinators. We are glad to answer your questions. We can even help you find out what forms of treatment are covered by insurance. If you don’t have insurance, that is not a problem either. We offer many flexible plans so you can get the information you need to make a decision regarding your loved one. Don’t wait another day. Get the professional care you—or your loved one—need(s) today.

[1] https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates Overdose Death Rates