Heroin Abuse: Why Pain and Addiction Coexist

Heroin is a type of opioid drug derived from poppy plants. As an illegal, recreational drug, it can be sniffed, snorted or smoked in its powder form. This substance binds with opioid receptors in the brain that affect feelings of pain and pleasure.

Many prescription opioid drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin, which are used for treating chronic pain and serious conditions like cancer, have similar effects to heroin, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse. Out of all chronic pain patients misusing their opioid medication, at least four to six percent eventually switch to heroin and develop heroin abuse.


Why Opioid Users Become Heroin Users

Chronic pain patients are often prescribed with opioids to manage their pain. As their body finds relief and copes with the drug's help, they might also become tolerant of the dosage they have been originally prescribed since opioids can be highly addictive, even for short-term use.

Specialists explain that opioids trigger an endorphin release that masks how the brain reads pain. It temporarily creates this good feeling. In some cases, patients describe that opioids feel like a warm blanket that shields them from the stress and anxiety of their chronic and painful conditions.

Addiction starts when the patient develops a need for more pain medication to achieve a sense of wellness, forming drug dependence. As soon as the opioid's dose wears off, then the patient might want to regain those good feelings by taking more opioid drugs. But since these are prescribed and monitored, other patients turn to heroin.

National Institute on Drug Abuse reporting that more than 2 million Americans abuse opioids and that more than 90 Americans die by opioid overdose every day, on average.


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Risk Factors for Heroin Abuse

Heroin abuse may completely alter the structure and physiology of the patient's brain, which can bring about imbalances in the hormones. This, in turn, affects a patient's ability to process, decide, and even respond to stressful situations. It may also change the patient's behavior and demeanor.


Heroin may also result in the following complications: 

  • Infection of the heart valves and lining 
  • Skin diseases
  • Collapsed vein
  • Lung diseases
  • Increased risks for contracting Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS
  • Miscarriage in women

The sooner a patient withdraws from heroin abuse, the better the chances of successful recovery. Therefore, our drug treatment center in Los Angeles strongly advise that if a patient is showing signs of dependency, an intervention to facilitate rehabilitation must be made right away.


Where to seek treatment and support for heroin withdrawal?

Drug withdrawal, including heroin or opiods, can be a scary and intimidating endeavor, with all the life-threatening symptoms that come with it. So, it’s vital to start the detoxification and withdrawal process in a safe and secure environment, such as a drug treatment center.

A drug detoxification or treatment center can help you overcome heroin addiction by creating an individualized treatment plan to address your specific needs. They will also devise a plan of care during your detox process to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms. This may include the following:

  • Proper withdrawal management techniques
  • Counselling
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Psychiatric treatment
  • Psychoeducation
  • Aftercare plan

Withdrawal management programs do not end when your symptoms subside. It includes an aftercare treatment plan to give patients the right tools to manage their cravings and avoid relapse. It may also involve educating your loved ones so they can support you towards a full recovery.

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Where to find the best recovery centers in Los Angeles?

If you are suffering from any addiction, our addiction and recovery specialists at Innovate Recovery can help you. 

At Innovate Recovery, we provide exceptional patient care and evidence-based treatment programs to ensure a safe, effective, and long-lasting recovery for our patients. Our goal is to meet the needs of each individual, as we know that every patient has unique issues. 

We believe that treatment has to be adjusted to the patient’s particular situation. We offer multiple treatment options to help patients succeed at every stage of the recovery process.  Our trained doctors and licensed health professionals will guide you every step of the way using advanced therapeutic modalities. 

Our rehab center in San Fernando Valley treats all kinds of substance abuse, including the following:

Recovery is just a phone call away! Contact Us now to get in touch with our trusted clinical staff and start your journey towards a healthy recovery! 

If you greatly value privacy and comfort as you recover from substance abuse addiction, then our California luxury rehab at Innovate Recovery and Rehab Center is for you. 


The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.


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