A highly addictive substance, heroin is derived from the opium poppy pod. The harvesting process includes scoring the pods and allowing the inner contents — a latex-like resin — to seep out over a period of a few days. Once this substance dries, it is scraped from the pods and refined into heroin by mixing it with morphine.
Despite how many needed help, only 285,451 people were admitted for treatment of a heroin addiction in 2012.
Treatment for heroin abuse and addiction is vital. Left untreated, the dependency grows stronger and often consumes its victims. Heroin overdose deaths doubled from 2010 to 2012 going from 1 in 100,000 to 2.1 per 100,000 in a study of 28 states, more than doubling. In some states, these rates have tripled. For example, in West Virginia, heroin-related overdose deaths totaled 22 in 2007 and more than three times that many — at 67 — in 2012.
Treatment options for heroin addiction are varied, and the most successful approaches include medication therapy. There are both outpatient and inpatient options for today’s heroin addict. Mediations assist the user by getting them through detox and weaned off heroin without having to feel the intensity of withdrawal symptoms that make them want to keep using the drug. The at-home detox patient doesn’t have this option and almost always resorts to using heroin after not being able to handle the effects of withdrawal. Buprenorphine touted an 88 percent success rate after six months in early studies. It came along in later years as a step up from methadone due to the inability for a user to get high on it, but methadone remains more popular nonetheless. Research points toward a 60 to 90 percent success rate in methadone patients.
Additionally, inpatient care virtually eliminates the possibility of relapsing while admitted. Thus, cravings are far easier to control. Sometimes additional medications can also be provided, such as benzodiazepines, to assist in decreasing the cravings, making them more manageable from a psychological standpoint. Controlling cravings is far more difficult when attempting a do-it-yourself detox at home.
Since relapse rates for heroin addiction are quite high, follow-up treatment is always recommended — something that is easier to obtain while already in residential care. Research shows that patients who start such continued care within 30 days of finishing detox take 40 percent longer to relapse back to drug use, if they even do.
Reach out to us today to discuss your detox options and take the first step in ridding your body and life of heroin for good. Our caring staff members here at Palm Beach Detox are waiting for your call.