Heroin addiction is a growing crisis that’s spreading across the state of New Jersey. Heroin continues to be the most commonly abused drug in the Montclair area, and drug-related activity has contributed to a 20% rise in the county’s homicide rate. Even affluent communities have been ravaged by heroin addiction and local drug treatment centers report a spike in admissions for heroin addiction.
For more information on getting heroin addiction treatment, call Drug Treatment Centers Montclair at (826) 205-6078 to speak with a friendly addiction specialist.
Heroin, a highly addictive and illegal drug, is derived from the milk of the poppy plant. In the first stage of production, opium is removed from the poppy pod; this substance is then refined to create morphine and then refined once again to produce the final drug product. Users can take this drug in a number of ways: It can be injected directly into a vein, injected into a muscle, snorted or smoked.
Heroin addiction has soared in recent years, likely because of a crackdown on frequently-abused prescription drugs such as OxyContin and Percocet. Doctors are more reluctant to prescribe these painkillers today, and drug manufacturers have made the pills more difficult to crush into a powder and snort. As a result of this dwindling supply, prices have surged. Heroin is a cheaper, more available and more pure drug.
When they consume this drug, users report feeling a sudden rush, followed by a warm feeling all over the body. Tolerance builds up quickly, and users begin to need increasingly higher doses in order to achieve the same intense experience. The drug is extremely addictive, and most users find themselves completely dependent within weeks. They now need the drug in order to head off the brutal symptoms of withdrawal.
Withdrawal can occur within hours of the last dose of the drug. Users experience intense cravings for and suffer symptoms including insomnia, vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness and severe bone and muscle pain. The symptoms of withdrawal reach their peak about 24 to 48 hours after the last use of the drug, and they tend to recede after a week.
After being used for a period of time, serious long-term effects can occur. Heroin addicts frequently suffer collapsed veins, gastrointestinal problems, cardiac infections, kidney disease and liver disease. In addition to these health issues, users risk death from an overdose or from the additives often found in street heroin. It’s imperative that users seek treatment before their bodies are ravaged by these sometimes-fatal effects.
Many effective treatments and behavioral therapy methods exist to help users break free of heroin addiction. Some treatments take a behavioral approach, while other pharmacological treatments utilize medications. Although these treatments can be used independently, they are most effective when implemented together.
Medications developed to treat drug addiction ease users’ drug cravings and help them bear the difficult symptoms of withdrawal. Methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone are some of the most effective medications used in treatment. Behavioral therapy helps recovering addicts modify their behaviors associated with drug use and teaches them skills to cope with life’s stresses.