Tag Archives: Heroin Addiction

Understanding Heroin Detox and Rehabilitation from a Parent’s Point of View

Watching your son struggle with heroin addiction is one of the hardest things that you can go through as a parent. You have always wanted the best for your child, and while you wish that you could solve this problem for him, you feel absolutely powerless to help.

It’s important to remember that no matter how difficult the situation may appear, there is always hope.

Overcoming heroin addiction is never easy, and the process will take time. By educating yourself about the nature of this drug and the important role of heroin addiction rehab centers, you can be the source of strength that your son needs to take back control of his life.

Here, we take a closer look at everything you need to know on how to help your son who is addicted to heroin.

Signs of Heroin Addiction 

In 2016, nearly 1 million Americans admitted to using heroin over the previous year, making it one of the most widely abused drugs in the country. If you fear that your son is addicted to heroin but you don’t know for certain, there are a number of warning signs to look for, such as:

  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Depressed mood
  • Poor performance at school or work
  • Social withdrawal
  • Glassy eyes with pinpoint pupils
  • Deceptive behavior
  • Digestive issues and constipation
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Injection scars on the body, commonly known as “track marks”
  • Frequent mood swings

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline 

Going through withdrawal is arguably the most challenging stage of heroin addiction recovery. The symptoms of heroin detox can be broken down into two phases, and typically begin six to 12 hours after the user has taken their last dose. While the intensity of withdrawal symptoms will vary from person to person depending on factors like age, level of addiction and health status, the symptoms themselves are similar for everyone.

During the first stage of heroin detox, your son will likely experience the following symptoms:

  • Muscle aches
  • Anxiety
  • Runny nose
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Watery eyes
  • Anxiety
  • Fever

The second stage of heroin withdrawal begins one to two days after the last dose and reaches peak intensity within 72 hours of abstinence. Stage two withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Intense heroin cravings
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Insomnia

The Need for Medically Assisted Detox 

Is your son is battling a severe heroin addiction? The safest way to get through the early stages of recovery is through a medically assisted detox program at a licensed heroin rehab center. In a medically assisted detox program, your son will be under the supervision of doctors and addiction treatment professionals 24 hours a day.

Although the acute withdrawal syndrome associated with heroin detox is rarely fatal, it is an extremely uncomfortable process. Those who have gone through heroin withdrawal frequently report that the experience is like having the worst flu of their lives. It’s no wonder why the estimated rate of heroin relapse is higher than 90 percent.

Medically assisted detox allows recovering addicts to go through heroin withdrawal in a safe and controlled environment, which greatly reduces the risk of relapse.

Medication-Assisted Treatment 

Many heroin treatment centers recommend that addicts undergo medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to reduce the risk of relapse during the withdrawal phase. The medications used in MAT help to alleviate heroin cravings and withdrawal symptoms, and can only be prescribed by SAMHSA-certified opioid treatment programs.

The medications that can be used in MAT programs include:

Buprenorphine 

Buprenorphine (aka Suboxone) is a partial opioid agonist used to suppress heroin cravings during withdrawal. While buprenorphine is itself an opioid drug, it does not produce the powerful sense of euphoria that users get from heroin, and can be used to safely wean the body off stronger opioids.  

Methadone 

Methadone works in much the same way as buprenorphine does. Although methadone is less expensive and more widely used than buprenorphine, it comes with a slightly higher potential for abuse. This explains its decreasing popularity in rehab programs.

Naltrexone 

Naltrexone (aka Vivitrol) is both an opioid agonist and antagonist, meaning it helps reduce cravings for heroin while also blocking the pleasurable effects of other opioid drugs. A person taking naltrexone will not experience a high if they use heroin, which greatly reduces the risk of relapsing.

Rehab for Heroin Addiction 

Once the withdrawal period is over and the last traces of heroin have left your son’s system, the deep work of addiction rehabilitation can begin.

First, your son may need your help in choosing the heroin rehab program that best suits his needs. Typically, heroin-addicted men achieve the best results through inpatient rehabilitation. Inpatient rehab offers men the opportunity to focus all of their energy on self-care and healing. Additionally, they won’t have to manage all of the stress that everyday life presents.

At Reflections Recovery Center, our men’s heroin addiction treatment program incorporates many different forms of both clinical and holistic therapy, such as:

  • Motivational interviewing
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Nutritional and vitamin therapy
  • Psychoeducation
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Trauma-informed care
  • Recreational therapy

Our treatment facility in Prescott, AZ is a men-only rehab center. Your son will undergo a course of treatment specifically designed to address the unique obstacles men face in recovery. Entering a men’s heroin rehab program also allows male patients to become more vulnerable and open to therapy than they might be in a co-ed environment.

Take the First Step Toward Heroin Detox and Rehab

We understand how painful it is to watch a loved one struggle with heroin addiction. As a parent, you are likely wrestling with the fear that your son will never be the same person he was before heroin addiction took hold. However, you must never forget that there is always hope. By reaching out today, you can start the process of recovery and save your son from a life of addiction.

It won’t be easy, and it will take time, but with hard work and guidance from our team of addiction treatment professionals, your son can reroute the course of his life and achieve lasting recovery.

See Who Qualifies for Treatment at Reflections

Drug Overdose Crisis Growing in Colorado

The drug overdose crisis is one of the biggest threats the United States faces, and the state of Colorado is no exception to this devastating trend. In 2016, more than 900 people died of drug overdoses in Colorado, which is 300 people more than the number of deaths in auto accidents in the state that year.

Preliminary statistics indicate the 2017 overdose death total will increase in Colorado as well. Experts say pharmaceutical opioids are the cause of about two-thirds of overdose deaths. These include oxycodone, morphine, codeine and Percocet. The remaining third of overdose deaths are from heroin. 

While the Denver and Colorado Springs areas saw more than 100 deaths each due to heroin and opioid overdoses, some of the least-populated areas in the state also endured a disheartening number of overdose-related deaths. These are some of the key findings in the Colorado Health Institute’s recent report, “Death by Drugs: Colorado at Record High.”

Opioid Deaths Rising in Colorado 

Heroin- and opioid-related deaths rose at a rapid pace during the last few years. The Colorado Department of Public Health reported that deaths caused by heroin in Denver have shot up a whopping 933 percent since 2002. The figures also indicate a 759 percent increase in heroin-related deaths from 2001 to 2016 in Colorado overall. Further findings indicate other opioid related-deaths went up 128 percent during the last 15 years.

The 912 deaths in 2016 indicate 16.1 heroin- and opioid-related overdose deaths per 100,000 residents of Colorado. This is an 83 percent increase from the 2001 rate.

Colorado Fatal Drug Overdoses by County

For 2016, the 16.1 overdose deaths per 100,000 residents rate is only slightly higher than the state rate in 2014 and 2015, and it is admittedly lower than the national average of 19.8 drug fatalities per 100,000 residents that year.

Still, these numbers offer little comfort when considering the rate of fatalities within Colorado by county. In fact, when taking a closer look at the death rate resulting from drug overdoses by county, the underlying increase in state overdose fatalities becomes even more apparent.

In El Paso County, 141 people died in 2016 because of drug overdoses, while Denver County saw a similar number (138 overdose-induced deaths). While the numbers are lower in other Colorado counties, this is only because the total number of residents is smaller when compared to more-populated regions.

The fatality rates in smaller counties are remarkably higher than those in populated places when measured per resident. For example, in Huerfano County, there were only six reported deaths because of drug overdoses in 2016, but since the population is 6,700. That means the death rate for this county is an unsettling 152.6 per 100,000 residents.

Below, we have formed two brief lists to provide a glimpse into the extent of the issue within each county and the state of Colorado as a whole. The lists feature the four Colorado counties with the largest numbers of fatal drug overdoses and the four with the highest death rates for 2016.

Colorado Counties with the Largest Numbers of Overdose Deaths in 2016 

  1. El Paso County experienced 141 overdose deaths. With a population of 690,207 residents, the county’s overdose fatality rate for the year was 20.4.
  2. Denver County saw 138 deaths because of drug overdoses. Maintaining a population of 693,292, the county’s death rate was 19.2.
  3. Adams County sustained a total number of 92 deaths. With a population of 497,673 residents, the overdose death rate was 18.6.
  4. Jefferson County‘s population of 571,711 saw 91 overdose fatalities, marking a death rate of 16.4.

Colorado Counties with the Highest Overdose Death Rates in 2016 

  1. Huerfano County had 6,642 residents and saw six drug fatalities, but the death rate per resident was 152.6.
  2. With a populace of 6,497, Rio Blanco County had three deaths and saw a death rate of 52.2.
  3. Las Animas County had a population of 14,082 and saw eight deaths, indicating a death rate of 50.9.
  4. Montezuma County experienced 10 deaths among its population of 26,906. This makes its death rate 42.8.

Consequences of Addiction

As the statistics show, opioid and heroin are far more common than most people think. Not only has opioid use risen in the past decade, but accidental overdoses on prescription opioid painkillers have more than doubled since 1999.

Overdose fatalities and addiction cases are destroying the lives of individuals and families across Colorado and the United States. As the problem worsens, more people are seeking professional drug help in Colorado.

With a concentration on expanding awareness and creating innovative treatment options, Colorado addiction treatment centers and Colorado heroin rehabs continue to demonstrate their commitment to making the state a safer and healthier place. 

Finding Colorado Heroin Rehab Here or Out of State

To treat an addiction to heroin or opioids, it is imperative to address both the physical and emotional health of each individual. If the addiction started due to a prescription that was supposed to address symptoms of physical pain, it is crucial to help individuals find a way to deal with the pain without using these substances.

People struggling with addiction also must address any mental and emotional issues they have tried to bury with substance abuse. In many cases, individuals with physiological issues attempt to use drugs as a form of self-medication. Even if an individual does not have any psychological disorders, he or she  needs to find a way to change behaviors to live a fulfilling, healthy life.

Reflections Recovery Center is located in the neighboring state of Arizona and can help fill the void that Colorado treatment centers leave. With a reputation for helping individuals rebuild their lives and mend their relationships, Reflections is an attractive choice for a number of families who are seeking Colorado heroin addiction help.

Learn About Our Prescott, AZ Location