Heroin is a highly addictive substance and is extremely dangerous. Adults age 18 and older who are struggling with heroin use disorder can seek treatment at Ascension Saint Thomas Behavioral Health Hospital. While you cannot cure an addiction, treatment can help you manage your symptoms and restore your well-being.
Signs & Symptoms of Heroin Addiction
Those who use heroin might display a number of concerning signs and symptoms.
Signs of heroin use include:
- Fatigue and drowsiness
- Slowed movements
- Delayed reactions
- Memory loss
- Slurred speech
- Constricted pupils
Signs and symptoms of a heroin addiction can include:
- Intense cravings for heroin
- Requiring larger amounts of heroin to achieve the desired effect
- Numerous failed attempts to control heroin use
- Experiencing physical and psychological symptoms when trying to quit using heroin (withdrawal)
- Skin lesions
- Isolation from friends and family
Heroin Addiction Causes & Risk Factors
The exact cause of heroin addiction varies depending on the person and their history. However, there are some factors that may contribute to the development of a substance use disorder.
Heroin addiction risk factors include:
- Family history of substance use disorders
- Other mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety
- High levels of stress
- A history of trauma
- Being prescribed or having access to prescription opioids
Anyone who uses heroin puts themselves at risk for developing a substance use disorder. Heroin use disorder can lead to long-term health consequences and even death if proper treatment is not received.
Effects of Heroin Use
Heroin use and addiction can cause a range of negative long-term physical and psychological effects.
Potential effects of heroin include:
- Putting off work or school obligations
- Financial trouble
- Being arrested and incarcerated
- Drug-related violence
- Skin lesions and infections from injections
- Exposure to hepatitis
- Higher risk of HIV and AIDS
- Worsened mental health conditions
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
Those who are addicted to heroin have a high mortality rate and an increased risk for drug-related accidents and violence. With any substance use disorder, there is also a high risk for death caused by overdose.
Therapies Used to Treat Heroin Use Disorder
Treatment for heroin use disorder involves therapy to address the addiction as well as any co-occurring mental health concerns. Your treatment at Ascension Saint Thomas Behavioral Health Hospital may include cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy and experiential therapies.
As part of your treatment plan, you may participate in individual therapy, group therapy and family sessions. During individual therapy, you will work closely with your counselor to explore the root causes of your struggles with heroin addiction. During group therapy, you will have the opportunity to share your experiences with others who are also in treatment and practice new skills in managing your symptoms. Family sessions are also available for those who have been impacted by addiction. These sessions can help you strengthen your relationships with those closest to you.
Our admissions team at Ascension Saint Thomas Behavioral Health Hospital will help determine the best course of treatment for you based on your unique needs and background.
Benefits of Heroin Addiction Treatment with Us
Choosing the best treatment place to receive help for a heroin addiction can be challenging. When you arrive at Ascension Saint Thomas Behavioral Health Hospital, you will be met by a team of experts who will assist you in every step of your treatment process. Our staff consists of psychiatrists, licensed therapists, registered nurses, general practitioners and dietitians.
By choosing Ascension Saint Thomas Behavioral Health Hospital as your treatment place, you will receive care that is completely personalized. We ensure that your treatment plan addresses all your specific concerns, goals and co-occurring mental health conditions.
At Ascension Saint Thomas Behavioral Health Hospital, your discharge preparation is an essential part of your treatment plan. This might include referrals to an outpatient treatment place, AA meetings, support groups and additional resources that can help ensure lasting recovery and wellness.
This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at Ascension Saint Thomas Behavioral Health Hospital.