Heroin Intervention

Heroin is a powerfully addictive substance and most addicts are not able to quit on their own. In fact, quitting heroin outright is never recommended because the addict may suffer from extreme withdrawal symptoms. If the user is in poor health, some of the symptoms may even be fatal. Most heroin addicts will not seek treatment for their drug addiction, unless friends or family intervene. First, a concerned family member or friend will need to contact a heroin addiction treatment facility with intervention services. They will speak with an intervention specialist about the drug addiction. The specialist will walk them through the entire intervention process and then they will set up a date and time for the intervention to occur. A family member or a friend will also need to pack a bag for the addict to take with him or her to treatment.

On the date of the intervention, friends and family members will meet at the pre-arranged location. The intervention specialist will arrive at the site of the intervention. The intervention will begin when the addict arrives. During the intervention, each family member or friend will be able to explain to the addict why they believe he or she needs to go to treatment. The addict may get upset and choose to leave. If they stay, and the intervention is successful, then the addict will leave immediately after the intervention with the specialist. Most treatment centers also offer family therapy and counseling to heal any unresolved issues that may have occurred prior to the addict receiving heroin addiction treatment.

What is Heroin?

Heroin is a drug derived from morphine, which originally comes from the opium poppy plant. Heroin is highly addictive and it is known as a “downer” because it depresses the central nervous system. Heroin ranges from a pure white to a dark brown colored substance. It can also be tar-like in its appearance. Heroin is usually injected into a vein or muscle. However, heroin can also be smoked or snorted.

Side Effects of Heroin

There are many side effects associated with taking heroin. These effects include extreme feelings of euphoria, flushed skin, and dry mouth. After experiencing the high associated with heroin, users will begin to nod in and out of consciousness. It becomes harder for heroin users to think because the drug clouds the brain, due to the depressed central nervous system. Other side effects of taking heroin include slurred speech, slow movement, tiny pupils, droopy eyelids, vomiting, and constipation.

Long-term Effects of Heroin

Long-term effects of heroin will start to appear after frequent usage over a period of time. Heroin users may develop collapsed veins, heart and lung infections, and liver disease. Much of the heroin found on the street is not pure, and the added ingredients may not be easily dissolved in the blood. This can cause serious issues for the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. As these impure ingredients add up, they can clog blood vessels leading to major organs. As a person uses more and more heroin, their tolerance for the drug will rise. This means the person will need more of the drug to obtain the feelings of euphoria and happiness that they first experienced when taking heroin for the first time. Using dirty needles to inject heroin can result in the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Heroin withdrawal can cause very serious, life-threatening complications. As the person uses more and more heroin, they will find that they are chemically addicted to the drug. This means the body has adapted to the heroin and withdrawal symptoms may start as soon as a few hours after the last dose. “Dope sick” is the term used to describe someone who is ill because they stopped taking heroin. Withdrawal symptoms for heroin usage include vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, sweating, muscle and bone pain, and restlessness. Withdrawing completely from heroin (a.k.a. going “cold turkey”) can be very dangerous because it can cause heart attacks, seizures, and stroke. The major withdrawal symptoms for heroin typically peak within 2 to 3 days after stopping the drug. Withdrawal may last anywhere from 7 to 10 days. Those who are addicted to heroin should seek immediate treatment from a detox facility when they decide to quit the drug.