Heroin, a highly addictive drug derived from morphine, has been plaguing societies worldwide for decades. It is particularly alarming to note that women often fall into the clutches of heroin addiction due to various reasons such as stress, trauma, and societal pressures. The chemical makeup of heroin allows it to bind quickly to opioid receptors in the brain, inducing an intense feeling of euphoria followed by a deep state of relaxation and drowsiness. This potent combination makes it incredibly addictive, and it does not take long for the physical signs of heroin use to show.
Contrary to some medications that contain carefully controlled amounts of opioids for pain management, heroin serves no medical purpose. It is an illicit substance, often laced with other dangerous substances, leading to devastating health and social consequences.
Women’s Recovery offers outpatient heroin addiction treatment to residents of Colorado. Call 833.754.0554 today to learn about our programs and services, verify insurance, or get started with treatment.
Recognizing the Physical Signs of Heroin Use
Identifying heroin use at the earliest stage is crucial in preventing further damage. The physical signs and symptoms of heroin use can be categorized into short-term and long-term effects.
Short-Term Physical Signs
Immediately after administering the drug, users may exhibit symptoms such as:
- Dry mouth
- Shortness of breath
- Contracted pupils
- Sudden changes in behavior or disorientation
- Cycles of hyper-alertness followed by suddenly nodding off
Long-Term Physical Signs
Chronic users might show signs of heroin use on the skin, teeth, and internal organs, such as:
- Severe weight loss
- Dental issues (often referred to as “meth mouth”)
- Skin infections or abscesses
- Lung complications
Depending on the method of use, the physical signs of heroin use can vary. For instance, injecting can cause collapsed veins, while snorting could lead to damage to the nasal septum.
The Role of Women’s Addiction Treatment
Professional treatment plays a pivotal role in helping women overcome heroin addiction. Addiction treatments provide a safe and supportive environment for women to understand their addiction, learn coping strategies, and ultimately lead a drug-free life.
Treatments often include evidence-based therapies and holistic approaches to address the underlying causes of substance use disorder and the presenting symptoms, including co-occurring mental health conditions.
Common therapies include the following:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – This therapy addresses heroin use disorder by identifying and challenging negative thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors.
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) – This type of therapy helps individuals regulate emotions, manage stress, and improve relationships.
- Group therapy – Group sessions offer support and encouragement from peers going through similar struggles. It also allows for accountability and provides an avenue for learning from others’ experiences.
- Relapse prevention – This therapy equips women with skills to identify triggers, cope with cravings, and develop a relapse prevention plan.
- Dual diagnosis treatment – Women with co-occurring disorders receive integrated care for both substance use disorder and mental health conditions.
Addressing Physical Signs
In addition to addressing the underlying causes of addiction, treatment programs also help alleviate physical signs of heroin use. Dental issues can be addressed through specialized dental care and education on proper oral hygiene. Skin infections and abscesses are treated through medical care and wound management.
The recovery journey is unique for every individual, but with the proper treatment and support, women can overcome heroin addiction and live a fulfilling, healthy life. If you or someone you know is showing signs of heroin use, do not hesitate to seek help. Contact Women’s Recovery today to learn more about our comprehensive treatment options.
Seek Help from Women’s Recovery
Recognizing the signs of heroin use is the first step in getting help for yourself or a loved one. Overcoming heroin addiction is a challenging journey, but with the right help and support, it is possible. Women’s Recovery in Colorado offers comprehensive addiction treatment programs tailored specifically for women. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, do not hesitate to reach out. Remember, the first step towards recovery is reaching out for help.