Heroin is a dangerous and highly addictive opioid that can lead to physical and psychological dependence. Another major risk of heroin use is experiencing an overdose, as overdoses have reached record levels. But what is the heroin addiction recovery rate and what does it tell us about the best ways to overcome a heroin addiction? In 2016 alone, nearly 1 million Americans ages 12 and older used heroin at least once. Overall, heroin use has steadily increased since 2007 and nearly twice as many people used heroin for the first time in 2016 compared to 2006. Heroin use is especially high among young adults, as heroin use has more than doubled among Americans ages 18 to 25 in the past 10 years.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is an opioid that is derived from the opium plant and is a central nervous system depressant. Heroin is sold in a powder or solid form (“tar”) and creates intense feelings of relaxation and euphoria. Users can smoke, inhale, or inject heroin, with injection the most potent, and dangerous, route of administration. When smoked, heroin produces an intense and short high. When inhaled, intoxication typically lasts for several hours. Injecting heroin produces the most powerful and longest high but drastically increases your risk of overdosing or contracting an infection. Many times, heroin users transition from smoking or inhaling heroin to injecting it in order to increase the potency. Heroin causes your brain to release more dopamine than it should, which is responsible for the pleasurable effects of intoxication. Over time, your body can become dependent on heroin to feel normal and you can combat intense and painful withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop using. Withdrawal symptoms end if you resume using, which is why the heroin addiction recovery rate is much higher if you complete an inpatient or outpatient treatment program.
What is the Heroin Addiction Recovery Rate?
Heroin addiction is difficult to overcome without help, as the heroin addiction recovery rate improves significantly among those who complete a treatment program. When you struggle with a heroin addiction, your brain chemistry changes and you experience major neurotransmitter imbalances. The heroin addiction recovery rate depends on several factors, such as:
- Length of use
- How much you use
- Whether you have a co-occurring disorder
- Severity of your addiction
- The route of administration you use
Detoxing from heroin is also difficult without help, as symptoms can make it difficult to leave your bed. Medically supervised detox centers understand the severity of withdrawal symptoms and can reduce their intensity by administering medications. Withdrawal is the first step in recovery and symptoms typically alleviate within 5 days of your last use. Finding ways to identify and change negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors is another important element of treatment. Since addiction causes you to cope with things like major life changes, stress, and anxiety by using drugs, treatment focuses on providing you with the tools to utilize healthy coping strategies. Because addiction is a chronic condition, relapsing is possible. Relapsing plays a central part in the heroin addiction recovery rate because sobriety requires that you avoid all substances, even ones you never previously used. Drinking or using other substances during recovery places you at a higher risk of developing a dependency on a different substance, which is why recovery requires that you abstain from all potentially addictive psychoactive substances.
Starting Treatment Today
The heroin addiction recovery rate demonstrates how vital early treatment is in beating a heroin addiction. Recovery is always possible regardless of how long you’ve struggled with an addiction. It’s important to find help when you first recognize you’re demonstrating signs of a substance abuse problem. This is the best way to improve your chances of achieving lasting sobriety. If you’re interested in discussing your treatment options or would like to find out more about our programs, reach out to us today by contacting 1.713.528.3709.