Tag Archives: heroin addiction

Tag Archives: heroin addiction


The lows to heroin addiction

Heroin use is on the rise in the U.S. and one of the biggest reasons is linked to the opioid epidemic. Believe it or not, the cost of heroin can be considered a bargain when it’s compared to the price of prescription painkillers or opioids.

Heroin makes its users feel not just great, but ecstatic. Of course, the price of that euphoria is never worth the pain that is heroin’s inevitable downside. In fact, there are no upsides to heroin, and here are some facts to ponder if you have even the slightest thought about what this insidious, addictive drug is like.

Heroin can decrease feelings of pain and anxiety, but as is the case with most drugs, you will need more and more to achieve the same high.

Risks Beyond Overdose 

Heroin is often mixed or adulterated with other substances including starch, sugar and powdered milk. But heroin can also be diluted or cut with poisonous substances as well as other opioids such as fentanyl, which makes overdosing or death an ever-present possibility.

Heroin can be smoked, snorted or injected. Many addicts inject heroin because it results in the fastest high, but this places them at risk for an entirely different set of life-threatening circumstances. Blood-borne diseases such as HIV are commonly transmitted from user to user when needles are shared.

High doses of heroin suppress the autonomic nervous system. This system regulates blood pressure and respiration, and in severe cases of decreased respiration, a lack of oxygen in the brain results in permanent brain damage.

Lastly, heroin withdrawal is agonizing and painful. Stopping cold-turkey can result in insomnia, anxiety, agitation, vomiting and diarrhea.

The side effects of trying to quit on one’s own can be so excruciating that addicts return to using, resulting in a vicious, tormenting cycle and this is just one of the many reasons that medical professionals strongly urge that addicts participate in a medically monitored detox routine.

Recovery from heroin is possible—recover your unique, purposeful, sober life by reaching out to the dedicated experts at Cumberland Heights.

Addiction is a chronic, progressive and potentially fatal disease. For over 50 years we have carefully provided the highest quality of care for adults, adolescents and families who suffer from, or are affected by this devastating disease.

Our nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center is located on a peaceful, pastoral 177-acre campus on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. We provide a continuum of services through two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes.

At Cumberland Heights, we always put the patient first, and value the importance of family participation in the recovery process. Take the first step toward healing by calling us at (866) 899-5231 today.

Becoming happier and fulfilling goals after treating heroin addiction

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains that heroin is a drug made from morphine – and is typically consumed by injecting, sniffing, snorting or smoking it. When heroin enters the body, it rapidly binds to opioid receptors in the brain. This means that many areas of living are suddenly impacted – such as heart rate, sleeping and breathing. Heroin is an illicit opioid that produces effects like dry mouth, heavy feelings in the arms and legs, severe itching, nausea and vomiting, clouded mental functioning and more; because heroin is so incredibly addictive, it’s extremely difficult to quit – unless treatment is sought.

Treatment for Heroin Addiction

Frontline Magazine recently published various short stories of families who’d struggled or were currently struggling with heroin addiction. One reader from Pittsburgh, PA, stated,

“I have been clean for 6 years. My husband, on the other hand, has not. He relapses all the time. He’s overdosed 8 times that I have had to save his life. This last time, my kids were right there when I found him overdosed. It’s traumatic for my kids and me, and he thinks it’s a joke.”

Heroin can completely change the way a person thinks and behaves; WebMD recently highlighted a study conducted in Illinois, which found that many heroin users view the effects as,

“Covered in a warm blanket, where worries are gone.”

Quitting heroin can lead to a number of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • Restlessness
  • Severe muscle spasms
  • Sleeping problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Cold flashes and goosebumps
  • Uncontrollable leg movements
  • And more

In 2017, Carla Marienfeld, MD, told Yale Medicine of the severe importance of seeking treatment for heroin addiction. She stated,

If someone is struggling with severe dependence, they may be out on the street or doing desperate things to try to support their habit. There can be health consequences and legal consequences if they can’t start treatment right away.”

Even in mild cases, it’s important for those struggling with addiction to seek help at a treatment center – and Cumberland Heights can provide a safe environment where a person recovering from heroin addiction can be supervised. Detoxification is a process that helps the body naturally clean out the toxins acquired from active drug use – and from there, a person can move onto recovery.

Recovering from Heroin Addiction

Cumberland Heights offers several types of services to cater to the individual’s unique needs in treatment. Of course, individual and group therapy are offered – and both of these treatment components can help those in recovery identify mental, physical and spiritual implications of addiction as well as explore what it is they need to get back on track. The following are some other programs that can have major positive effects on a person’s recovery:

Family Counseling – attending therapy sessions with family members to bridge some of the gaps that have risen in the family dynamic. This is often a safe space that is facilitated by a licensed therapist with the goal of opening communication pathways and resolving conflicts within and between family members.

12-Step Program Meetings – programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) open the doors for people to discover their place in the world as well as to connect with others. Spirituality is a major component of recovery, and the 12-Steps guide individuals to recognize the powerlessness they experience as humans – and to put more faith in God or a Higher Power.

Relapse Prevention – there are a number of coping skills that can be developed to help those in addiction recovery work through difficult thoughts and emotions. Relapse prevention brings to light the many factors that can lead to relapse: emotional or mental health issues, conflict, societal pressure, celebrations and more. By gaining a deeper understanding of how addiction works and what steps are needed to intervene when relapse might occur, those in heroin addiction recovery can take greater strides towards healing.

Aftercare Programs – at Cumberland Heights, the aftercare program is an ongoing support network for previous patients as well as family members. This program can uplift those in recovery to continue recovery rituals even after treatment has ended.

After Treatment: A Stronger, Happier You

Addiction consumes so much of our thoughts, time and money, and in many cases, it breaks the vulnerable bonds that are between us and others whom we love. Many people find that once they’ve been working towards recovery, they’re able to build stronger bonds with people around them – and as their mental, physical and spiritual wellness thrive, they feel greater happiness in life. There’s so much you can get back from recovery:

  • Living in the present moment
  • Healthy coping skills to work through difficult times, making you stronger
  • The opportunity to build a strong support system
  • Remembering precious moments with children, friends, and family
  • A stronger sense of spirituality
  • And more

If you’re ready to turn your life around, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.

Man fighting heroin addictionAs the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states, about 948,000 Americans reported using heroin in 2016. The number has consistently risen since 2007, even as individuals are continuing to hold jobs and pay the bills for their family. In February of 2018, CNN reported the rise of those with “functioning heroin addiction”, which means that a lot of people are hiding from their families – and themselves – the seriousness of their substance abuse.

Heroin is an opioid that’s made from morphine and individuals can inject, sniff, snort or smoke it. Immediately after taking heroin, a person will experience a plethora of effects such as dry mouth, heavy feelings in the arms and legs, nausea and vomiting and an overall state of feeling in-between consciousness and semi consciousness. The opioid epidemic has sparked many concerns about prescription medications as well as illegal ones, such as heroin. How can we help people recover from heroin addiction? What are some tools and strategies that will not only address substance abuse issues in our loved ones, but also components of their mind, body and spirit?

Interventions in Recovery

1. Medication

Medications for either detoxification or long-term maintenance fall into one of three categories: 1) agonists, 2) partial agonists and 3) antagonists. Agonists activate opioid receptors in the brain, which mean that without close monitoring, a person could become addicted to them. Partial agonists activate opioid receptors but yield much smaller effects, which is likely to be less of a risk for addiction. Lastly, antagonists block the rewarding effects of opioids, which help people combat the pleasurable feelings their brain previously associated with the drug. These are the most three common types of medications in heroin addiction recovery:

  • Methadone (opioid agonist)
  • Buprenorphine (partial opioid agonist)
  • Naltrexone (opioid antagonist)

Please keep in mind that we don’t use Methadone or Buprenorphine at Cumberland Heights. Here at Cumberland Heights, we use Naltrexone for opioid abuse disorders when appropriate. Read more about our plan here.

Some research has shown that medications, in combination with psychotherapy, can help reduce drug use and increase engagement in treatment programs.

2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Dr. Elizabeth Hartney, a psychologist and professor at Royal Roads University, Canada, explained to Very Well Mind the way we think or feel can influence our behaviors. CBT trains us to recognize these connections and utilize healthy coping strategies to only act on meaningful thoughts and feelings, rather than place meaning on all thoughts. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) notes several core components of CBT, including:

  • Instructional and time-oriented
  • Focuses the client on the “here and now”
  • Helps individuals recognize and understand their thoughts and how they can lead to irrational fears and worries
  • New skills are developed and “homework” is often assigned
  • A trusting relationship between the person and their therapist is built as they explore key issues surrounding the mental, physical and spiritual health

3. Peer-Led Support Groups

Support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA), can greatly help those with heroin addiction by providing them with a safe space to meet others on the recovery journey as well as learn from those who’ve been working towards their recovery for quite some time.

Combining Treatment Interventions

While evidence has been shown for all three interventions separately, it’s best for a combination of these interventions to be employed throughout heroin addiction treatment. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, for example, sought to explore the effects of medication-assisted treatment alongside 12-Step program attendance of those in recovery for a heroin use disorder (HUD). The researchers discovered that 12-Step attendance was associated with better outcomes especially for the first 6-months of treatment; however, sincere engagement is where individuals truly find transformation on their journey.

Respecting the Journey

Recovery has its ups and downs and those with heroin addiction may find themselves battling between engaging in treatment or leaving altogether. Routine is the most important part of recovery and if a person can hold onto that structure provided by treatment programs, they will find that the path towards healing and restoration open more doors for them as time goes on. Although there are many people in the United States – and around the world – addicted to heroin, there are still many people able to recover as well.

The National Public Radio (NPR) published a story in 2017 of Andrea Towson, a woman who used heroin for more than 3 decades. After having a near-death experience with fentanyl, a very deadly opioid, Andrea combined medication with support group meetings to help her get back her life. It wasn’t easy and she notes that she still has struggles regarding where she will live, but her recovery journey has been worth it. The reporter of NPR asked Andrea if it was worth it to live a “normal” life now and she said “yes”.

If you’re ready to begin the path towards healing, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today. The time to rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit is now.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.

heroin addictionIn 2016, heroin was reportedly used by 948,000 Americans in a given year. As an opioid made from morphine, heroin  can be injected, sniffed, snorted or smoked. The effects of heroin do not last very long, which is why many people take hit after hit – a process called speed-balling. One of the potential causes of addiction, as researchers have found, is through genetics. Family members have a higher risk of developing an addiction if other close relatives have also battled addiction; and while this does guarantee that someone is destined to experience addiction in their lives, there is still the question of how families can break this vicious cycle.

With the opioid crisis, heroin addiction has really sparked concerns over this very issue. Dr. Adi Jaffe, an instructor at UCLA and Cal State Long Beach, told CBS News, “To be honest with you, it’s something we’ve been seeing for the past 10 years, but it’s become a big enough problem now that it’s catching the public’s attention.”

The American Psychological Association (APA) suggests a number of potential strategies for breaking this cycle:

  • Providing more support for treatment centers at the community level
  • More education provided to students and families on opioid addiction and resources to seek help
  • Greater cognitive-behavioral therapy as well as general psychotherapy to help individuals work through some of the issues that have been weighing them down
  • Higher quality of care in treatment programs

Many families do not realize the harmful effects that are lingering from one generation to another and this all starts and ends with knowledge. If your family has struggled with this in the past, join a support group, such as Al-Anon (a 12-Step recovery program for friends and family of those with addiction) and learn more about combating this disease. Recovery is possible, but more support, structure and service must be provided.


Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.


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