There are many people in Mesa, Arizona suffering from heroin addiction. Treatment is available to help people get off this drug and begin the healing and recovery process. Getting help for this addiction can change someone’s life for the better.
Heroin is highly addictive. It does not take long for this drug to take over someone’s life, destroying families in the process. Residents of Mesa, Arizona can get the help they need to put an end to their heroin addictions.
Heroin Use in Mesa, Arizona
The 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that 745,000 people used heroin at some point during 2019 across the United States. The Arizona Department of Health Services lists all hospitalizations and emergency room visits caused by drug use for each county. Mesa, Arizona is located in Maricopa county.
- In 2018 there were 12,278 hospitalizations from opiate use, including heroin, in Maricopa county
- In 2018 there were 7,159 emergency room visits because of opiate use, including heroin, in Maricopa county
There were 898 people killed by opiate use between October 2018 and September 2019. Some of those deaths were due to heroin use.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is an illicit opioid drug derived from morphine. Morphine is a natural substance found in the seed pod of opium poppy plants. These plants grow in Mexico, South America, and Asia. Heroin can be a brown or white powder. It can also be found in the form of a black, sticky substance called black tar heroin. There is no current medical use for heroin.
Common street names for heroin:
- Big H
- Hell dust
- Brown sugar
- Chiva dope
- White horse
History of Heroin
Morphine is the base for all opioids, including prescription pain killers that are prescribed today such as Vicodin and OxyContin. An English chemist refined heroin from a morphine base in 1874. The Bayer Company started the commercial production of heroin in 1898.
Heroin was marketed as a safer, less addictive replacement for morphine. This turned out to not be the case after all. In the early 1900s heroin addiction became a significant problem in the United States. The Anti-Heroin Act of 1924 made it illegal to make or sell heroin.
What Are The Effects of Heroin?
People can snort, smoke, or inject heroin directly into a vein. As heroin reaches the brain it is converted to morphine. The morphine then binds to opioid receptors in the brain. When this happens people report feeling a rush of euphoria and no pain. Short term side effects include:
- Warm flushing of the skin
- Heavy feeling in the arms and legs
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Severe itching
- Clouded mental function
- Going back in forth between conscious and semiconscious
Long Term Effects of Heroin Use
The more often someone uses heroin the worse the health problems can become. Long term effects of heroin use include:
- Stomach cramps
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Lung problems
- Collapsed veins in those who inject heroin
- Damaged tissue inside the nose in those who sniff or snort heroin
- Sexual dysfunction in men
- Irregular menstrual cycles in women
- Contracting hepatitis or HIV from sharing needles
- Infection of the heart lining and valves
- Abscesses (swollen tissue filled with pus)
- Antisocial personality disorder
Signs of Someone Currently High on Heroin
Occasionally a person may find a loved one in the middle of drug use. It is important to know what to look for, some signs that someone is using heroin right now:
- Tiny pupils
- Droopy facial expressions
- Flushed skin
- Falling asleep suddenly
- Slow breathing
- Confused thinking
Signs of Addiction
There are ways to tell if someone is hiding a drug addiction. These are some universal signs of addiction:
- Difficulties in school and declining grades
- Lack of interest in hobbies or activities
- Chronically being late
- Poor work performance
- Wearing dirty clothing and a lack of good grooming habits
- Increased need for privacy, hiding texts or calls
- Not paying bills
- Requesting to borrow money
- Decreased appetite and weight loss
- Dropping old friends, adding questionable new friends
- Social withdrawal, isolating themselves
- Legal problems
- Changes in sleeping patterns
There are some specific signs that someone is addicted to heroin:
- Often needing laxatives or stool softeners, heroin use can cause constipation
- Wearing long-sleeve shirts even in warm weather to hide needle marks from injecting heroin
- Burn marks on the mouth or fingers from smoking heroin
- Having drug paraphernalia related to heroin use
Heroin drug paraphernalia includes:
- Hypodermic needles used to inject heroin into veins in the arm
- A shoelace or rubber hose to tie off the arm to make the veins easier to find
- Spoons to “cook” the heroin into a liquid form for injection
- A lighter or candle to use as a heat source
- Aluminum foil, cigarette, or rolling papers to put heroin on to smoke it
Mixing Heroin With Other Substances
Someone who is addicted to one drug is probably using multiple drugs or alcohol at the same time. Using multiple substances together with heroin is not a good thing. It can increase the danger of a bad reaction or an overdose.
- Heroin mixed with alcohol can increase the chances of an overdose. Both substances lower blood pressure and heart rate. It could lead to a coma.
- Heroin mixed with benzodiazepines can slow the rate of breathing. Benzodiazepines can make the overdose reversal drug naloxone less effective.
- Mixing heroin and cocaine is called a speedball. Cocaine is a stimulant that can also cause breathing problems and change a person’s heart rate.
A heroin overdose is a medical emergency, it is not something a person can come out of without medical attention. If someone suspects an overdose, they need to call 911 immediately. The signs of an opioid overdose include:
- A purple or blue color on the lips and fingertips. This means they are not getting enough air.
- A body that goes limp.
- Vomiting or making gurgling sounds.
- A pale face.
- Skin that feels clammy to the touch.
- Becoming unconscious.
- Slower breathing or even breathing that has stopped.
How is Heroin Linked to Prescription Drug Abuse?
Many people assume that prescription drugs are safer to use than illicit drugs. Prescriptions for Demerol, Oxycontin, and Vicodin have increased rapidly in recent years. When these prescribed drugs are used in amounts more than intended, or by someone that does not have a prescription it is drug abuse.
Almost half of all opioid deaths in the U.S. involve a prescription opioid. When used inappropriately it can lead to a substance use disorder. Some research suggests that prescription drug abuse may lead to heroin abuse because it is cheaper and easier to get than another prescription.
Heroin Addiction Recovery and Withdrawal
Heroin addiction is dangerous, it can destroy someone’s life. Stopping a heroin addiction requires medical intervention because withdrawal symptoms can be hard to handle. When someone tries to quit on their own, they will usually start using again to stop getting sick from the withdrawal. Heroin withdrawal symptoms include:
- Muscle and bone pain
- Cold flashes with goosebumps
- Nausea and vomiting
About Heroin Detox
For some addiction issues, the first step is attending a detox treatment program. Detoxification is the process of a substance emptying out of the body. During this process, a person goes through significant physical and mental changes.
Going through a detox program is the best option for someone with an opioid addiction like heroin. Most opiate overdose deaths occur in people who have just detoxed. Withdrawal reduces the person’s tolerance to the drug, so those who have just gone through withdrawal can overdose on a much smaller dose than they used to take. This can happen the first time someone has a relapse.
Types of Detox Programs in Mesa, Arizona
Medical detox- Medical detox uses medical supervision to monitor withdrawal symptoms. For some people, monitoring is necessary to watch for life-threatening symptoms such as seizures or psychotic episodes, or severe depression. In this setting, medications can be given to avoid some symptoms.
Medication assisted treatment- Medication assisted treatment combines medication and behavioral therapy. This treatment uses FDA-approved medications to reduce cravings and allows for behavioral therapy to be most effective. FDA approved medications for opioid addiction therapy include:
Holistic detox– A Holistic detox approach uses natural methods to support the body during the detox process. This method combines a variety of treatments including nutritional therapy, herbal medicine, acupuncture, and exercise programs to assist recovery.
Inpatient Heroin Rehab
After going through a heroin detox program it is time to start rehab. After the physical cravings for heroin have stopped a person can focus on the psychological part of the addiction. Understanding the reasons behind drug use is necessary to make lasting changes. The best place to explore therapy options is at an inpatient drug and alcohol rehab center.
What is Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab?
Inpatient treatment centers make a variety of benefits available to those who want to recover from drug and alcohol addictions. Patients do not leave the facility during their treatment. They have support 24 hours a day and medical intervention is available whenever it might be needed.
Most inpatient stays are twenty-eight days long. The amount of time a person stays in rehab is based on the severity of the addiction. How much progress someone makes influences how long they may need to stay at an inpatient treatment center. Sometimes they can stay longer.
Advantages of Inpatient Therapy
Inpatient treatment centers have the highest rate of long-term success for those with heroin addiction. Inpatient programs provide a comfortable and organized environment for recovery. This allows a person time away from daily stressors so they can focus on behavior changes.
Inside the treatment center, a person is surrounded by support from other residents, counselors, and medical staff. Negative influences and distractions are kept at bay, and there is freedom from outside relapse triggers.
Types of Addiction Therapy
During an addiction rehab program, there are different types of therapy available to help change behavior patterns. The course of therapy treatment is based on the needs of each individual. What works for one person may not work for someone else. Some types of therapy are:
- Dialectical Behavioral therapy– Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) helps an individual manage strong emotions or stressful situations in a healthy way. DBT was originally created to help those with borderline personality disorder. DBT includes one on one therapy, group therapy, and as-needed coaching over the phone.
- The Matrix Model– The Matrix Model was originally created for helping stimulant (meth and cocaine) abusers beat addictions. Patients are monitored for drug use by urine testing. The therapist is a teacher and a coach, reinforcing positive behavior change. Treatment pulls from other tested treatments including relapse prevention, family and group therapy, drug education, and self-help participation.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy– Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps patients recognize negative thought patterns, stop the thoughts, and replace them with healthy thoughts. This focuses on the present rather than on memories and the past. CBT can be helpful for those that struggle with anxiety, depression, and need to improve self-control.
- Experiential Therapy- Experiential therapy tries to bring out deep inner lying problems through events other than standard talk therapy. This works by engaging in activities to bring out emotions that could be attached to subconscious issues. There is a variety of activities that could be used, and it depends on what might work for each individual patient. Activities can include art such as painting or sculpting, yoga, listening to music or writing songs, hiking, horseback riding.
Types of Heroin Outpatient Therapy Rehab in Mesa, Arizona
Outpatient rehab programs can be good for someone who has finished inpatient treatment but still needs more therapy. During outpatient therapy, people can continue to work on skills learned during inpatient therapy sessions. The longer an addict works on therapy the better chance they can avoid a relapse. Types of outpatient programs include:
- Partial hospitalization programs- (PHPs) This type of program is the most intense outpatient program. It is sometimes called a day treatment program. These programs meet five to seven days a week for several hours a day. Afterward, the patient returns home.
- Intensive Outpatient Programs- (IOP) this style of outpatient treatment can be good for people who do not have co-occurring disorders but need more than a once-a-week counseling session. IOPs usually meet three to four times a week for approximately three hours at a time. The primary focus is group therapy, but individual counseling can be available if needed.
- Traditional Outpatient Therapy- Patients can meet with a counselor once a week or several times a week depending on the amount of care they need. This is usually best for someone who has already been through more involved therapy and could still benefit from counseling sessions.
- Long-term Rehab- Long-term rehab is set up like a residence and people can stay for several months. During this time they continue to work on recovery. The therapy is in-house, and people do not work an outside job at the same time.
What is a Relapse?
A relapse occurs when people go back to the behaviors and substance use that occurred before someone had substance use treatment. A relapse can happen to anyone, it is important to recognize the signs. Possible reasons for relapse can be spending time with people previously associated with substance use or going to places where drugs were bought in the past. Increased stress, anxiety, and spending less time with people assisting in recovery efforts can trigger a relapse.
What to do if a Relapse Happens
It is estimated that 40-60% of people with a substance use disorder will experience a relapse. It is important to deal with the situation right away. A person should reach out to their support group and continue any outpatient therapy. They may need to re-evaluate treatment or learn new coping skills to continue on the road to recovery.
Will Insurance Cover Inpatient Addiction Treatment?
Yes. The Affordable Care Act, of 2010, requires mental health and substance use disorders to be covered by insurance. Out of pocket costs can vary based on each policy. In-network facilities will cost less than out-of-network facilities. In-network means the insurance company already has a contract to work with the treatment facility. It is possible that some policies will cover addiction treatment in full.
More Information About Heroin Addiction Treatment in Mesa, Arizona
At SpringBoard Arizona, we want to help people recover from heroin addiction. It is extremely hard to beat addiction without good support. We offer inpatient rehab and detox services for anyone who wants to get clean. SpringBoard Arizona can make a difference. If you or a loved one need help, please contact us today.