As some of the most powerful and addictive drugs, heroin and opioids are very difficult to stop using without professional assistance. Once you have developed a dependency, the withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable. And even when you have passed through the withdrawals, the drugs can still draw you back in if you do not have the coping skills to deny them. Going through a professional rehab program is the single best way to pass through the withdrawal state and learn the necessary skills to lead an opiate free life.
It is fortunate that the state of Pennsylvania has a number of high quality, effective rehab treatment centers for heroin and opioid dependency. If you or a loved one are currently dependent on these powerful drugs, you can get help. You can quit using heroin and opioids, and you can get your life back.
Our team at DrugRehab.org can help you find the right detox and treatment options for your unique needs. Please contact us to learn more about drug rehab in Pennsylvania.
Opioids And Opiates
It can be helpful to understand the terminology for heroin and other opioids. “Opioid” is most often used to refer to prescription medications. Opioid pain killers may be synthetic or semi-synthetic, and are designed to be similar to the narcotic effects of the opium poppy. The term “opiate” is used to refer to all the drugs derived from the opium poppy, like heroin, as well as the opioids used for prescription pain killers.
What Are Opioids?
Most people have encountered opioids before, either having been prescribed them by a doctor, or through a loved one who has had a prescription for pain medication. Some of the common opioids include:
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
- Oxycodone (OxyContin)
While humans have used the opium poppy for thousands of years, both as a pain killer and recreationally, it is only in recent times that synthetic and semi-synthetic drugs have been created to mimic the properties of the plant. The narcotic properties of opium make it an excellent pain medication. They also make the drugs derived from opium capable of producing intense euphoria, which for some users becomes irresistible – especially upon repeated use.
The opioid receptors in the human brain are stimulated by opioids in a way that can greatly reduce or eliminate pain. For things like surgery, chronically painful conditions and serious injuries, opioids offer an effective way to ease the discomfort of patients. However, if a patient takes the medications for long enough or takes more than prescribed, it can lead to a serious dependency that is difficult to recover from.
When a person takes opioids, the brain is flooded with a massive amount of endorphins – far more than the brain would ever produce on its own. The endorphins are what produce the desirable effects of the drug, but they do have a significant side effect. The introduction of so much extra endorphins causes the brain to produce less of its own endorphins. When the person cannot take any more opioids – due to running out of a prescription, being unable to find more opioids, etc. – the brain is left without its regular amount of endorphins. Unpleasant side effects, known as withdrawals, occur as soon as the brain is left without the drug.
In the cycle of opioid addiction, the user is always playing catch up. The brain develops a tolerance to the drug, requiring more and more to produce the same desired effects. If the user does not have access to the drug, withdrawals begin. So the person dependent on the drug is constantly forced to keep taking opioids to feel normal, to be functional. Since it can be difficult to maintain access to the drugs, the life of dependency typically involves constant seeking of more opioids as each current source dries up.
Perhaps the most upsetting thing about opioid addiction is that many people made their way to opioids at the instruction of their doctor. Over-prescription of opioids has been a problem across the country. And even if the drugs were not over-prescribed, the risk of addiction is always present when someone is introduced to such a powerful substance.
Heroin has been a popular street drug for decades. Derived from morphine, heroin is a potent opiate that is either snorted, smoked or injected. Most people begin using heroin by smoking or snorting it, but serious users tend to graduate to injection over time because of the increased potency that comes with injection.
Heroin can be especially dangerous for users because of its unknown composition, or cut. From the initial production to the final stage when it is sold by a dealer, heroin can be cut with additional material that is unknown to the user. Some of these cuts can be dangerous, even deadly. In recent times there has been a wave of overdoses due to the presence of fentanyl and other similar, extremely powerful, synthetic opioids. The user, unaware of the presence of fentanyl, takes what would be his or her standard dose of heroin. Only the fentanyl is so powerful that the user overdoses, and often dies as a result.
Opioid Facts In Pennsylvania
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMSHA, there were an estimated 59,000 people age 12 and over who used heroin in the period between 2014 and 2015. In 2015 at least 3,500 people died from drug overdoses in the state. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the heroin and opioid overdose epidemic is the worst health crisis in the state. The Physician General has signed a standing order – essentially a prescription for everyone in Pennsylvania – for naloxone, so that anyone can go to a pharmacy and pick up the overdose drug.
Detoxification And Treatment For Heroin And Opioids
No matter how powerful heroin and other opioids may be, there are still treatment solutions that can help you or your loved one recover and lead a normal life.
The withdrawal symptoms that users experience when they stop taking opioids are also known and detox. The body goes through a detoxification period where the drug passes out of the system and the brain is forced to start producing endorphins again. Detox is not an easy process, but it is possible to get through it and emerge on the other side.
Common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Flu-like symptoms
Medically Assisted Detox
While it is possible to quit opioids on your own, it is recommended that you go through detox under the care of a medical professional. Medically assisted detox offers a way to ease the withdrawal symptoms and make the detox process easier – and therefore more likely to be successful.
Detox Before Treatment
The most challenging part of recovery comes after detox. Treatment programs will require you to have gone through detox, either at their own facility, at another facility or on your own, before you enter a regular treatment program.
The treatment options available for heroin and opioid dependency include inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment is recommended for most people with an opioid dependence. The best way to determine which treatment option is right for you is to speak with a rehab professional who can guide your decision making.
Also called residential treatment, inpatient treatment is the standard for recovering from opioid dependency. With an inpatient program, you stay at the treatment facility for a specified amount of time – usually 30 to 45 days – and go through a variety of treatments during your time there. There are many advantages to inpatient treatment. You get round-the-clock care and support, and you are removed from the environment that facilitated your dependency.
Treatments at inpatient facilities include:
- Group therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Adventure therapy
- Holistic treatments
In outpatient treatment, you visit a treatment center two or three times a week, sometimes more, and receive treatment such as group therapy or individual therapy. Outpatient treatment is effective for those who have already completed an inpatient program, helping them to transition back into their normal lives.
Sometimes medication can help in the treatment of heroin or opioid dependency. Methadone is a well-known treatment, where the patient visits a methadone clinic regularly to get a dose of methadone. Buprenorphine is a newer medication used for treatment, which can help eliminate the cravings for opioids. Your treatment center can help you determine whether medication-assisted treatment is right for you.
Treatment Centers In Pennsylvania
Just Believe Recovery Center
Located in Carbondale, PA, Just Believe offers a full range of treatment programs – including inpatient and outpatient programs, as well as medically assisted detox. There are also specialized programs available, including luxury treatment and young adult rehab. They provide customized treatment designed for the individual, so you know you are getting treatment that is right for your circumstances.
Situated in a peaceful setting in Hanover, PA, Clarity Way offers intensive, individualized treatment programs that are focused on holistic, effective recovery. There are both 12-step and non-12-step treatment options, so you can choose which is right for you. Clarity Way can also assist with pain management, so patients can feel better while living an opioid-free life.
Clearbrook Treatment Centers
Clearbrook is located in Wilkes-Barre in Northeast Pennsylvania. The team at Clearbrook has been helping people with drug dependency issues for over 40 years. They offer a residential treatment program as well as a detox unit, so you can get everything you need at one location. Clearbrook puts patients first, providing cost-effective, compassionate treatment that really works.
Start Down The Road To Recovery – Contact Our Team Today
At DrugRehab.org, we are committed to helping people get their lives back. We are excited to help you take your first steps down the road to recovery. Please contact us today to speak with one of our team members and learn about your treatment options. There is no better time than now to begin!
Pennsylvania Opioid Drug Rehabs
- Aliquippa (1)
Camp Hill (1)
Cranberry Township (1)
Fort Washington (1)
Huntingdon Valley (1)
Kennett Square (1)
Mount Pocono (1)
New Castle (1)
State College (1)
West reading (1)
Wilkes Barre (1)