Heroin is a very addictive central nervous depressant often called “Big H,” “blacktar,” “junk,” or “smack,” on the streets. Derived from morphine, a legal opioid narcotic used to manage moderate to severe pain in medical settings, heroin interferes with the body’s ability to interpret pain signals and activates the pleasure centers of the brain. Heroin can be abused in a number of ways – it can be mixed with water and injected (called “mainlining”), smoked through a bong or pipe, or the smoke can be inhaled through a straw (called “chasing the dragon”). The effects of heroin appear after a single dose and can last for a couple of hours. After injecting heroin into the body, users report feeling a rush of happiness accompanied by a warm flushing of the skin, dry mouth, and heaviness in the arms and legs. When the initial euphoria wears off, a heroin user alternates between sleep and a wakeful state. During this state, the central nervous system depressant effects kick in and mental ability becomes clouded, speech becomes slurred, pupils constrict, and gait becomes clumsy.
Over a long period of time, chronic abuse of heroin can lead to very serious effects. Veins may collapse and abscesses may form at the injection site, which can turn septic if left untreated. The lining and valves of the heart may become infected and abusers may develop lung disease. Regular heroin abuse can lead to physical tolerance, meaning that the individual requires more amounts of heroin to achieve the same high. When the body becomes physically dependent upon heroin, abruptly discontinuing or decreasing the amount of heroin used can lead to the development of withdrawal. In individuals who have chronic medical conditions and have been addicted to heroin for long periods of time, death may result from withdrawal.
At The Refuge, we’ve helped countless men and women who are addicted to heroin. Our multidisciplinary team will help guide you past your addiction and help you learn to live a new and sober life. We’ll be behind you every step of the journey.
Why Consider Treatment for Heroin Addiction at The Refuge?
The consequences of chronic heroin abuse can impact nearly every area of an addict’s life, leaving nothing untouched. If you’re addicted to heroin, you may realize that your loved ones have pulled away, too afraid to watch as you spiral downward. You may be unable to hold down a job, leaving you in financial ruin and unsure of how to score your next fix. You may have been kicked out of your home. Life doesn’t have to be so hard.
A residential treatment center for addiction has been one of the most effective ways to treat addiction and chemical dependency as it allows client’s the chance to escape their problems and focus upon recovery. In addition, a residential treatment center is strongly focused upon treating all aspects of a person, helping you learn new ways to cope, strategies to prevent relapse, and ways to handle triggers for use.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
When you come to The Refuge, you’ll know you’ve come to a healing place. Our warm, welcoming environment is designed to allow you the opportunity to grow, learn, and heal from your addiction to heroin. Our staff will spend a great deal of time getting to know you, the challenges you face, your needs and desires, and your likes and dislikes. Through this information, we’ll be able to create a full picture of who you are as a person. We know that you’re more than an addict or a series of symptoms. As a holistic treatment center, we aim to treat all of you – mind, body, and spirit. At The Refuge, we’re ready to help you learn to help yourself. Our healing center provides you with the ideal place for you to get away from the everyday stresses of life and focus upon what really matters – getting better. Our interdisciplinary team composed of doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, mental health professionals, psychologists, social workers, and other supportive staff will work alongside you to develop a care plan for your stay with us that meets all of your needs.
Treatment Options for Heroin Addiction at The Refuge
When you come to us for help battling your heroin addiction, you’ll first undergo a series of medical and psychiatric evaluations. The results of our medical evaluation will uncover any medical complications related to your heroin use. The results of our psychiatric evaluation will allow us to determine any co-occurring disorders as well as other challenges that you are facing. The combined results of these evaluations will be used to work alongside you to create a plan of care for your stay with us that meets all of your needs.
Detox: If it is determined that you are physically dependent upon heroin, you will undergo detox before entering our addiction program. During detox, you’ll be safely and effectively detoxed from heroin and any other substances in your body. When you are medically stabilized, you’ll then move into the addiction rehab program at The Refuge.
Medication may be used at the beginning of your stay with us to help ease unpleasant withdrawal symptoms or manage symptoms of a co-occurring disorder. The decision to use medication will be made based upon the recommendations of your treatment team.
Individual therapy is often used for individuals who are battling addiction. Through one-on-one talk therapy, we’ll be able to work with you to unearth the reasons behind your addiction. We’ll also spend time working on developing coping skills, ways to prevent relapse, and stress management techniques.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is often used in our therapeutic programs to allow you to focus upon your thoughts and how these thoughts affect your behaviors. We’ll work to identify negative patterns of thought and correct them so that you can view the world more optimistically. By changing your negative perceptions into more positive ones, you’ll be able to see the world more appropriately and change your behavior in positive ways.
Group therapy will let you connect with other individuals struggling with similar addictions so that you can grow, learn, and heal together. Process-based groups are used to allow you to process your emotions about a given topic, such as addiction. Psychoeducational groups are designed to teach you more about your illness, recovery, and co-occurring disorders.
Family therapy: Addiction affects every member of the family. We highly encourage family participation in your recovery. Family sessions will allow loved ones to share their feelings about your addiction and the ways it has impacted their lives. Additionally, we will help to educate your loved ones about the disease of addiction, recovery, and ways to prevent relapse. We’ll also connect your loved ones with available community resources such as Al-Anon and Nar-Anon to allow for their continued healing.
As The Refuge is a healing place that serves to treat all of you – mind, body, and soul, we offer a variety of experiential methods to compliment traditional therapies. These experiential methods may include the following:
- A.A. and N.A.
- Art therapy
- Equine therapy
- Breath work
- Adventure therapy
- Body work
- Somatic experiencing
Continuing Care – What Happens Next?
As your time with us draws to a close, you will work closely with your treatment team to develop a plan of care that allows for your continued sobriety once you leave our campus. Some people opt to slowly rejoin their community by entering The Refuge’s partial hospitalization program (PHP) which offers daily therapeutic interventions with the ability to return home in the evenings. If you feel you’ve made enough progress during your stay with us to return home, we will provide you with referrals to outpatient therapy as well as connections to available community resources, such as A.A. and N.A. to allow for your continued healing. Whatever path you choose, The Refuge is behind you all the way.