Heroin is one of the most dangerous drugs in existence. In 2017, over 15,000 people died of a heroin overdose. People who lack experience with addiction often assume that substance abuse is a personal choice. It’s only after they or someone they love becomes addicted that they realize how complex this disease really is.
Many people become addicted to prescribed opioid drugs and then switch to heroin later when the opioid medications become too difficult to access. Quitting a substance takes more than willpower alone, especially if the substance is as destructive and physically addictive as heroin. The addiction treatment programs California residents use to truly heal offer plans to cover the withdrawal stage, the initial recovery, and the aftercare needed to prevent relapse.
The Dangers of Relapse
Relapsing on any drug is a major setback. Relapsing on heroin can be deadly. Tolerance builds when a person uses heroin on a regular basis. When the person goes into recovery, the tolerance quickly drops. It continues to drop the longer sobriety is maintained. If the person then relapses and uses an amount of heroin similar to what they used in the past, they won’t have the tolerance needed to withstand it. This is why so many people overdose during a relapse.
Symptoms of an opioid overdose include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Slow or erratic breathing
- Clammy, pale, or grayish skin
- Lips or fingernails turning blue
- Low, erratic, or no pulse
An opioid overdose can be deadly. If you suspect someone you love is overdosing, call for assistance immediately.
Why People Relapse
There are many different reasons that people relapse. If a person continues to hang around with others who are using heroin, it’s almost inevitable that a relapse will occur. The combination of the physical desire for the drug and the culture of acceptance surrounding its use will be too much for most people to overcome. Those in recovery will usually benefit from leaving their former group of friends behind.
Everyone has their own triggers when it comes to addiction. Along with peer pressure and availability of the drug, other common triggers are boredom, depression, wanting to escape from one’s feelings, believing that life can only be enjoyed while high, and believing that it will be possible to use substances on occasion without becoming dependent again. There are alternative methods for dealing with any of these feelings or beliefs, but without professional help, it might be quite difficult.
According to statistics, up to 91 percent of those discharged from a heroin detox center reported a relapse. However, there’s a catch. That percentage includes many people who didn’t continue treatment after they left an inpatient facility. It’s easier to remain sober when you’re living in a facility. To avoid relapse, an appropriate aftercare program must be designed for the individual.
What Aftercare Can Do for You
Aftercare continues well beyond the point when your body has recovered from heroin use. It can go on for the rest of your life.
An aftercare treatment plan may include:
- Anger-management courses
- Psychological counseling
- Support groups, such as 12-step programs
- Medication to treat chemical imbalances or other issues
- Holistic practices, such as yoga, meditation, and nutrition
Getting Help Before it’s too Late
If you or someone you love is struggling, it’s time to seek out heroin addiction treatment California. A heroin problem can lead a good person down a dark road, but there’s no reason to suffer alone. You can overcome this addiction and fight for wellness with the help of a compassionate and devoted team. You deserve a healthy and happy future.