heroin addiction treatment
What is heroin?
Heroin is a dangerous and highly addictive illegal drug, manufactured from acetylation of morphine extracted from the poppy plant, and it is one of the most dangerous drugs that addicts use, whether by snorting, smoking, or injection. Although heroin is a name that everyone uses, there is a lot of mystery surrounding this drug.
Heroin is extremely dangerous to the human body, as some call it the drug of death because of the toxic and deadly substances it contains. It is used by millions of addicts around the world who cannot overcome the desire to continue taking this drug every day, knowing that if they stop, they will face the horror of withdrawal symptoms.
Heroin was first mentioned in 1898 when a scientist from a German pharmaceutical company discovered a substance similar in its effect to “morphine”, and he called it “heroin”.
When heroin was first discovered, people used it excessively, until a decision was issued prohibiting its circulation except for medical purposes. But its medical use had diminished over time, and there was no longer any demand for it, but this does not mean that it was not used. The heroin sale has moved from pharmacies and hospitals to dark streets corners in various countries around the world.
The highly addictive nature of heroin shows results from frequent use in order to obtain the desired side effects of well-being and pleasure. While these effects may seem attractive at first, the stark truth is that taking heroin carries significant short- and long-term risks to a person’s physical, mental, and psychological health, including an uncontrollable urge to scratch the skin, and health problems associated with the dependency on the drug such as liver disease, seizures, heart problems, and blood clots.
Heroin addiction’s side effects
The misuse of heroin leads to many health, psychological and social problems, whether in the short or long term, the most remarkable of which are:
- It directly affects the central nervous system, and this appears through the occurrence of severe agitation and irritation of the abuser. It may also cause spasms and muscle contractions, severe lethargy, and lack of balance, and it is possible that excessive heroin abuse may cause the person to enter into a complete coma.
- Heroin abuse leads to a severe and noticeable blood pressure decrease, in addition to a weak pulse rate, and it also directly affects the heart valves, as it causes severe infections.
- Heroin abuse causes excruciating pain in the intestines and stomach cramps. As well as constipation in the digestive system at different periods of time.
- Some noticeable changes occur to the eyes, ears, and nose. It should be noted that t severe dryness of the mouth in addition to a change in the tongue color and bulging eyes occur as a result of heroin addiction.
- One of the damages of heroin to the respiratory system is that it leads to the inability of the abuser to breathe easily, and sometimes there is a very slow and noticeable number of breathing times, a noticeable decrease in the performance of the respiratory system occurs which leads to pneumonia, that is one of the common damages of heroin.
- The long-term use of heroin, causes some health risks, such as being in danger of having a stroke, which is accompanied by sudden death.
- Women who abuse heroin suffer from chronic disturbances in the menstrual cycle and sometimes this leads to complete cessation of their menstrual cycle.
- Sometimes individuals may suffer from an overdose of heroin, which leads to a feeling of sleep and laziness, and thus the user enters a deep sleep phase, resulting in the suspension of respiratory organs, and the respiratory system, and this is a direct cause of the sudden death of many heroin users.
- Heroin also damages the sexual ability of men, as many studies conducted have proven that those who use heroin for more than a year have impaired sexual ability, and the inability to have an erection.
- Heroin or addiction, in general, is often accompanied by abnormal behaviors that may lead to the transmission of dangerous types of infections such as AIDS, hepatitis C, and B.
Heroin addiction treatment in Dar El Taafy for addiction treatment and psychiatry
The treatment of heroin addiction at Dar El Taafy Center begins with withdrawing toxins from the patient’s body and treating heroin withdrawal symptoms that begin to appear 6 or 8 hours after taking the last dose of heroin and reach their peak on the third day. The treatment period for withdrawal symptoms extends to 10 days if the addict has been taking heroin for a short period of time, but if the addict has been abusing this substance for long periods, the treatment of withdrawal symptoms may extend to several months.
What is meant by withdrawal symptoms in addiction is a group of physiological symptoms that affect the addict when he stops using the narcotic or stimulant substance that he is accustomed to using regularly.
Heroin withdrawal symptoms include many physical and psychological signs ranging from chronic suicidal thoughts, behavioral violence and aggression, lack of sleep perhaps for a few days, severe loss of appetite, depression, and paranoia, excessive nervousness and irritability, seizures, bone and muscle pain, and high body temperature.
Therefore, the sudden cessation of heroin use must be under medical supervision and in a specialized place to work on removing toxins from the body and treating withdrawal symptoms.
Physicians and addiction treatment experts at Dar El Taafy rely on an integrated pharmacological, psychological, and behavioral treatment program when treating heroin addiction patients, and the most remarkable of its components are:
- A full assessment of the addict’s health, psychological and social condition, and on its basis the other points of the treatment program are modified and allocated.
- Withdrawing heroin from the body by gradually reducing the drug dose and replacing that drug with other substances with less severe side effects, such as methadone or buprenorphine.
- A medical plan that helps counteract the withdrawal symptoms of heroin addiction and reduce its severity, such as antidepressants and anti-insomnia medication.
- A healthy diet program to cleanse the body of toxins, developed by our nutritionist.
- Engaging in sports and recreational activities daily, which stimulates blood circulation and increases the speed of drug withdrawal from the body, in addition to improving the patient’s mental health.
- Programs and sessions for behavioral modifications for the addict.
- Special health education and awareness specially made for the family of the addict and those around him.
- Individual counseling for the addict as needed.
- Using the twelve-step program to support the addict.
- Periodical testing of the drug levels in the patient’s blood.
- Encouraging the addict to engage in activities far from the environment that led him to addiction.
- Urging the addict’s family, friends, or life partner to provide him with continuous emotional and moral support.
- Ensuring that the addict is kept away from the bad company that is associated with using heroin.
- Periodic follow-up for the patient after the end of his treatment to ensure that there are no relapses.