Heroin addiction is one of the most challenging conditions to beat. As many users may not know the level of purity of the drug they are taking, it is one of the most fatal as well. Once the person becomes addicted to this drug, the chemical composition of the user’s brain changes, making the user physically dependent on the drug. Make no mistake, without comprehensive treatment for addiction; heroin is a drug which will destroy the lives of you and your loved ones.
Heroin rehab requires a comprehensive, individualized approach. Medically-supervised detox will help addicts achieve safe withdrawal with minimal pain and less risk of health complications. According to Drugs, Brains, and Behavior, The Science of Addiction; a National Institutes of Health publication, opiate addiction is “a brain disease because drugs change the brain — they change its structure and how it works.” The primary parts of the brain that experience structural change include the brain stem, the limbic system and the cerebral cortex.
The brain stem is the part of the brain that is responsible for many of the body’s involuntary functions, such as breathing and the beating of the heart. The limbic system is the part of the brain that deals with pleasure and emotions, and the cerebral cortex manages information garnered from the senses and handles various elements of thinking and reasoning, such as planning and decision making.
Thus, those changes in the actual, physical structure of the brain have the potential to have a strong impact on how a person perceives the world around him and conducts himself in it, affecting his control of his emotions and his behavior. Such changes can lead to problematic personal and professional relationships, as well as a variety of other life problems.
Everything in the brain works via electrical impulses and chemical reactions. That is how the brain communicates within itself and with the rest of the body. Opiates affect the chemical balance of the brain, and can result in long-term, even permanent chemical changes that affect mood and brain function, as well as overall mental health and well-being.
Mental illness of various types is commonly associated with addiction to opiates, as a result of the structural changes in the brain. Mood disorders can stem from the chemical imbalances produced by opiate abuse. Damage in the decision-making part of the brain can lead to compulsive behavior and difficulties in self-control. These can lead to shame and guilt, and reinforce the need for the “feel better” element of opiate use. Mental illness can precede drug abuse, making a person more likely to try to self-medicate and more susceptible to addiction.
If you or someone you care about is addicted to heroin, help and hope are right here at Alpine Recovery Lodge. Contact us today to get on the road to recovery.