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Holistic Addiction Treatment

Heroin is an illegal opioid drug created from morphine that is highly addictive. It is the drug of choice for many people suffering from substance abuse disorder because it provides an immediate feeling of euphoria after injecting, sniffing, snorting, or smoking it.

This sudden “rush” of extreme happiness is what heroin addicts are after but unfortunately people who use heroin regularly develop tolerance, which means they need to continuously increase their heroin intake in order to achieve the effect they wanted. The “wonderful feeling” only last a few minutes but with regular use, the user needs higher dosage every time just to achieve the same high.


Short-Term Effects of Heroin Use

While heroin use provides a sudden explosion of pleasant, albeit temporary, feelings, it is usually accompanied by many negative effects. At the onset, together with the immediate “rush” sensation, heroin causes dry mouth, warm feeling on the skin, heavy feeling in the extremities, and at times vomiting and severe itching.

Once all these immediate effects subside, the user will experience drowsiness for a couple of hours, clouded mental functioning, as well as slower heartbeat and breathing. At times, this slowed breathing can be so severe that it leads to coma or even brain damage.

After a couple of hours of taking heroin and the overall effect had significantly decreased, the user’s body will start craving more heroin. After addiction has set in, failure to use heroin every few hours will result in the addict starting to feel uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms such as skeletal and muscular aches and pains, diarrhea, vomiting, and restlessness, among others.


Long-Term Effects of Heroin Use

Considering the short-term negative effects of heroin use, it is not surprising that continued use of heroin can result in even more serious physical, psychological and social problems.

Heroin addiction can change the physical structure and the functioning of the brain and can even cause irreversible damage, particularly in the brain’s hormonal and neuronal systems. There are many studies that show how the white matter of the brain deteriorates because of heroin addiction. This deterioration can affect the user’s decision-making process, ability to control behavior, and how the person reacts when faced with stressful situations.

Continuous heroin use, particularly through injection, can result to collapsed veins as well as infectious diseases such as HIV-AIDS and hepatitis. Records show that about 35,000 drug users who use needles contract hepatitis C2 infection yearly in the United States alone.

Other long-term effects of heroin addiction include the following:


  • Swelling of the gums
  • Bad teeth
  • Constipation
  • Itching
  • Weakening of the immune system
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Menstrual issues among women
  • Cold sweats
  • Muscle weakness or partial paralysis
  • Coma
  • Death (heroin overdose)



  • Memory loss
  • Decline of intellectual ability
  • Lethargy
  • Flu-like symptoms



  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Depression


Heroin Addiction Treatment

There are numerous treatment approaches given by drug and alcohol rehab centers to address heroin addiction but there is no one single treatment method that can completely help the heroin user to recover. At Ranch Creek, heroin addiction treatment is dependent on the individual’s needs and desired treatment as well as the extent and level of addiction. Each patient’s program is custom-designed using our blend of traditional and holistic modalities.

Ranch Creek Recovery’s highly-skilled addiction specialists know that the best treatment for heroin addiction is a combination of different treatment techniques that will completely address the recovery needs of the user. Some of these treatment modes include the following:


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a type of psychotherapy that is goal-focused, time-bound, and present-centered. Unlike other psychological therapies, CBT does not dwell on the past but tries to address the present issues of the patient. It helps the user to know the relationship among his thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Through CBT, the user can also learn and address the underlying reasons behind his heroin addiction. It also encourages the patient to see his difficulties and challenges in a clearer and more realistic light so he can deal with them in the right manner.


Holistic Therapy

The holistic treatment approach addresses the heroin user as a complete individual – one with physical, mental, emotional, and psychological aspects, which means the entire person is considered rather than merely concentrating on his addiction. some of the most common holistic treatments include yoga, acupuncture, nutrition and exercise, and many others.


If you or any one of your significant others is suffering from heroin addiction, make sure to seek professional help immediately. Ranch Creek’s drug addiction treatment center will help you win the battle against addiction from start to finish.

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