Heroin & Opiate Addiction Treatment
Heroin (diacetylmorphine or diamorphine) was first synthesized in 1874 as a product of Bayer A.G. It was initially introduced as a non-addictive form of morphine, and a “cure for coughs.” In retrospect, the non-addictive nature of heroin turned out to be wishful thinking; Bayer did, however, succeed in producing an excellent cure for coughs.
Regular use of heroin produces tolerance, whereby significantly increased doses are required to achieve the initial effects. Continued use invariably tends to lead to psychological habituation and physical dependence, a state where your body needs opioid drugs on a regular basis just to maintain normal functioning; missing a dose precipitates a cascade of opiate withdrawal symptoms which can be quite severe and extremely painful. You’ve “caught a habit,” and become addicted.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), heroin use in the United States has increased all over the nation, among both women and men, across most age groups, touching people at all income levels. In fact, some of the demographic groups with historically low rates of heroin use experienced some of the greatest increases in recent years: people with private insurance, women, and people with higher incomes.
Not only has the rate of heroin dependence increased, but so have the number of heroin-related overdose deaths. In fact, the number of heroin-related overdose deaths almost quadrupled between 2002 and 2013, and in 2013 more than 8,200 people died from using heroin. No wonder so many people are desperately seeking heroin addiction help.
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports that the typical person in need of heroin treatment today is in their 20s, living in the suburbs, and probably first used heroin after becoming addicted to opiates via prescription. Both heroin and many prescription opiates originate in the poppy, whereas synthetic opioids like fentanyl are designed to bind with the same receptors in the body that heroin seeks out naturally.
Heroin and other opiates all trigger the same symptoms: feelings of euphoria, increased pain tolerance, drowsiness, occasional nausea, and even slowed breathing. Continued use of opiates and opioids also causes “tolerance,” wherein those battling heroin dependence, will need more and more heroin just to achieve the same initial effects. Tolerance is the same mechanism that causes cravings and heroin withdrawal symptoms—which are among the most severe of any drug.
Without medical intervention, acute heroin withdrawal starts 6 to 12 hours after the last dose, peaking 1 to 3 days later, with most acute physical symptoms subsiding within one to three weeks. However, residual withdrawal symptoms, although less serious after the initial acute stage, can persist for months, or even years. This is why ibogaine is so miraculous for so many seeking heroin addiction help.
Most heroin-dependent individuals have tried to quit and kick their habit numerous times, and eventually failed. If you are able to make it through the initial withdrawal symptoms on your own, you wind up facing an extended period of time where you feel relatively awful. Eventually, most people relapse, and go back to using opiates. The long-term “success” rate for former heroin addicts maintaining sobriety, is extremely low. Traditional treatment for opiate addiction tends to turn into an endless succession of detoxes and rehabs, which do nothing except provide a brief intermission from active heroin use. Very few people ever manage to quit, once they become physically dependent.
Ibogaine detox provides an extremely gentle and effective opiate detox from heroin. Heroin is an extremely “clean” opiate; it’s a pure agonist with a very short half-life. Ibogaine will successfully eliminate the number one hurdle that drug-dependent individuals face when attempting to move away from heroin addiction: painful and long-lasting withdrawal symptoms.
Ibogaine Treatment for Heroin Addiction
The longer your heroin addiction lasted, how you used the drug (oral, insufflation, smoking or injection), and how much heroin you took at a time, will all factor into your heroin dependency—and the duration and severity of your heroin withdrawal. The level of reliance on the drug that your body and brain established all factor in how difficult it is to overcome your heroin addiction. Additional factors complicating the situation are dual-diagnosis patients who are self-medicating co-occurring disorders which need to be addressed.
There are also two stages of withdrawal that you’ll need to face as you recover. The initial week of withdrawal is the most intense. This is the week that produces the devastating physical effects and typically produces so much pain and anguish in users. However, once this week has passed, the battle may be finished, but not the war: post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) can continue for months, or even years.
Ibogaine treatment for opiate addiction will eliminate upwards of 98% of opiate withdrawal symptoms, and significantly alleviate PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome). Without over-stating the situation, if there is a single molecule for which ibogaine appears to be ideally suited: it’s heroin (as well as morphine, and all opiates and opioid drugs). Ibogaine is extraordinarily effective for the treatment of heroin addiction. Ibogaine HCl absolutely will reset your habit. You will leave our clinic completely free of your dependence on heroin.
The problem is: unless you have some sort of reasonable aftercare plan in place, it’s quite likely that you’ll be back to using heroin in a relatively short period of time. Ibogaine is a catalyst, not a cure. Clear Sky Recovery’s ibogaine treatment program will provide you with a window of opportunity, reset your drug dependence, and get rid of your habit; painlessly. However, for most people, heroin addiction is the solution, not the problem. All the issues that caused you to pick up heroin in the first place, are still present. Unless you address the underlying causes of your drug dependence, it’s unlikely that you are going to maintain your abstinence from heroin.
This is why we at Clear Sky offer such a complete supportive package to maximize your chances at successful, long-term recovery. We help you process and integrate your recovery, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually — not just physically — so you have the best possible chance of maintaining your newfound sobriety and successfully navigating the nuanced and complex spectrum of issues that newly-clean individuals must face. We know heroin detox is a challenge. We are here to help you make it work.
Heroin Addiction Treatment Articles
Breaking the Cycle of Addiction with Ibogaine
This post was written by neuroscientist Deborah Mash, and is her telling of the story of ibogaine. She begins by describing some of its uses by indigenous peoples, and discusses the molecule itself. She then talks about 20th century research on the Iboga plant, leading up to her own research.
Initially Dr. Mash overcame tremendous hurdles and was able to conduct research on ibogaine in the United States, despite the substance being listed as Schedule I by the FDA. She continued her work in other countries, and in this post she describes her observations of the ways that ibogaine treatment blocks opiate withdrawal symptoms and effectively allows patients to detox. She concludes by discussing current research directions.
The Opioid Epidemic by the Numbers
This piece is an infographic that visually depicts statistics of the American opioid epidemic. First it covers what opioid drugs are, and how they work in the brain. Next it describes how addiction works, and how many people are living with addiction in the U.S. After that, the infographic breaks down which kinds of people are addicted to opioids.
The infographic goes on to detail deaths from overdoses, and the connections between prescription of painkillers and opioid addiction and deaths. The piece concludes by placing prescription painkillers within the cycle of opioid addiction, and highlighting the dearth of treatment options in place for Americans.
How to Break the Cycle of Addiction
This piece covers the cycle of addiction that encompasses people addicted to drugs and/or alcohol and their children who struggle with the same issues. It touches upon the hereditary aspects of addiction, and provides statistics about children and addiction in the United States. Next the piece provides a list of factors that cause the cycle of addiction, including the number of children who live with an addict, the numbers of children born addicted to substances due to in utero exposure, statistics concerning FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorders), hereditary factors, unstable social environments, and the importance of positive role models.
Finally, the post concludes with advice on how to break the cycle of addiction. Some advice includes being open about addiction, watching for signs of addiction, offering facts about addiction to children, providing counseling and therapy as needed, setting boundaries, and seeking treatment yourself for addiction.
How to Choose an Addiction Counselor
This post begins by emphasizing the importance of after care for people who have undergone ibogaine treatment. In fact, great addiction counselors are critical to staying sober, no matter who you are. The article goes on to describe the different varieties of addiction counselors and what they do, including addiction psychiatrists, addiction psychologists, addiction therapists, substance abuse counselors, and social workers.
The piece then covers the various professional qualifications each kind of addiction counselor must have, and contextualizes that training based on what services the training allows them to provide. Finally, the post discusses the difference between counseling and therapy, and advises patients how to decide what they need from an addiction counselor.
The History of Opioids: How Opiate Addiction Came About
In this post, there are many statistics about the current opioid addiction crisis that the United States faces right now. The piece also takes a look backward, discussing how the crisis developed over time, tracing the first use of opiates all the way back to 3400 BCE in Mesopotamia. Next, the post moves forward to the U.S. in the 19th and 20th centuries, looking at early uses of morphine for everything from menstrual cramps to battle wounds in the 1800s until we realized the dangers of morphine in the mid-1900s.
The article goes on to discuss the “War on Drugs,” and how multiplying rates of painkiller prescriptions led to huge numbers of opioid addicts in the U.S. Today, many addicts move from painkillers to heroin, unable to secure more prescriptions. Meanwhile, lawmakers criminalize this public health emergency, and users avoid seeking help as a result.
Polysubstance Abuse Disorders and Ibogaine
This post talks about the issue of polysubstance abuse disorders, or the state of being addicted to multiple substances (even when one of them is alcohol). It provides statistics on how many people in the U.S. are struggling with this problem, and then goes on to discuss why addiction to more than one substance makes recovery so much more complicated.
The piece next provides a checklist of symptoms and signs of polysubstance abuse. These signs are both physical and behavioral, and can give friends and loved ones a sense of when there might be a problem affecting someone they care about. Finally, the post describes how ibogaine can treat polysubstance disorders, and how treatment of this problem works at Clear Sky Recovery.
4 Signs It May Be Time to Visit an Opiate Addiction Treatment Center
This post provides a frank discussion for people who are concerned about their opiate use. It offers a detailed description of 4 signs that indicate a person should receive treatment for their opiate addiction: neglect of personal relationships, operation of a vehicle while high or drunk, use of drugs or alcohol to feel better, and all previous attempts to quit using opiates have failed.
The article describes each sign in some detail, and then goes on to explain why each one might indicate that it’s time for treatment. And while only the addict can decide when it’s really time for treatment, this is one tool for opiate users to keep handy.
Heroin and Opiate Addiction: Symptoms and How to Help
This post opens by providing some basic statistics and facts about the problem of opiate addiction in the U.S. It then goes on to describe physical warning signs and symptoms of opiate addiction, including things like abscesses, track marks, tiny pupils, itchy skin, nose bleeds, teary eyes, and many others.
The post then goes on to list numerous behavioral warning signs and symptoms of opiate addiction, including apathy, lack of hygiene, loss of interest in favorite activities, neglect of relationships, lying, and criminal activities, among many others. Finally, the post provides a list of indirect signs of opiate abuse, such as finding small baggies, empty drug capsules, spoons with burn marks on them, and other paraphernalia.
American Opioid Addiction Epidemic
This post provides an overview of the current American opioid epidemic using graphics, maps, and visual representations of statistics. Toward the beginning of the piece, there is a heat map showing overdose deaths in 2014 across the continental United States. It also discusses how many opioid prescriptions are written in the U.S.; in 12 states more than 100 prescriptions were written in 2012 for every 100 people in the state.
Next the post shows how overdose deaths have increased across the country between 2003 and 2014 using maps. It then breaks down opioid deaths based on race, and compares overdose deaths to other kinds of accidental deaths. The post concludes by discussing the role of OxyContin and pharmaceutical companies in the problem, and offers advice for people struggling with opioid addiction.