Heroin is a highly addictive and dangerous drug. A derivative of morphine, which is in turn derived from the opium poppy plant, heroin shares many of the same properties and poses many of the same risks that are associated with other opioids. The drug has powerful analgesic, or painkilling, effects, and it also induces a sense of euphoric relaxation. Because heroin interacts with receptors in the same area of the brain where automatic functions such as pulse and respiration are controlled, heroin abuse also leads to shallow breathing and reduced heart rate. Among the many risks associated with heroin is that the drug’s impact on these automatic features means that overdose can be fatal.
Individuals who survive yet continue to abuse heroin are likely to become addicted, which is referred to in clinical settings as developing heroin use disorder. When this occurs, a person will be driven by powerful cravings for heroin and will experience painful withdrawal symptoms when he or she attempts to stop using or is unable to acquire the drug. The intense compulsion to re-experience the high that results from heroin abuse and the pressure to avoid the pain of heroin withdrawal can make it extremely difficult for a person to overcome heroin use disorder without professional help.
At Wilmington Treatment Center, we have significant experience working with men and women whose lives have been impacted by heroin addiction. Over the more than 30 years that we have been providing life-changing addiction treatment services, we have developed specialized programming that has proven to be quite effective at helping people end their dependence upon heroin. At Wilmington Treatment Center, women and men who have been struggling with heroin addiction and certain co-occurring disorders can receive the intensive comprehensive care that will allow them to achieve long-term sobriety and live a healthier and happier life, free from the devastating constraints of heroin abuse and addiction.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
Discovering that a loved one has been abusing or has become addicted to heroin can be a devastating experience. If someone that you care about has been abusing heroin, you are right to be extremely concerned, as this form of substance abuse can be extremely dangerous. However, this does not mean that the situation is hopeless. Please consider the following:
- Treatment works, and heroin addiction can be overcome. Consult with experts or visit reputable online sources to determine what types of treatment have helped others who were experiencing problems similar to what your loved one is going through.
- Locate specific programs that provide the care that your loved one needs. Because heroin abuse rarely occurs in a vacuum, be sure to verify that the programs you considering offer comprehensive services so that your loved one can receive treatment for any co-occurring mental health disorders that may have contributed to or been worsened by his or her heroin abuse.
- Learn how to talk to a loved one about substance abuse and addiction. Again, consult experts and visit reputable websites to learn what to do and what not to do. Your loved one may be extremely resistant to suggestions that he or she has a problem or is in need of professional help. Learn how to have a productive discussion, avoid judgment and recriminations, and remain focused on the important task at hand.
- Get help. Your loved one should not have to endure his or her addiction alone, and you should not have to be alone in your efforts to help him or her get into treatment. Enlist a small group of trusted friends or family members so that you can support each other while you are supporting your loved one.
- When your loved one has agreed to get treatment, make sure that he or she follows through. Make appointments to visit programs, provide transportation, and accompany him or her to the initial meetings. In short, do whatever you can to remove obstacles, overcome excuses, and otherwise stop your loved one from failing to follow through on his or her commitment to get help.
Do not lose sight of the fact that treatment is just one step on the lifelong path of addiction recovery, and that recovery is not a straight line from addiction to sobriety. Your loved one will experience both successes and setbacks, and may even relapse into heroin abuse. Plan to be a source of ongoing love and support before, during, and after he or she gets into treatment.
Why Consider Treatment at Wilmington Treatment Center
It is difficult to overstate the negative impact that ongoing untreated heroin abuse can have on virtually all aspects of a person’s life. The physical impact of chronic heroin abuse can include, but is not limited to, damage to the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and brain; increased risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and other blood-borne diseases, and imbalances in the body’s hormonal and neuron systems. Psychologically and cognitively, heroin abuse can result in impaired cognition, memory problems, anxiety, paranoia, and depression. From a socioeconomic perspective, heroin abuse will decrease or ruin a person’s ability to get and keep a job, be successful in school, maintain healthy interpersonal relationships, meet his or her financial obligations, and otherwise participate in a healthy and productive life. Heroin abuse may also lead to arrest and incarceration due to the possession of the drug itself or because of illegal activities that one participates in as a result of his or her heroin abuse. But it does not have to be this way. At Wilmington Treatment Center, individuals who have experienced the devastation of heroin abuse and heroin use disorder can realize the promise of a healthy drug-free future.
Types of Treatment Offered at Wilmington Treatment Center
Situated along the Atlantic coast in Wilmington, North Carolina, Wilmington Treatment Center is where men and women come to receive the restorative care that they need to live healthier, joyful, and more productive lives free from the constraints of addiction. Since 1984, Wilmington has been able to help thousands of individuals win the war against substance abuse and chemical dependency, and we believe that we can help you or your loved one achieve the same goal.
Our 139-bed center is licensed as a hospital and employs a team of professionals who are dedicated to helping patients as they navigate the road to recovery. Our programming employs the most advanced and effective treatment protocols, and we have structured our treatment so that patients can receive a full spectrum of services under one roof. In choosing our center to recover from an addiction to heroin, the following types of treatment are among those available to you so that you can learn to make the changes needed to achieve each one of your recovery goals:
Inpatient detoxification: Long-term abuse of certain substances, such as heroin, can cause a person’s body to become dependent on them. When this is the case, detox services become an important step in the recovery process. Our inpatient detoxification is medically monitored and allows patients to have their bodies cleared of their substances of abuse so that they are able to effectively participate in our rehabilitation programming.
Individual therapy: Wilmington patients are assigned a primary counselor upon admission to our center, and will be able to meet with this staff member as requested by the patient or as recommended by our team. We believe that those looking to defeat an addiction to heroin can greatly benefit from one-on-one time with a counselor, as these meetings can be a time to process feelings and emotions, set present and future goals, and talk through any experiences had while in our care.
Group therapy: Those who are battling an addiction to heroin often suffer through their addiction alone. At Wilmington, however, patients are part of a community that is united in the front against substance abuse and addiction. Group therapy sessions, where men and women truly feel that sense of community, are integral to the care we offer at our center. The following group therapy opportunities, which are offered daily in the mornings and afternoons, are examples of what may be offered during a patient’s time at Wilmington Treatment Center:
- Chronic pain group
- Understanding relapse group
- Process group
- Community meetings
- 12-Step groups
- Men’s group
- Discharge planning group
- Women’s group
- Life Stages Groups, which cover specific topics centered around the needs of young adults, middle adults, and those chosen by the patients themselves
Recreational Therapy Program: Living a sober life, free from the grips of a heroin addiction, means much more than just abstaining from substance abuse. For many individuals working on their recovery, sobriety also means discovering new leisure activities and enjoying them in a manner that does not involve the use of heroin or other substances. In order to expose our patients to substance-free fun, Wilmington is pleased to offer a Recreational Therapy Program that allows patients to participate in activities and hobbies that help men and women hold true to their treatment goals.
Recreation time: At Wilmington, participation in physical, social, recreational, cultural, and health maintenance activities is an important part of our patient’s day-to-day life at our center. Monday through Friday, we designate 90 minutes of recreation time, during which patients can take part in the following:
- Big Book Study
- Air hockey
- Arts and crafts
- Bocce ball
- Art therapy
- Board games
- Coloring pages
- Working on your Step 1
- Recovery Bible study
- Run/walk fitness trail
- Ping pong
- Foundations training
- Therapy outings
Family therapy: If it is deemed necessary for a patient’s care, family members, loved ones, and our patients can have scheduled family sessions with our licensed marriage and family therapist. Recognizing that an addiction to heroin has the ability to affect those closest to our patients, these sessions can be used as a time to repair the damage addiction has caused and can be the setting in which bonds can be reestablished in a healthy and constructive manner.
Family Program: In an effort to provide education and support to the family members and loved ones in our patients’ lives, Wilmington is pleased to offer a Family Program. Offered each Saturday and Sunday, this program allows individuals in our patients’ primary support networks to come together to share their stories, learn about resources available to them, and receive the care they need to help the person they care about successfully recover from an addiction to heroin. Wilmington also offers a more intensive Family Program that covers the same material and offers the same level of support, though that programming is offered on the first Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of each month.
Operation Recovery: A unique treatment track offered at our center, Operation Recovery is a specialized treatment option designed to meet the specific addiction treatment needs of military service members and first responders. This track utilizes the Seeking Safety Model for treating trauma, and includes a variety of treatment methods, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Group sessions with active duty and/or retired military personnel
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy through Wilmington’s Combat-Related PTSD Program
- Coordination of care between medical and clinical staff
- Introduction to the 12-Step and Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) meetings with military staff from local bases
- Monthly presentations led by Military One Source and the local Veterans Association
- Family involvement
- Command involvement (when consent is granted)
During the treatment planning process, the above methods of care can be added to a patient’s personalized treatment plan. Our staff works closely with those who choose to heal and recover at Wilmington to determine the types of the treatment that will be best suited to meet patients’ individual needs. Should a patient’s needs change, his or her treatment plan can also be revised in order to help the person as he or she works towards achieving new goals.
Following completion of our inpatient rehabilitation program, patients can then step down to our partial hospitalization level of care, and then to intensive outpatient treatment so that they can continue to work towards living the recovered and sober lives they deserve to be living.
If you or your loved one would like to learn more about Wilmington’s transformative treatment and how we can help you or a person you care about leave an addiction to heroin in the past, please contact us to gather more information. Our staff is happy to speak with you, and can help you determine if our center is the perfect place to have your or your loved one’s addiction treatment needs met.