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What to Expect at a South Carolina Heroin Rehab Center

Medically Verified: 2/1/24

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All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Heroin is a potent and highly addictive drug responsible for thousands of deaths each year. Research from 2021 showed that heroin was involved in over 9,000 drug overdose deaths that year, and over a million people in the United States use heroin annually.

Once someone begins to use heroin, they are likely to develop an addiction to it. Heroin addiction can profoundly and negatively impact every aspect of a person’s health and well-being. People with heroin addiction require comprehensive heroin addiction treatment, beginning with a medically supported detox program. Comprehensive treatment can allow people with heroin addiction to identify the complex roots of their substance abuse and work toward lifelong sobriety.

If you or someone you love require treatment for heroin addiction, it can be helpful to understand what to expect in a South Carolina heroin rehab center. This article will provide information about heroin addiction, what happens in heroin rehab programs, and how to find the help you need to overcome an addiction.

Reach out to the South Carolina Addiction Treatment specialists now to learn about our comprehensive, high-quality heroin addiction treatment programs in South Carolina or to find support at any stage of your recovery.

What is Heroin?

Heroin is an illicit opioid drug that is derived from morphine, which is synthesized from Opium poppy plants. Heroin can come in several forms, including a whitish or brown powder or a sticky, thick substance called black tar heroin.

Heroin is known by many other names, including:

  • Smack
  • Hor se
  • Thunder
  • Black tar
  • Chiva
  • Big H

Heroin users snort, smoke, sniff, or inject heroin. Some users may combine heroin with other illicit drugs, and in some cases, dealers may add other substances to heroin. It is nearly impossible for users to know if they are consuming other illegal drugs or other dangerous chemicals when they use heroin. This can put heroin users at increased risk for overdose and other dangerous complications.

The Effects and Risks of Heroin Abuse

Heroin is highly addictive, and users can quickly develop dependence or life-threatening addiction in a very short period. Using heroin can cause short- and long-term health effects, and some can be very dangerous.

Short-term effects

Heroin binds to opioid receptors in the brain, causing a flood of dopamine– a neurotransmitter involved in pleasure and reward– that results in several short-term effects. These include:

  • Warm or flushed skin
  • Heaviness in the arms and legs
  • Slow breathing
  • Itching
  • Sedation
  • Slowed thinking and reflexes
  • Nodding off–briefly losing consciousness

The effects of heroin can last for several hours, followed by a “crash,” where users experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that may last up to a week.

Long-term dangers

People who use heroin regularly or for an extended period can develop severe physical and psychological complications, including:

  • Insomnia
  • Chronic constipation
  • Sexual dysfunction in men
  • Irregular periods in women
  • Abscesses and infection
  • Infection of the heart lining and valves
  • Damaged tissues in the nose and sinuses
  • Depression and other mental health problems
  • Pneumonia and other lung problems
  • Liver and kidney disease

Using heroin combined with other substances can lead to unintended, sometimes dangerous consequences. Dealers may add things like starch, sugar, and powdered milk to powdered heroin, putting people at risk of clogged blood vessels and brain, liver, or kidney damage.

Dealers may also add dangerous illicit substances, including Fentanyl, which is a highly potent substance that is deadly in tiny doses. This puts users at significant risk of overdose and death.

Users who inject heroin are at risk of contracting a bloodborne disease such as HIV or hepatitis from sharing needles and other injection equipment.

What to Expect at a South Carolina Heroin Rehab Center

Before beginning treatment, people with heroin addiction will undergo a substance abuse evaluation that will allow their team to develop an individualized treatment plan. For most, heroin rehab begins with support from a medically supported detox program.

While heroin withdrawal is not typically life-threatening, it can be so uncomfortable and painful that many people relapse before detox is complete. During heroin detox, medical and support specialists provide round-the-clock supervision and treatments that allow people to have a safe, comfortable detox from heroin.

Many in heroin detox programs will take medications, including methadone or buprenorphine (Suboxone or Subutex). These medications can reduce the severity of heroin withdrawal symptoms, including cravings.

After completing detox, people must continue treatment in a program that allows them to identify their substance use’s physical, behavioral, and emotional aspects.  Individualized heroin treatment plans typically include:

  • Individual behavioral therapy
  • Group support
  • Family counseling
  • Medications
  • Mental health treatment
  • Aftercare planning
  • Relapse prevention education
  • Meditation, massage, nutrition support, and other holistic therapies

South Carolina heroin rehab programs are available in both inpatient and outpatient settings. The level of care each person needs depends on their addiction’s severity, mental and physical health, and other personal factors.

No two people have the same experiences with addiction and recovery, so personalized treatment is essential. The care you receive in a South Carolina heroin rehab will give you the skills, community, and ongoing support you need to recover and move forward into a healthier, sober future.

Find a South Carolina Heroin Rehab Center

If you or someone you love needs treatment for heroin addiction or other substance abuse, call the South Carolina Addiction Treatment specialists today to find help. You do not have to live with heroin addiction. Effective treatment is available. Don’t wait for the help you need. Call us today to get started.