The Opioid Epidemic - North Jersey Recovery - Close up photo of the chest of a man in scrubs with a stethoscope around his neck as he holds out a bottle of opioids in his left hand and some white pills in his right hand.

The Opioid Epidemic: What Is It and What Can You Do?

The Opioid Epidemic

The most common drugs related to the opioid epidemic are fentanyl, heroin, oxycodone, and hydrocodone.

Morphine, codeine, methadone, and tramadol are other common opioids.

Both natural and synthetic prescription and illicit drugs have driven the opioid epidemic.

Nearly 450,000 people died from overdoses involving opioids from 1999 to 2018.

Opioids vs. Opiates

Opiates are drugs naturally derived from the seeds of opium poppy plants.

Opioids are either fully synthetic or partially synthetic.

This means that they are created chemically or with both chemical and natural ingredients.

Opioids are classified as any drugs that produce opiate-like effects, encompassing both categories and driving what we call the opioid epidemic.

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Opioid Misuse Rates

Many opioids and opiates have valuable medical uses when they are taken appropriately, but they are rarely used the right way. And many of them are highly addictive and dangerous. Their potency and addictive qualities make them easy to abuse.

Their high rates of abuse and addiction have led to alarming numbers of fatal overdoses, medical conditions, and accidents. This is why it is known as the opioid epidemic.

Approximately 10.3 million individuals reported misusing opioids within the last year when surveyed in 2018. There were 9.9 million misused prescription painkillers, 808,000 used heroin, and about 506,000 used both.

In both prescription and illicit drug use, opioid abuse can be hard to monitor and control.

Causes of the Opioid Epidemic

The opioid epidemic has occurred in waves. And the causes of the opioid epidemic have changed accordingly. During the 90s, the opioid epidemic was driven by an increase in prescription opioids.

Overdoses and patterns of physical and mental health problems led to shorter-term and fewer prescriptions. The next wave started in 2010 when we see an alarming and rapid increase in fatal heroin overdoses. Because there are no prescriptions or medical uses for heroin, its use became increasingly difficult to regulate.

The final wave started less than a decade ago in 2013. This wave was driven by synthetic opioids. With this wave, we saw a significant increase in fatal overdoses that involved the synthetic fentanyl. Traces of fentanyl are often found in heroin samples, illicit pills, and cocaine.

Drug dealers may slip fentanyl into their other drugs to keep their costs low and profit high. This practice can be deadly for unsuspecting drug users. There is no singular cause of the opioid epidemic. Each one presents unique dangers and concerns.

Prescription Opioids

Addictions to prescription opioids often start after an accident or injury occurs. These high-level painkillers are often prescribed for moderate to severe or unresponsive pains.

When used the right way, they can ease your pain and create euphoric feelings while you heal. But after a while, you may notice that they are not as effective as they were at the start. T

his usually means that your body is building a tolerance to its effects. As this happens, you will need to take more to achieve the same level of pain relief and other side effects.

You may be driven to take them in larger doses or take them more frequently. You may also begin to experience drug cravings. This is when addiction begins.

Drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms can make it hard for you to stop taking opioids. Increasing doses and graduating to stronger drugs are common. But these activities can compromise your health, altering your thoughts and behaviors along the way.

Our comprehensive addiction treatments can help you end the abusive cycle of addiction.

Side Effects of Opioid Addictions

Like many other drugs, there is a wide range of possible side effects from opioid addiction. These effects can be both physical and psychological.

Many remain the same, regardless of whether they are natural or synthetic, but other factors may alter them. Your method of ingestion, mental health, and the use of additional substances are a few important factors to consider. Some of the most common opioid-related side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Itchiness
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion and memory loss
  • Mood swings, including depressive episodes
  • Respiratory depression or slowed breathing

You do not have to live with the side effects of your opioid addiction. Entering an addiction treatment program is the first step in building a healthy, sober life.

Opioids and Mental Illnesses

As is made clear by the side effects listed above, opioids can impair your mental health. Confusion, memory loss, and mood swings are commonly linked to opioid abuse.

Beyond these side effects, other mental health impairments are possible, as well. If you have diagnosed or undiagnosed depression, taking opioids can worsen it. But beginning with opioids can lead to depression because of the way that it alters your brain chemistry.

The link is strong and can connect opioids and mental illnesses in either direction. Dual diagnosis is the term we use for addiction and mental health disorders co-existing.

We offer a specialized program that addresses each of these unique concerns, as well as their connection. Breaking the connection and treating each disorder simultaneously can ensure that one does not remain and worsen the other in time.

Addiction Treatment Options

Each of our addiction treatment programs takes place in our comfortable, safe, and amenity-packed facility. We are conveniently located for those throughout New Jersey and others looking to distance themselves from Manhattan during their recovery.

Enjoy the highest levels of privacy during your treatment outside of New York City and away from all of the distractions and temptations it holds. For addictions as strong as those to opioids, inpatient care is often preferred.

This type of program often begins with medical detox to ease your withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. It then continues into 24-hour care.

Each day will be filled with healthy meals, proven therapeutic methods, meetings, support groups, down-time, and holistic remedies. But if you have family or work obligations that require you to stay at home, we offer several other incredible options, too.

Our partial care, outpatient, and extensive outpatient programs allow you to live at home while spending a set number of hours at our facility each week. We will work with you to determine the program that will best suit your addiction and needs before you begin.

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Insurance for Opioid Addiction Treatment

Most major health insurance providers offer some level of coverage for addiction care treatments. If you have health insurance, but are not sure what is covered under your plan, please call our admissions specialist. They will review and verify your insurance for you.

This service is free and will move you past this first step so you can focus on preparing for recovery. If you do not have health insurance, they can also provide you with alternative payment options. Today is the day to choose change.

North Jersey Recovery Center

Addiction is a powerful and chronic disease that builds over time.

You do not have to live this way.

The best way to overcome your opioid addiction is to accept the help, care, and guidance available to you.

Commit yourself to a dedicated long-term approach and put the pieces back together.

Call us today for more information.

Heroin Withdrawal and Detox North Jersey Recovery Center - A young male is sitting on the street with his head in his hands as he starts to feel the effects of heroin withdrawal symptoms.

Heroin Withdrawal and Detox

Heroin Addiction

Addictions to this powerful and dangerous opioid drug come with troubling heroin withdrawal symptoms.

Your body and brain quickly become reliant on the effects that it produces.

And heroin withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings can make it difficult for you to quit on your own.

Heroin is a Schedule I drug that has no approved medical uses and a high potential for addiction.

Still, in 2016, about 948,000 Americans had used heroin within the last year.

Most graduated to heroin after becoming addicted to prescription opioids.

If this story sounds familiar, help is available.

Common Forms of Heroin

In any form, heroin is addictive and may cause heroin withdrawal symptoms with prolonged use.

The most common form is that of a white or brown powder. Sticky black tar heroin is the second most common form.

Heroin users do not typically start with this powerful and addictive opioid. As we mentioned before, most heroin users try it after developing a tolerance to prescriptions like Vicodin and Percocet. These prescription opioids produce side effects that reduce physical pain and reduce your anxiety to make you feel more relaxed.

But after prolonged prescription opioid abuse, the effects become weaker. For this reason, many people who are addicted to prescription opioids eventually seek something stronger.

Heroin produces similar effects to prescription opioids and is cheaper, more potent, and easier to find. Unfortunately, heroin is also more dangerous.

If your heroin withdrawal symptoms have prevented you from quitting, we can help.

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Problems Related to Untreated Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Heroin addictions can run rampant and leave you feeling powerless if left untreated.

Heroin addiction can impact everything from your finances and criminal record to your career and relationships.

Heroin is one of the most frequently smuggled illicit drugs, and heroin seizures have been rising over the last decade. As such, sentencing for heroin-related crimes has increased over the last decade.

But the most pressing concern is the number of heroin-related deaths. In just the state of California, 45% of drug overdose deaths involved opioids in 2018.

Heroin is a powerful and dangerous opioid that rewires your brain’s chemistry. Do not let it control your life for one more day.

Early Signs of Heroin Withdrawal

One of the most common signs of heroin withdrawal symptoms is the overwhelming urge to seek more.

If your drug-seeking behaviors keep you from completing tasks, working, or spending time with family and friends, you are likely addicted. If your drug cravings make you act out-of-character, these are clear signs that you will face more heroin withdrawal symptoms soon.

However, hope is not lost. You do not have to live with your withdrawal symptoms, drug cravings, or drug-seeking behaviors. Our comprehensive addiction programs help you overcome obstacles such as these.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Heroin withdrawal symptoms are more physical than psychological.

These symptoms can be intense. In some cases, they may be severe. Severe symptoms are one reason why medical professionals do not recommend users try to stop abruptly on their own.

Our high-level monitored, and professionally run drug detox programs handle situations like this. Heroin withdrawal symptoms can occur as soon as within a few hours after your last use.

Some of the most common ones may include:

  • Restlessness
  • Bone and muscle pain
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Cold flashes
  • Leg twitches

Drug cravings are the symptom that most often lead to relapse.

The extent and severity of your withdrawal symptoms may vary depending on different individual factors. For example, factors such as the duration you have been using, the amount of the substance you usually intake, and the ingestion method you use can impact your detox process.

Whichever withdrawal symptoms you experience, we will be by your side to help you through them. If necessary, we may use certain approved and professionally administered medications to ease your withdrawal symptoms and help you to feel stronger in a quicker time period.

How to Cope with Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms 

If you are wondering how to cope with heroin withdrawal symptoms, you are not alone. Withdrawal symptoms are a problem that thousands of individuals face each year. Heroin withdrawal symptoms lead many people to relapse or avoid quitting altogether for fear of what will happen.

But taking back control of your life from your heroin addiction is worth the effort. And we will walk you through the process. Our medical detox will help ease your heroin withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings to pave the way to a smooth recovery.

Our comprehensive and customized treatment programs will help you evaluate and address temptations, triggers, and unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors. We help you flip these into healthier, more positive thoughts and actions.

You do not have to face your heroin withdrawal symptoms or your addiction alone. We are here to help every step of the way.

Heroin Rehab Options

Overcoming your heroin withdrawal symptoms is the start of your recovery. Long-term sobriety and health require long-term efforts. And remaining in treatment for the appropriate amount of time gives you the tools and resources you need to avoid relapse.

However, please know that you are not alone if you do relapse. Many people relapse each day. Addiction is a chronic and controlling disease. It takes a dedicated effort and a strong, supportive team for lasting success.

Chronic addiction is one reason why we offer such a wide variety of addiction treatment options.

Your customized addiction treatment will likely start with an assisted detox to rid yourself of the heroin in your body.

Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs are two of the most common rehab options. With an addiction as intense and overwhelming as heroin can be, inpatient treatment programs are often better. These provide 24-hour access to care, support, and guidance.

However, not everyone can commit to a full-time program. In these instances, we offer outpatient support, aftercare services, intensive outpatient programs, and more to fill in the gaps.

We work with you to determine the care methods and programs that best fulfill your needs.

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Paying for Heroin Rehab

Paying for heroin detox and rehab may be easier than you might think.

Most major health insurance providers offer coverage for addiction health treatments. Your provider may offer full or partial coverage for the services you are seeking.

If you are unsure of your plan’s coverage, please call our admissions department. Someone is available 24/7 to review and verify your insurance for you. The process is fast, free, and easy.

North Jersey Recovery Center

Heroin is an addictive and dangerous drug.

But your heroin withdrawal symptoms will only continue to control your life if you let them.

The best time to change your life is this very moment.

Why wait another day to overcome your heroin addiction?

We give you access to the resources, training, therapies, and support you need to move forward instead of dwelling in the past.

All you have to do is make the call.

Addicted to Heroin on First Try New Jersey Recovery Center - A man is trying heroin for the first time, which will likely result in a lifetime addiction as you can become addicted to heroin on your very first try

Addicted to Heroin on the First Try

Can you Get Addicted to Heroin on the First Try?

Yes! Heroin is a chemical that works indirectly on dopamine (the feel-good chemical) in the brain.

This feeling of artificial pleasure and happiness is imprinted on the brain.

Our Bodies Recreate Things That Feel Good

Our bodies are designed to recreate things that feel good, leading the body to want this intense euphoria more.

Addiction describes a process of thinking and acting in order to obtain more of something repeatedly regardless of consequences.

The desire to consistently use heroin and work to obtain it for regular use can begin with a single exposure.

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Understanding Heroin Use

Can you get addicted to drugs on your first try? Yes, dependence on heroin can build quickly. After the first use, the brain almost immediately wants more.

The second and third uses may not create the same level of happiness as the first time, however.

As a result, you may be tempted to use more heroin.

This process is called tolerance, and it increases the desire to use more heroin in order to reach that high. The hard truth is that your first high may never successfully be reached again.

Fatal Overdoses are the End Result of This Chase

Many fatal overdoses are the end result of this chase.

What can North Jersey Recovery do to help someone who is addicted to heroin?

Addiction is formally defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) as “a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences.

People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences.

Addiction has been described as a process of losing hope.

It can be very challenging to determine when abuse moves to addiction.

If drug use creates problems, then professional treatment may be necessary.

Addiction to heroin requires both medical and addiction specialists to obtain recovery and restore hope.

North Jersey Recovery has a collective experience of over 50 years treating various drug addictions in people from all walks of life.

A healthy life is possible.

Effects of Heroin on Behavior

Drug abuse can alter behaviors – making it difficult to “find” the person that existed before heroin use started. So, can you get addicted to drugs on your first try? Yes, you can, and the effects can be detrimental.

Some examples of behavior change from drug abuse are:

  • Hallucinations
  • Aggression
  • Impulsiveness
  • Rambling or rapid speech
  • Inability to make decisions
  • Paranoia
  • Loss of self-control
  • Secretive or unexplained activity

Behaviors can be the most significant indicator of whether or not addiction is present. The consequences of addictive behaviors can be far-reaching and damaging.

There is evidence that drug abuse can be contagious within families. Behavior from heroin abuse can be dangerous not only for the user but for young family members.

From 2014-2017, the United States experienced a decrease in life expectancy partially due to drug abuse. The increase in mortality was seen in young and middle-aged adults with illicit drug abuse as the suspected cause. Heroin use is dangerous, unpredictable, and can easily result in an unexpected death.

The effects of heroin use can be seen in every area of a loved one’s life. Treatment is essential to stop the damaging impacts of addiction and to move towards health and stability.

Reaching out for help when you or a loved one’s heroin use has gotten out of hand is the first step towards healing.

Learning more about the cycle of addiction and healthy coping mechanisms are necessary for a more stable and joyful life.

Mental Illness and Heroin Use

Are mental illness and heroin use related? Can you get addicted to drugs on your first try?

In over half of all heroin addicts, the answer is yes. Having a mental illness, such as depression or anxiety, can make you more vulnerable to the effects of heroin. At times, heroin use can be used to self-medicate an existing mental health issue.

An undiagnosed mental condition can lead to attempts to feel better by using other external illegal substances. Treating the underlying condition can help relieve the desire to search for relief. Thus, treating both mental health and addiction is vital for long term recovery.

As tolerance develops and addiction grows, the effects of heroin can produce new mental health issues that complicate the addiction.

It is crucial to screen for these in all cases of heroin addiction. Half of the time, a mental health issue will be discovered, and treatment can be initiated.

Treating both at the same time has been proven to be more effective than treating each individually.

At Resurgence, we identify all causes of addiction and underlying mental illnesses to improve coping skills and support recovery.

Treatment of Heroin Addiction

Can you get addicted to drugs on your first try? Yes.

If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction to heroin, we are here to help.

At North Jersey Recovery, we use an integrated approach to heal and recover. We have over 50 years of experience breaking the cycle of addiction and shame.

Heroin rehab is not a short process, but it is possible. Simply stopping drug use is not recovery.

Learning about addiction, treating underlying issues, and building healthy coping mechanisms are all a part of our approach to lasting recovery.

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Heroin Addiction Treatment at North Jersey Recovery

We will work with you to determine your individual goals for treatment and customize treatment to your needs.

Heroin rehab requires a team approach, including safe medical detox, counseling, therapy, and inpatient treatment, followed by outpatient treatment. We are here to walk through this process with you.

Even if the situation appears hopeless or there is resistance to change, treatment can still be effective. Once the fog of addiction and medical detox clear many are happy to receive treatment.

We can help. Give us a call today to discuss your specific needs and requirements.