Addiction Treatment in Laguna Hills, California

Heroin Addiction


Heroin addiction is a disease that someone can develop an addiction very easily. Heroin use causes drug-seeking behaviors that can be very difficult to control. These behaviors are caused by the brain despite the numerous negative consequences that are likely to happen. Once heroin enters the brain, it is converted to morphine and very rapidly attaches to the opioid receptors. This process explains the “rush” feeling that is typically reported among users. 
Opioid receptors are involved in pain perception and reward, which is why using heroin increases pleasurable feelings and decreases pain. That description can put into perspective how easily an individual could become addicted to heroin. 

After the initial effects, becoming drowsy for several hours is one of the many common symptoms heroin users experience. During this time, mental health functions are clouded, heart functions slows, and breathing is also decreased severely. Sometimes, these functions are slowed enough to be life-threatening. The decrease in breathing can also lead to a coma and permanent brain damage.

The various signs and symptoms of will vary depending on the individual. Just some of the most common side effects of heroin addiction may include:
  • Kidney disease
  • Seizures
  • Blood clots, leading to stroke or heart attack
  • Valve or lining infections in the heart
  • Clouded mental functioning
  • Skin diseases or abscesses around injection areas
  • Scarred, collapsed veins
  • HIV or Hepatitis B and C
  • Liver disease
  • Death
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms


Depending on the individual, the initial “comedown” from heroin can vary in time and severity. While the beginning stages begin as quickly as  6 to 12 hours after the last dose, heroin withdrawal symptoms typically hit their peak at the 1-3 day mark. Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) is also seen in some cases where the individual can suffer from intense withdrawals for weeks or even months. In most cases, the severity of the symptoms subsiding gradually over typically a 5-7 day span.

Heroin withdrawals are usually very complex. Those who have suffered from heroin addiction for an extended period of time could possibly suffer from more severe and sometimes dangerous symptoms that can cause permanent damage. The duration of these withdrawals depends on several factors. Most importantly including:

  • How frequently heroin was used
  • Methods that were used to administer heroin
  • Amount of heroin taken per dose
  • Length of time that heroin was abused

Detoxification should always take place in a safe and controlled environment where treatment professionals are readily available. Monitoring for safety, and on-site to provide any medications that could be used to help counter the withdrawal effects.

Heroin Addiction Treatment


Extreme cravings are often the most frequent cause of relapse during recovery. Detoxification programs help minimize cravings and usually utilize resources such as certain medications to assist in the process. Professionally supervised heroin detox programs are specifically designed to help addicts safely ween off of this very highly addictive drug.

Once the detoxification process has been completed, classes and therapy sessions are strongly encouraged. Group meetings attended by others in treatment are very insightful as well. All of those resources provide great opportunities to learn to develop various techniques and skills. What you learn can be extremely beneficial while striving to maintain a life in sobriety. remaining sober, as well as learning to recognize and cope with certain triggers or situations in the real world. 

Whether you are struggling with heroin addiction or are concerned about a loved one, the first step is learning more about the detox process. We invite you to contact Stone Ridge Recovery today to ask about our detox program.