April 9, 2024

5 Myths About Heroin

an image of someone learning about the myths of heroin addiction

It can be challenging to separate myths and facts about heroin, a powerful semi-synthetic opioid. 

Rates of heroin addiction in the United States have doubled since 2018, according to data from NSDUH (National Survey on Drug Use and Health). While heroin is one of the least abused drugs, it’s also among the most dangerous. Heroin addiction can be debilitating, and overdose can be life-threatening. Heroin is also now frequently adulterated with fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid. 

Fortunately, even severe heroin addiction responds favorably to the right treatment. Read on to discover how you can connect with compassionate care if heroin abuse is complicating your life.

Common Myths About Heroin

Let’s debunk five myths about heroin to present a more balanced picture of this misunderstood but potentially deadly drug. 

1) Heroin is a Young Person’s Drug

Some people may perceive heroin use as more prevalent in young people, perhaps due to media portrayal of the drug. People of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life use heroin, though. None of the reasons underpinning heroin use are limited to a specific age group. Indeed, more older adults use heroin, according to data from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). Among the 900,000 U.S. over-12s with diagnosable heroin addictions in 2022, just 35,000 were aged 18 to 25, while 864,000 were aged 26+. Older adults are also more likely to die of heroin overdoses than younger people. 

2) Heroin Addiction Happens Instantly

One of the most enduring myths about heroin addiction is that it occurs after the first use. Heroin, like all opioids, is highly addictive. Nevertheless, the rate at which addiction develops is contingent on the method of delivery, the frequency of use, and personal susceptibility. Heroin addiction – opioid use disorder – is a chronic brain disorder that typically occurs with sustained use of the drug. Tolerance forms so higher doses are needed to deliver the initial euphoria. Increasing dosage leads to physical dependence, often but not always followed by addiction. This is a process that takes time. 

3) Injecting Heroin is More Dangerous Than Smoking Heroin

All forms of heroin use are dangerous, and associated with health complications, addiction, and overdose. It’s true that injecting heroin carries specific risks – infections, vein damage, and transmission of diseases like HIV, AIDS, and hepatitis C, for instance. The same applies to smoking heroin, though – this can affect the lungs and trigger respiratory issues similar to those experienced by individuals smoking crack cocaine. The danger of heroin, then, occurs due to the drug’s potent effects and regardless of the route of administration. 

4) It is Impossible to Quit Heroin

Giving up heroin is challenging, but it’s not impossible. Opioid use disorder is recognized as a chronic and relapsing condition that’s characterized by the compulsive use of opioids like heroin in the face of obviously adverse outcomes. Successful and sustained recovery involves first addressing the issue of physical dependence on heroin and then unpacking the psychological aspect of addiction to opioids. Evidence-based treatment options for managing heroin addiction usually include supervised detoxification, MAT (medication-assisted treatment), and psychotherapies like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). 

5) You Can Quit Heroin on Your Own

While some people may manage to quit heroin without external assistance, seeking professional help makes the whole process safer and more comfortable, while at the same time improving the likelihood of long-term abstinence. Heroin withdrawal can be streamlined with medical supervision. Medications can reduce the intensity of cravings and withdrawal symptoms, while clinical care mitigates complications and relapse during early recovery. The structured support delivered during ongoing treatment for heroin addiction enables people to develop healthy coping mechanisms and support networks to help them maintain ongoing abstinence from heroin. 

Get Help for Heroin Addiction at Gratitude Lodge

If you or someone you love needs help addressing heroin addiction, reach out to Gratitude Lodge in Southern California. 

All opioid use disorders benefit from supervised detoxification. When you withdraw from heroin at one of our rehabs in Newport Beach or Long Beach, you can access FDA-approved medications to minimize the intensity of cravings and withdrawal symptoms. After tackling the issue of physical dependence, you’ll move into ongoing inpatient treatment at one of our luxury facilities. 

Heroin addiction responds positively to MAT (medication-assisted treatment). At Gratitude Lodge, MAT is blended with talk therapies like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), as well as individual and group counseling. You will also take advantage of a variety of holistic treatments, and you’ll leave our rehab center with a comprehensive aftercare plan in place.

Call 800-994-2184 today and begin your recovery from heroin addiction right away.

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Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
Jenni Bussi

Jenni Busse MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox, facilitating the beginnings of a successful recovery at our rehab addiction centers in Orange County, CA.

Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox.

Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse. Alcohol detox may not take as long or produce severe withdrawal symptoms, but it is still an essential beginning to your recovery.

Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse.
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Holistic Therapy

Our holistic therapy treatments offer a full-scope approach to recovery, addressing your mind, body, and emotions as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. This therapy is designed to help address underlying issues and integrate alternative therapies to promote overall health and well-being.
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Psychotherapy

An essential part of your treatment experience, we offer individual (CBT and DBT talk therapy) and group addiction treatment counseling to help you explore and address the emotional component of addiction, providing you with the tools, self-awareness, and empowerment you need to maintain recovery.
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Dual Diagnosis is a highly effective addiction treatment that addresses substance use and mental health disorders simultaneously. Often co-occurring, these disorders are best managed when treated together with specific and targeted therapy.
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Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Medication-Assisted Treatment provides you with FDA-approved medications to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal while you’re in treatment. This makes the detox process easier and safer, as well as increasing the chances of a successful recovery.
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Sober living provides a supportive and substance-free living environment for your ongoing recovery. We partner with a number of upscale and carefully vetted sober living homes that are available to our clients after inpatient alcohol and drug addiction treatment.
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Outpatient Treatment

Once detox and inpatient are complete, we provide an easy transition to outpatient care through our hand-selected partners. This program offers a more flexible approach, allowing you to ease back in to daily life while still receiving frequent & effective care.
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Inpatient treatment provides an intensive and comprehensive addiction treatment program in a structured environment. You will receive 24/7 expert care, therapy, and support as you build your foundation for long-term recovery.
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A crucial first step in the recovery process, our detox program provides a comfortable, medically supervised environment that addresses the physical aspect of addiction and eliminates substances from your body.

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