Heroin Addiction Treatment is a Necessity: How Heroin Rehab in Arizona Can Help
Substance use disorders such as addiction are classified in the DSM-5, the Diagnostic Statistical Manual used by psychologists and psychiatrists to diagnose conditions, as an official mental illness1. You wouldn’t ask a patient with bipolar disorder or PTSD to “snap out of it.” You can’t expect someone addicted to heroin to be able to conquer their illness on their own without support. That’s why addiction treatment at a heroin rehab in Arizona is an essential part of recovery.
Heroin Addiction and Mental Illness
The American Psychiatric Association defines addiction as “a brain disease manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequence2.” When they call addiction a brain disease, they are referring to the fact that addiction causes real, measurable changes in the brain’s chemistry and overall function.
This altered brain chemistry and function turn addiction from a physiological and behavioral condition into a psychological one. The neurochemicals in the brain have been changed, either by addiction itself or by another underlying mental illness that leads to addiction. Once this happens, it can be incredibly hard for a person to overcome those changes and get back to “normal” by him- or herself.
Why is Addiction Treatment Necessary?
Drug addiction recovery is very successful, while patients remain in treatment.
Consider the following diseases, which all have behavioral, physiological, and sometimes psychological components3:
- Acute care can easily manage Type 1 Diabetes, but 30 to 50% of patients relapse when they treat it independently.
- Hypertension can be kept under control with ongoing treatment, and yet 50 to 70% of patients go back into their hypertensive state when they manage it alone after treatment ends.
- Asthma is similar, with 50 to 70% of patients experience a resurgence of symptoms after treatment ends.
When studies say that addiction patients relapse 40 to 60% of the time3, keep that figure in perspective. Relapse after treatment ends does not mean the patient failed. Instead, it indicates that further treatment is necessary. This is why ongoing outpatient care is vital to success.
Why Does Relapse Happen?
After the brain becomes rewired to be dependent on a substance, those chemistry changes affect several factors that keep people in the throes of addiction:
- Intense cravings
- Impaired judgment and decision-making skills
- Poor control over the behavior
- Trouble learning and retaining memories
- Unstable moods
Put together, these symptoms can feel like a long, dark tunnel where the only light at the end is another dose of heroin. When people with addiction turn to friends and family and feel judged or like they are a constant source of disappointment and worry, they reach out for help less frequently. The stigma over asking for help with heroin addiction is incredibly isolating and damaging, leaving people with this condition to figure it out for themselves when the answer is right around the corner.
Heroin addiction treatment means that patients are not alone walking through their journey. Instead, they receive help, support, and a wealth of other coping mechanisms that make another dose of heroin a much less appealing thought.
Continued after image:
How Do You Know if You Meet The Criteria For a Substance Use Disorder?
Again, let’s turn to the DSM-5.
Experiencing cravings, trying and failing multiple times to quit, and missing school or work are just a few of the diagnostic criteria used to judge if a patient has a substance use disorder1.
The spectrum of severity ranges from mild to moderate to severe. Each new level requires more criteria to be met. A patient who checks two of the eleven diagnostic symptoms would classify as having a mild substance use disorder. In contrast, another patient who experiences six or more would classify as a severe case.
If your heroin use has started to affect your daily life, you would do well to reach out for help. Even if you feel you’re managing your heroin use well. Remember that you only need to experience two of the eleven criteria to qualify as having a substance use disorder. Therefore, if you have the occasional craving and have missed work once or twice, that would count.
Get Help from a Qualified Heroin Rehab in Arizona
Desert Cove Recovery offers outpatient heroin addiction treatment so you can receive help without putting your whole life on pause. Contact us today for more information or to get started.