Heroin Addiction

Are you looking for help with a heroin addiction for you or your loved one? If so, Primrose Lodge offer a full medical detox service and bespoke rehabilitation programme for those suffering with an addiction to the substance. We understand that detoxing from it can be very uncomfortable; we therefore take every measure possible to ensure that you receive the needed levels of support and medication to help you through the process of becoming heroin-free.

Heroin – Mortality Rates

If you are addicted to heroin, it is important to know the facts. There is a high mortality rate among users, so it important to get help straight away if you think you may have a problem. The majority of related deaths are attributed to users “going over”. You may only think you are in control and know what you are doing, but what do you really know about the drug and its associated dangers?

In the past two years, heroin and morphine-related deaths have increased by almost two-thirds; contributing to the mortality rate from drug poisoning rising to the highest level ever since records began in 1983.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published last year, figures show that there were 952 deaths involving heroin and morphine, which were recorded in 2014. This has risen significantly since 2012, where 579 deaths were recorded as being attributed to poisoning from these drugs.

Heroin, which breaks down in the body into morphine and is therefore recorded under the two drugs – accounted for 42% of total drug misuse deaths.

It has been identified that male addicts, particularly in the middle age bracket, are at a higher risk of a heroin-related death.

The Dangers of Becoming Addicted to Heroin

Heroin is a Class A drug that it illegal to posses and sell. Its effects have devastating consequences to the user and their loved ones. As one of the most powerful drugs you can buy, users can become physically addicted within a matter of days. Withdrawal is extremely unpleasant, and in order to avoid the withdrawal symptoms, users carry on using the drug in ever increasing amounts as their tolerance grows.

This substance can be smoked or injected. Many users progress from smoking heroin initially, to doing the one thing they said they would never ever do…injecting. Injecting produces a more intense and quicker high, but it also carries far more health risks than smoking. The reason many users progress on to injecting is that they quickly develop a tolerance to the drug. This means a physical dependence has built and more extreme measures and larger amounts are needed to produce the desired effect. Injecting carries significant risks of overdosing and developing health problems, such as abscesses at the injection site, blood poisoning and contracting a blood borne virus such as Hepatitis and HIV.

Taking heroin is notoriously difficult to stop, it produces intense cravings for more, as the effects wear off and withdrawal symptoms set in. Withdrawal is so unpleasant that users find themselves doing things they would not normally do in order to get their next hit. There are medications that can be used to assist in the withdrawal process, but these should only be used under full medical supervision.

Some addicts, in an attempt to stop, will use a substitute prescribed by their local Drug and Alcohol team, such as methadone or Subutex. However, due to having temptation all around them, they can invariably end up using heroin on top. This only increases the associated risks and makes it much more difficult for them to stop completely.

The Effects of Heroin

Heroin produces intense feelings of euphoria, well-being, warmth and relaxation. When it works well, it completely blocks the user from feeling any negative emotions. The intensity of the feeling will depend on the amount used, tolerance in the individual and how they take it.

Smoked in lesser doses, individuals may still be able to function, in larger doses it will cause the user to slump and be very drowsy. Someone who has a developed a tolerance may well be able to function once they have had their usual hit; their body has adapted to having the drug in its system. It may just be enough to stave off the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and allow them to go about their day. However, it is likely that they will be planning how to get their next hit of the drug; their whole life becomes centred on getting and using the drug. Not all users are of the variety of the stereotypical user. Some will be able to hold down a job and maintain a social life. They will use just enough to stop them from withdrawing. Others will reach desperate depths in their addiction and lose everything that they hold dear. They will end up in a very lonely place where the substance is their only comfort in life. They are literally living to use and using to live. Heroin is their master and takes everything of value – materialistically, emotionally, physically and spiritually. They become unrecognisable from their former selves and will make great moral, financial and personal sacrifices in order to feed their addiction, often resorting to stealing, manipulating and lying.

Spotting the Signs of a Heroin User

If you are worried a family member or loved one is using heroin, It can be very useful to know the signs and symptoms of heroin addiction and the associated paraphernalia used to take the drug:

Heroin paraphernalia

Heroin smoker – the substance can be smoked off the foil or rolled with tobacco:

  • Tin foil – in folded square or long pieces
  • Pipe: shaped like a tobacco pipe
  • Any hollowed out long object used to inhale: pens, bongs, rolled cardboard
  • Can also be smoked with rolling tobacco, using tobacco papers

Used items will often have scorch marks, soot and a brown or yellow residue on them

Heroin injector

  • Needles
  • Bent spoons
  • Packets of Citric Acid (A form of acid is required to break down the drug)
  • Packets of Vitamin C
  • Lemon, Ascorbic Acid
  • Cotton balls
  • Tourniquets (used to tighten the blood flow to the limb so that the veins come to the surface) examples are shoelaces, belts, long rubber bands

Again, used items will often have scorch marks, soot and a brown/yellow residue on them

Physical and emotional signs of someone who is using or under the influence of his drug.

Someone who is using heroin may display some or all of the following symptoms, depending on the amount that they use and the effects it has on them as an individual.

  • Restricted eye pupils (pin-prick pupils)
  • Droopy, glassy red eyed
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Greying skin
  • Disinterest in physical appearance and hygiene
  • Spots and sores
  • Track marks (bruising and collapsing of veins where the user has injected)
  • Abscesses at injection sites
  • Little or no appetite
  • Euphoria
  • Excitement
  • Sleepiness
  • Disinterested and uncaring attitude
  • Emotionless
  • Disappearing for days/weeks at a time
  • Loss of interest in sex and personal relationships
  • Missing appointments and commitments
  • Financial difficulties
  • Slurred and slow speech

Heroin – The Risks

Personal possession of heroin can carry a sentence of up to 7 years imprisonment. Possession with the intent to supply carries very hefty sentences. As well as being illegal, there are very great and real health risks associated with using. If you are a user, you should be fully aware that each hit carries the risk of:

  • Very rapid tolerance building
  • Death from overdose (those whom are using for the first time, use alone or have not used in a while are at greater risk of this of this happening)
  • Transmission of blood borne viruses such as Hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS
  • Abscesses
  • Gangrene
  • Collapsed veins
  • Malnutrition
  • Increased risk of contracting lung diseases and illnesses
  • Compromised respiratory system and slowed heart rate, leading to heart failure
  • Organ failure
  • Brain damage through lack of oxygen to the brain
  • Increased risk of accidents
  • Increased risk taking and dangerous behaviour
  • Association with other users, who would cause you harm to get money or take your drugs.

Addicted to Heroin?

Determining if you are addicted to this drug and have a dependence is quite simple. If you go without the drug, you will develop crippling withdrawal symptoms within hours. Only a further hit of will relieve these symptoms. Heroin withdrawal symptoms include:
  • Stomach cramps and diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Hallucinations (audio, physical and visual)
  • Shaking and shivering
  • Chills
  • Flu like symptoms, runny nose, sneezing, cough.
  • Sweating
  • Skin crawling and intense itching
  • Agitation and intolerance
  • Muscle spasms and cramps
  • Unable to focus or concentrate
  • Headache and tightness in head
  • Panic and anxiety
  • Unable to eat
  • Aches in the bones

Primrose Lodge Heroin Rehab

Getting the right help and support for a heroin addiction straight away can make the difference between life and death. Primrose Lodge are experts in treating addiction and can provide you or your loved one with a full medical detox and rehabilitation programme. We will do all we can to help you become permanently heroin-free. The majority of our clinical team have themselves been affected by addiction; they know first hand what you are going through and the difficulties you face in staying clean. Combining their personal experience with years of training and qualifications places them in a unique position to inspire and help you get well and stay in recovery.

Our residential treatment programmes include a detox, where required. We will provide around the clock support and supervision from our medical staff and clinical team to ensure your safety and well being throughout. Alongside any medical detox you undergo with us, we strongly recommend a full rehabilitation programme. Our rehabilitation programmes are delivered by our highly skilled and qualified members of staff and designed to treat the root causes of addiction. Each rehabilitation programme is tailored to meet the individual’s specific treatment needs, and incorporates a host of proven and very effective, powerful treatment methodologies. We have complete faith in our programme and our ability to help you to make a full and permanent recovery from Heroin addiction.

“I never thought I would see the day I would be free from heroin. I didn’t think it was possible and had resigned myself to dying a hopeless addicts death. Thanks to Primrose Lodge a miracle has happened, I am free from heroin and like the person I am today. I cannot thank them enough for what they have done for me”
Joe 42

Don't waste another day on addiction
Call Now 0203 553 9263
Call Now 0203 553 9263

Call Now 0203 553 9263

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