Heroin Rehab

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Heroin Rehab

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There are three phases in a heroin rehab programme. Namely, the detox, the psychological intervention and the sociological intervention. The detox is probably the largest block to a heroin addict thinking about rehab, owing to the fear of the withdrawals. All of our rehab clinics provide a fully medicated detox which takes the feared pain away.

The second phase of the heroin rehab programme looks at the underlying causes and traumas which lead to the addiction. Although all aspects of drug rehab are similar some of the triggers and cues are different. Triggers and Cues are momentary mental associations with the drug ion question. For instance, a heroin user that injects will find that they start to crave drugs when someone prepares a hyperdermic needle. Whereas a heroin addict that smokes the drug will probably start to feel cravings when they start to prepare foil. The psychological aspects of rehab will look at breaking the psychological links that exist between the two.

The third side to the triangle is about the sociological influences. It will look at negative friendships, places where the client uses etc. This is why getting away to a heroin rehab clinic is often such a good idea as, even if only temporary, it makes a clean break from the local area.

Pharmaceutical Name:

Diamorphine, Diacetylmorphine

Street Names:

Big H, Black tar, Brown, Brown Sugar, Dope, Horse, H, Junk, Mud, Skag, Smack.

Trade Names:

Diamorphine and Diacetylmorphine


Heroin is available in four forms powder, tar, jelly capsules and ampoules. There are countless forms of opiates available within the medical profession.


As with all substances, Heroin doses increase with addiction and tolerance. Heroin is mixed with other substances to increase it’s volume and profitability. This process is referred to as ‘cutting heroin’. Unfortunately it is very difficult for the user to know how much to take and can often result in a heroin overdose. In addition agents used to cut the heroin can often make a dangerous concoction and in itself increase the risk of overdose.


Opium has 24 alkaloids, 20 of them have no relevance to the medical community. The four that do are Morphine, Codeine, Thebaine and Papaverine. Morphine was first isolated from the other 23 alkaloids in 1805 by Sertuner a German pharmacist. It is said to be named after the Greek god of dreams, Morpheus. This is owing to its dream inducing properties. History shows that opium was used in medicine as early as the 1490’s. It was introduced as Laudanum (otherwise known as opium tincture and thebiaic tincture). Laudanum was made of a mix of opium powder, morphine and ethanol. In the early 1900’s it was available in the UK without prescription and is still available today, though rigorously controlled by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. In 1827 Heinrich Emanuel Merck started selling Morphine. By 1873 Morphine was synthesised into Diacetylmorphine (Heroin) it was four times stronger than Morphine. Today Morphine is used to manufacture Apomorphine, Codeine, Ethyl-Morphine, Beta-4-Morpholinylethylmorphine, Benzylmorphine, Diacetylmorphine, Dihydromorphine, Hydromorphone (Dihydromorphinone), Metopon, Morphine-N-oxide, Desomorphine (Dihydrodesoxy-Morphine) and N-Allyl-Normorphine.

Side Effects:

Analgesia, Tolerance, Addiction, Anxiolysis, Confusion, Euphoria, Somnolence, Bradycardia, Hypotension, Hypoventilation, Shallow breathing, Respiratory depression, Nausea, Vomiting , Constipation, Dyspepsia, Analgesia, Ataxia, Muscle spasticity, Itching, Flushing/Rash, Dry mouth, Miosis, or pupil constriction, Urinary retention


Heroin overdose can be identified by one or all of the following; muscle spasticity, breathing slow and laboured, topped breathing, extremely small pupils, sometimes as small as the head of a pin, dry mouth, tongue discoloration, bluish coloured fingernails and lips, spasms of the stomach and/or intestinal tract, constipation, weak pulse, low blood pressure, drowsiness, disorientation, coma, delirium. Overdosing on heroin can take different quantities depending on the addict’s tolerance and the purity of the heroin. Whilst some addicts have survived doses in excess of 1500mg a lethal dose is considered to be between 200mg and 500mg. If you are unsure whether or not someone is overdosing on heroin call the emergency services.


Heroin withdrawal is, as are many substance withdrawals a two part process, physiological and psychological. Heroin works by emulating our endorphins, endorphins are our brain signals that tell us that we feel good. Endorphins natural opposite is noradrenalin, most people know this as adrenaline. A non heroin addict would have equal levels of noradrenalin and endorphins. When the heroin use is stopped there is an imbalance of noradrenalin and endorphins, this is commonly known as an ‘Adrenaline Storm’ and is responsible for the large part of withdrawal symptoms (otherwise known as cold turkey). Treatment for heroin withdrawal can often be by way of heroin antagonist medication such as Britlofex (otherwise known as Lofexodine). Typically withdrawals will start 6 to 24 hours after the last use of heroin, though this depends on the addict’s tolerance. Heroin withdrawal symptoms can include sweating, uneasiness, anxiety, depression, priapism, extra sensitivity in female genitals, feeling of heaviness, cramp pains, excessive yawning or sneezing, tears, runny nose, insomnia, cold sweats, chills, severe muscle and bone aches, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, cramps and fever.

If you, or someone you know is suffering and considering a heroin rehab clinic, feel free to give us a call for some free advice and information.


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