The more you know

Heroin Addiction
and Treatment

Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs of abuse known to man. However, recovering from addiction is possible. If you are addicted to heroin or if you have a family member, spouse or friend that suffers from heroin dependency, Sober Freedom can help.

Heroin Abuse Epidemic

Sober Freedom can help you take control and recover from heroin. If you need immediate help and would like to speak with a Sober Freedom staff member, call our hotline at any time, day or night, at (323) 270-0657.

Heroin use is on the rise with people of surprising demographics. Most people might consider heroin use a product of inner city life among those who are impoverished or have a long history of drug abuse. This is definitely not the case, with more and more youth from the suburbs turning to the drug. Recent studies show that with the rapid increase in prescription drugs like vicodin and oxycontin in suburban youth, heroin use has also increased. Both types of drugs are opioids and have similar effects.

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Dangers of Heroin Abuse

Understanding why people use heroin is not easy. Heroin poses far more danger than the symptoms and long term effects of its use. Intravenous drug use exposes users to a wide range of health issues such as hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS and blood infections. Any one of these diseases can kill. Chemical Agents that are used to cut heroin can make their way into the veins and heart and lead to heart disease as well.

Heroin Withdrawal

As with other powerful drugs, heroin users often find themselves using more and more of the drug just to counteract the withdrawal symptoms, which are severe. Flu-like symptoms and body pain are common, accompanied by extreme stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea. These effects are compounded by psychological issues, anxiety, and depression. Combined, these physical and mental pains drive the user to desperately seek more of the drug.

How People Become Addicted

It’s not very common for first time users of heroin to administer the drug intravenously. In fact, many people smoke it before they shoot up. Many begin using similar drugs like oxycontin, vicodin or other opioid drugs. When someone can’t get one drug of choice, they’ll often resort to a similar that is available. However, circumstances surrounding heroin use are often far more dangerous than prescription drugs.

Family and Friends of Addicts

Most people that have a loved one addicted to heroin understand just how powerful a hold it has on the user. Heroin use is an exceedingly difficult habit to kick and many users may need the encouragement of family and friends to get them in to a qualified treatment program. Sober Freedom offers a family intervention program if you find it difficult to get your loved one in to treatment on your own.

What Are My Payment Options?

Treatment is covered by most insurance providers. Our staff will contact the insurance provider to determine eligibility. However, not having insurance is not the end of the road. Sober Freedom offers flexible financing. No one suffering from heroin addiction should have to worry about how treatment will be paid for. We will work hard to find a way to get that person the help they deserve.

Taking the First Step

Sometimes the first step towards recovery is hardest. Sober Freedom makes it easy, offering a 24/7 hotline for anyone to call to learn more about how to get into treatment, what treatment is like, and how to get your insurance to pay for it.

Call us at (323) 270-0657 to learn more about the various treatment options we offer.

The Effects of Heroin Use

Short Term

The short term effects of heroin use can be both deadly and severe depending on the amount used. Overdose can lead to death by shutting down major organs in the body. Almost immediately after injecting heroin, users feel a sudden rush of euphoria followed by extreme drowsiness. Users experience the feeling that their limbs become heavier than normal and they’ll vacillate between periods of wakefulness and sleep. This can last for hours. They’ll also experience dry mouth, vomiting, constipation and heavy sweating.

Long Term

The long term use of heroin does serious damage to the body and mind. Many long term users will develop collapsed veins from repeatedly puncturing their veins with hypodermic needles. Also, many users will develop abscesses. Liver damage is common as well as heart damage. Long term use also may cause severe depression. Increased tolerance to the drug is a common factor leading to repeated use. To get the same high, long term users will need to continually increase their dosage just to ward off the onset of withdrawal symptoms.


As with other powerful drugs, heroin users often find themselves using more and more of the drug just to counteract the withdrawal symptoms, which are severe. Flu like body pain is common, accompanied by extreme stomach and muscle cramps, cold sweats and chills. Vomiting and diarrhea are also common. These effects are also accompanied by debilitating psychological complications such as anxiety and depression. Combined, these physical and mental pains drive the user to use more of the drug.

Hitting Rock Bottom

Once the user’s tolerance grows, they’ll need more of the drug just to feel normal. Heroin addiction eventually encompasses every aspect of their existence. Heroin addicts frequently sever ties with family and friends, fail to keep appointments with colleagues, perform poorly at work and often end up losing their employment. This, combined with the escalating cost of street heroin, typically drives the long term addict to turn to a life of crime in order to support their habit. Heroin addiction and criminality are very closely related.