Can My Brain Heal after Heroin Use?
For a person caught in the throes of heroin addiction, lasting sobriety and recovery often seems impossible. Fatalistic feelings often accompany chemical dependency and are a common side-effect of psychological addiction. The truth, however, is that you can experience healing in your mind, your relationships, and your body if you find lasting freedom from this terrible disease. Heroin addiction recovery is challenging, to be sure, but with the right help and support you can rediscover the peace of a free and healthy life.
How Heroin Affects the Brain
Heroin, like all opiates, bonds to special chemical receptors in the brain that are responsible for the following critical neurological communication in the central nervous system:
- Sending and receiving physical pain signals
- Managing emotions
- Controlling stress and anxiety
- Impulse control
When heroin is first used it gives the user a feeling of absolute euphoria. It blocks any negative feelings, leaving the user in a state of ecstasy and bliss. As it blocks physical pain it also prevents the user from feeling any negative emotions, including symptoms of a variety of psychological disorders. The brain notices the relief heroin provides and uses every emotional tool at its disposal to keep it coming. These cravings function on a much deeper level than rational thought. Neural pathways are chemically re-wired by the presence of heroin in a way that reinforces these pathways and makes it nearly impossible for the addict to resist it.
Heroin also replaces naturally occurring brain chemicals that affect these same psychological and physical functions. The brain will stop producing these hormones as long as heroin is available. When and if the supply is interrupted the user will experience potentially dangerous symptoms of withdrawal until their brain re-establishes its normal chemical balance.
How Heroin Recovery Works
Full recovery from heroin addiction involves medically supervised detox and the careful, deliberate, and comprehensive rehabilitation of the mind from the psychological effects of the disease. Forward-thinking, residential treatment programs accomplish this through customized combinations of the following therapies:
- Empowering education about the functioning of addiction
- Group counseling meetings
- Nutritional support
- Teaching recovering addicts healthy new coping skills
- Spiritual support
- Preparation for life after rehab
One of the most important and valuable aspects of rehab is the way it allows the addict to focus his energy and efforts on allowing his brain to fully heal from the abuse it has endured. Healing is definitely possible when an addict can stay clean despite temptation and cravings. While many recovering addicts report that cravings never fully disappear, rehab allows them to resist those temptations indefinitely. As long as they remain aware of the disease and the boundaries it requires, they can definitely experience true healing in their brain over time.
Find the Right Heroin Help Today
If you’re ready to start the healing process of your mind from the devastation of heroin addiction please call our free helpline any time of night or day. Our counselors are always available with confidential answers to any questions you have about recovery and healing. It might seem impossible to imagine right now, but that is just the disease talking. Millions of people have successfully ended their relationship with heroin. Add your name to that list by calling right now.