Knoxville Heroin Addiction Treatment
Tennessee Heroin Addiction Rehab Center
At Tennessee Wellness Center, we understand how incredibly challenging it is for individuals struggling with heroin addiction to recognize that they need professional help. However, with our family on your side, hope and healing are possible. Our Knoxville heroin addiction treatment programs are designed to help you break free from addiction and give you the tools necessary to live a life free of heroin. Whether you are struggling with addiction yourself or are concerned about a family member or loved one, we are available to answer your questions and provide you with the information you need to begin the recovery process.
On This Page:
- What Is Heroin?
- How Does Heroin Addiction Happen?
- Our Heroin Addiction Treatment Programs
- Recognizing Heroin Addiction
- Helping a Loved One Struggling With Heroin Addiction
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is a highly addictive narcotic, or opioid, that produces a “rush” of euphoria once ingested. Due to its addictive nature, heroin is one of the most commonly abused drugs in the United States. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 902,000 people in the U.S. abused heroin in 2020 alone, with 691,000 people meeting the clinical requirement for heroin use disorder. Those who become addicted experience a compulsive desire to continue taking heroin despite an array of negative consequences, affecting everything from the individual’s physical health to their mental wellness to their relationships with others.
How Does Heroin Addiction Happen?
Like other types of drug addiction, heroin addiction typically develops over a period of time. Often (though not always), addiction begins when individuals are prescribed painkiller medications, such as OxyContin® or Vicodin®. Prescription opioids produce a similar effect as heroin—and they can be equally addicting. Someone misusing prescription opioids may develop an increased tolerance and dependence, leading them to eventually turn to heroin when a prescription runs out or they are unable to obtain the prescription medication.
Although addiction affects everyone differently, most people who become addicted to heroin go through the following stages:
- Initial Use: Whether a person initially takes an opioid they have been prescribed or begins using heroin right away, they experience the brain-altering effects of the drug with the initial use. Such effects are often pleasurable and may include reduced pain, euphoria, and a powerful sense of well-being.
- Tolerance: As the person continues using heroin, they will eventually build a tolerance. This means they will require more of the drug to achieve the same effects they once experienced. Often, this leads to the individual beginning to engage in harmful behaviors in an effort to obtain more of the drug.
- Dependency: As the individual’s tolerance increases and they begin ingesting greater amounts of heroin to get high, they will become physically dependent on the drug. Once a person has developed a dependency, they will typically begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms if/once they stop using the drug.
- Addiction: As dependency develops, the individual’s withdrawal symptoms when not using heroin can increase to the point of feeling unbearable. At this point, the person is addicted and, in most cases, stopping drug use is not possible on one’s own and, in fact, can be very dangerous without professional monitoring and assistance.
It can be incredibly difficult or even impossible to discontinue heroin use at any stage of this cycle due to the way it affects the brain. Addiction is a disease, and those suffering from it nearly always require professional treatment and care to overcome it.
Our Heroin Addiction Treatment Programs
Heroin addiction is serious and can even be life-threatening. Overcoming addiction is never easy, but healing is possible. At Tennessee Wellness Center, we provide a range of clinically proven, effective heroin treatments in Knoxville at our inviting facility. We do not provide inpatient treatment; if necessary, we can recommend an appropriate detox facility during the initial intake process.
Our whole-person approach to heroin addiction treatment involves:
- Partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs
- Behavioral and mental health treatment for co-occurring conditions
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Group therapy sessions and support meetings
- Relapse prevention
- Long-term sober living and aftercare
- Activities designed to improve physical and emotional well-being
- Family support
Our goal is to not only help you or your loved one on the path to recovery but also to provide the healing your whole family needs.
Recognizing Heroin Addiction in Yourself or a Loved One
Recognizing and acknowledging that you or someone you love is abusing or addicted to heroin is not easy. However, it is a critical first step in the recovery process.
Below are some signs that you may be struggling with heroin use that is beyond your control:
- An intense, compulsive desire to use heroin regardless of negative consequences
- Spending a significant amount of your time thinking about using or obtaining heroin
- Revolving your life, including your finances and time, around heroin
- Lying to others about your heroin use
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you are not using heroin
- Engaging in risky behaviors/ disregarding your safety and the safety of others
- Losing interest in activities and relationships you once enjoyed
- Experiencing employment, financial, and/or relationship problems
- New or increased depression, anxiety, paranoia, irritability, mood swings, etc.
Heroin addiction can be difficult to detect in a loved one, but some signs include:
- Lying and secretiveness
- Stealing/missing money or valuables
- Lethargy and fatigue
- Erratic behavior
- Unexplained mood swings, aggression, or combativeness
- Social withdrawal
- Changes in friend groups or relationships
- Unexplained disappearances
- Track marks on the skin
- Wearing long sleeves/pants even in warm weather
- Unexplained illness (runny nose, vomiting, achiness, etc.)
- Insomnia/changes in sleep patterns
Helping a Loved One Addicted to Heroin
There are few things more painful than witnessing a loved one struggle with heroin addiction. Though it may be difficult to approach them, it is critical that you speak up. You could be saving their life.
If you have a son, daughter, parent, relative, friend, or other loved one in your life who is addicted to heroin, follow these steps:
- Do your research. Learn as much as you can about heroin addiction so you can better understand exactly what it is they are experiencing.
- Choose your words carefully. If it helps, write down what you want to say ahead of time.
- Be straightforward with them about your concerns, but watch your tone. Be sure to come from a place of compassion, not judgment.
- Do not delay. Many people mistakenly think a person needs to hit "rock bottom" before getting treatment. The sooner your loved one gets help, the better their chances are of getting sober.
- Understand that your loved one may react negatively. There is a chance they may not realize the severity of their heroin problem, or they may be completely in denial. Do not be discouraged by this. Be persistent.
- If your loved one refuses to acknowledge an obvious heroin problem after multiple confrontations, consider enlisting the help of an intervention specialist.
- If your loved one agrees to seek treatment, stay involved. Check in on them regularly, participate in therapy appointments as needed, and support them in any way you can.
Focused on a Whole-Person Approach to Wellness
At Tennessee Wellness Center, our family of drug addiction treatment specialists understands the challenges you are facing. Many of our founding staff members have battled and overcome addiction themselves. Using this insight, we can provide the attentive and personalized support you need as you or your loved one navigates the road to recovery and long-term sobriety.