Alcohol Rehab

Emotional and mental symptoms of alcoholism and drug dependence and what can be done for them in rehab

The Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Addiction

Heroin addiction is now at an all-time high, with thousands of sufferers being admitted to rehabilitation centers every year. It’s believed that almost twice as many go without treatment, with heroin dependencies accounting for almost 61% of all narcotic-related deaths every year. Recognising the signs and symptoms of an addiction can spell the difference between life and death and fortunately the common traits can be identified by those with little to no experience.

If you suspect that someone that you know may be abusing heroin then it can be very important to seek advice as soon as possible from a doctor or specialist.

Physical Symptoms of Addiction

Heroin can be consumed in one of two ways; by smoking it and by injecting it into the blood stream. In the former instance it’s often oral hygiene that is affected – especially the teeth and gums. Those that smoke heroin will often have blackened teeth as well as gums that recede. Over time teeth can fall out leaving decaying parts of the mouth.

When the drug is being injected it will usually be obvious as veins around the inner elbow, the groin and even the neck may display puncture holes from where the syringe has been injected. Over time veins can collapse resulting in bruising in these areas and in these cases, it can be especially important to seek medical advice as by this stage, the sufferer can be at a much greater risk.

Emotional and Mental Symptoms of Addiction

The chemical composition of heroin can often take a huge toll on a person’s mentality – even after the first exposure. Over time however it’s not unheard of for long term damage to occur which can worsen the longer that treatment isn’t sought. In the majority of cases (8 out of 10 according to statistic), a heroin user will find that their emotional stability may shift both when using the narcotic and in between exposure.

Most mental symptoms will take on the form of a loss of awareness, with those experiencing the effects of abuse being likely to ‘zone out’. It’s also not unheard of for a sufferer to hallucinate whilst under the influence of heroin. In rarer cases it has been documented for abusers to lash out at those close to them, often acting with unprecedented aggression. This event typically occurs when trying to recover and detox from the drug however and is why those that admit themselves to rehab will often have medication to help with these outbursts.

There are over two dozen individual symptoms that can occur on an emotional and mental level, and unfortunately not all of them can be understood by an addict. This is down to the fact that many drugs, particularly those mentioned at the beginning of this article, can take a toll on the part of the brain that is responsible for rationalization.

In these events it can be all but impossible for a drug abuser to recognize that there is an issue, because the chemicals that are responsible for logical thought can be overwhelmed by the toxic properties that many narcotics consist of. Over time it’s not unheard of for these organic compounds to be completely replaced by the instinctive attributes of drugs – and as with the majority of narcotics; this can lead to a complete addiction followed by unavoidable dependency.

Alcohol dependence symptoms

Unlike with an addiction, alcohol dependence symptoms can differ in the sense that they often relate to an addicts’ innate requirement to consume ethyl alcohol in order to function. Addiction relates to the habitual need to consume a particular substance, one that can often be overcome with treatment and therapy after going through alcohol detox, but dependency can be far more detrimental.

This is why many people may find themselves being required to undergo extensive alcohol detoxing programs within rehab centers and medical facilities. Although the symptoms can be similar when considering both addiction and dependence – the fact is that, with the latter, these traits can often have developed in a far more extreme manner.

Physical Effects of dependence

For instance the anterior insula, a small lobule that is connected to fatty tissues that directly run through the nervous system, can find itself surrounded by alcohol in the space of just three weeks – and this can be a major concern for those hoping to follow an alcohol restricted plan as dictated by a rehab clinic, or when trying to detox from home.

This is because of alcohol’s tendency to replace the necessary cells within the aforementioned lobule within the brain and once fully invaded, if an individual attempts to detox they can find the alcoholic cells reacting aggressively – which can lead to severe pain and discomfort during withdrawal. For those that are facing alcohol dependencies (as opposed to addictions), it’s important to ensure that any detoxing attempts are only undertaken with the guidance of a medical expert.

Recognizing the characteristics that can make an individual more likely to suffer with addiction

Those that could be medically diagnosed as depressed, anxious, and generally suffering with a chemical imbalance, may find that the mind altering chemicals within alcohol could already be present; albeit in a more organic manner. Most addicts will undergo a change to the development of chemicals as their condition worsens – but this trait can often already be present within anyone suffering with the aforementioned mental states.

In any event, these individuals may find themselves far more likely to feel the ill effects of alcohol from an earlier point during their exposure. This is mainly due to the fact that their body may already possess the negative chemicals associated with alcohol dependency; making it easier for the toxins to replace the organic compounds already present.


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