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Heroin Addiction in Massachusetts

Over 88% of drug overdose deaths in Massachusetts have opioids like heroin involved. Almost 500 MA residents died from heroin alone in 2018.

Don’t become part of a grim statistic. Bedrock Recovery Center is here to develop your recovery education, get you through detox, and set you up for a life of success without heroin.

If you’re living with heroin addiction, our detox and residential inpatient programs can help by addressing the causes of your addiction and giving you new coping skills and education.

Heroin is an opioid that is highly addictive. When people take this drug, it binds to the opioid receptors in the brain. This creates a sense of euphoria. But it also has an effect on the heart rate, sleeping, and even breathing—making this drug dangerous.

In Massachusetts, addiction to heroin and other opioids is a major problem. In 2016, the death rate caused by opioid use in MA was twice the national average. In addition, over 80% of drug-related deaths were caused by opioids.

So if you or someone you know is addicted to heroin in MA, you’re not alone. If you’re looking for treatment options, here’s what to know about heroin addiction in MA.

What Is Heroin?

Heroin is a substance that is made from morphine, which is taken from the seed pod of opium poppy plants. This drug often comes in the form of white or brown powder, depending on what other substances it’s mixed with. Powdered heroin is often snorted or smoked.

Another form of this drug is black tar heroin. This is a black, sticky substance due to it being made in a way that leaves a lot of impurities behind. Those who use black tar heroin usually inject it into their veins or muscles.

Heroin dealers often call this drug by other names to avoid detection by police. Some of the most common slang terms for heroin include dope, smack, horse, and big H. Other common names for heroin include brown sugar, junk, hero, hell dust, China white, and skunk.

How Does a Heroin Addiction Start?

Many people who become addicted to heroin start out using prescription opioids to numb the pain after an injury. They might be heroin medication-assisted treatment prescribe oxycodone or hydrocodone for a short period of time. After a while, they become addicted to pain relief and euphoria.

But once their doctor stops prescribing the opioids, they might buy them off the streets. Then they find that heroin is cheaper and offers similar effects, so they switch to this illegal drug.

In fact, MA statistics show that 8 in 12 people who died from heroin use in from 2013 to 2014 were prescribed opioids at least once within one to two years of their death.

Common Effects of Heroin

Heroin creates an intense feeling of euphoria that can last anywhere from a few minutes to five hours.

Many heroin users experience the following effects:

  • A feeling of well-being
  • Extreme euphoria
  • Less anxiety
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Heavy feeling in the limbs
  • Flushed skin

These short-term effects might last only a few hours, but there are also some long-term effects to worry about.

Long-Term Effects of Heroin Use

  • Insomnia
  • Stomach cramps
  • Infection in the heart valves and lining
  • Collapsed veins
  • Damaged nose tissue
  • Abscesses
  • Lung problems
  • Kidney & liver disease
  • Depression

Additionally, heroin overdose is a big concern that becomes more likely the longer you use this drug.

The symptoms of overdose include:

  • Slower pulse
  • Slowed or stopped breathing
  • Small pupils
  • Blue lips

These heroin symptoms can lead to coma, brain damage, and death. This is why a possible heroin overdose demands immediate medical attention.

Heroin Addiction in Massachusetts

Opioid use in this country has been on the rise over the years. In MA, about 88% of drug overdose deaths were caused by one or more opioids in 2018. About 475 of those deaths were caused by heroin.

This is why the need for heroin addiction treatment has risen over the years. Fortunately, if you are battling addiction in Massachusetts, you have access to Bedrock Recovery Center.

When you come to our heroin residential treatment center, you’ll get help from our board-certified physicians who will offer you the individualized care you deserve as you recover from your heroin addiction. Contact us today to learn more about your heroin addiction treatment options at Bedrock Recovery Center.


Can I afford heroin addiction treatment?

Often times, your health insurance plan can cover a majority of the cost of your treatment from heroin addiction. Not sure where to start? We can help verify your insurance plan and point you in the right direction, even if it’s not with us.

Can I force a loved one to go to rehab for heroin abuse?

If you live in the state of Massachusetts, there is a law that passed, known as Section 35. Under this law, it “allows a qualified person to request a court order requiring someone to be civilly committed and treated involuntarily for an alcohol or substance use disorder”. Read more about Section 35 and speak with one of our treatment specialists today to help assist you through this process.

How can I stage an intervention for heroin addiction?

If you have tried talking to your loved one about their issue with heroin and still can’t get them into treatment, give us a call. We can talk you through the steps needed to hold an intervention and can even send a certified interventionist to help assist you during this process. There is some planning that goes into place in order to conduct a successful intervention. You can read more about this process here.

How do I talk to a loved one about heroin addiction?

Talking to a loved one about heroin addiction treatment can be tough. It’s important to go about it in a healthy way, without them feeling judged or pressured. Here are some tips on talking to a loved one about addiction treatment.

What does heroin treatment look like?

Treatment for heroin abuse often comes in multiple stages. Typically, treatment consists of detox, inpatient/residential treatment and/or intensive outpatient treatment. This process usually takes on average 90 days. An individualized plan will be made for each patient by their clinician and therapist.

Ready to make a change? Talk to a specialist now.