Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine. Morphine is a natural substance drawn from the seed pod of various opium poppy plants grown in Southeast and Southwest Asia, Mexico, and Colombia.

Heroin enters the brain rapidly and binds to opioid receptors on cells located in many areas, especially those involved in feelings of pain and pleasure and in controlling heart rate, sleeping, and breathing. As such, it is highly addictive.

Those who are addicted to heroin and stop using the drug abruptly may have severe withdrawal, that is why finding a heroin addiction rehab center in  Panama City Beach Florida is crucial. Since addiction is a chronic disease, with physical and emotional side effects and symptoms, the detox and rehab process must be comprehensive.



Heroin is either a white or brown powder or a black sticky substance known as black tar heroin. Some nicknames for heroin include Big H, horse, hell dust, Mr. Brownstone, junk, and smack.

People inject, sniff, snort, or smoke heroin. Some people mix heroin with crack cocaine, a practice known as “speedballing.”

Counties all over the state of Florida, particularly in Central and South Florida, have seen the popularity of the deadly drug reach its highest levels since the 1970s.

Officials in Bay County, home to Panama City Beach and the surrounding area, have formed the Bay County Substance Abuse Task Force, to help bring new resources for heroin and other drug abusers. According to reports, 18 people died of a heroin overdose in Bay County in the first six months of 2017.

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A range of treatments, including Medication-Assisted Recovery (MAR) and many behavioral therapies are effective in helping people stop their heroin use. To be effective, it is important to match the best treatment approach possible in order to meet the patient’s individual needs.

Medicines to help people stop using heroin include buprenorphine and methadone. They work by binding to the same opioid receptors in the brain as heroin, but more weakly, reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Unfortunately, the danger of these medications is that people can become addicted to them as well. For this reason, it is important that comprehensive medical treatment take place so that the patient can reach total abstinence.

At our Panama City Beach Florida heroin addiction rehab center, you will start with medical detox, which is a relatively short period of time when the patient is first coming off the addictive drug. Without proper supervision, relapse during the detox period is probable.

Detox, followed by professional counseling, patient education, family and individual therapy, like the kind offered at our heroin addiction rehab facility in Panama City Beach Florida, and ongoing support can help people to stop using drugs and maintain their sobriety.


People who use heroin report feeling a “rush” of pleasure, or euphoria. This rush often comes with other, short-term effects, including:

    • dry mouth
    • warm flushing of the skin
    • heavy feeling in the arms and legs
    • nausea and vomiting
    • severe itching
    • clouded mental functioning
    • going “on the nod,” a back-and-forth state of being conscious and semiconscious

People who use heroin over the long term may develop more damaging long-term effects, including:

  • insomnia
  • collapsed veins (for people who inject the drug)
  • damaged tissue inside the nose (for people who sniff or snort it)
  • infection of the heart lining and valves
  • abscesses (swollen skin tissue filled with pus)
  • constipation and stomach cramping
  • liver and kidney disease
  • lung complications, including pneumonia
  • mental disorders such as depression and antisocial personality disorder
  • sexual dysfunction for men
  • irregular menstrual cycles for women

Researchers continue to study the long-term effects of heroin addiction on the brain. Some studies have suggested that loss of the brain’s white matter is associated with heroin use. Loss of white matter could affect decision-making, behavior control, and responses to stressful situations.


Prescription opioid pain medicines such as OxyContin and Vicodin have effects similar to heroin. Research suggests that misuse of these drugs may open the door to heroin use, as the addict may turn to obtain his high by illegal means when his or her prescription runs out.

In fact, nearly 80 percent of Americans using heroin (including those in treatment) reported misusing prescription opioids first. Of course, prescription opioid misuse is just one factor among many that can lead to heroin use, and only a small fraction of people who use or abuse opioids turn to heroin.


People addicted to heroin who try to stop using the drug abruptly may experience severe withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can begin as early as a few hours after the drug was last taken. These symptoms include:

  • restlessness
  • severe muscle and bone pain
  • sleep problems
  • diarrhea and vomiting
  • cold flashes with goose bumps (“cold turkey”)
  • uncontrollable leg movements (“kicking the habit”)
  • severe heroin cravings

call our Panama city fl heroin addiction treatment center today

JourneyPure Emerald Coast heroin addiction treatment center in Panama City Beach Florida helps people get sober every day. Whether your problem began with a legitimate prescription or you started abusing painkillers casually, the professionals here at JourneyPure Emerald Coast can help.

Call our heroin addiction rehab in Panama City Beach Florida today for more information on how we can help you or someone you know find the path to freedom.

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