Why Peaks Recovery Centers after inpatient rehab?
The process for shutting off either heroin or other opioid cravings, including the process for turning on important coping mechanisms to alleviate on going mental health issues, is not a light switch. Most people abusing heroin or other opioids, those neglecting their mental health, or both, have invested themselves in those behaviors for months, years, and even decades. At Peaks Recovery Centers we believe that long-term recovery requires a significant investment to heal both our mind and body from heroin addiction and opioid addiction.
The longer young adults participate in treatment programs to deal with the underlying issues of their behaviors, the more likely it is that they will receive long-term sobriety and stability. One year of sobriety reduces relapse rates by over 50%. Two years of sobriety reduces relapse rates by nearly 85%. At Peaks Recovery Centers we believe it paramount to the long-term success of young adults and their recovery that they continue with extended care treatment. Our six-month program allows each individual to incrementally move forward in their recovery rather than being exposed to an array of immeidiate challenges that often times can be defeating in early recovery. Our programs are favorably structured for young adults and specifically designed to promote long-term recovery in an accountable, communal setting.
Heroin Addiction and Young Adults
Heroin use over the past decade has more than doubled among young adults ages 18-25. Historically, the average age in which individuals died from heroin overdoses was between 40 and 50. Now, however, the average age of deaths related to heroin is between 18 and 25. 90% of heroin users are middle-class, Caucasian individuals.
Effects of Heroin
Heroin is an opioid pain killer taken recreationally for its euphoric effects. People have natural opioid receptors throughout the body and brain. Once heroin enters the brain, it is converted to morphine and binds rapidly to opioid receptors. When opioids bind to these receptors they decrease the body’s perception of pain, elevating mood by increasing dopamine levels. Heroin floods the opioid receptors while simultaneously reducing the amount of GABA inhibitory interneurons. Normally, GABA reduces the amount of dopamine released. By inhibiting this inhibitor, opioids ultimately produce enormously high levels of dopamine and, thus, the euphoric effects that follow.
Studies have also shown that after prolonged periods of heroin usage serotonin levels diminish significantly compared to healthy individuals. Serotonin receptors work similarly to GABA receptors by reducing the amount of dopamine. Dopamine essentially drives cravings and serotonin applies the brakes, so to speak. As serotonin levels decrease it becomes harder for the addicted person to realize enough-is-enough or become satiated.
The chemical imbalance within the brain caused by heroin can quickly lead to dependence and eventually addiction, especially after long-term use.