Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to the Coronavirus
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Bowling Green Brandywine Treatment Center to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Bowling Green Brandywine Treatment Center.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Heroin Effects & Warning Signs

Heroin is an extremely addictive drug that is synthesized from morphine, which is a natural derivative of the opium poppy plant. Heroin is a synthetic opioid analgesic, which means that it has powerful pain-killing properties.

Understanding Heroin

Learn about heroin and substance abuse

As is also the case with both natural and synthetic opioids, heroin is both dangerous and highly addictive.

Heroin is most commonly abused because of the intense euphoria that occurs quickly after ingestion. When a person uses heroin, which usually occurs by inhaling, smoking, or injecting it, the body converts the drug into morphine. The reconstituted morphine then triggers receptors that regulate the release of hormones that are associated with excitement, pleasure, breathing, and blood pressure.

Users can develop tolerance to and dependence upon heroin with stunning rapidity. After using heroin only a few times, people may find that they need either larger or more potent doses in order to achieve the high that they experienced the first time. This tolerance is usually accompanied by often painful withdrawal symptoms when a user either attempts to stop using heroin or is unable to acquire the drug. These symptoms can occur as quickly as within six hours of heroin abstinence, and can last as long as a week.

Though heroin abuse and addiction can inflict profound damage on a person’s mental, physical, social, and emotional wellbeing, dependence upon heroin can be successfully treated with therapy, medication, or a combination of the two.

Statistics

Heroin addiction statistics

Experts estimate that more than four million Americans have used heroin at least once during their lives, and that about one in four heroin users will become addicted to the drug. Globally, more than nine million people are estimated to be current or past abusers of heroin. The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified heroin abuse as the world’s most common form of opioid dependence.

Economists estimate that heroin abuse and addiction may cost the U.S. economy as much as $30 billion every year due to expenditures associated with crime, lost productivity, medical care, trials and incarcerations, and social welfare programs.

Heroin abuse accounts for more than 15 percent of admissions to drug treatment programs in the United States and is associated with more than half of all drug-related deaths. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heroin-related overdose deaths have increased almost 400 percent since 2000.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for heroin addiction

An addiction to heroin or any other substance can result from a multitude of genetic and environmental influences acting alone and in concert with one another. While no single definitive precursor will predict the development of a problem related to heroin abuse and addiction, the following factors can increase the odds that a person will experience such a problem:

Genetic: Family history is strongly associated with the development of a substance use disorder, with some experts stating that genetics account for 50 to 60 percent of a person’s risk for developing an addiction. One study into the genetics of addiction found that children of addicted parents are eight times more likely as children of non-addicted parents to develop an addiction to heroin or another drug. On a specific genetic note, research reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests that variations in the dopamine receptors in a person’s brain can influence that person’s susceptibility to addiction.

Environmental: Research has revealed several environmental factors that may increase a person’s likelihood for developing an addiction to heroin or another drug. For example, while family history can have a genetic component, it is also an environmental factor. Children who grow up in homes where substance abuse, mental illness, and/or domestic violence are present are at increased risk for engaging in substance abuse – even if the children are adopted or otherwise not biologically related to the parents. Living in a stressful environment or in a community where drug abuse is prevalent can also raise the odds that a person will abuse drugs.

Risk Factors:

  • Family history of drug abuse and/or mental illness
  • Presence of domestic violence within one’s family
  • Personal history of mental illness or prior substance abuse
  • Experiencing trauma
  • Gender (Heroin abuse is more common among men)
  • Age (Heroin abuse is more common among teens and adults under age 30, with 22 being the national average of first use)
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor impulse control
  • Poor coping skills
  • Poverty
  • Associating with peers who abuse drugs

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of heroin addiction

Individuals who engage in the abuse of heroin or other drugs can be quite skillful at hiding the signs of their self-destructive behaviors. However, certain indicators are likely to eventually appear. The following are common signs and symptoms that a person may be abusing heroin:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Possessing hypodermic needles, syringes, and other drug paraphernalia
  • Wearing long sleeves and long pants, even when not appropriate for the weather (to hide evidence of injection drug abuse)
  • Acting in a secretive, unaccountable, or otherwise deceptive manner
  • Expressing out-of-character aggressiveness, rage, and/or irritability
  • Experiencing unexplained financial problems
  • Isolation

Physical symptoms:

  • Sudden, unexplained weight loss
  • Persistent scabs and sores (from injection drug use)
  • Burn marks on fingers, lips, and/or nose (from smoking heroin)
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Drowsiness to the point of unconsciousness
  • Failure to menstruate
  • Bloodshot eyes and runny nose
  • Dark circles under eyes
  • Nausea and constipation

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Disorientation
  • Impaired memory
  • Difficulties with concentration and focus
  • Problems with abstract reasoning
  • Hallucinations

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Poor impulse control
  • Loss of interest in activities that were previously very important
  • Extreme apathy
  • Euphoria, often followed by depression

Co-Occurring Disorders

Heroin addiction and co-occurring disorders

Disorders as severe as heroin use disorder rarely occur without being accompanied by co-occurring conditions, such as the following:

  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Persistent depressive disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Other substance use disorders

Effects

Effects of heroin addiction

The following are among the many common ways that heroin abuse and addiction can damage a person’s physical health, mental acuity, emotional stability, and socioeconomic wellbeing:

  • Scars, scabs, and abscesses
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Strained, damaged, or ruined relationships
  • Poor job performance, often leading to joblessness
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Respiratory problems, including pneumonia
  • Muscle pain and cramping
  • Financial problems
  • Legal problems
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke

Withdrawl & Overdose

Effects of heroin withdrawal and overdose

Effects of heroin withdrawal: When a person who has become dependent upon heroin stops using the drug, either intentionally or involuntarily, the following withdrawal symptoms may occur:

  • Strong cravings for heroin
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Muscle pain
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Runny nose and watery eyes
  • Hallucinations
  • Agitation
  • Irritability

Effects of heroin overdose: Heroin abuse quickly leads to tolerance, which forces users to ingest increasingly larger or more potent doses. This can significantly raise a person’s risk for overdose, which can be fatal. The following are among the more common indicators that a person is suffering from heroin overdose:

  • Depressed breathing
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Inability to be awakened
  • Seizure
  • Coma

Take an Assessment

We offer quick and anonymous online assessments to help gauge the severity of your or your loved one’s addiction or mental health disorder. Choose from the available assessments below.