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Heroin Addiction on the Rise in Southern California

SoCal Detox
SoCal Detox

SoCal Detox editorial contributors include writers, editors, mental health and substance abuse treatment professionals who are trained to create credible and authoritative health information that is accurate, informative, and easy to understand.

The dramatic surge in heroin addiction and overdose deaths has dominated the national headlines. In 28 states, heroin deaths have doubled in the last few years and lawmakers, law enforcement and concerned citizens alike have been working non-stop to come up with ways to slow the epidemic. While there have been considerable measures taken in order to get help to those who need it the most, heroin use has continued to be a significant health concern. The devastating effects of heroin addiction is also being felt in Southern California.

An increasing number of teens and adults in southern California are using heroin, and the need for immediate intervention by quality medical detox and treatment centers is crucial in helping those addicted to the drug find recovery. If you or a loved one are struggling with heroin addiction, call SoCal Detox today and find out more about our life-saving detox services.

By the Numbers

growth of heroine usage

According to statistics provided by SAMHSA, the use of heroin by young people aged 12-17 increased by 80 percent. Overall, heroin deaths had jumped a staggering 250 percent over a ten year period. Like in other parts of the country, heroin use has moved from being an urban problem that affected poor minority populations and have spread into the suburbs. The face of heroin addiction today is young and white.

An added element of concern is the fact those who turn to heroin started out abusing prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin and Percocet. As increased law enforcement and legislation has slowed the growth of prescription drug abuse, many have turned to heroin due to its’ lower cost and availability of more potent supplies of heroin from Latin America.

The Signs of Heroin Addiction

heroin addict

For those who abuse heroin, the drug produces a “downer” effect that brings intense feelings of relaxation and euphoria. Like other opiates, heroin blocks the brain’s ability to perceive pain. For those who are in the grips of heroin addiction, they may initially be able to conceal signs and symptoms of their heroin use for a period of time before the physical signs of heroin use become more apparent.

You may notice a number of signs and symptoms of heroin use from a friend of loved one which include the following:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Constricted pupils
  • Disorientation
  • Cycles of extreme alertness following by sleepy periods
  • Droopy appearance, as if extremities are heavy

You may also notice the appearance of paraphernalia such as aluminum foil, small plastic bags, burned spoons, needles or syringes in addition to the above listed signs.

Symptoms of Long-Term Heroin Addiction

girl who is withdrawing from heroin

For those who have abused heroin for long periods of time, the signs of addiction are more starting and life-threatening. For those who inject the drug, collapsed veins and infections of the blood vessels and heart are common. Heroin users who inject the drug are at high risk for developing arthritis as well as infectious diseases such as hepatitis C2 and tuberculosis. Additionally, long-term heroin addiction can include symptoms such as constipation, bad teeth, the weakening of the immune system, depression, loss of appetite, loss of memory and partial paralysis.

In worst case scenarios, overdoses, coma and death can result from heroin abuse and addiction.

The Importance of Heroin Detox in The Treatment Process


Heroin is one of the most dangerous and addictive drugs on the planet. For those who attempt to quit taking the drug, they can experience withdrawal symptoms that are extremely painful and potentially life-threatening. Methods of self-detoxification or quitting the drug “cold turkey” is extremely risky. For those to want to end the vicious cycle of heroin addiction, they must seek the professional help that is found at a reputable drug treatment center. These facilities provide the medical care, therapy, life skills training and aftercare programs that can help people achieve and maintain long-term sobriety.

Medical detox is a necessity in the treatment process for heroin addiction. During detox, heroin users are gradually weaned off the drug through the use of medications such as suboxone or buprenorphine. These medications minimize withdrawal symptoms and helps make the withdrawal process more tolerable. Once the addict is substance-free as well as medically and psychologically stable, they can transition into intensive drug treatment.

Turn to SoCal Detox for Quality Heroin Detox Services

If you are ready to make the major commitment of seeking help for your addiction to heroin, your first stop on your recovery journey is SoCal Detox. Our detox facility is safe, secure and supervised by highly qualified and experienced medical staff. All clients of SoCal Detox are given complete and expert attention through the duration of their stay at our detox facility. With every step in the detox process, you will be carefully monitored by experienced specialists who offer support and guidance as  you manage withdrawals and substance cravings.

Call us toll-free today and start making your recovery a reality.

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