The Heroin Relapse and Overdose Death Connection

Heroin has a high relapse rate in part due to its highly addictive nature. Most heroin overdose deaths occur when a person relapses – partly because after staying sober for a period of time, the user’s tolerance level has dropped. Whether or not the user is aware of it, the body and brain have been reset back to a lower tolerance level than what it was at the high dosage use. This can cause the user to take in a lot more drugs than their system can handle. Since the body is no longer used to such a high dose, overdose and death often occur as the drug depresses respiration rate, causing breathing to slow to a dangerous level and even stop, or when the drug causes cardiac arrest or stroke.

For individuals struggling with heroin addiction, becoming aware of this fact can save their lives. Addiction treatment programs educate their recovering clients and do address this issue. Unfortunately, as a study published in the journal Addiction indicates, many individuals who undergo detox do not attend a rehabilitation program and experience relapse rates between 65 and 80 percent. According to the same study, the ones who do attend rehab, were 10 times less likely to relapse, within their first 30 days of completing detox. [1]

If you or someone you love is struggling with heroin addiction, Florida Center for Recovery can help. We have been providing all-inclusive heroin inpatient detox, comprehensive heroin rehabilitation, and aftercare programming since 2002.

Reach out to us by calling  800-851-3291. You may also chat with us on our website page, or fill out our contact form for quick answers to your questions.

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[1] (Feb. 2012). “Drug-Free Housing for Substance Abus21ers Leaving Detox…” Johns Hopkins Medicine. Accessed June 19, 2014.