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Local Rehab Investigates Functioning Heroin Addict

Abingdon, VA – ReVIDA® Recovery is a local rehab in Virginia, and their latest blog installation investigates what a functioning heroin addict is. Their facilities connect locals seeking treatment for opioid use disorder by offering medication-assisted treatment and outpatient therapy.

“A functioning heroin addict is someone who regularly uses heroin but still maintains daily responsibilities like going to work and maintaining relationships. They have not experienced any detrimental health or mental effects from their use of heroin so they continue. However, this term is outdated as we understand that heroin addiction is classified as a mental health condition in the DSM-5. A person with a functioning heroin use disorder is the proper terminology as it describes the condition without adding stigma,” the article reads.

Though the person is functioning, there are signs that the person is taking heroin. Some behavioral changes can include sleeping more during the day as heroin is a depressant, slowing the body. They may hide their use from family and friends, leading to noticeable disappearances. Mood swings between uses include agitation and irritability. As use continues, they may experience financial strain and resort to stealing or hiding money.

Heroin use can cause physical symptoms as well. Smoking heroin can lead to lung problems or frequent sinus infections. This can result in chronic illnesses including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Snorting heroin can also cause sinus infections and deterioration of the nasal cavity while injecting heroin can lead to abscesses, skin infections, and collapsed veins. While these can be obvious, the person with functioning heroin use disorder can use different areas of the body for injection, allowing other areas to heal.

“Functioning heroin use disorder can make the person less likely to notice dips in mental health, but as time goes on, they will become prominent. As physical signs appear, the person may have to call out of work or miss important family functions. This transpires into guilt and shame, taking a toll on mental health.

Heroin changes the way neurotransmitters work within the brain, causing them to only respond when heroin is present. The brain no longer releases natural neurotransmitters to respond to stress or pleasure, making heroin the only way to achieve these feelings. This is how functional heroin use turns into a heroin use disorder, further causing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and possibly suicidal ideation. Having thoughts of suicide is a serious mental health concern and should be treated as a medical emergency,” the article continues.

Heroin use can alter the way the brain functions over time, and even if the person is in control of their use now, it can quickly change. As use continues, job performance will decrease, resulting in financial strain. This can lead to problems in family relationships and poor mental health. The body will also feel the effects of long-term heroin use, even if it was functioning normally in the beginning. Even if heroin use starts at once per week, there is no way to guarantee that it will not turn into more and result in a heroin use disorder.

ReVIDA® Recovery uses their blog as an educational platform for all topics surrounding opioid use disorder. They have locations throughout Appalachia and offer flexible treatment options. Medication-assisted treatment is also an integral part of their program and is offered in a judgment-free environment. Caseworkers can help with housing, jobs, and food assistance.

To learn more about ReVIDA® Recovery, call 423-631-0432 or visit their website.


For more information about ReVIDA Recovery® Abingdon, contact the company here:

ReVIDA Recovery® Abingdon
Alesia Huffman
(276) 206-8197
300 Valley Street Northeast
Abingdon VA 24210

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