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Heroin Addiction

What you should know about heroin addiction

Heroin is an opiate drug produced from opium poppies. Its typical form is a loose powder that is either brown or white in colour. Users either smoke the drug, or inject it after dissolving it in water. Heroin is also known as a painkiller because it is made from morphine and is used in medical treatments under its name of 'diamorphine' around the world for treating severe pain and/or sleeplessness. This also explains its severe depressant properties, meaning that the user experiences an extreme state of relaxation, as the drug alters chemicals in their brain. It also blocks the ability to feel pain, and gives a numbing affect that is considered euphoric. It can however be very dangerous as its painkilling properties mask any other symptoms the user may be experiencing as a result of an underlying condition.

Because it is highly synthesised and a lot stronger than morphine, heroin is an incredibly addictive and illegal substance, with addiction to the drug affecting around 9 million people worldwide. Heroin abuse has a detrimental affect on both the user and their family, with many abusers getting into financial hardship or facing a struggle to maintain their personal relationships with loved ones. Over time, because the drug is so addictive, increased quantities are needed as the user develops a tolerance to it and requires repeated additional amounts to obtain the desired feeling of relaxation and pleasure. As tolerance to the drug increases, the user may experience side effects such as weight loss, infections and bruising because of repeated injecting, loss of menstrual cycle (in women), and cuts/needle marks on the arms.

If you or if you think someone you love might have a heroin addiction, we can help at our rehab centre at Step 1 Recovery. It is sometimes hard to accept or get a loved one to accept that they have a drug problem, and drug issues can affect anyone, regardless of their background or age. We have a compassionate approach to heroin addiction treatment that involves mindfulness and holistic therapies, and can help you or a family member to recover and live a life that no longer involves heroin.

What signs should I look out for?

Physical symptoms of heroin addiction include tiredness, weight loss, watery eyes, constipation, bruising and/or needles marks on the skin/arms, sleep deprivation, kidney damage, Hepatitis C and Pneumonia.

The drug also has a strong mental effect on the user, and associated symptoms include feelings of guilt and hopelessness, poor judgement, paranoia, depression and feeling disorientated. Behavioural issues may include the user being unable to perform at work or in education, the possession of syringes and other items used to take heroin, wearing long sleeved clothing to conceal bruising and/or needle marks, and general secrecy.

If you or your loved one has been exhibiting such symptoms, we can help. At Step 1 Recovery, we can tailor a heroin addiction treatment package that is bespoke to you, helping you to finally break free from your heroin habit.

How we treat heroin addiction

Our professional team are very experienced in planning detoxes that help and support those that want to emancipate themselves from heroin addiction. We can give you effective guidance through a bespoke programme that focuses on healing your body, mind and soul with holistic practices, helping you to walk away from heroin abuse for good. We can offer a long term solution to your problem, and help you to understand why you may be an addict, whilst providing you with compassion and the determination you need to succeed. We are based in the sunny Costa Brava – a relaxing haven in Alicante where spending time in a warm and nourishing climate can work wonders on both mind and spirit.

When we first begin to work with you we will discuss your addiction in detail to determine its severity. We will talk about how much heroin you are using each day, whether there are other drugs you may be taking along with heroin, as well as how you feel your addiction has affected your life, health, job and personal relationships. We will also talk about previous drugs treatments you may have had, if applicable. You’ll be assigned a member of staff who can help you with your treatment and offer full-time support.

Together we will decide the best way to stop your heroin addiction. The first method is by switching to a substitute for heroin, like buprenorphine or methadone. This is helpful for extreme cases of addiction in which withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous to life. It is known as ‘maintenance therapy’ and allows to you have a controlled amount of a heroin substitute so you are no longer taking lethal amounts of heroin. The second method is a a complete detox, which follows the same route as the maintenance therapy method, but eventually weans you off of your heroin substitute so that you are eventually no longer using any drugs. It should be noted however that risk of fatality from overdose is much higher after having a complete heroin detox, as your body will have less of a tolerance to the drug. It is important that you follow our advice and your therapy plan to ensure you stay on track.

We want your rehabilitation from heroin addiction to be as comfortable and enriching as possible. Our stunning retreat at the La Paz centre has been designed to give you the very best in luxurious comfort while you recover in the Spanish sunshine. We encourage mindfulness activities such as meditation, counselling and yoga to re-adjust your mindset and help you focus on relaxation and recuperation.

Our staff

Our well qualified, helpful and supportive staff are why we have been able to successfully cure so many people of their heroin addiction to live a drug-free life. All of our staff members are deeply passionate and committed in supporting their clients at all times. We select our team for their experience and dedication to addiction therapy, as well as their sympathetic and positive approach. Rest assured that all of our staff exercise the utmost discretion at all times, as well as understanding.

Meet The Team

Our multi-disciplined team are all industry-leading experts in their individual fields. They are dedicated to providing you with treatment, support, and care around the clock, for as long as you need it.

Graham Peasey


Dr Ignacio Poole

Medical Practitioner

Dr Alexander Lapa


Fabiana Mourelle

Pharmacist, Head nurse

Laura Smart

Certified Counsellor and Hypnotherapist

Seth Bolton

Certified Counsellor

Ronald Clark

Financial Director

Amanda O’Shea

Admissions Manager & Life Coach

Dr. Heidi Kleinbach-Sauter


Laura Camacho

MSc Clinical Psychology

Matthew Armstrong

Transformation Expert

Simone Beck

Yoga Instructor

Mark Harris


Suzanne Stevens


Jasmin Stickel

Personal Assistant to General Manager

Cynthia Souiljaert

Head Housekeeper

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