What is Hillbilly Heroin? | Symptoms, Signs, Withdrawals & Treatments

Hillbilly Heroin
Heroin Addiction
Addiction Recovery
Addiction Treatment

In recent statistics released by The US Department of Justice, an alarming number rising to 13 million Americans abuse Oxycodone. Hillbilly Heroin is one of the more addictive, accessible, and cheap substances that are on the list.

Transcend Recovery Community is here to shed light on substance use sharing key signs and symptoms, as well as possible withdrawal effects and treatment programs for people who want to get better. Read on to find out more.

What is Hillbilly Heroin?

The term hillbilly heroin refers to prescription painkillers in the form of Oxycontin. The drug is prevalent in the Eastern United States. Some news outlets report that abuse of these prescription painkillers attributes to the worsening substance abuse situation in West Virginia.

Hillbilly Heroin has become a huge problem not only in the region but in the entire country as it is a cheaper and more accessible chemical substance compared to other opioids. It also brings serious side effects to the body of the user, similar to how meth mouth affects an individual's severe oral and general health.

Oxycodone and OxyContin vs Heroin

Although Oxycodone and OxyContin may share similarities with Heroin in their chemical composition, there are still some stark differences that you may notice, especially regarding their strength and other physical traits.

Here are the differences between Oxycodone & OxyContin versus Heroin.


  • effective for sudden/uncontrollable pain
  • pain associated with shingles
  • chronic pain from cancer
  • can replace morphine and hydromorphone
  • immediate release


  • useful for moderate-to-severe pain
  • available in pill form
  • not advisable for people who cannot swallow pills
  • extended-release throughout the day


  • Available in the form of powder, liquid, smoke, injection
  • brought through a process of doctor shopping
  • Can cause slowed breathing, slowed heartbeat, coma, and more

Symptoms of Hillbilly Heroin

a man who is addicted to hillbilly heroin is seen here standing near a window and holding the back of his head and is depressedp

Addiction to Hillbilly Heroin may manifest in various ways. Although substance abuse for OxyContin and OxyCodone may vary from person to person, you'll still see common denominators in most people who have engaged in continuous drug use.

Here are some of the more common symptoms of Hillbilly Heroin use in people.

  • Dilation of pupils
  • Chronic confusion and frustration
  • Slowed breathing
  • Clammy skin
  • Lethargy
  • malnutrition/weight loss
  • slow healing of wounds and injection sites
  • Depression
  • Respiratory depression

It is crucial that patients who are suspected of substance abuse of Hillbilly Heroin receive proper treatment for their substance use. If left untreated, continued drug use may lead to a fatal overdose.

Signs of Hillbilly Heroin

Similar to symptoms you'll see in many drugs abused by people, like morphine, Xanax (Xanax addiction), or even opioids, clear signs are pointing towards the abuse of the Hillbilly Heroin drug.

However, for someone to clearly distinguish the presence of drug abuse in patients with either OxyContin or OxyCodone, a proper diagnosis facilitated by a licensed medical professional must be done. Family members and loved ones must also be hands-on in identifying these warning signs within an individual.

Some of the more pressing signs of HillBilly Heroin are the following:

  • Isolation from social groups, especially family
  • Neglect on personal hygiene
  • Increased aggression
  • Mood swings
  • doctor shopping for the drug which may lead to an eventual prescription fraud
  • Declining mental health
  • Paranoia
  • Delusion
  • Panic attacks
  • Risky behaviors
  • Declining performance in school or at work
  • Stealing/borrowing
  • Financial difficulties caused by drug addiction.

When taken in higher doses, people who suffer from either OxyContin or OxyCodone abuse may likely face graver consequences resulting from their addiction. An overdose may result in a coma and an eventual death.

Withdrawals of Hillbilly Heroin

The effects of Heroin and Oxycodone/OxyContin long-term may be hard to eliminate especially if a person has been exposed to drug addiction excessively. Under the watchful eye of trained medical specialists, however, they can start getting better and improve their situation.

Severe cases may need to be enrolled under an Individualized Intensive Program (IIP) to fully recover from their drug addiction. A huge part of it entails withdrawal as a surefire way to detoxify an individual from their dependence on drugs.

Whether it's morphine, OxyContin, Opioids, or OxyCodone, withdrawal may manifest similar for most people. Here are some of the common withdrawal effects that a person weaning themselves from Hillbilly Heroin may encounter:

  • Muscular pain
  • Bone pain
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • cardiovascular complications
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Lethargy
  • General malaise
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty sleeping

It's important that when a person is weaning themselves from drugs that proper guidance and careful observation of an attending physician or healthcare provider must be done at all times. This ensures that they don't succumb to a major relapse when they undergo this painful withdrawal period.

Treatment Options for Hillbilly Heroin

The treatment for Hillbilly Heroin may differ depending on the severity of the case. That said, here are the treatment options usually employed for drug addiction.

People respond differently to various treatment methods. Therefore, a patient receiving treatment must express their concerns vocally to their attending physician and consult with them closely regarding the perfect treatment regimen for their rehabilitation program.

Some of the treatment routes are as follows:

  • Inpatient/outpatient drug rehab
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Alternative therapy (equine, music, arts)
  • Group/one-on-one therapy
  • Aftercare management
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Detoxification
  • Medication

These treatment programs may be complemented by a sober living setup—especially for people receiving inpatient therapy. Living in recovery homes will ensure that these individuals are on top of their recovery goals and that they are empowered and motivated to commit themselves to long-term sobriety through the help of a supportive community.

Can Transcend Recovery Community Assist Me with Drug Abuse?

Receiving help from pill dependence may be daunting for most people. The prejudice that people receive from their substance abuse is enough to drive them away from seeking support.

While we know that this is particularly difficult for people, Transcend Recovery Community commits itself to providing supplemental support for people as they work on achieving long-term sobriety and purpose-driven lives post-rehabilitation.

We at Transcend offer transitional housing as one of our main offerings of support for people in recovery. Through this residential setup, we help people together with our mental health recovery partners and programs achieve effective treatment and rehabilitation.

If you want to learn more about what Transcend can do, don't hesitate to contact us! Our recovery counselors are waiting to help you with the first steps toward recovery.

Transcend Recovery Community

Transcend Recovery Community family of sober living homes provides a safe place for those undergoing mental health and addiction treatment to live with like-minded peers. Our community-based approach to sober living (similarly to a halfway house) facilitates an open and welcoming environment, where members, staff and team can provide support and encouragement on the path to a sober and healthy life. Transcend's Los Angeles sober living homes are located in some of the most iconic areas of the city, filled with luxurious and upscale amenities, providing plenty to do for those in our transitional housing community.

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