Heroin addiction is a condition which causes the individual to impulsively look for and use heroin regardless of the consequences that accompany their drug usage. And because heroin addiction is an illness, the addicted individual must undergo treatment for them to get back to their normal lives. If the heroin addict does not receive appropriate treatment, they are unlikely to ever stop this destructive habit by themselves.
Heroin is an artificially designed drug that is extracted from opium. Opium, on the other hand, is a powerful sedative derived from the poppy plant. Heroin can be snorted, smoked, or injected via a syringe. Nevertheless, injection is the most common way of using this drug. The continuous use of heroin often leads to respiratory failure and cardiac arrests. Overdosing on this illegal drug will result in a fatality if help does not arrive in time.
Additionally, because injections are the most common way of taking heroin, the individual stands a high chance of contracting diseases such as HIV. In fact, a significant percentage of heroin users also have Hepatitis C or HIV. This is because one of the ways in which those diseases are transmitted is through blood and other body fluids. And because heroin users often share needles, their vulnerability to contracting these diseases increases by tenfold.
Heroin use is a costly habit which often causes the individual to lose their financial stability. Additionally, after using it, the individual will remain sedated for hours on end. This eventually leads to strains on their relationships, health, as well as possibly losing their jobs and families.
Fortunately, advanced research has allowed for heroin addiction treatment to be possible. Although this treatment is more effective when the addiction is tackled during its early stages, it can still work for those that have been addicted for years as long as they are willing to receive help.
Heroin addiction treatment typically incorporates various approaches such as detoxification, pharmaceuticals, behavioral therapy, and counseling.
Let us look at how heroin addiction centers go about the treatment process:
Detoxification: The First Step
The main purpose of taking the addict through detox is to help them overcome their physical dependency on this drug by giving them a platform where they can gradually release the toxins from their bodies. Initially, the body will react to the lack of heroin in various ways including pain, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, in addition to other withdrawal symptoms. Fortunately, during detox, the patient shall be provided with therapy, medications, and other forms of treatment designed to help them cope with the withdrawal symptoms safely.
Detox, in itself, is not an actual heroin addiction treatment. This is because it only focuses on combating the patient’s physical dependence on the drug. However, detox does not address the bigger issue; psychological dependency on the chemical elements. Nevertheless, detox is a critical step in the entire treatment procedure and recovery process.
Medication Replacement Therapy
There are various medication replacement therapy programs that can be incorporated to help the addict overcome their heroin addiction without giving up on opiate use completely. It is important to note that abrupt withdrawal from opiates could have potentially fatal consequences and this is why replacement therapy is important.
Suboxone and Methadone are among the most commonly used medications in replacement therapy programs for heroin addiction. These medications are not sedating or intoxicating and thus shall not interfere with the patient’s regular routine while being effective at combating the effects of heroin withdrawal.
Medication Replacement Therapy Works in the Following Ways:
- The patient halts their heroin usage and the doctor prescribes methadone or suboxone as a replacement
- Their use of the prescribed medication is monitored to make sure that they are dosing properly and that the symptoms of heroin withdrawal are being combated.
- These replacement medications ensure that the user does not have cravings for heroin. This is what ensures that the risk of relapsing is mitigated.
- The benefit of this medication is that the patient is able to function normally and thus can resume routine activities such as going to school or work while receiving their counseling and therapy.
Other Pharmacological Approaches Used in Heroin Addiction Rehab Centers
Making a complete and successful recovery from heroin addiction may involve a variety of pharmacological approaches which have proved to be effective in this treatment. For instance, buprenorphine is among the most widely utilized medication in rehab centers that offer heroin addiction treatment. The reason behind buprenorphine’s popularity is that it is unlikely to be abused because it doesn’t cause any kinds of highs or euphoria thus mitigating the risk of an overdose.
Additionally, buprenorphine has also proved that it can also reduce physical dependency on heroin. This implies that when incorporated into the addiction treatment, it quickens the rate of recovery.
Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naltrexone. Naltrexone is a drug that is effective at blocking the effects of opiates such as heroin. This means that you will no longer find pleasure in using those drugs. This treatment is incredibly helpful in ensuring that the recovering individual does not relapse as they no longer find any pleasure in heroin use.
Treatment centers also incorporate behavioral therapy to help the recovering individual change any behaviors that are likely to trigger a relapse. The common approaches taken during the heroin addiction recovery include:
- Contingency management
- Behavioral activation
- Exposure therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
A heroin-addicted patient typically requires to spend some amount of time in a recovery center until they are able to live soberly on their own. Heroin addiction treatment centers are recommended for any person that has a dependence on heroin. The treatment program typically last about 90 days.
Nevertheless, drug addiction recovery centers are not created equal. Therefore, it is imperative that you choose the best treatment center to ensure that you or your loved one makes a successful recovery in the shortest time possible to avoid unnecessary costs.
Just Believe Recovery Center is among the leading drug and substance addiction recovery centers in the country. Located in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, we cater to patients from across the country. We have a team of highly-trained, experienced, and dedicated staff and medical personnel that give our patients around-the-clock monitoring during every step of the treatment. Call us today 888-380-0342