Heroin addiction continues to damage millions of lives across the United States. Heroin use and resulting addictions often follow from gateway opioids. Examples of opioids include common prescription drugs like codeine and oxycontin. Heroin is also classified as an opioid, though it is an illicit drug and has no recognized medical usage. What can happen is that people who misuse opioids can easily develop a tolerance that leaves them needing more or stronger doses to satisfy their cravings. This can lead to heroin usage. Due to its highly addictive nature, addiction often follows. Ultimately, heroin addiction is best tackled by seeking help through a heroin rehab center program.
Learn more about heroin addiction treatment and how it can benefit you or a loved one today.
Heroin Detox Center
The purpose of a heroin detox center is to support people in detoxing from heroin. This process should be conducted with medical supervision due to the many withdrawal symptoms involved in detoxing from heroin. Some common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Shaking or muscle spasms
Medically supervised detox combines medication and therapy to support people as they navigate withdrawal. Comprehensive treatment requires a successful detox, which means getting the detox period right is fundamental to long-term recovery.
While heroin is a powerful drug, it also moves through the body quickly. The result is the appearance of withdrawal symptoms mere hours after a person’s last dose. The one potential upside is that withdrawal timelines for heroin typically last just a few days or a week at most. Peak withdrawal symptoms occur from the first day until about the third day. However, for some people whose heroin addiction was severe or who were long-term users, post-acute withdrawal symptoms can persist for months after detox.
Heroin Rehab Program
Once detox is completed, patients enter a heroin rehab program. Recovering from heroin addiction requires digging into the root causes that drove the addiction in the first place. The best method in that regard is engaging in evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or motivational interviewing. High-quality addiction treatment providers also recognize the prevalence of mental health disorders among people struggling with addiction. As a result, patients in heroin rehab often access dual diagnosis treatment that simultaneously addresses their substance abuse disorder and mental health disorder.
Like treatment structures for other addictions, heroin addiction treatment can be accomplished in outpatient or inpatient settings. Nonetheless, due to how severely heroin can uproot a person’s life, inpatient typically offers the best chance at recovery. Inpatient rehab programs provide daily routine, care, support, and education that can transform a person’s lifestyle and habits in ways that lead to sobriety and help to reclaim the sense of identity and purpose that addiction robs people of.
Another aspect of heroin addiction treatment is the use of medications in managing cravings and preventing relapse. Some commonly prescribed medications for people recovering from heroin addiction are methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. For instance, buprenorphine triggers the same brain receptors as heroin but without producing a high. Thus, it can significantly reduce cravings as the brain is tricked into thinking it has what it needs to function. Medications like buprenorphine also reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Relapse Prevention and Long-Term Recovery
Ongoing support and a relapse prevention strategy are both critical to maintaining sobriety following intensive treatment. Inpatient treatment is not meant to last forever. Some people find utility in transitioning from inpatient treatment to outpatient treatment. Or else they may opt to enter a sober housing community following treatment to support recovery and surround themselves with levers of accountability.
Many people also attend therapy or support groups long after exiting a heroin rehab program. Preventing relapse involves:
- Taking prescriptions, such as buprenorphine, as prescribed and for as long as medically-advised
- Attending therapy and support group sessions with regularity
- Avoiding new opioid prescriptions
- Building friendships and hobbies grounded in sobriety
Reach out to a heroin rehab center to discover heroin addiction resources that can help you turn your life around.