Heroin Addiction Treatment
As stated by the Vermont Department of Health, “Addiction to opioids such as heroin and prescription pain relievers like OxyContin, is a serious public health problem, with potentially devastating consequences––both for the people who are addicted and for our communities.” Therefore, heroin addiction treatment is a beneficial program that helps those addicted as well as others.
Treatments for drug-addicted individuals have proven to be most effective when medications and behavioral therapies are used together to help a patient get better. Luckily, “a variety of effective treatments are available for heroin addiction, including both behavioral and pharmacological (medications),” according to the NIDA. When a person decides to enter heroin addiction treatment, there are many questions to consider.
Local vs. nonlocal rehab
If you absolutely need to go away for rehab, there can be some benefits to a new area and a change in environment during treatment. However, local rehab is usually cheaper without the need to pay for travel expenses and allows you to stay close to your support system (which can be extremely beneficial for many addicts).
Inpatient vs. outpatient rehab
Many heroin addicts have “two or more disorders or illnesses occurring” at the same time (NIDA). This issue is called comorbidity, and it has been proven that heroin addicts (and other drug-addicted individuals) are more likely to suffer from another mental disorder in addition to their addiction. In this case, inpatient rehab would be a better choice because they can be treated for both disorders in a controlled environment.
Some individuals do not have anyone that they can lean on during their treatment for heroin addiction. This lack of a support system could make inpatient treatment necessary.
If you have a strong support system and no co-occurring disorders, outpatient treatment could be more beneficial as well as less expensive.
Within heroin addiction facilities, there are also many treatments available to allow heroin addicts to have many choices as well as the ability to work with their doctor to create a treatment program that best fits their specific needs.
The common treatments available for heroin addiction are:
Therapy is highly beneficial as a treatment for heroin addiction. It allows patients to work on making changes to the way they think and feel about their addictions, helping to reverse the changes heroin abuse has made on their thought processes. Several beneficial heroin addiction behavioral treatments are:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Contingency management
- Community Reinforcement
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Mutual-help group counseling
An individual in heroin addiction treatment may start out with one therapy type and then move on to another as their needs change. For example, they may begin with CBT and move on to a mutual help group after their initial treatment.
Medication is used to help patients through detox, subdue their cravings for heroin, and block the effects of opioids. The commonly used medications to treat heroin addiction are:
Although some individuals choose not to use medication as a part of their treatment program, some maintenance can be beneficial as it makes the detox process much easier and less painful and allows the patient to more easily focus on their behavioral treatments.
Heroin addiction can be devastating to all aspects of a person’s life as well as their loved ones. Death from heroin abuse is always a possibility, and heroin addicts are not able to stop abusing the drug, no matter how dangerous it becomes for them. This is why addiction treatment is necessary for heroin addicts and seeking treatment for you or someone you love should be done as soon as possible.