Heroin addiction treatment is the ongoing delivery of services that helps a person end their addiction to heroin. Ideally, treatment for heroin addiction is continuous and does not end even when a person is clean and sober. Because of cravings, triggers, and possible relapses, there are a variety of treatment types that a person can participate in at various stages of their recovery.
Types of Heroin Addiction Treatment
Levels of heroin addiction treatment might vary depending upon a person’s unique needs. For instance, the following are types of treatment that address various levels of care:
1. Inpatient Hospitalization – Those at this level have been admitted to a hospital in order to address severe physical concerns regarding an addiction.
2. Addiction Treatment – Those at this is level of care are participating in treatment all day, every day. They live at a treatment center so that their addiction habits can be treated and transformed. At some facilities, daily activities are highly structured, and the primary focus is tending to drug withdrawal, physical well being, and psychological treatment.
3. Intensive Outpatient – At this level of care, an individual receives treatment while living at home. The amount of time working with professionals is approximately 15-20 hours per week. Also, an individual involved in intensive outpatient care can maintain sufficient daily functioning and does not possess any threats to his or her physical health.
4. Outpatient – An individual may need support with his or her addiction, but it is not severe enough to require admittance to an addiction treatment center. He or she receives various forms of treatment in the community, by attending 12-step meetings, for instance, and participating in other forms of addiction help.
Components of Addiction Treatment
Depending upon the level of care that a person is participating in, there will be various forms of treatment. For instance, the Lakehouse Recovery Center provides a level of care requiring live-in participation and, as mentioned above, participation in recovery-oriented activities for most of each day. Addiction treatment and other levels of treatment may include the following as part of their heroin addiction treatment:
1. Medical Care – This addresses any effects of heroin addiction on the body. There might be illnesses or poor health as a result of addiction.
2. Detoxification – This is the process of removing heroin (and other opiates) from the body so that healing can begin.
3. Psychological Treatment – This addresses the underlying emotional needs, thought patterns, and unhealthy behavioral patterns that contributed to and may have developed from the addiction.
4. Medication Treatment – Medication is not considered to be a cure for addiction. Instead, medication is used during detox to ease the symptoms of withdrawal and to help someone avoid the temptations of cravings. Depending on the addiction, various forms of medication are used. For instance, Suboxone is a popular drug to help with treatment for heroin addiction.
5. Education – This provides an opportunity for a person to learn the fundamentals of addiction and how to stay clean.
6. Wellness Treatment – In recent years, other methods such as meditation, yoga, guided imagery, and herbal supplements have shown to provide relief for recovering addicts. Many heroin addiction treatment centers are now utilizing forms of wellness modalities as a part of their treatment program.
Challenges Heroin Addiction Recovery
There are frequently many challenges and obstacles that stand in a person’s way before getting heroin addiction treatment. One of the biggest obstacles that most people face is ambivalence. This is the experience of feeling two opposing feelings at the same time.
For instance, anyone using heroin may have strong ambivalence about ending their heroin use. If using heroin brought relief from emotional pain, a dramatic increase in energy, and a euphoric feeling for life, reasons to continue to use might still be there, despite the many consequences that are showing up as a result of using heroin. At the same time, if a person has lost their job, home, and family as a result of using, then he or she may be ready to finally get help. This situation is often what creates an enormous amount of ambivalence.
However, when treatment is thorough and when there is a network of support surrounding an individual’s sobriety, then there’s a good chance that he or she can get sober and stay that way.
Other challenges to getting treatment include:
- Financial limits
- Time constraints
- Mental illness
- Family roles
- Work or family responsibilities
The Lakehouse Recovery Center is committed to helping you or a loved one with treatment for heroin addiction and will work to accompany you if you face any of these challenges. If you or someone you know is caught in the damaging cycle of addiction, call for help today. Receiving heroin addiction treatment can save a life!
What Is Heroin & Why Is It So Dangerous?
Heroin, a member of the opiate family, is a pain killing drug that is made from the opium poppy. Before it is exported from its various countries of origin, it is processed from raw opium into a brown powder that is approximately 70% pure heroin. It is then mixed with several chemicals such as acetic anhydride and hydrochloric acid and is dried and sieved.
The reason that heroin is so addictive is because of its rapid entry into the brain. Addiction to heroin provides an effect that occurs almost immediately and some users feel sick upon initial use as the drug crosses the blood-brain barrier. Once heroin enters the brain, it is converted to morphine and the user feels a “rush”, an overwhelming feeling of pleasure.
Based on how much of the drug is used and at what speed the heroin enters the brain, the result is an intense feeling of warmth and calmness which spreads through the body of the user.
The first step of the treatment process for heroin addiction is detox (detoxification). This highly addictive opiate requires medical supervision. Not all drugs require medical detox. However, an abuser of heroin should never attempt to detox without his or her vital signs (heart rate and blood pressure) being closely monitored in case of complications.
A period of detox is important because until the individual’s body is purged of drugs, the craving for more heroin will cause severe withdrawal symptoms. While the heroin abuser is going through the detox process, he or she will be unable to fully concentrate on participating in rehabilitation and treatment and consequently, is not ready for recovery. Use of heroin and other opiates over a long period of time has a negative effect on the nerve cells in the brain and disrupts its normal functioning.
Endorphins, which are natural painkillers, are routinely produced by these nerve cells. However, use of heroin replaces these cells in the brain’s receptors which results in a craving for continued high doses of opiates. Since the nerve cells are changed in this way, dependency on heroin – an external source of painkillers – occurs.
Consequently, regular use of heroin results in drug tolerance. What this means is that the heroin addict must use more and higher doses to achieve the results he or she previously obtained when first using the drug. This results in physical dependence on the drug because the individual’s body has become used to its presence.
Symptoms of Withdrawal
If the heroin dose is reduced or use of the drug is stopped, withdrawal symptoms will occur. Regular users may experience initial symptoms of withdrawal within only a few hours after ingesting the last dose. Between 48 and 72 hours after administration of the last dose of the drug, major withdrawal symptoms will reach their peak. Heroin addicts have reported that symptoms of withdrawal can be likened to a severe case of the flu.
Some of the symptoms of heroin withdrawal include the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Runny nose
- Muscle cramps
- Goose bumps
- Extreme sweating or chills
- Watery eyes
- Stomach cramps
Street heroin can also be cut with strychnine or other poisons. Because people suffering from addiction do not know the actual strength of the drug or its true contents, they are at risk of overdose or death. Heroin addiction also poses special problems because of the transmission of HIV and other diseases that can occur from sharing needles or other injection equipment.
If you are ready to begin the process of recovery and fight your addiction to heroin, contact the Lakehouse Recovery Center today.