The Complete Guide to Heroin Addiction Treatment Options

heroin addiction treatment

Today, about 902K Americans use heroin yearly. Out of this number, about 14K die each year. Those addicted to heroin are someone’s child, mother, father, sister, brother, etc. So, if you’re tired of heroin controlling your life, you might wonder what your options are. You might feel like you’re drowning and there’s no way out. The good news is that there’s hope for a brighter future without heroin. Read this guide on the various heroin addiction treatment available and seek treatment today.

Medication

The medication-assisted treatment uses therapy and medications to help your body and mind recover. You’ll be monitored under direct medical supervision for your safety.

Some common heroin treatment options include naltrexone and opioid receptor activators. Naltrexone stops the euphoric feeling of heroin by blocking the opioid receptors.

Naltrexone

It’s a long-term medication given when you’ve avoided heroin for 7-10 days. It comes in both an injection and a pill.

It’s not the same as naloxone, although they sound similar. Naltrexone could also help treat alcohol dependence.

Before using naltrexone, speak with your doctor if you’ve had the following:

  • Alcohol dependence
  • Illegal drug use
  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Medical conditions
  • Bleeding conditions or problems

Suboxone

Suboxone contains buprenorphine and naloxone. Naloxone is an opioid blocker.

If you’re still taking heroin, it could cause withdrawals. Suboxone is classified as a Schedule III prescription medication.

This means that while it’s acceptable for medical use, it could cause dependence. It’s also available in a generic form.

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist. It increases the actions of opioids and decreases the withdrawal side effects of heroin. While you could become addicted to suboxone, the benefits of stopping heroin outweigh this potential outcome.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you’ve had:

  • Drug addiction/alcoholism
  • An enlarged prostate
  • Breathing problems
  • Tooth problems
  • Abnormal curvature of the spine
  • Seizures
  • A brain tumor
  • A head injury

Methadone

Methadone is an opioid medication that reduces the withdrawal symptoms of heroin. It also works for narcotics as well.

It’s used as part of detoxification and also as a pain reliever. It can’t be used as an as-needed basis for pain.

Never misuse methadone or other medications since it could lead to death, overdose, or addiction. Speak with your doctor before beginning and stopping any medications. Let them know about all allergies and current medications.

It could interact with the following:

  • Medications that induce or inhibit CYP3A4
  • Antimigraine agents
  • Antidepressants
  • Antipsychotics
  • And more

Subutex

Subutex reduces cravings for heroin. It doesn’t produce a high, so you’re less likely to become addicted. It can be habit-forming and abused, though.

Subutex sublingual isn’t used as a pain medication. Other forms of buprenorphine can be for moderate to severe pain. To ensure it’s right for you, speak with your doctor.

It might not be for you if you have the following:

  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Tooth problems
  • A brain tumor
  • A head injury
  • Thyroid, adrenal gland, gallbladder, or stomach problems
  • Methadone treatment
  • Sleep apnea
  • Breathing problems
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Hallucinations
  • Alcoholism

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy could be in a residential or outpatient setting. Even with behavioral therapy, you might be on medication as well.

Heroin has a high relapse rate, but the underlying trauma can be addressed through therapy. Through treatment, you’ll learn to cope with stressful life events without needing to turn to drugs.

Residential Treatment

Long-term treatment could help, especially if you’ve been using heroin for the long term. Residential treatment is especially important if you’re surrounded by people who promote and support the habit. This toxic environment could increase the risk of use.

Residential treatment will provide a safe and comfortable environment away from these triggers. See what your insurance will cover.

Many choose medication-assisted treatment in an inpatient facility. There are also luxury residential treatment facilities. Outpatient facilities offer 24-hour support.

What to Expect During Inpatient Treatment

You can fully focus on getting better without worrying about life or work. The facility schedules each day.

You might meet with psychiatrists, counselors, and psychologists. It could last from a month to six.

During medically-assisted detox, addiction specialists and physicians will monitor your vital signs while the drug exits your system. Since detox is difficult to overcome and often leads to relapse, that’s why monitoring is important.

They can offer you medical expertise and necessary medicine during this time to decrease withdrawals and cravings. You’ll have access to 24-hour medical attention during this time.

Outpatient Treatment

You might decide that outpatient treatment is a viable option. You’ll have a comprehensive plan to achieve long-term results.

Outpatient treatment could fall under intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization. Partial hospitalization programming is the most intensive option.

It’s about stabilizing behavior early. They normally last for about a week.

Intensive outpatient programming allows you to return to your regular life. You’ll need to attend services for a few hours each week during treatment. It allows more flexibility in work and life.

You might focus on group or individual counseling, psychoeducational, or relapse prevention. The goal is to encourage long-term recovery and reduce relapse.

It’s best for those with a mild substance use disorder. Outpatient drug rehab can last from a few months to over a year.

Outpatient Treatment Explained

You could receive comprehensive outpatient treatment. This offers you medical support, therapy, group support, and more. It’s often a daily treatment.

Medical care can help prevent relapse. Many who take opioids or heroin do so because of chronic pain.

Support groups will have you connect with others going through the same. There’s Narcotics Anonymous to help you go through recovery over time.

Therapy could also help you learn new skills. These skills could help fight cravings and stress.

Outpatient therapy could help with the following:

  • Managing anxiety and health issues
  • Improving diet and exercise
  • Understanding how your brain works

Treatment for Pregnant Users

You might receive prenatal care, methadone, and a comprehensive drug treatment program. Buprenorphine could also be taken during pregnancy.

Infants exposed to buprenorphine or methadone prenatally might require treatment for withdrawal. If you want to avoid medication, medical supervision detoxication is another option. Consider the chance of relapse and risks to the fetus with all options.

Psychosocial Counseling

Psychosocial counseling could work with both youths and adults alike. These recovery services could help handle mental health issues, avoid risky behavior, and offer vocational support. Family intervention could be a possibility as well.

Psychosocial counseling could be used at various stages of drug treatment. They can be used to learn the problem and treat it.

At later stages, they could be used to help patients with treatment. This form of counseling could be combined with pharmacological treatment.

Interventions could include loved ones and family members. This is most important during drug treatment.

This form of therapy is more flexible. Providers might use various combinations to meet the needs of each client.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is common in the treatment of drug problems. It’s a conversation about change, and it’s to help those struggling to address their drug problem. Identifying drug dependence is the first step in recovery.

Motivational interviewing has several steps and progresses for weeks. There are also follow-ups during treatment.

Potential Treatment Options

These substances aren’t federally approved as treatment but show promising results. Kratom is a medicinal plant from Southeast Asia that acts as an opioid receptor in the brain.

It could help with chronic pain, overcoming addiction, and other conditions. While many have claimed it helpful, speaking to your doctor before beginning any substances or medications is important.

Marijuana and CBD might help with chronic pain. Many patients will substitute marijuana for opioids.

Ibogaine is a psychoactive medication that naturally occurs in West Africa. Large doses might reduce withdrawal symptoms from opioids. It might temporarily eliminate cravings.

Identifying Heroin Addiction Treatment Options

After exploring this complete guide, speak with your insurance to see your available options. Consider how far along you are in dependence and what’s the most effective plan to avoid relapse.

Remember that you don’t have to do this alone; you can reach out to loved ones or others for help. There are helpful support groups as well. Are you looking to talk to someone who will listen for free and be there for you during this difficult time?

Give our treatment helpline a call today at (866)-578-7471. You’ll be connected with a care counselor right away. Don’t forget to check out our other articles for more treatment options.

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