How to Successfully Treat Heroin Addiction

How to Successfully Treat Heroin Addiction

Heroin addiction is a complex disease, and if it is not effectively treated it will only continue to get worse over time.

Over the past two decades, heroin abuse and addiction rates have been on the rise. Heroin abuse has quickly become one of the most significant health-related concerns throughout the country. The National Institute on Drug Abuse recently reported that heroin use has been increasing significantly since 2007. NIDA noted that this was likely due to an increase in prescription medication during the early and mid-1990s. Once healthcare professionals realized how habit-forming opioid narcotic pain relievers truly were, the government cracked down harshly on distribution – unfortunately, by that time, many individuals had already developed substance dependence disorders. Heroin was easier to obtain and it was significantly more affordable, thus the widespread transition from painkillers to the illicit opioid narcotic. 

Like all other chronic diseases, heroin addiction can be adequately treated. However, the method of treatment is very important. Individuals who are suffering from heroin abuse or addiction and attempt to quit on their own will not likely be successful for an extended period. One of the predominant symptoms of heroin withdrawal is intense psychological cravings – these cravings generally lead individuals back to using before the detox process is complete. Individuals suffering at the hands of heroin abuse or addiction must seek professional, medical care. Otherwise, it is highly likely that they will relapse within the first week of ceased use. 

How to Successfully Treat Heroin Addiction

How to Treat Heroin Addiction

How is heroin addiction treated? In the case of this specific drug, there will always need to be a multi-phased treatment process, beginning with medically monitored detox. During medical detox, the individual will undergo a variety of treatment methods all ultimately geared towards physical stabilization. In the case of heroin, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is generally utilized. Prescribing physicians who are a part of the medical detox team will prescribe medications like Suboxone, which is beneficial in alleviating symptoms of withdrawal and helping to alleviating psychological and physical cravings. In most cases, heroin withdrawal will last for between one and two weeks – however, post-acute withdrawal symptoms can last for much longer (up to a year when left untreated). 

Once medical detox is complete, the individual will need to transfer directly to an inpatient treatment program to prevent relapse. This is where the majority of the psychological, emotional, and behavioral work will be done. In the majority of cases, this phase of the treatment process will last for between one and three months, but it might last longer in severe cases of heroin addiction. Once inpatient treatment is complete the individual will move on to aftercare. Aftercare generally consists of a prolonged stay at a sober living facility coupled with intensive outpatient or outpatient treatment. The goal of sober living is to prepare clients for a return to completely independent living. 

Absolute Awakenings and Heroin Addiction

At Absolute Awakenings, we help our clients along during every single step of the overall recovery process, from medical detox to inpatient treatment and aftercare. Heroin addiction is a complex disease, and if it is not effectively treated it will only continue to get worse over time. One of the biggest concerns involved in untreated heroin addiction is a drug-related overdose. Heroin abuse is extremely prevalent -, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, there were over 948,000 American adults that admitted to using heroin in 2017 alone. If you or someone you love has been actively abusing heroin, we at Absolute Awakenings are available to help. Simply give us a call today and our treatment advisors will help get you started on your journey of heroin addiction recovery as soon as possible.