What to Know About Heroin Addiction Treatment
Heroin addiction causes both physical and psychological withdrawal. Symptoms of heroin withdrawal can begin in as little as a few hours after the person’s last use. In addition to the symptoms of withdrawal, the addiction takes a toll on a person’s life. However, a heroin addiction treatment center is able to assist you with quitting the drug.
In many cases, a drug-assisted heroin treatment is ideal for the patient to reduce the unpleasant physical symptoms of withdrawal. These symptoms are oftentimes why some people continue to use. This is especially beneficial for those who are heavy or long-term users because the symptoms of withdrawal are usually worse. The patient may be given a medication to reduce nausea and diarrhea. For those who experience insomnia, the patient may be given a sleep aid such as Ambien to help the person sleep.
Methadone is the traditional drug given to patients who develop an addiction to heroin. The methadone is an opioid that binds to the same receptors in the brain, so the body doesn’t go through withdrawal. Methadone doesn’t cause the high that heroin does. This particular drug will cause a dependence and require a taper. Other maintenance drugs are now available that aren’t addictive. Buprenorphine, for instance, is a partial opioid agonist. It helps prevent cravings for the drug but doesn’t cause the high of heroin or other opioids. This drug binds to the same receptors as heroin does. In many cases, the patient is given Suboxone, which is a combination drug. It consists of buprenorphine, but it also has naloxone, an opioid antagonist that blocks the euphoric effects of heroin and other opioids.
Just stopping the symptoms of withdrawal isn’t enough to help a person stop heroin use. In addition to a medicated heroin addiction treatment, therapy is necessary. The patient has an opportunity to speak to a professional about his or her addiction. The therapist helps the patient determine the origin of the problem. The therapist assists the patient to determine triggers and gives him or her ways to avoid using even when being faced with triggers. During counseling, the patient has the ability to discuss any other problems such as personal issues that could be contributing to the heroin abuse.
A patient may benefit from a support group after the initial detoxification and inpatient or outpatient program. These groups allow people who are suffering from addiction to come together and share thoughts and feeling. They act as a support system to encourage people to continue to remain sober. In these groups, if someone should happen to relapse, the group lets the person know it’s okay and helps them to get back on the right path.