Heroin is a dangerous drug to use in any context. What first emerged as a “safe” alternative to morphine has since proven itself to be just as, if not more, addictive and threatening. Because of this, anyone who regularly uses heroin should seek treatment for heroin addiction as soon as they can.
The risks associated with heroin are simply not worth the temporary relief and pleasure it can provide. For example, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, heroin overdoses were responsible for the deaths of over 13 thousand Americans in 2020. That means that every single day, over 35 people in the United States died from overdosing on heroin.
In addition, keep in mind that overdose deaths only make up a small percentage of overall heroin use. The full issue runs much deeper and shows that those battling heroin addiction are not doing so alone. Many people share in this struggle—almost a million more, in fact.
Reaching out for help requires bravery and strength. It proves that someone has a desire to get better, and that desire is all they need to succeed. With the added encouragement of a positive support system and the resources from a rehab center, they can find effective treatment for heroin addiction.
Dangers of Heroin Addiction
The looming threat of heroin overdose is not the only potential outcome for addicted individuals. There are many other reasons to seek treatment for heroin addiction as well.
While many of the immediate effects of heroin wear off in between uses, others emerge more gradually. They often have a major impact on organ functionality and can result in someone needing medical care.
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For example, some long-term effects of heroin abuse may include:
- Liver and kidney disease
- Mental disorders
- Infected heart valves or lining
- Sexual dysfunction
- Irregular menstruation
To avoid the above, it is vital to seek treatment for heroin addiction once it has been identified. The longer you wait to get help, the more likely it is that addiction will leave long-lasting mental, physical, and emotional marks on your life.
Best Treatment for Heroin Addiction
Treatment for heroin addiction comes in many effective forms. Likewise, no two people’s experiences with addiction are exactly the same. As a result, it becomes difficult to claim a single “best” way to treat heroin addiction.
Instead, those addicted to heroin should look for a variety of therapeutic options to try. A multifaceted approach to treatment tends to offer the highest rate of success.
This is especially true because many treatment options target certain aspects of someone’s addiction. If they only utilize one of the many available resources, they may find that their treatment feels incomplete or less effective.
For the most cohesive, comprehensive care, we recommend undergoing numerous types of treatments for heroin addiction. Later on, we will discuss all-inclusive treatment programs that organize thorough plans for you.
First, however, it is important to address a few of the most prominent types of treatment for heroin addiction available.
One of the most popular types of treatment for heroin addiction involves a variety of talk therapies (otherwise known as psychotherapies). These tend to focus on the mental and emotional impacts of addiction.
For instance, talk therapy may help patients develop healthy coping skills and techniques to use in place of substance use. Psychotherapy can also teach them how to repair relationships that were wounded or lost due to addiction.
Some of the talk therapies someone may encounter while getting treatment for heroin addiction include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT helps patients identify unhealthy beliefs about themselves or the world. They then dismantle those beliefs by utilizing the connections between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
- Group therapy. Patients develop healthy communication skills and empathy during group therapy. It encourages them to open up about their experiences as well as accept those of other people.
- Recreational therapy. Fun, engaging activities like sports, drama, art, and games can double as important teaching opportunities. Patients learn cooperation, critical thinking, and team-building skills.
Note that several other types of therapy exist as well. Each has its own benefits and may serve some individuals better than others. Remain open to different types of treatment for heroin addiction, and with patience, you will discover those that work best for you.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Another common type of treatment for heroin addiction is medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Some treatment facilities, including The Blackberry Center, offer MAT as a form of supplementary aid during treatment.
FDA-approved medications used in MAT for heroin addiction include:
The above medications are long-acting opioids that may reduce heroin cravings and block its effects. At first, some people may have concerns about seemingly replacing one opioid with another. However, MAT is carefully designed with long-term recovery in mind.
Consider that heroin is a short-acting opioid. This means it takes effect in the body fairly quickly and does not last as long as others. By temporarily transitioning to one of the long-acting medications listed above, patients can take a safer, more gradual approach to recovery.
Sudden changes in the body tend to trigger more severe withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and overall distress. Long-acting medications slow this process, discouraging relapse and giving the body the time it needs to normalize its chemistry and functions. For these reasons, MAT can be a very beneficial type of treatment for heroin addiction.
Treatment Programs for Heroin Addiction
In many cases, the most effective treatment for heroin addiction involves a detailed plan that incorporates multiple options discussed above. The Blackberry Center offers numerous treatment programs that do exactly that.
For the most thorough recovery experience, patients may participate in more than one of the following programs:
- Medical detox. Treatment for heroin addiction often begins with detox to eliminate opioid dependence. A medical detox places patients under 24/7 medical supervision for their safety and comfort. The physicians and addiction specialists monitoring their status help them cope with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
- Residential rehab. Also known as inpatient treatment, this program offers the most intensive level of care. Patients live on-site to participate in daily, structured therapy sessions and focus groups. During treatment, they build a support system of peers and staff members that can serve them for a lifetime.
- Dual diagnosis treatment. Addiction and mental health are often intrinsically connected. People with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse issues benefit from a specialized dual diagnosis program. It ensures all of someone’s struggles are addressed simultaneously so their symptoms cannot continue to feed into each other.
At The Blackberry Center, we recognize that everyone who trusts us with their mental health has their own set of unique needs. As a result, the treatment programs we offer are flexible to account for these differences.
Upon enrollment, you will work with a team of addiction counselors to develop a treatment plan tailored specifically to you. There is no singular “correct” or “best” treatment for heroin addiction as a whole. Instead, we will put in the time and effort to discover which treatment options are best for you as an individual.
Get Treatment for Heroin Addiction
The Blackberry Center is an addiction treatment center that provides care for those with substance use disorders and mental health issues. We utilize a combination of behavioral therapies and other evidence-based treatment options to provide the optimal treatment for heroin addiction.
They will be happy to answer any additional questions you have about treatment for heroin addiction. If you’re ready to get started on recovery right away, they’ll gladly help you through the enrollment process as well.
Above all, remember that you do not have to live with addiction forever or try to face it alone. With the proper support and resources provided at The Blackberry Center, anyone can achieve a fulfilling life of long-term sobriety.
Nestled in a tranquil setting just outside of Orlando, in Central Florida, our mental health facility provides patients with a safe place to reflect, reset and heal.