Heroin is a highly addictive illicit drug that afflicts thousands of people. In 2020 alone, heroin use caused over 13,000 overdose deaths in the United States.
When people use heroin over a long period of time, their bodies will become dependent on the drug, and quitting will become increasingly difficult. This is where reputable rehab services can help someone who wants to achieve sobriety.
Though there are many types of treatment for heroin drug use, a quality treatment program will address both withdrawal symptoms and the underlying psychological issues associated with heroin abuse.
The first step in heroin addiction treatment typically starts with detoxification. A heroin detox program will remove harmful toxins from the body in a safe and supportive environment.
This allows people with a heroin dependence, or a physical reliance on heroin, to rid the drug from their body so they can begin treatment.
At the same time, detox will also help to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and help you heal from the more immediate and severe effects of heroin.
Medications Used During Detox
A medically supervised detox center will provide 24-hour supervision and offer pharmaceutical treatment for opiate withdrawal.
Using medications to treat opioid use is commonly referred to as medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
Detox drugs for heroin drug addiction may include:
- methadone — will help reduce craving and relieve symptoms of withdrawal
- buprenorphine (Suboxone) — the most common medication used to help shorten the detox process and relieve withdrawal symptoms
- clonidine — a sedative that may relieve symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety, and muscle aches
- naltrexone (Vivitrol) — is commonly prescribed after opioid detox and is used to help people with residual cravings and heroin withdrawal symptoms
Heroin Detox Timeline
Medical detox for heroin typically takes five to seven days, depending on the severity of the addiction and complications that may arise along the way.
Detoxification treatment is available at hospitals, detox clinics, and inpatient rehab programs such as the one offered at Bedrock Recovery Center.
Read more about the timeline for heroin detox.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment For Heroin Addiction
Substance use disorders are oftentimes accompanied by co-occurring mental health disorders. People with mental health issues will benefit greatly from dual diagnosis care.
Examples of co-occurring mental health disorders include:
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- bipolar disorder
- eating disorders
- other personality disorders
In a dual diagnosis treatment program, people will receive services for substance abuse as well as their mental health condition in an effort to treat the underlying reasons for addiction.
Outpatient Treatment For Heroin Addiction
Outpatient services offer a more flexible schedule for addiction treatment. People in outpatient programs can attend treatment throughout the week while still living at home, going to school, and working.
There are several levels of outpatient care, including:
- standard outpatient services
- intensive outpatient programs (IOP)
- partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
- a heroin anonymous support group
The level of outpatient care you need will be determined by the severity of your heroin addiction. Standard outpatient services only require a few hours a week, while IOP and PHP may require as many as 30 hours a week to complete the program.
Inpatient Treatment For Heroin Addiction
Inpatient, also known as residential treatment, is available for people who need more supervision and one-on-one care throughout the recovery process.
People will live at the treatment center for a minimum of 30 days, where they will receive services such as counseling, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and holistic therapies.
Short-term residential programs typically last for 30 to 90 days, while long-term inpatient care may take six months or longer if followed by sober home living accommodations.
Behavioral Therapy For Heroin Addiction
Different types of therapy are available for people recovering from a heroin addiction. Oftentimes, heroin addiction is accompanied by mental or emotional disorders or past trauma that can be addressed during counseling.
Common types of behavioral therapy for heroin addiction include:
- cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) — CBT attempts to help people develop coping skills and behavioral regulation.
- dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) — The main goals of DBT are to teach people how to cope with stress, regulate their emotions, and improve their interpersonal relationships.
Other common types of counseling include family, individual, and group counseling. People commonly join 12-step support groups to build a supportive network of like-minded people.
Heroin Overdose Treatment
People who have overdosed may still have treatment options if the overdose is caught in time. Health care providers can administer the overdose-reversal drug, naloxone (Narcan) to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose.
Opioid dependence may be long-lasting, and relapse is possible after seeking treatment, which is why it’s good to have naloxone or an overdose prevention plan ready. Treatment providers can help you develop your aftercare plan.
Read more about heroin overdose treatment options.
Aftercare Treatment Services For Heroin Addiction
After a person is finished with their inpatient program, they have the option of aftercare or continuing care to help with their recovery journey.
An aftercare program will help people with case management services such as employment assistance, housing assistance, childcare, and more.
Find A Substance Abuse Treatment Program Today
If you or a loved one are addicted to heroin, there are a range of treatment plans available to assist in the recovery process.
Call our helpline at Bedrock Recovery Center today for more information on our inpatient treatment program and other evidence-based services.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — Heroin DrugFacts
- National Institute of Health (NIH) — What are the treatments for heroin use disorder?
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — MAT Medications, Counseling, and Related Conditions
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — Opioid Drugs
Bedrock Recovery Editorial Team
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This page does not provide medical advice.