The need for heroin addiction treatment spreads wider with every passing year. The rates of overdose caused by heroin and other opioids show no signs of slowing down. Charts created by CDC WONDER give a very visual picture of the massive spike in use since 2010. Heroin claimed the lives of 15,482 people and was the cause of 22 percent of deaths due to overdose in 2017 alone.
An average of 42 people die of a heroin overdose every single day. This causes many people to wonder, “Is there a cure for addiction? How can we help?” Heroin addiction treatment can’t cure drug addiction because doctors haven’t yet discovered a true cure for addiction. There are ways to overcome and live with it, though.
Heroin addiction treatment is one of these ways. The drug is notoriously difficult to quit using but it’s also just as challenging to stay stopped. This means there are multiple stages to treatment as well as the need for a long-term plan to stay away from drugs. Continue reading to learn more about the various types of treatment for heroin addiction and how to find help.
Understanding Heroin Addiction Treatment
Treating heroin addiction is a process. Heroin addiction treatment takes into account and addresses all stages of early recovery. The first step requires an addict to completely separate from all drugs. Detoxing their body from the effects of heroin is only one part of the equation, though. After the substances clear out, the cravings kick in and the real recovery process begins.
Long-time heroin use leads to both an intense physical and psychological addiction. When someone quits using the drug, their body goes through a painful withdrawal process. Since it’s a pain relieving drug, users experience a heightened reaction to pain during withdrawals. Heroin detox is a treatment option that helps people through the detoxification and withdrawal period.
Most detox facilities use a medication-assisted treatment approach. Since detoxing from heroin tends to be a painful process, some medications relieve the more severe symptoms. Naloxone and buprenorphine are two of the most commonly used for heroin detoxes.
Again, detox is only the first part of the recovery process. Cravings are most severe during the first few weeks of recovery. The next phase of heroin addiction treatment offers support to help addicts learn to work through these cravings.
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Inpatient Rehab or Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
There are two options for treatment following detox. One is inpatient rehab and the other is a partial hospitalization program (PHP). The type of program someone ends up in usually depends on the treatment facility they select.
Inpatient rehab often takes place over the course of a 30-, 60-, or 90-day treatment program. People in this type of treatment attend programming during the day then reside in the facility at night. This offers a round-the-clock observation of people during their first few weeks and months of recovery. It provides additional accountability when things are most difficult.
A PHP provides the similar daytime programming as an inpatient rehab but clients don’t spend nights in the facility. Still, many PHP treatment options offer residences off-site, usually at a sober living house.
The heroin addiction treatment programming offered in inpatient rehab and PHP usually includes both individual and group therapy. Some facilities also provide alternative treatment methods such as animal therapy, art therapy, or holistic wellness methods. Many take clients to outside 12-step or other recovery-focused fellowship meetings.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
Intensive outpatient programs, usually referred to as IOP, are the next step in heroin addiction treatment. After putting together a couple months of clean time, treatment centers aim to reintegrate clients back into their lives.
IOP provides programming for a few hours per day on 3 to 5 days of the week. People choose to live in either a sober living or back at home once programming ends for the day. They start looking for jobs or enrolling in school, ultimately taking the steps necessary to move forward in life.
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After Heroin Addiction Treatment
Again, going to treatment can’t cure someone’s heroin addiction. In order for someone to stay sober on a long-term basis, they must actively work to overcome their addiction. Millions of people worldwide opt for recovery fellowship programs.
Even though Alcoholics Anonymous focuses on alcoholism, many find that if they struggle with addiction to one substance, they have difficulties with all substances. They find help in the long-term solution available in AA. Still, Heroin Anonymous is another great program since it focuses specifically on heroin users.
Other fellowships like Refuge Recovery and SMART Recovery offer alternatives to Anonymous programs. Although there aren’t as many of these meetings they give many people the fellowship and solution they need.
The most important part of maintaining recovery is not doing it alone. Support from others who understand exactly what you went through is incredibly beneficial. Find a group of people you can check in with and hold one another accountable.
If you’re interested in finding out more about treatment options for heroin addiction, Hawaii Island Recovery can answer your questions. Give us a call today at 877-721-3556 and let us know how we can help you!