Heroin is a devastatingly powerful opioid derived from poppy plants. Addiction to this drug triggers problems that ripple out beyond the end-user. Drug abuse is an epidemic that affects millions of Americans across U.S. Households today and this pressing issue has not decreased with the introduction of COVID and other daily stressors for young Americans living in 2021.
This drug not only causes serious medical repercussions for habitual users, but it’s also responsible for a variety of negative social outcomes. Heroin addiction causes enormous problems for families across the United States, while heroin-related issues also impact schools and workplaces. Not only do the costs run into billions of dollars annually, but the drug also damages these environments.
Offering the right heroin addiction treatment has never been more necessary. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health
There are almost 950,000 heroin users in the US, a number that’s been gradually increasing since 2007. Drug use is a commonly known plague that takes the lives of many young Americans each day.
The opioid epidemic has been instrumental in the rising number of heroin users. Heroin use is becoming an increasing danger, especially with COVID in the air and people’s mental health being rattled from isolation and sadness. Many people without any history of drug use prescribed opioid painkillers develop an addiction to these pills. Substance use disorder is a pressing issue in today’s world with more and more accessible avenues of obtaining the drugs. Sometimes, when unable to refill their prescriptions, people resort to using heroin scored on the street. In this way, there is a link between prescription opioids and heroin use.
While heroin is one of the most lethal drugs, there are also many myths surrounding this substance. Perhaps the biggest stumbling block for many heroin users contemplating rehab is the idea that heroin addiction is the end of the line. Instead, with the right treatment, heroin use disorder can be treated just like any other chronic disease. Substance use disorder is a disease, and while there might be no cure, you can implement sustainable practices to get drug-free. It can be managed with effective treatment as we’ll highlight today.
What Is The Most Effective Method of Heroin Addiction Treatment?
Most current research shows clearly that treating heroin use disorder with the aid of medication can deliver powerful benefits while also reducing the dangers associated with detox and withdrawal. Not only is overall retention in treatment improved, but there is less criminal activity and less transmission of diseases when clients engage with medication-assisted heroin addiction treatment.
One of the core advantages of MAT is the way some medications can help to reduce the intensity and severity of the withdrawal symptoms that typically accompany opioid withdrawal. Prescription medication can be used to alleviate insomnia, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, all common by-products of heroin detox. There’s also a highly effective non-opioid called Lofexidine. This FDA-approved medication diminishes the withdrawal symptoms to a more manageable level.
All the FDA-approved medications used to treat heroin use disorder work on the same opioid receptors that heroin targets. What you don’t get, though, are the adverse effects or the high delivered by raw heroin.
- Opioid agonists: These medications fully activate the opioid receptors
- Partial opioid agonists: These medications mildly activate the opioid receptors
- Opioid antagonists: These medications block opioid receptors while also interfering with the rewarding effects
From these groups, there are 3 medications typically used to treat heroin addiction:
Methadone is a slow-acting agonist that’s taken orally. This route of delivery ensures that the medication takes time to reach the brain.
This medication has been used worldwide to treat heroin use disorder since the 1960s.
If you have tried other medications without success, methadone could prove effective at helping you taper off heroin safely and sustainably.
Methadone is administered in a controlled setting through outpatient treatment programs.
This partial agonist goes some way toward relieving cravings for heroin without delivering the high triggered by opioids.
Suboxone is a form of buprenorphine that also contains naloxone.
This medication gained FDA approval in 2002. Generic versions were approved by the FDA in 2013, and an implant lasting for 6 months was approved in 2016.
Vivitrol is an opioid antagonist that interferes with the way opioids act. The medication doesn’t have to sedate properties, and it’s not addictive, either.
This medication is FDA-approved as an injectable. Only required once monthly, this removes the hassle and logistics of daily dosing for heroin addicts looking to break the chains of addiction.
Now, it’s not just medication that’s necessary for heroin addiction treatment. MAT works most effectively when it’s partnered with appropriate talk therapies and behavioral therapies.
CBT and Contingency Management for Heroin Addiction
Treatment for heroin addiction can be delivered in residential rehab, via partial hospitalization programs, or through outpatient rehab.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is especially effective for helping heroin addicts identify the triggers that lead them to use the drug. CBT will also teach workable strategies for life’s stressors that don’t involve shooting up half a gram of heroin.
With contingency management, healthy behaviors are incentivized and rewarded using a points-based system.
When you’re seeking treatment for heroin addiction, it’s also vital to address any underlying mental health conditions co-occurring with your drug addiction. We can help you with that and much, much more at TDRC.
Heroin Addiction Treatment Program at The District Recovery Community
Entering heroin addiction treatment here at The District Recovery Community will help you through the painful withdrawal symptoms you’ll experience with FDA-approved medication. You don’t have to go through substance abuse disorder alone. With our compassionate team, a community of supporters, and vigilant cognitive behavioral therapy practices, we’ll shape you up for the most amazing transformative journey you’ll embark on in life- all to get back to being the best you, you can be. You’ll also build the skills to cope with cravings for heroin, gain friends, the knowledge that you can overcome your addiction, and the coping strategies to help you deal with life’s stressors without reaching for a needle.
To get things started, call us right now at 844.287.8506.