Heroin addiction is very difficult to overcome because of the side effects of detoxification from the drug. One effect of heroin is that you need to use increasingly larger quantities to feel the same high. As the amount you use increases, and the length of time you've used the drug increases, the detox reaction becomes stronger. Heroin addiction treatment is a combination of medical detox to help you manage physical symptoms when you stop using the drug and psychological treatment to help you overcome the triggers that make you want to use heroin. Here's an overview of what you can expect when you want to overcome your heroin addiction:
Inpatient Medical Detox
When you begin an addiction recovery program, you'll probably need to enter a medical facility for a couple of days or longer so you can detox. When you stop using heroin, you'll have uncomfortable physical symptoms that can include nausea, chills, leg spasms, muscle aches, sweating, stomach cramps, insomnia, and irritability. Knowing these symptoms could be relieved by taking heroin is often enough to cause you to start using again. That's one reason being in a controlled environment while you detox is helpful. Also, you'll be monitored so you don't have medical complications. The treatment facility may even prescribe medications that help you tolerate your withdrawal symptoms more easily.
Medications For Heroin Withdrawal
Heroin is an opioid drug. Other drugs act on the opioid receptors in your body and can be used in place of heroin. They don't produce the same high as heroin, but since they affect the opioid receptors, they prevent severe withdrawal symptoms. One medication is taken daily, and if you are in outpatient treatment, you need to report to the clinic daily to get it or you'll begin to have withdrawal symptoms. Other drugs are longer lasting, and some drugs also have sedative effects to help you stay calm during withdrawal.
Some of the medications used to treat heroin decrease cravings for the drug gradually and other medications aren't helpful during the withdrawal phase but are useful in helping you maintain sobriety. Your addiction doctor will carefully choose the best medication based on your medical condition, amount of heroin you use daily, and the length of time you've been an addict. You may not need to take medication at all if you can tolerate withdrawal symptoms and are committed to staying clean.
Addiction Treatment Programs
Various types of mental health techniques are used in helping you overcome addiction. You'll learn to identify what causes you to want to get high and then learn how to use alternative means to socialize, relieve stress, overcome depression, and otherwise deal with your triggers. You can receive treatment as an inpatient, which might make the process easier since you'll be removed from your family, fellow addicts, and triggers.
As an inpatient, you'll have a variety of programs that help you relax and exercise so you learn to burn off stress and anxiety through swimming or running and stay calm through meditation or yoga. You'll receive individual counseling as well as group counseling to help you regain sound mental health so you can be a productive, employable member of society when you go home.
Outpatient treatment is an option as well, which might suit you if your addiction is still mild enough that you are working and raising a family. You can undergo treatment while living at home and you'll probably have meetings with a counselor weekly or more often. You have to be completely committed to recovery if you undergo outpatient treatment for your addiction because you'll still be encountering your triggers every day.