What Are the Treatments for Heroin Addiction?
People are often aware of the challenges ahead of them when they decide to seek treatment for heroin addiction. However, few may be aware of the variety of treatments available and the fact that recovery is absolutely possible and some may be reluctant to seek treatment for heroin addiction for fear of harsh judgment by others. Whatever the reasons for a reluctance to seek heroin addiction treatment, understanding what is involved goes a long way to dispelling the myths and misconceptions surrounding it.
Both behavioral therapies and pharmacological or medical treatments are used in heroin addiction treatment, including the following:
- Detox: Although detox does not treat addiction, it is a significant first step. People who have used heroin are always recommended to undergo medically supervised detox because of the distressing withdrawal symptoms they can sometimes experience.
- Pharmacological Treatment: The medications used to treat heroin addiction are psychoactive and work through the same opioid receptors as the drug although they are much safer. The types of meds used include methadone, which dampens the pleasant sensations heroin promotes without causing withdrawal symptoms.
- Behavioral Therapies: There are several different types of behavioral treatments for heroin addicts that have been proven to be effective. One approach is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT, which is a method used to modify behavior and responses to certain stimuli.
- Individual and Group Therapy: Learning how to open up and communicate innermost thoughts and fears is an essential part of addiction treatment. It is also useful for patients to get to understand their issues better and also get the feedback of others who have been through the same journey. Recovering addicts should always have easy access to a solid support network when they leave a treatment facility to assist in relapse prevention.