Heroin Treatment

Heroin addiction treatment

Treatment for opioid and heroin addiction are similar in that medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is often used for both to help minimize withdrawal symptoms and curb the urge to use drugs.

When seeking treatment for heroin addiction, it’s important to choose a drug and alcohol treatment center that has a medical doctor on staff and has a certified opioid treatment program that allows them to provide MAT.

Because of the severity of heroin addiction, you may experience symptoms such as:

Bone pain
Cold flashes
Diarrhea
Muscle cramping
Vomiting
Nausea
Restlessness
Sneezing
Depression
Insomnia (inability to sleep)

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Heroin Addiction

There are several FDA-approved drugs used in treatment for heroin addiction—each designed to help alleviate the cravings for heroin and to lessen the withdrawal symptoms as a person is going through the detox process. Medication, in some cases, can also be used long-term, for years to come.

  • Buprenorphine

    Buprenorphine (commonly known as Subutex) reduces cravings for heroin and does not produce a high so there’s less risk of become hooked on it; however, can become habit-forming and can potentially be abused (injected)

  • Suboxone

    Suboxone is a mixture of buprenorphine and naloxone, the drug that helps reverse opioid overdose; however, not as strong as buprenorphine, methadone or naltrexone alone.

  • Methadone

    Methadone has been used for more than 50 years in treatment for heroin addiction by making it impossible for a person to experience the associated high, plus it works well for those who don’t respond to other types of medications; still, it’s highly addictive and has to be carefully monitored in daily doses to prevent overdose.

  • Naltrexone

    Naltrexone, which also interferes with the person’s ability to experience anything pleasurable about using heroin, is a drug that is nonaddictive; the more long-acting versions of the drug seem to be more effective in terms of compliance among users.

Medication-assisted treatment for heroin addiction is also approved for pregnant women. Using heroin during pregnancy leads to neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a condition in which the baby is addicted to heroin. Medication-assisted treatment during pregnancy may help the baby have milder symptoms and recover after birth.

Behavioral Therapy Treatment for Heroin Addiction

In addition to medication for physical withdrawal, heroin addiction treatment further involves therapy—a critical ingredient to success—and learning of new habits and behaviors to help prevent relapse. Heroin, in particular, has a very high relapse rate. Still, as with any other addiction disorder, it’s important to address any underlying trauma or mental health issues (dual-diagnosis: mental health/substance use disorder) and cultivate a new lifestyle that doesn’t include people and places where heroin used takes place.

We also have relapse prevention therapists who are specially trained to help people with heroin addiction recognize relapse thought patterns and behaviors. Instead of repeating the same negative behavior, the person with heroin addiction is newly prepared with a relapse prevention plan to disrupt the cycle of relapse and have an increased likelihood of long-term success.

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What People Are Saying About Us Online

N. Morris

I've been at AMS for 3 and 1/2 years and they helped me so much with my recovery, without my counselor I don't think I would of made it this far. Ultimately the addict has to do the work but it's extremely helpful when you have the support that you need to do the work. Thank you again AMS and all the wonderful staff for believing in us!!!!

C. Toman

Very good treatment facility and very friendly. Would not recommend if your not serious about recovery. I've been at this clinic for 3 years and have had my share of ups and downs and they are definitely there to help you through the rough times!!

R. Genske

Amazing place. Wonderful counsellors and staff. Everyone is so friendly and understanding. The treatment works wonders for those that are serious about their recovery. They have saved my life. I wouldn't have survived without their help. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your help, knowledge and support in getting myself and countless others on track to recovery. We need more places like this available in this area.

D. Vesely

This place saved my life and I'm very grateful for it I love the staff and the nurses are great as long as you are ready to be on the path of sobriety they will be there for you.

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