Are you or your loved one suffering from heroin addiction? It’s possible to overcome this dependency with heroin addiction treatment. The most effective treatment is medication and behavioral therapy. These treatments have proven to be effective in helping people quit heroin.
According to scientific research, medication treatment for opioid dependence enhances adherence to treatment plans and lowers drug usage. You may experience severe withdrawal symptoms when you first stop using heroin. During this detoxification phase, medications assist in reducing cravings and other physical effects that might lead to relapse.
Pharmaceuticals that treat heroin addiction work similarly to opioid receptors in addictive substances. They are less dangerous and less likely to have the same adverse effects as heroin. The three most effective medications for treating heroin addiction are:
Methadone is a medication similar to morphine and heroin. It works as an opioid to lower the urge to abuse drugs. Over the years, medical practitioners have prescribed methadone as a pain reliever and treatment for heroin dependency. It comes in the form of pills, tablets, or syrup taken orally once per day. It’s usually accessible in specialized clinics known as methadone maintenance programs.
Compared to heroin, methadone is less expensive and lasts longer in the body. You’ll feel the effects four to eight hours after taking the dosage, which lasts around 24 hours. This explains why only one dose per day is required. Methadone doesn’t cause a feeling of being high, but it’s related to heroin in other ways, such as:
- Reduces blood pressure
- Slows down the heartbeat
- It makes you feel good holistically
- Lowers body temperature
- Acts as a pain reliever
It’s safe to start methadone treatment immediately after withdrawing from heroin. This helps you remain stable and avoid harmful practices like injecting yourself. The treatment plan can be short-term, lasting at most two weeks, or long-term, lasting months or years.
Buprenorphine is an opioid-related drug, sometimes referred to as Suboxone. Buprenorphine makes opioid drugs have weaker effects by activating the cell receptors that these drugs stimulate. It reduces the effects of heroin and eliminates your craving symptoms.
You can get buprenorphine from a regular doctor’s office. The doctor must, however, have a “waiver” and qualification to prescribe it. It’s taken orally, once daily or less, by dissolving under the tongue without chewing or swallowing. The treatment plan ranges between once a week and once a month, owing to its long-term effects.
Buprenorphine is the first-line treatment option for heroin addiction and can be administered at home. It’s the best alternative if:
- You have never used methadone or received heroin addiction treatment.
- There is no methadone clinic in your area
- The nearest clinic is either full or not accepting new patients
Your psychiatrist might advise you to seek drug dependence therapy while taking buprenorphine.
Naltrexone is a non-habit-forming drug used to treat the effects of opioids by blocking the brain’s opiate receptors. It prevents heroin use, doesn’t cause euphoria, and provides quicker detoxification than methadone. Naltrexone functions best when included in a balanced recovery plan that encompasses counseling.
The dosage you receive depends on your health status and treatment adherence. Psychiatrists advise against using opiates for at least seven to ten days before starting naltrexone. This is to prevent immediate and severe withdrawal symptoms. It’s consumable orally, once daily. Your psychiatrist may prescribe a higher dose taken every 2-3 days while monitoring you.
Psychiatrists offer heroin addiction behavioral treatments in outpatient and residential settings. Studies show that behavioral therapy is effective for heroin use disorder, mainly when used with pharmaceuticals. Effective behavioral therapy treatment methods include:
Contingency management employs a reward-based approach whereby patients gain points for negative drug tests. You trade the points you earn with products that promote healthy living.
The focus of cognitive-behavioral therapy is to change your thoughts and drug-related behaviors. Cognitive-behavioral therapy improves your stress and triggers coping mechanisms. It works by assisting you in becoming more conscious of your actions.
Heroin Addiction Treatment That Works for You
Quitting heroin is challenging but doable. It starts with understanding your reasons for dependency and then looking for assistance. Talk to a medical professional who focuses on you as an individual for heroin addiction treatment that suits you.