Heroin Rehabilitation: The Only Way to Stop Chasing the Dragon

Recent news reports state that the number of heroin deaths has increased in the last year by almost 60%.

And across the country as a whole, well over 15 thousand people lost their lives to a heroin overdose in 2017 alone.

The opioid epidemic very much is a heroin epidemic. And anyone who falls victim to this kind of addiction needs professional help to recover. Without it, the overwhelming withdrawals, the powerful cravings, and the jarring triggers are often far more than anyone can handle alone.

Understanding all that goes with heroin addiction treatment – from detox to rehab – is vital for recovery. And the more you know about what professional treatment involves (the timeline, the treatments, what to look for in a facility), the better able you’ll be to kick your heroin addiction for good.

This comprehensive guide to heroin rehabilitation takes a deep dive into the topic. And ultimately, it shows that a heroin addiction can be overcome – with the right help.

The First Step: Detox

In many cases, treatment begins with going through detoxification. This is a process that allows the chemicals from the drugs to be eliminated from your body quickly and naturally. As a heroin user, you may only go for short periods without using, which means withdrawal symptoms will begin showing in just a few hours. Detoxing is difficult with any addictive substance. But it’s often more painful with opioids. In fact, many people relapse because they can’t handle the detox process.

That’s why it’s so important to partner with a professional heroin addiction treatment facility during detoxification. These facilities are equipped to make the withdrawal process far more comfortable, making getting through withdrawal much easier.

On top of that, these programs are also staffed by medical professionals that can keep you safe throughout the process. And this is especially important because relapsing on opioids like heroin can actually be deadly in many cases.

One thing that distinguishes heroin from other drugs is the fact that its withdrawal process is so uncomfortable. Recovering addicts are assaulted by a range of both physical and psychological symptoms.

And without proper care, these symptoms can often be overwhelming – leading to a full-blown relapse or even self-harm in more serious cases.

According to MedlinePlus, there are two distinct phases of withdrawal from opioids like heroin, each with their own set of symptoms. They are as follows.

Early symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Increased tearing
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Yawning

Late symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goosebumps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Heroin withdrawal can be a brutal experience. The combination of intense physical withdrawal symptoms and tortuous mental ones often lead recovering addicts to turn back to using without the right kind of help.

A professional heroin detox program can make the process significantly more comfortable. And in the end, that means it’s also a lot more likely to be successful too.

To get a better understanding of what it’s like to go cold turkey off of heroin, below are just a few firsthand accounts of what heroin withdrawal feels like.

In general, heroin detoxification usually lasts around 7 to 10 days in a proper professional program. If you’re quitting on your own, it might end up being quite a bit longer.

Here’s a timeline of opioid withdrawal to give you a better idea of what to expect.

  • The Beginning of Symptoms: If you’re taking short-acting opiates (Percocet, Oxycodone, Codeine), withdrawal should begin quickly. You may feel it within 6 to 12 hours after your last dose. For long-acting opiates (Duragesic, Opana, Methadone), they may begin within 30 hours.
  • Days 1-3: You may only experience a few mild symptoms at first. However, these symptoms will increase in severity by the end of the third day. Day 3 is the worst day of opiate withdrawal, by far.
  • Days 4-6: You should have hit the peak by day 3. On day 4, you should start to feel a bit better. Some symptoms may disappear, while others may linger.
  • Days 7-10: You should be feeling quite a bit better at this point. However, you still may experience cravings on and off.
  • Days 11 and Beyond: It’s not unusual for symptoms to come back without notice. It’s even possible to experience them a month or more after you’ve quit this drug.

The Second Step: Rehabilitation

After detoxification comes heroin rehabilitation. And while detoxification is mainly concerned with helping patients push through physical dependency side of addiction, rehab is more focused on the psychological side of things.

That’s because addiction isn’t just a bodily disease – it’s a brain disease too. Over time, the actual physical structure of a drug user’s mind will change. The National Institute on Drug Abuse points out that:

“Brain imaging studies from people addicted to drugs show physical changes in areas of the brain that are critical for judgment, decision-making, learning, memory, and behavior control. Scientists believe that these changes alter the way the brain works and may help explain the compulsive and destructive behaviors of a person who becomes addicted.”

And in order to treat these mental changes, more extensive treatment is needed.

Professional heroin rehab provides this extensive treatment. Using a range of treatments and therapies like one-on-one counseling, group talk sessions, and behavioral therapies, recovering addicts can get the tools they need to cope with these brain changes or reverse them altogether.

It takes a fair amount of work and time – anywhere from 28 days to months or even years for most programs. But the tools and strategies learned in these programs will last a lifetime. And they’re essential for getting clean from a heroin addiction.

It certainly is.

While some people are unfortunately under the impression that once someone goes through detox they’re “cured” of an addiction, the truth of the matter is that heroin detoxification only treats the physical dependency. And in most cases, the brain itself is still addicted to heroin long after.

In order to promote long-term sobriety, the brain has to be treated too.

In fact, NIDA even goes so far as to point out that “detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself [without rehabilitation too] does little to change long-term drug use.”

In the end, if a heroin addict actually wants to recover then, it takes both detoxification and heroin rehabilitation.

Types of Heroin Rehabilitation Treatment Programs

Treating a heroin addiction is often more challenging than dealing with other drugs. Because it’s so addictive and the relapse rate is very high, treatment may be longer term. You have several options for how you will receive treatment, and you should consider your choices carefully.

One of the best-known and most popular types of treatment is an inpatient program. You stay at a facility for treatment for a specified time, usually 30 days for a drug addiction. During this time, you receive treatment and may be limited on outside contact. The benefit of this type of program is you can concentrate solely on recovery and not be influenced by negative situations.

For a serious addiction like heroin, you need more support and to avoid people and places which will encourage you to start using again. Being in an inpatient program gives you time to learn how to handle your addiction and prepares you for life afterwards.

A similar option for people who have tried to stop using heroin and have failed once or many times is residential treatment. It’s similar to inpatient rehab but lasts longer. You may spend weeks or even months at a facility. The main benefit of this treatment is you can get the support you need and avoid temptation and triggers until you’re better able to handle them.

Outpatient treatment is an option where you go to therapy for a few hours a week and then return to your home and to work or school. While this type of therapy is good for those who have other responsibilities, you need a good support system of family and friends to be successful.

The problem with long-term heroin addiction is you may have damaged those relationships and lost your home and job so that you don’t have the positive influences in your life. This option is best for the person who has recently developed an addiction.

Intensive outpatient treatment is similar to regular outpatient programs except that you spend more time in therapy. It may be several hours a day or even all day before returning home at night. On top of that, treatment sessions usually take place more frequently throughout the week.

Like outpatient, IOPs are usually around 3 months in length, but they can be shorter or longer depending on the program.

This is a great option for people who need a higher level of care than outpatient can provide but may not qualify for the intensive treatment used in inpatient programs.  

Treatment Options in Rehab

When you attend drug rehab, you’ll be given an assessment. The therapist will create a treatment plan to help you begin your recovery. It often has several components and not just one type of therapy. This becomes even more important with heroin addiction because it can affect so many different parts of your life.

Heroin Addiction Information

Heroin addiction treatment often includes behavioral therapy including cognitive therapy, which works to modify your behaviors. You will learn how to identify triggers and develop strategies to either avoid them or deal with them. You’ll also build your skills in managing stress, which often leads to relapse in recovering addicts.

Behavioral therapy is a key component of heroin rehab because it essentially teaches patients how to cope with living a life without drugs. And the longer they’re able to do so, the easier getting through the day without using becomes.

Another aspect of behavior therapy is contingency management. This is a fancy way of saying you’ll get rewards for good behavior in treatment. For instance, if you complete a step in your program such as attending so many group meetings in a week, you may gain phone privileges to call home. Sometimes the reward is a small amount of cash or vouchers that can be used for certain things.

You’ll need to go through therapy as part of your treatment. When you work one-on-one with a therapist, you’ll delve into the reasons behind your addiction. You may discover a deeply hidden problem, or you may have to learn how to deal with well-known causes for your drug use.

When you go to rehab, you will talk with an addiction counselor on a regular basis. In the beginning, you may talk with him or her every single day because you'll need additional support. You'll discuss your heroin addiction and gain insight into how it has affected your life.

You'll also work on getting to the source of your addiction. It may be a past physical or emotional trauma. It could be an inability to cope with day-to-day stresses. Or it may be the result of self-medicating to treat an underlying co-occurring disorder like depression or anxiety.

This can be a bit painful at first, but it's a necessary part of breaking the hold that heroin. Most people find addiction counseling to be one of the most rewarding parts of rehab. It can even help you devise strategies that will protect you from relapsing once your rehab is over.

Group therapy has been standard in heroin rehab for a long time. Sometimes people are nervous about talking with a group about their issues, but those feelings pass.

The fact is that you have been through so much, and it's important for you to know that you're not alone.

Group therapy will help you build a support system to make positive changes. You’ll see others who are fighting an addiction just like you. They may have similar stories or come from different backgrounds.

In the end, group therapy is a great way to not only connect with others but also to learn from the experiences that these people have gone through themselves.

Medication may be necessary to help with addiction recovery. Even after you detox, you may suffer from severe cravings for the drug. Some rehab facilities offer medication which blocks the brain’s ability to enjoy the effects of an opioid like heroin. If the person uses, some medications may cause them to be sick and not get the euphoria from it.

With drug addiction, especially in the case of heroin abuse, you may be prescribed medications for use during your treatment. For instance, you may take methadone or buprenorphine, which act similar to heroin but with less intense reactions. This reduces your cravings so you can focus on treatment without relapsing. Naltrexone is another drug which blocks the effect of the drug, so you don’t enjoy using.

The issue with using medication is the person must continue taking it for it to be effective. Also, some of these drugs have addictive properties, which can cause more problems in the future.

A lot of programs include alternative treatment, which can be especially helpful with heroin addiction.

For instance, there may be a focus on meditation to help you relax when you’re under stress. You may find yoga classes help you feel centered. Then, there’s music and art therapy, which can teach you how to express your emotions instead of keeping them bottled up. Not all types of treatment work the same way for each person, so it’s good to have options.

With this drug, the addiction is often so severe that multiple types of treatment may be recommended to help you be more successful.

The therapist may choose one or more types of alternative treatments based on your past or interests. For example, a person who likes to write may respond better to journaling than to talking about their addiction. An animal lover may get more therapeutic benefits from equine therapy or find it easier to open up as they establish a relationship with an animal.

People who have been using heroin for a long time have damaged their bodies in many ways. They are often emaciated looking and have poor nutrition. One of the important areas of focus for drug treatment centers is to get the person healthy again. Nutritional programs will ensure they are eating foods with the right vitamins and minerals to help them regain their health and to feel physically stronger and mentally alert.

Exercise is often part of the program as it makes you feel good after a workout. Your brain releases endorphins, those “feel-good” chemicals that give you a natural high. Instead of looking to a drug to provide that feeling, you learn how to turn to exercise to help you deal with stress and make you feel good. Once you begin to feel positive towards yourself and develop self-confidence, you feel more prepared to face the daily challenges of life without using drugs.

What Kinds of Medications Are Used in Heroin Rehab?

Many heroin rehabilitation programs will also use a wide variety of medications to help relieve withdrawals, reduce cravings, and remove the incentive to use again.

Using medications alongside behavioral counseling is what’s known as Medication Assisted Treatment or MAT. And according to the evidence, MAT is incredibly beneficial when it comes to rehabilitation.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, MAT has been shown to:

  • Decrease opioid use, opioid-related overdose deaths, criminal activity, and infectious disease transmission.
  • Increase social functioning and retention in treatment.
  • Improve outcomes for babies of opioid-dependent pregnant women.

There are a few different types of medications that might be used during heroin rehabilitation. Below are some of the most common.

One type of medication that’s been at the forefront of heroin rehabilitation is opioid-replacement therapies (ORTs). These drugs affect the exact same receptors as heroin. And in doing so, they can help make withdrawals easier to bear and cravings practically non-existent.

Below are some of the best.

  • Methadone – This ORT has been used for decades at heroin rehabilitation centers all over the world. Patients using methadone will go to a methadone clinic once a day and receive their dose in a liquid form. And this single dose helps reduce withdrawal symptoms and eliminate cravings so they can function normally throughout the day. However, methadone can only be administered at certain facilities, and it does actually have a risk of abuse as well.
  • Buprenorphine – The current golden child of the ORT world, buprenorphine has largely replaced methadone as the opioid replacement drug of choice. It’s less addictive, more easily administered, and it has what’s known as a “ceiling effect” – meaning taking more of it at a certain level won’t increase the drug’s effects. As a result, some patients can even take buprenorphine drugs like Suboxone from the comfort of their own home. However, it does have a risk of dependency like methadone.
  • Naltrexone – This one works a little bit differently than the other two. Rather than stimulating the receptors, naltrexone actually just blocks them off entirely. So even if a patient does relapse, they won’t be able to feel any of the beneficial effects of using. They can also help reduce cravings. Naltrexone medications like Vivitrol have even been shown to be just as effective as Suboxone at treating long-term heroin use. And since it doesn’t actually activate the receptors, it has zero potential for abuse.

Many heroin rehab centers will also have a drug called naloxone on hand. Naloxone is what’s known as an opioid antagonist. That means that it attaches to the opioid receptors and stops other chemicals from stimulating them – just like naltrexone does.

However, a key difference between the two is that naloxone actually reverses the effects of opioid intoxication. That means that the respiratory depression and even coma that can come with an overdose can be treated and essentially cured in no time at all.

Not long ago, naloxone was only able to be administered by a qualified health professional. It was also used in the form of an injection. Today though, a product called Narcan has hit the market, and it's making treating an overdose much easier. Instead of an injection, it comes in an easy-to-use nasal spray.

And in fact, it’s so simple to administer that college campuses, treatment centers, and even coffee shops and grocery stores are beginning to keep some on-hand.

Last but certainly not least, many opioid detox programs will also employ the use of a range of other medications, both prescription and over-the-counter. These meds are used to treat specific symptoms of opioid withdrawal and are not opioid agonists (buprenorphine and methadone) or antagonists like naltrexone and naloxone.

Some of the most common include:

Prescription

Over-The-Counter

  • Imodium for diarrhea
  • Dramamine for nausea
  • Benadryl for insomnia and/or nausea
  • Tylenol and ibuprofen for muscle aches
  • Sleep aids
  • Supplements like l-tyrosine, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, copper, and vitamin B6 to help support the body

Co-Occurring Disorders & Heroin

Many people with a mental illness turn to drugs to help them hide their symptoms from family, friends, and coworkers. They fear being viewed as a "crazy person" or someone who is out of control. Instead of seeking medical help, they choose to self-medicate. However, with the case of heroin use, the drug may cause the mental health disorder.

When someone suffers from both conditions, it is said that they have a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. The mental health condition may be depression, PTSD, severe anxiety, bipolar disorder or other problems. Using heroin can help you relax, unwind and not show some of these symptoms. However, it really makes the condition worse.

After using the drug for some time, you’ll notice that the symptoms you were trying to hide are even worse than before. However, you’ll be unable to stop using because you’ve become addicted.

With heroin, you may find you develop a mental health disorder because of your drug use. This drug alters the brain over time, causing you to become paranoid, anxious or hysterical. It destroys your brain, so you are unable to think clearly and make decisions. Some of the effects may be reversible when you stop using, but others may have permanent damage.

If you suffer from a mental or mood disorder alongside a heroin addiction (also called a dual diagnosis), you will need to be treated for both the mental condition and the addiction. You will need to go through therapy for both of them, and you may even need medication for the mental health disorder.

That’s because in most cases, these co-occurring disorders tend to feed off of each other. A heroin addiction may, for example, start out because someone was trying to self-medicated a serious anxiety disorder. Or maybe the fallout from a heroin disorder actually causes clinical depression.

In either case, if the addiction alone is only treated, the underlying disorder still remains. And many people in these circumstances will simply turn back to using again to treat the disorder.

Getting clean and staying clean, then, depends on treating both conditions in order to ensure long-term success. And only treating one is bound to only result in turning back to heroin not long after.

Even though it’s more complicated to treat a dual diagnosis, it’s possible for you to recover and live a productive life with the right treatment program.

Are there Affordable Heroin Rehabs?

Yes, there are.

One of the reasons most people don't get the help they need is because of the costs associated with rehab. They're concerned they won't be able to afford it, or that it will cause a financial hardship for their families.

In fact, a national survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that nearly one-third of addicts who knew they needed help (around 1 million Americans) didn’t get it because of cost concerns.

But luckily, there are a variety of treatment options that make getting the help you need to kick heroin more affordable than ever.

The good news is that an affordable rehab is easy to find, thanks to The Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA).

These healthcare laws require almost all insurance companies to provide benefits for drug rehab. While some insurance providers only cover a portion of the costs of this type of addiction treatment, many of them provide full coverage. Plus, if there are out of pocket costs, they're generally very minimal.

These new laws have made it possible for people to get the help they need for their addiction regardless of their financial situation if they have insurance, and this should change how you feel about getting substance abuse treatment.

However, no matter what kind of plan you have, you should always verify your insurance coverage before partnering with a specific facility. Doing so can help you plan ahead and make sure you know all the costs involved beforehand – so there are absolutely no surprises.

You can verify your insurance coverage using this simple online form.

Just as private health insurers are practically required by law to provide addiction treatment coverage, so too are federal health insurance programs.

This includes:

MedicaidThis federal health insurance program is designed to help low-income Americans get the life-saving care and medical support they need to stay healthy. Not everyone will qualify for Medicaid. And on top of that, not all treatment facilities will accept Medicaid as payment. So be sure to understand exactly what you’re covered for before partnering with a facility.

MedicareThis government-funded health insurance is specifically for older Americans, people with certain disabilities, or citizens with end-stage renal disease or Lou Gehrig's disease. Not all Medicare plans cover addiction treatment costs, so be sure to know exactly what benefits you qualify for. This informational booklet can help.

Veterans Affairs Health CareSpecifically for individuals who have served in the armed forces, healthcare obtained through the VA is also required to help cover the costs of addiction treatment. This is especially important because veterans very often also struggle with addictions to drugs and/or alcohol.

Many heroin treatment programs will be passionate about treating an addiction. And as a result, they’ll likely make it as easy for you or your loved one to afford treatment as possible.

Below are just some of the ways these facilities may make paying for treatment more convenient.

  • Financing – Some programs may pay for your treatment up front with the promise that you’ll pay back the costs plus interest over time.
  • Payment Plans – This option lets patients break up their total costs into smaller, more manageable installments over a few months or years.
  • Scholarships & Grants – These offerings from facilities help cover the costs of treatment as a no-strings-attached gift. However, qualifications are usually strict, and not everyone will be a good candidate for them.
  • Referral Programs – Some programs offer reduced costs when you or your loved one refer a friend to the program. This helps incentivize spreading treatment to as many needy people as possible.
  • Sliding Scale Prices – Last but not least, some programs offer sliding scale prices based on individual income. Someone making less money, then, will ultimately pay less for treatment than someone making more.

Finding a local addiction group can also be an excellent way to build up a social support network and get on the right track towards sobriety. Many of these groups are free to attend and open to new members.

Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous follow the 12-step model to addiction recovery. This model is backed up by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and is scientifically proven to help support sobriety.

However, many support groups by themselves typically don’t provide the level of support that a heroin addict needs in order to stay sober in the long-term. The emotional and motivational support is invaluable, sure. But most users will need the guidance and expertise of a professional treatment program to get clean.

Finally, there are also some treatment organizations that are run by charities. These facilities may offer fully free treatment to as many people as their facility can hold. The Salvation Army, for example, operates numerous facilities that help more than 150,000 people overcome their addictions every year. And they depend on charitable donations and government subsidies to keep their services running.

However, free and subsidized treatment programs can come with a couple of problems. First of all, there is usually an especially long waiting list to get into these programs. Users may be forced to wait weeks or even months to get in. And unfortunately, the majority of heroin users who admit they need help only have a small window of time before they get sucked back into the vicious cycle of addiction and refuse treatment later on.

On top of that, the quality of treatment is not usually anywhere near as high as in private professional programs. Living quarters may be cramped, physician oversight can be sparse, and getting the personalized attention that’s necessary to recover can be next to impossible.

Just like any other program, free treatment centers vary though. And some may be better than others. That’s why it’s so important to always consider all of your options before partnering with a particular program.

And for some, it might be worth it to rethink going to a free detox or rehab center.

Choosing Professional Help Over Going Cold Turkey

It's possible that you've thought about quitting heroin cold turkey, rather than trying to go through a rehab program. Many people believe they can quit on their own, but unfortunately, that's rarely the case. Withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe in some people, and they can even trigger some serious medical issues. This is particularly true if you have a prior medical history that includes heart problems.

Heroin cravings can be intense, and they can begin as soon as a few hours after your last use. You can also experience nausea and vomiting, cramping in your arms and legs, insomnia, cold sweats during the night and the day, feelings of heaviness in your body and many other symptoms.

If the physical symptoms aren’t serious enough, the mental issues are often more problematic. You may become irritable, suffer from hallucinations and experience insomnia as your body adjusts to not having the drug.

For most people, these withdrawal symptoms are too much for them. The worst of the withdrawal may last for about a week, but it's not uncommon for the symptoms to return with a vengeance without notice for a few months. When you're unable to cope, you look for relief, and that means the addiction cycle begins all over again.

When you choose to go to a rehab center, you'll get the support you need to quit your use of heroin for good. While withdrawal symptoms will probably still be present, there are treatment options that can minimize them significantly. That means that they will be much easier to cope with, and they will also be much shorter in duration. The right kind of professional support can help you kick your drug addiction for good so that you can begin your recovery.

With opioids like heroin in particular, users tend to develop a stronger tolerance to the drug much quicker than other illicit substances. In fact, research has shown that tolerance can develop in as little as a few hours after first taking high doses.

But in that same way, opioid tolerance also drops quicker than most people might expect. And that can spell out serious problems when it comes to relapsing.

For example, if a heavy heroin user goes through two weeks of detox, they won’t have had any exposure to the drug for 14 days. And during that time, their tolerance to heroin will likely drop dramatically.

If, however, they end up relapsing and decide to use the same dosage that got them high before, their body won’t be able to process the drug nearly as well. And as a result, they may be launched into a deadly overdose, even though they were getting high off the same amount just weeks earlier.

The threat of accidental overdose due to relapse is very real for recovering heroin addicts. And it’s just one more reason why anyone trying to recover from this addiction should always partner with a program that has the absolute best success rates available.

What to Look for in the Best Rehab Centers

Getting professional treatment for a heroin addiction is the absolute best way to ensure long-term sobriety. But the question is, how do you know which rehabilitation center is the right one for you?

It's understandable for you to want to be careful when you're choosing a rehab center. You're looking for only the best, and rehab facilities are not all the same. Some may offer greater amenities while others are more bare bones. Some provide specialized treatments while others just don’t have the expertise to provide them.

And others still are trusted by thousands of past patients and even federal agencies while some may only be out to make a quick buck.

The difficulty, though, comes from being able to distinguish which is which before signing up.

Below are just a few of the most important qualities to look for when seeking out a treatment program. If you find a facility with these characteristics, there’s a good chance that they just might be the key to overcoming your heroin addiction for good.

It can be hard to know beforehand which treatment programs to trust and which just may not be quite up to par. Even if you do spend days researching a facility beforehand, the materials they put out there might not be as trustworthy as you think.

That’s where certifications come in.

Certifications from agencies like the Joint Commission or the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers help weed out programs that aren’t up to snuff.

And when you’re searching for a heroin rehabilitation program, you want to be sure that you’re getting the absolute highest level of care possible, especially since relapsing can be so dangerous.

That’s why it’s so important to be sure that a facility has been nationally certified by a trusted agency before siding with them.

One of the best ways to get an idea of the effectiveness of a particular program is to have a look at past patient testimonials.

What was treatment like? How was the staff? Was it a comfortable experience? All of this info and more can be found in statements from past patients.

And when you find a facility that has a sterling reputation among people that have used their services before, you can feel much more confident in their abilities.

Addiction is a complex disease. It affects nearly every single aspect of an individual’s life, from their family and finances to their physical and mental health. And on top of that, addiction presents differently in different people based on factors like genes, past substance abuse, and even gender in some cases.

Given all of these different variables and how interconnected addiction is with all of them, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that not everyone will respond to treatment the same way. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “No single treatment is appropriate for everyone.”

That’s why it’s critical to partner with a heroin rehab facility that is flexible in their approaches when addressing addiction. Programs should adjust to the individual, not the other way around.

The cookie-cutter approach just doesn’t work with addiction. And facilities that offer individualized programs based on the specific needs of each patient should be sent to the top of the list.

In the same vein as individualized programs, treatments should also tend to the various problems that addiction can often create.

Recovering addicts, especially those struggling with a heroin problem, will typically face many kinds of problems – legal, financial, social, vocational.

And while recovering from a substance addiction alone can help get patients back on the right path, the absolute best way to prevent relapse is to address all of these problems during treatment.

That way, once a patient graduates from a heroin rehab program, they’re starting again on a sturdier foundation. And that means less overall stress and less chances of turning back to using again.

Since we haven’t quite nailed down exactly how addiction works on every level, there’s a lot of uncertainty around how to treat it. For years addiction treatment centers did the best they could with what they had. And many resorted to methods that today have been shown to be unhelpful.

Unfortunately, some facilities still use these outdated methods that aren’t backed up by real, hard science. And that means that patients here may be simply wasting their time.

Finding a facility with proven, evidence-based treatments that are grounded in reliable scientific study is an absolute must when looking for a heroin rehab.

Kicking a heroin addiction on your own is next to impossible. And in order to get clean and stay clean, it takes a tremendous amount of emotional and motivational support and care.

Understaffed treatment programs simply aren’t in the position to offer that level of care that patients need to have a truly successful recovery. And the higher the staff-to-patient ratio is for a rehab, the more likely it is that you’ll get the attention you both deserve and need.

While detox and rehab are key to a successful recovery program, aftercare is an essential part of any sobriety plan. That’s because the cravings and triggers for heroin just don’t go away once you graduate from a program. And staying clean after leaving can often be just as much of a struggle as getting through the initial stages.

Treatment centers with aftercare programs or a referral system, then, are a huge benefit when deciding on a specific heroin addiction center. Whether it’s outpatient treatment or even connections to local 12-step groups, these connections can be the final say on long-term sobriety or, ultimately, relapse.

Finally, a trustworthy program should be overseen by those that are qualified to do so. That means that any heroin rehabilitation program worth its salt will have a licensed medical director, certified nursing staff, and other health technicians who have been trained to make safety a top priority.

How to Know if You Need Heroin Treatment

Maybe you've only been using heroin for a short time, and so you're not really sure if you're a candidate for any type of professional treatment. Please rest assured that no matter how long you've been using heroin, this type of addiction treatment can help you, and it really is necessary.

Heroin has been affecting your life for a period of time, and perhaps you've experienced a lot of consequences from that, including:

  • The loss of a job, or the inability to go to school
  • The loss of some important relationships in your life
  • Financial struggles that you're not able to overcome
  • Physical repercussions such as shallow breathing, heart issues, or feelings of itching
  • Chronic pneumonia or other lung and breathing diseases
  • Liver problems or disease
  • Arthritis in your hands or elsewhere in the body

All of these issues are indicators that you need to get professional addiction treatment as soon as possible.

Still not sure? Try taking this short online quiz to see if you’re struggling with a heroin addiction.

Or why not call us today for a free addiction assessment with a qualified expert. It can be done right over the phone, and it's 100% no obligation and hassle-free.

Heroin Addiction Treatment

Northpoint Washington: The Best in Inpatient Heroin Rehabilitation

Here at Northpoint Washington, our goal is to help you in any way that we can when it comes to your treatment needs. Our new facility in Edmonds, Washington is modern, comfortable, and beautiful.

We made sure to keep it small enough to provide an intimate setting for you to feel comfortable in. We offer 35 beds because we want you to get the personal attention you need during your stay with us. We even have one of the highest staff-to-patient ratios in the state.

Our programs are based on only the latest science behind heroin addiction treatment. And on top of that, our facility is accredited by The Joint Commission, The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, The Better Business Bureau, and many other trustworthy national authorities.

Getting the process started for your drug treatment is so easy. Once you get in touch with us for a free addiction assessment, one of our addiction specialists will work closely with you to develop a fully individualized plan. They'll ask about your addiction history, your interests, and your recovery goals. Once he or she has discussed these details, you will receive a professional recommendation for treatment.

We will contact your insurance company to determine what your benefits are. You'll know exactly how much you'll have to pay out of pocket. With that information in hand, you'll be able to begin to make plans to get the help you need.

Heroin addiction can make it nearly impossible to live a happy, healthy, and functional life. But that doesn’t mean it has to be a death sentence. Recovery is possible with the right help.

And at Northpoint Washington, we’d love to be a part of your journey to recovery. So, get in touch with us today to get started right now.

Talk to a Rehab Specialist

Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

(888) 663-7106 Contact Us