Heroin Addiction: A Guide to Treatment

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Heroin is a powerful narcotic and is arguably one of the most addictive substances on the planet. For those who use this drug, they become hooked after the first use and they will quickly spiral into a deepening cycle of addiction where it will take a great toll on their body and mind. Heroin can be administered to the body in a variety of ways, and each method allows the drug to quickly enter the bloodstream. Users most often inject heroin intravenously, snort heroin, smoke the drug, or combine it with other drugs such as cocaine in the form of dangerous drug cocktails known as speedballs.

Heroin Use In The United States: A Growing Epidemic

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Over the past few years, heroin has become increasingly in the United States and there has been a dramatic surge in the use of heroin and the number of overdose deaths attributed to the use of the drug. In an article published in TIME Magazine last year, write Eliza Grey wrote the following regarding the growing epidemic of heroin use in America:

“Heroin use has been rising since 2007, growing from 373,000 yearly users to 669,000 in 2012, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Heroin overdose deaths have also spiked, increasing 45% from 2006 to 2010, according to the most recently available data from the Drug Enforcement Administration. And the geography of the drug’s users has also expanded. Once considered a largely urban problem, law enforcement and public health officials are seeing an uptick in suburban and rural users.”

Additionally, SAMHSA has also reported that heroin abuse among first-time users has increased by nearly 60 percent in the last decade, from about 90,000 to 156,000 new users a year. If you or a loved one is in the grips of heroin addiction, it is absolutely necessary to find treatment immediately. While drug treatment at a rehab facility with programs specifically created for heroin addiction is needed to break the cycle of dependence, you may not understand WHY heroin addiction treatment is so important.

Why is Heroin Addiction Treatment So Important? Why Can’t I Quit On My Own?

You may ask yourself why going to an inpatient drug treatment facility for your heroin addiction is important for your recovery. You may be thinking about trying to quit on your own or trying methods of self-detoxification in order to fight your addiction. These methods are highly dangerous and can be potentially life-threatening. Heroin has a tremendous impact on your nervous system, and if you try to stop your use abruptly it will produce withdrawal symptoms that are extremely painful and uncomfortable. Secondly, without professional counseling, therapy, and support, you will simply revert back to using.

The Importance of Heroin Addiction Treatment

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Heroin addiction treatment will give you or your loved ones a safe place to come and get away from the drug while acquiring the necessary tools to achieve recovery. Heroin addiction treatment helps those addicted to the drug combat the symptoms associated with withdrawal while giving them time to focus on their recovery and away from the temptations that are found in their home environment. Additionally, heroin addiction treatment will give addicts the life skills, coping skills and support they need in order for them to continue working a plan of recovery when they leave treatment and resume their daily lives and routines.

How Heroin Addiction Treatment Will Help You Recover

There are several components to heroin treatment that work together in order to give you the best chance to break the cycle of addiction and experience long-term recovery. The following is a guide to the components that comprise quality heroin addiction treatment programs.


As stated earlier, heroin is a powerful drug that has significant physical and psychological effects on the user’s body. In order to minimize the symptoms associated with withdrawal and get to a substance-free state, the heroin addict must go through medical detoxification. The detox process is conducted in an environment which is safe, secure and staffed by experienced medical personnel. During the detox process for heroin addiction, patients will be given medications such as suboxone and buprenorphine to help minimize withdrawal symptoms.

During the detox process, the health of the addict is restored through proper nutrition as well as constant monitoring for any co-occurring mental or medical complications. Once a patient has is physically and psychologically stable, detox staff will prepare patients for their transition into formal drug treatment. The evaluation and course of care during detox will serve as the initial recovery plan for treatment staff.

Inpatient Drug Treatment

During inpatient drug treatment, heroin addicts can focus on their recovery in a safe environment and away from the people and places that can trigger relapse. Using a wide variety of therapeutic programs, treatment staff can create an individualized treatment plan for each addict which is based on their unique and specific needs. This includes individual counseling, group counseling, 12-Step programs, life skills coaching and learning coping skills needed to continue working their plan of recovery when they leave treatment. Additionally, many treatment centers are embracing holistic approaches that help addicts address the issues of addiction in mind, body and spirit. These non-traditional approaches can include yoga, acupuncture, equine therapy and music therapy among others.


While successfully completing drug treatment is a major accomplishment, the real work in recovery begins when drug treatment is completed and the addict resumes their daily life. In order to help the addict make that transition while keeping their recovery top priority, inpatient drug rehabs feature aftercare programs that will continue to help and support the addict through this critical phase. Aftercare services include intensive outpatient treatment where newly recovering addicts meet with counselors several times during the week while they resume work, school, and family obligations. These programs focus on relapse prevention skills and have the continued peer support needed to stay motivated in recovery. Additionally, sober living homes (also known as halfway houses) are available for those who have completed intensive inpatient treatment and are looking to transition back into their normal lives and day-to-day routines.

Call Ocean Breeze Recovery Today to Start Your Journey To Sobriety

If you desire to break free from your addiction to heroin, Ocean Breeze Recovery offers quality drug treatment programming that puts you first and works to heal your entire body and mind. Our treatment model embraces both traditional and holistic approaches and our services are delivered by experienced counselors and staff that are compassionate to your needs and passionate in helping you turn your life around. Call us toll-free today at give yourself the ultimate gift of recovery.

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