Help Someone Suffering from Heroin Addiction
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By: Harmony Staff

Clinically Reviewed by Dr. Deja Gilbert, PhD, LMHC, LPC

Updated on 03/28/2022

Taking care of someone that has a heroin addiction is not easy. There are going to be ups and downs and times when things just never seem to get better. However, the person who has the addiction needs support. They need people to show they care, especially if they are going into a heroin addiction treatment center program

As a family member or a friend, there are many ways that you can help and support someone who has a heroin addiction.

As you can see, there are numerous ways that you can help the addict in your life

Heroin Addiction Statistics

Unfortunately, many people around the world are affected by heroin addiction and abuse. Learning more about the statistics might help some people to get the help, support and treatment  they need. 

Even with the alarming number of heroin users and heroin addictions, there is still hope out there for those who are addicted to or affected by this drug. 

Here at Blue Hills Recovery, we offer treatment for a range of addictions, including those with heroin abuse or addiction. We understand there are long-term effects of using heroin. However, that doesn’t mean your life is over. You can turn things around by starting treatment today.

How Does Heroin Affect the User?

The reason so many people become addicted to this drug is because of the way it impacts their brain when using it. First, as soon as the drug enters the brain, the user feels a sense of reward or pleasure. As they get high, they may want more of the drug, so they don’t crash. With the intense feelings of euphoria and pleasure, it is no wonder why so many people develop an addiction soon after starting their use with this drug. 

With this being said, it is also important to know there are treatment programs to help you wean off this drug, as it can be very difficult to stop using it. There will likely be heroin withdrawal symptoms that you experience, as well.  

However, our Blue Hills Recovery team can help you to work through these symptoms. We will make you as comfortable as we can during your detox program and recovery treatments.

With this being said, it is also important to know there are treatment programs to help you wean off this drug, as it can be very difficult to stop using it. There will likely be heroin withdrawal symptoms that you experience, as well. However, our Blue Hills Recovery team can help you to work through these symptoms. We will make you as comfortable as we can during your detox program and recovery treatments.

Detoxing from Heroin

Since heroin is so difficult to stop using, it is helpful to attend a professional detox center program. That way, you can receive help and support throughout this complex, delicate process. According to previous clients, the severe depression and unshakeable devastating feelings can lead a person to feel like they are going crazy. It is important that you don’t have to feel like this on your own. Not only that, but the many withdrawal symptoms can be tough to handle by yourrself – nearly impossible without relapsing. Some people do commit suicide when they withdraw and others have a fatal relapse. Don’t let this happen to you. 

Medical detox programs can help to ensure that you can go through the withdrawal process with as much ease as possible. Through the toughest parts of detox, you can be supervised, as well. That way, you can receive medications or other treatments to help you get through this stage of your recovery. 

Another benefit to attending a professional detoxification program is that you get more resources than if you try to overcome heroin addiction at home. Some of these resources include around-the-clock care, in-person therapy, access to doctors and quick medication changes. 

Receiving Medication-Assisted Detox Services

Have you ever heard of medication-assisted detox and rehab services? If not or even if you just need more information on them, it could be beneficial for you to read over the information presented here today. 

When someon is abusing drugs, such as heroin, their body is so used to the drug that it can be difficult to live or even function without it. That is one reason why the body seems to be shocked when someone gets clean or suddenly stops taking a drug, hence the withdrawal symptoms that occur. 

If you or someone you know are abusing heroin and want to get clean, medication-assisted detox and rehab services might be best for you. In this type of service, you can receive medications to help make you more comfortable while detoxing. Sure, you may still have some withdrawal symptoms as your body gets used to being without the drug, but they won’t be as severe.

There are many different types of medications that can be used in medication-assisted treatment. Here at Blue Hills Recovery, we will assess the medications needed per individual case. It will be based on the symptoms you are having, how severe of an addiction you have, how your body is reacting to getting clean and whether you have any other substances in your body at that given time. Some of the options that might be used include buprenorphine, naloxone and suboxone. While these medications do have their own risk potential, they are used responsibly by the addiction rehab center to help the client get clean. 

When you complete the detoxification process, you may need additional medications during your rehab center program. If that is the case, you can feel safe knowing that we have trained doctors and other medical professionals on staff. They are familiar with the withdrawal and recovery process, so they can ensure you are getting the proper medications. While there may be an adjustment period, we are here around-the-clock to help ensure medication changes can be made quickly if need be. 

The Controversy of Methadone Use

For the longest time, methadone (which is a synthetic opioid), had been used to help people overcome heroin dependence or addiction. However, now it is one of the drugs that is causing the highest number of narcotic deaths when abused itself. 

With this being said, methadone can be used to help people taper off from heroin. Some people stay on methadone for years and others are weaned off from it quickly. It depends on the individual case. However, here at Blue Hills Recovery, our ultimate goal is to help our clients live a substance-free life whenever possible. If you continue to need methadone to treat severe psychological and physical dependence to heroin, our team will ensure you receive methadone safely. 

Attending Outpatient Therapy

It should first be noted that it is recommended for people who have a heroin addiction to attend an inpatient program first. This drug is very dangerous and the addiction to it is often severe. It can be very difficult, if not impossible for some people, to overcome the addiction on their own – especially when dealing with withdrawal symptoms. Many people who try to stop using heroin on their own, unfortunately, relapse. Sometimes, since their body had gone a significant time without the drug, there will be a fatal overdose. 

As noted above, there are numerous treatments that can help someone to overcome heroin addiction. Some of these treatment options include inpatient rehab, evening treatment, day treatment and outpatient treatment. Within each type of rehab program, there are various services offered, as well. One of the many different services offered is outpatient therapy. It is a good idea to learn more about this service as it is something you may be encouraged to attend after you leave the rehab center program or while you are in outpatient treatment, day treatment or evening treatment programs. 

When you do reach the outpatient part of your recovery, it is a good idea to understand how important the outpatient therapy services are to your recovery, especially if you were used to attending an inpatient program. 

Leaving an Inpatient Rehab Program

For people who are in recovery from a heroin addiction, outpatient therapy generally happens after they leave an inpatient rehab program

Once the client has gone through medical detox and completed their treatment program, aftercare can commence, oftentimes, in the form of outpatient therapy and other addiction recovery services. 

You may start by going to evening treatment which occurs on multiple days of the week. Slowly, over time, you may begin going less and less until you are only attending outpatient therapy once a week or once every other week. 

Some people will attend outpatient therapy for years after they finish the detoxification and rehab center program. The exact length of time you need to go will depend on how you are doing in your recovery and what benefits you are receiving from the outpatient therapy.

Top Benefits of Inpatient Addiction Treatment Programs

You read above that inpatient treatment is often recommended first for anyone who is struggling with a heroin addiction. On this note, it is important to learn about the top benefits of inpatient addiction treatment programs, so you can see how it could help you to overcome heroin addiction and dependence.

During inpatient addiction treatment programs, you have access to around-the-clock medical and recovery supportive care. It is a therapeutic community where everyone is focusing on recovery. 

The other people who are attending the inpatient addiction rehab program have similar goals as you. They want to get and stay clean. They want to live a positive, healthy recovering lifestyle. Many people who attend inpatient therapy find they connect to the other clients because of their similar stories, upbringing and shared goals in recovery. Some people make friends that last a lifetime.

During your inpatient treatment program, you may also feel less alone. The primary reason for this is that everyone there understands the addiction and what you have been going through. They know how tough it is to quit using heroin and to develop an entirely new lifestyle and set of skills. If you have been feeling alone or feeling like you can’t stop using heroin, the inpatient detox and rehab center treatment program may be best for you.

ASAM Criteria

If you are struggling with a heroin addiction, one of the first things that you should do is to contact our Blue Hills Recovery team. From there, the staff will see if you meet specific criteria through an initial assessment to determine the severity of your addiction and what treatments might be best for you. The critieria is known as ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine). There are 6 dimensions on the addiction spectrum being assessed during this initial meeting.

  1. Potential for addiction, abuse, and/or withdrawal (basicallly, your past history and current drug use will be assessed, along with the severity of withdrawal symptoms)
  2. Any medical conditions you have and possible complications (to determine your medical needs during the addiction rehab center program)
  3. Cognitive, behavioral, and emotional conditions (basically, assessing your state of mind and mental health)
  4. Determining your readiness to begin addiction treatments and to change your lifestyle 
  5. Potential for relapse or for continued use of drugs (how likely are you to have a relapse or how likely are you to maintain your sobriety once you get clean)
  6. Living/recovery environment (assessment of your home situation including the environment, place, and people living with you, along with their behaviors)

All these things will be assessed to help determine what type of treatment would be best for you. The truth is that most people who are living with a heroin addiction do need to start in an inpatient addiction treatment program. These programs generally allow for the most change and success in recovery. 

Other Things to Consider with Heroin Addiction and Treatment

In addition to everything you have read above, there are some other things that you may want to consider regarding heroin addiction and treatment. Some of these things include:

  • What physical impacts has heroin had on your life
  • Previous overdose history 
  • How heroin has or is affecting your brain
  • Dangers of heroin use if you are now or will get pregnant
  • How your heroin addiction affects the people in your life
  • Best addiction rehab services in your case (ex. mindfulness meditation, medication-assisted detox services, inpatient rehab, etc.)
  • Rehab programs for couples 

If you want to know more about these aspects of heroin addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today. 

Get Help to Overcome a Heroin Addiction Today

Do you or someone you know struggle with heroin abuse or addiction? If so, there are numerous treatment programs that you can attend. It all starts with that first phone call to our team here at Blue Hills Recovery treatment center. We want to help you get clean and turn your life around.

You can even reach out to our team to talk about the various types of treatment. Maybe, you aren’t sure if you can attend an inpatient program or whether your insurance will cover the treatment program. Our team can help you to figure out all of this information, so you don’t have to feel so alone in this fight. 

Contact us today to get enrolled in a treatment program, so you can finally get the help you need to overcome heroin addiction. 

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