Heroin addiction can be incredibly difficult to overcome. It requires consistent, high-quality treatment.
Choose a treatment center wisely and use your insurance to the fullest.
Heroin is a potent opioid, as it binds to opioid receptors all over the brain. It causes a notable numbing of pain and an extreme sense of euphoria in users.
This effect is highly addictive. As a user builds a tolerance to heroin, they will be forced to use increasing amounts to achieve a similar effect. What makes heroin addiction so difficult to kick is the powerful physical dependency the drug produces. Withdrawal can be incredibly painful, which makes it hard to stop using without help.
Medical detox is always recommended for heroin withdrawal. It should be followed with comprehensive therapy to address the triggers that lead to continued opioid abuse.
Do your research and gather as much information as you can about your options.
Make a checklist of what you want in a treatment center.
Options you can choose from Include:
- Inpatient versus outpatient treatment
- Evidence-based treatment
- Alternative therapies, such as adventure therapy, art therapy, or equine-assisted therapy
- Alumni programs
- Family involvement
- Luxury amenities
- Private rooms
- Specialized therapists
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a treatment location finder and a helpline that can direct you to further resources. It can be reached at 1-800-662-4357. These resources are confidential and free.
The right treatment center for you will come down to the specifics of your situation. Look for a center with experience in addressing heroin addiction specifically. It should have capabilities for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) as well as comprehensive therapy offerings.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Heroin is one of the single most potent drugs a person can be addicted to. This is made worse by its relatively wide availability in the U.S. and around the world. As troubling as heroin addiction is, it can be overcome with specialized treatment.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is highly valuable in the case of heroin addiction. Unfortunately, as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) notes, it has a negative reputation in some circles and is not available at all centers.
To compress a great deal of data and research, MAT has been shown to help people end their addictions to a statistically significant degree. Basically, on average, your chances of sustained sobriety are better with this sort of treatment as part of your program.
You may wish to avoid centers whose professionals dismiss MAT out of hand. Keep in mind, however, that even those that use MAT may decide it is not right for your situation. It all comes down to your individual circumstances.
Since withdrawal is one of the hardest parts of overcoming heroin addiction, medical detox is generally recommended. Most often, this involves initial enrollment in an inpatient program for this process.
As MedlinePlus notes, while outpatient detox is available, it is much more difficult for people struggling with opioid addiction.
The medical supervision of inpatient detox is recommended for heroin withdrawal. This is also where MAT can be a significant benefit. Medications — such as methadone, buprenorphine, and Suboxone — are used to mitigate heroin withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.
They are not without their downsides, however. Methadone and buprenorphine can both be addictive themselves. However, when compared to the risks of continued heroin use, the benefits of these medications outweigh the potential risks.
Generally, doses of these medications are slowly lowered over time until the person is wholly free from all drugs.
While medication can be an important part of heroin addiction recovery, therapy makes up the backbone of treatment. It often involves examining your past and discovering reasons why you turned to heroin in the first place.
Therapy will give you the tools needed to cope with future temptations to abuse heroin. You’ll learn how to spot triggers that prompt you to abuse drugs and how to deal with those triggers to avoid such use.
The Reality of Cost
The reality of drug addiction treatment is that it’s expensive. Fortunately, insurance can cover a chunk of the costs.
MAT Drugs are Estimated to Cost Roughly the Following:
- Methadone treatment (daily visits): $126 per week
- Buprenorphine treatment (twice-weekly visits): $115 per week
- Naltrexone treatment: $1,176.50 per month
Those costs do not necessarily include every element of your treatment program. Therapy may garner additional costs.
Talk to your insurance company before enrolling in treatment about exactly what will and what will not be covered. Rehab centers have staff members who can serve as a liaison between you and your insurance company, helping you to get specifics on exact coverage amounts. This ensures there are no sudden surprises when it comes to the financial aspect of treatment.
Finding the Best Option for You
It can be difficult to find the right treatment option, especially at the right cost. However, the effort is worth it, and numerous resources are available to help you reach your goal of an addiction-free life.
By talking to professionals and doing your research, you can ensure you receive treatment at a quality rehab center at a price you can manage. You can overcome your addiction. The first step is to find quality help.