Heroin is a highly addictive opioid, drug that is derived from the opium plant, poppy. Heroin can be ingested intravenously (injected), via nasal inhalation (snorting/ sniffing) and/ or smoked. It works in one’s brain by adjusting one’s perception of pleasure and pain. It also can affect one’s heart rate, sleep, and respiratory functioning. There are a plethora of long and short-term side effects from the abuse of heroin. The addictive nature of heroin makes it an incredibly difficult drug from which to recover. However, with persistence and therapy for heroin recovery, recovery is possible.
Every individual struggling with heroin abuse must go through the initial treatment phase of detox. Detox is when a person rids his or her body from all abused substances. This can be done in many different settings, but the result of the process is the same: the individual stops ingesting drugs and/or alcohol. Heroin is a highly addictive substance and has the propensity to alter an individual’s brain functioning. For this reason, it is highly recommended that an individual undergo the treatment process in a medically supervised, or medically assisted detox facility. This will ensure the safety of the individual throughout the duration of the detox process. Should an individual decide to attend a medically assisted detox program, he or she will have access to medications that may lessen and/ or ease the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that accompany the detox phase of one’s treatment.
Treatment to Aid in Heroin Recovery
Following one’s detox phase, it is common for individuals to seek and attend some type of formal substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program. Attending a treatment program can help provide an individual with the initial tools he or she needs to maintain sobriety. Additionally, many individual’s who have struggled with heroin abuse will have spent a significant period of their lives inebriated and must learn how to live sober.
There are different types of treatment programs. Typically, individuals have an option between inpatient treatment programs and outpatient treatment programs.
Inpatient treatment programs will vary in duration, lasting anywhere from three weeks to six months long. This is a good choice for individuals who are able to fully immerse themselves in a substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program, as participants are required to reside at the treatment facility for the duration of the program. Inpatient programs provide an individual to solely focus on his or her recovery from heroin abuse, in a safe environment without triggers or temptations.
Outpatient treatment programs also vary in duration, and typically last anywhere from fourteen days to three months long. Individuals are required to be present for a certain number of hours, daily, for the duration of the program. Outpatient programs allow for its participants to reside at home while in the treatment program that offers therapy for heroin recovery. This is a good option for individuals who have outside commitments that they are unable to avoid, as many outpatient programs provide more flexibility in terms of time commitments required for participation. Outpatient programs can be as effective as inpatient programs, depending on the specific needs of the individual.
Regardless of the type of treatment program an individual decides to attend, following an aftercare plan and participating in therapy for heroin recovery is essential for continued sober success. It is common practice for all treatment programs to provide an individual with a tailored aftercare plan upon completion of the treatment program. Aftercare plans are usually detailed plans that consist of ways an individual can maintain sobriety (i.e. regular support group meetings, therapy session, eating healthily, regular exercise…etc.). Typically, the aftercare plan is created with the individual and a mental health professional prior to the treatment program’s completion. This enables the individual time to process what will be required post program completion, as well as allow for time to implement parts of the aftercare plan prior to the end of the formal treatment program.
For Further Information About Therapy for Heroin Recovery
Seeking the guidance of a therapist can be incredibly helpful. Should you or someone you know be in need of additional support, please do not hesitate to reach out. Dr. Howard Samuels is a highly educated and successful therapist in the field of mental health and is available to support those in need. Dr. Howard Samuels works with his clients to help them live authentic, happy and fulfilling lives.