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Some Information On Heroin Addiction Treatment That You Must Know

Aug 18, 2008
Families who bring in their members for heroin addiction treatment are usually grossly unaware how this form of treatment is. It is true that heroin is widely acknowledged as the strongest form of addiction. This is because of the inherent manner in which heroin acts. Heroin is an opioid and being that it targets specific areas of the person's central nervous system as soon as it is consumed. This is what causes the person to have the heroin high. However, over time, the person's brain will adjust to the heroin dosage it is getting and that is why there will be an increased craving for the substance.

This is why it becomes very difficult to get a person out of the tendency for using heroin. The heroin rehab centers have to do all they can before they can successfully bring the person out of the tendency. The person's brain keeps the addiction on even if the body wants to come out of the habit. Due to this, mere counseling and other forms of mild treatment do not work when it comes to heroin recovery.

What heroin addiction treatment needs is a strong medical as well as nonmedical approach at treatment. This is only provided in a rehab center that has all the requisite facilities. Let us take a look at these two aspects of heroin addiction treatment.

The Medical Part of Heroin Addiction Treatment

Medication is required while treating a heroin addiction because the temptation for the drug needs to be alleviated. This cannot be done through mere counseling because of the strong addictive nature of the drug. In heroin treatment, two kinds of medical treatments are popular: the first uses methadone and the second uses buprenorphine.

Methadone has been used since over thirty years for heroin treatment in the US, while buprenorphine is used only since about a decade. The newer versions of buprenorphine, named Subutex and Suboxone, have only been recently approved by the FDA for heroin treatment. That is the reason people still have more faith in methadone. However, there are some faults with the methadone treatment that are veering people towards buprenorphine treatment.

Both methadone and buprenorphine are opioids just like heroin is. When they are consumed, they can reduce the person's temptation for heroin. In fact, the medications will act on the same areas of the brains where heroin acts. The need for heroin is allayed with the dosages of these medicines. As long as buprenorphine or methadone is taken in the right amount, the person will feel a much reduced inclination for using heroin.

However, methadone is habit-forming and so is buprenorphine to a lesser extent. That is the reason why methadone should be provided only in an inpatient treatment setting. If the dosage goes awry, there's a chance that the person will develop a methadone addiction. In that case, it will become difficult to bring the person out of the methadone usage itself. There might be a withdrawal process for methadone. With buprenorphine, this is not much the case. The substance is not quite as habit-forming as methadone is. For that reason, buprenorphine treatment is mostly given in outpatient format, but this is unthinkable with methadone.

The choice of the medication is very important in the overall treatment program. The way in which the recovery will progress and also the costs of the treatment will depend on that.

The Nonmedical Part of the Addiction Treatment

This begins as soon as the person is put into treatment. It is important to counsel the patient to work up the determination that is needed to get into the program. Even during the detox, there are some nonmedical approaches used, such as certain therapies that can help the person keep away from feeling strong temptations for the substance. The counseling continues after the detox too, and forms a very important part of the aftercare. Here, among other things, one thing that will be seen is whether the patient has some emotional or psychological problems that are keeping them with the addiction. If there are some problems like that, the patients are coached on what methods they can use to disassociate their addiction for their mental setup so that they can be individually treated.

Education is also a big part of the heroin aftercare. Here the patient is taught about the repercussions of the addiction and what methods can be used to attain complete recovery. In most centers, the families of the patients will also be provided an educational program so that they can learn how to cope with the addiction and become instrumental in bringing the person to complete recovery.
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