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Understanding The Problems Involved In Heroin Addiction Treatment

Aug 19, 2008
The first thing that comes to mind when considering heroin addiction treatment is that this is the most difficult kind of substance abuse treatment known to humans. Heroin acts in a very specific manner on the human body. It directly attacks the central nervous system of the user. This happens as soon as the person consumes the first dose of heroin. The substance will induce the brain to release a substance known as dopamine which is responsible for the sense of pleasure that the person experiences. When this happens, the person starts associating pleasure with heroin. A time comes when the person is not able to experience pleasure in any normal way. This is when heroin becomes extremely necessary for the person.

The manner in which heroin acts on the human body indicates why this kind of substance addiction is so difficult to treat. It takes only a few doses of heroin to create this effect. In that much time, the person will become completely captured by the substance and it will be very difficult to shake off the dependency.

That is the reason why the treatment centers have to try all they can to shake a heroin dependency from someone. The general approach used is to make the person go through a detox program. This program helps cleanse the body from all the toxins that might have collected in it due to the use of heroin. Heroin does not get completely metabolized in the body and it retains some substances behind. These can prove to be toxic to the body in the long run and cause some drastic health complications. The heroin detox tries to remove these substances completely from the body. Detox is also important because as long as heroin is residual in the body, it will cause the person to retain a craving for the substance.

In order to make the person go through a detox treatment, isolation will be needed first. The person must be removed from all kinds of familiar situations and even people so that he or she will find it suitable to forget the temptation for the substance. Then the person will be made to abstain from the usage of the drug. This is where the difficulties begin. Abstaining from something as addictive as heroin is not simple. Within a day or two, the body of the person will begin reacting violently at being kept away from the substance which it has become so much used to.

The reaction of the body at the abstinence is known as withdrawal. The intensity of this reaction will actually depend on how addicted the person is to the substance. The treatment providers will need to use several kinds of approaches in order to make it simple for them to undergo their detox process. Medication will become quite important at this stage.

The purpose of the medication will be to keep the person away from feeling the symptoms of withdrawal. Two main forms of medication are available for heroin treatment, methadone and buprenorphine. Both these are opioids themselves that act on the body in much the same manner as heroin does. They can influence the central nervous system in a similar manner. Hence, as long as the person is kept on these medications, the urge that they will feel for heroin will be markedly less. By keeping up a regular treatment process for methadone or buprenorphine, it will actually be possible to take the person away from the addiction.

Again, using these medications entails difficulties. Methadone is especially a difficult medication because it is almost as addictive as heroin is. It is necessary to reduce the amount of methadone as the person comes out of the heroin dependency. However, if the amount of methadone is reduced unprofessionally, there may be a withdrawal of methadone itself and that could be a serious problem. Buprenorphine does not have this problem though, and that is the reason most treatment centers are now preferring buprenorphine treatment instead of methadone. However, most people are still warming up to buprenorphine treatment for heroin addiction because this is a relatively newer form of medication as compared with methadone.

There is absolute need of a counseling therapy too, in which the person must be taught certain therapies that can help keep them out of the cravings for the substance. While this sounds easy on paper, the reality is quite different. Counseling a heroin addicted person to stay out of using the substance is an awfully hard nut to crack, even if it is done after the person has been detoxified.
About the Author
To read more informative articles like this one on heroin addiction treatment , visit http://www.treatment-depression.com .
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