Heroin Addiction Treatment and Rehab

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Heroin addiction is a debilitating disease, one that often can’t be managed without professional help. Heroin addiction can be deadly, so taking action as soon as possible can save a life.

For people struggling with heroin addiction, attending a rehabilitation center can be a life-saving experience. Rehab programs for heroin addiction may include medical detox, inpatient and outpatient treatment, and aftercare planning. Whether you or a loved one enroll in inpatient or outpatient rehab, seeking help is the first step to healing.

The Recovery Village offers specialized treatment and tailors each person’s recovery plan to suit their individual needs. Understanding all the options for heroin treatment can help you make the best decision for your unique situation.

Because many people who need help do not receive treatment, heroin addiction recovery statistics can be disappointing. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) releases a regular report called the Behavioral Health Barometer.

In the 2015 edition of this report, SAMHSA reported that only 11 percent of those who needed care for illicit drug use received specialty treatment. Of those with past-year drug use disorders, 82.3 percent of people ages 12 and older did not perceive a need for treatment and did not get help.

Increasing the recovery rate and improving heroin addiction recovery statistics begins with an understanding of the nationwide problem. Continued education and an understanding of when to seek help can encourage more people to find treatment.

Being able to self-identify as a person dealing with heroin addiction can be difficult, especially for those in the height of a heroin use disorder. With 4.8 million Americans using heroin at some point in their lives, the need for comprehensive care is apparent, and the first step is reaching out for help.

Deciding to get help for an addiction is a huge step toward recovery, but it’s only the beginning of what will become a lifelong process. Many addiction professionals believe recovery is an ongoing process, not something that is accomplished in 30 or 40 days. People who were once addicted are always working at their recovery, actively choosing sobriety over heroin every day.

Although it may seem impossible now, recovery is possible for you, too. The first step is to select a drug rehab facility that you feel is a good fit for your needs. The Recovery Village is an accredited detox and rehab facility with locations across the country. Our treatment center is staffed with many caring, skilled professionals who have dedicated their lives to addiction science and helping people recover from addiction.

Can Heroin Addicts Recover?

People who struggle with addiction are often labeled as addicts. However, those dealing with a substance use disorder are far more than a label and struggle with a complex disease. Like other diseases, addiction can be overcome. However, for most, it is usually a lifelong commitment and journey.

There is usually no quick fix or simple resolution to overcome heroin addiction. After completing a treatment program, a person healing from heroin addiction is typically in recovery their entire life. For some, this means making active, daily decisions to abstain from heroin. For others, heroin is a mere memory that they dedicate little thought to. Either way, successful heroin recovery is dependent on a variety of mental, emotional and environmental factors.

By remaining dedicated and steadfast in recovery, a person who was once consumed by heroin can live a healthy, drug-free life. This kind of life entails:

  • Making an effort to separate themselves from the places and people that once encouraged heroin use
  • Finding alternative coping skills for stress and potential mental disorders
  • Understanding one’s limitations and strengths in recovery

What Percentage of Heroin Addicts Recover?

Because those dealing with substance use disorders are people struggling with addiction, most professionals avoid labels like a heroin addict. These labels can be detrimental during treatment and recovery and can make some feel hopeless. Instead of being reduced to the label of addict, those who misuse substances like heroin are individuals dealing with the disease of addiction.

Because of this fact, calculating heroin addiction recovery statistics can be difficult. Because of increased awareness, the number of people seeking help for heroin addiction has risen. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 526,000 people received treatment for heroin use in 2013, compared to 277,000 in 2002. While this number could be seen as a recovery rate, the setback (relapse) rate for drug use should also be considered.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that the relapse rate for illicit substances (including heroin) is anywhere from 40 to 60 percent. For those who discharge against medical advice, this number could increase.

While heroin treatment can be a springboard for lifelong recovery, it is not a guarantee. Lasting recovery is dependent on a lifelong commitment to sobriety and health.

Heroin Rehabilitation Recovery Rates

Illegal substances like heroin are not only dangerous because of their legal status, they can be lethal. That’s why seeking help is so important for those dealing with addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that in 2008, 14.1 percent of admissions to publicly funded treatment facilities were related to heroin.

In the wake of the nationwide heroin crisis, this number has likely risen. However, these admissions account for only a fraction of the population of people dealing with addiction. The heroin recovery rate depends on those individuals realizing that help is necessary and subsequently finding it.

Recovery also doesn’t end after completing a rehab program. It’s important that those who attend heroin rehab take the steps necessary to continue recovery after treatment.

heroin recovery
Many people wonder, “Can heroin addicts recover?” With help and support from loved ones and professionals, those dealing with addiction can find healing. The first step is realizing that addiction does not define a person. A person is not an addict, they are a person who is coping with a challenging and dangerous disease. Many factors affect the management of addiction.

In many cases, professionals can help a person understand the emotional, physiological and biological factors that influence substance use disorder. By attending a rehabilitation center like The Recovery Village®, someone can participate in evidence-based treatment and holistic therapies. Rehab can consist of many different programs, ranging from medical detox to inpatient care, outpatient care and more.

Inpatient Rehab Facility

Inpatient rehab is also called residential rehab because clients typically stay on-site at a facility. This type of environment is best for those who are struggling with illicit drugs like heroin and are facing a long-term addiction. Inpatient rehab is often an ideal treatment for those looking to travel out of state for treatment. This distance helps clients focus solely on recovery, away from stressors and triggers.

Inpatient treatment can vary in length, but many people struggling with heroin find that a longer course of treatment with gradual step-downs is most effective. Inpatient rehab usually follows detox, a process in which substances are removed from the body and withdrawal symptoms may set in. After detox, inpatient care can be the natural next step in the recovery process.

At The Recovery Village®, inpatient care consists of several therapeutic components, including individual and group counseling sessions, family therapy, alternative therapies, and nutritional counseling. The Recovery Village® also helps clients treat and identify co-occurring disorders, which helps them understand why they began using heroin and teaches them to identify triggers that may spark drug use.

Outpatient Rehab Facility

Outpatient rehab is a step down in intensity from inpatient rehab. Outpatient drug rehabilitation offers the opportunity for clients to commute from home or sober living housing. Depending on the treatment plan, outpatients may spend most of the day in treatment, only returning home at night. Other programs are less intense and involve a few hours of treatment after work or other times of the day. For many, outpatient treatment is a step down in a full continuum of care.

Outpatient rehab may serve as a bridge for those who are new to heroin recovery as they begin to test their sobriety against real-world scenarios and stressors. In some cases, outpatient rehab may also be a good fit for those who have only been using heroin for a short period of time.

For many, addiction is a manifestation of another, deeper issue. It could be related to a mental health disorder. Drug use could also relate to trauma or childhood events. Because addiction is rarely a stand-alone issue, treating co-occurring disorders and understanding the underlying causes of substance use disorder is important for recovery. By understanding triggers and the psychology and biology behind addiction, medical rehab programs can treat the whole person.

The Recovery Village® provides specialized treatment for the dual diagnosis of co-occurring disorders.

It’s not unusual for someone who struggles with heroin addiction to also have another co-occurring disorder. For some, they already have a mental illness before using heroin. For others, heroin use sparks a mental illness. In both cases, the results are often intertwined, with one condition exacerbating the other. Some mental health disorders that may coincide with heroin use include:

Counseling and sobriety can help treat both addiction and co-occurring mental health issues at once. The integrated treatment plans at The Recovery Village® address both conditions from day one. Treatment starts with a thorough evaluation to determine any undiagnosed mental illnesses in addition to heroin addiction. If a diagnosis is made, specialists at The Recovery Village® develop a treatment plan tailored to each patient.

There are many factors to consider when choosing a heroin rehabilitation center, including therapies offered, location, staff, reputation, and resources. With locations across the country and many holistic and evidence-based therapies, The Recovery Village® provides comprehensive care for heroin and other substance use and co-occurring disorders. A dedicated staff of professionals helps guide clients to a better understanding of themselves to treat addiction.

What to Look for in a Treatment Facility

When looking for the best heroin rehab program for you, it’s important to find a program that fits your needs. Whether you’re considering rehab for yourself or a loved one, you can determine a quality center by examining the facilities:

  • Accreditation
  • Treatment options, including detox, inpatient and outpatient care
  • Individual and group therapy programs
  • Co-occurring disorder treatment
  • Family therapy
  • Recreational therapies
  • Insurance policies

Treatment Center Near You

There are heroin treatment centers throughout the country. There may even be a center conveniently located close to your home. For some, attending rehab nearby can be helpful, while others find it best to seek treatment out of state. The Recovery Village® offers full-service treatment in several states and provides a list of resources for other states and cities.

Every rehabilitation center will have a slightly different approach to treatment. At The Recovery Village®, treatment is tailored to each patient’s needs. A general rule for the heroin treatment process includes a succession of steps:

  1. Evaluation: During the evaluation process, clients meet with doctors and clinicians to get a full understanding of the substance use disorder. The team will use this information to develop a recommended treatment plan specifically designed to address each client’s unique circumstances.
  2. Detoxification: The first step of treatment is detoxing from heroin. This process can be physically and psychologically draining, so completing detox in a monitored, medical setting can provide the support needed to overcome this vital step.
  3. Therapy and counseling: Depending on the facility, treatment can consist of individual therapy, group therapy, alternative therapies, nutritional counseling, addiction education, and medication management.
  4. Aftercare planning: As treatment draws to a close, it’s important to have a plan for the future. Because recovery is a constant effort, maintaining group meetings and medical appointments after treatment are often essential to continued success.

Ongoing Treatment and Relapse Prevention

Aftercare is an important part of decreasing relapse rates and encouraging long-term success. Recovery is an ongoing process. It’s not complete after being discharged from a treatment facility. It’s only just begun after rehab. Attending group meetings like Narcotics Anonymous, following up with a doctor, and changing the environment can all help with relapse prevention. By constantly making sobriety a goal and practicing mindfulness, lifelong healing can be a day-by-day accomplishment.

Medication-assisted treatment is a method used to help people transition away from heroin. By replacing heroin with medications and slowly weaning a patient off the substances, medical professionals can help people recover.

Some people may experience extreme withdrawal symptoms, so medications can be used in detox and throughout treatment. However, some medications used to treat substance use disorders can be addictive, so it’s important to understand the risks and limitations of medication. Some of the most popular medications used to treat heroin include:

  • Naloxone: Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan®, is a widely used emergency antidote used to treat opioid overdose. It should only be used during an overdose.
  • Methadone: Methadone can be used as a pain reliever, but is often used to treat heroin or other opioid addictions. It can help reduce withdrawal symptoms without providing the high associated with other opioids like heroin. Methadone can be misused, so should only be taken under medical supervision.
  • Buprenorphine: A partial opioid agonist, buprenorphine helps diminish cravings for heroin and other opioids. In the drug Suboxone, buprenorphine comes in combination with naloxone. Common brand-name drugs of buprenorphine include Belbuca sublingual film and Butrans transdermal patch. When used incorrectly, buprenorphine can also be addictive. However, when used as directed and under a doctor’s supervision, it can be a safe alternative for heroin treatment.
  • Naltrexone: Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist, commonly sold as the brand-name drug Vivitrol (intramuscular injection and oral tablet). Frequently touted as an excellent solution for maintenance therapy for heroin addiction, naltrexone blocks the effects of opioids without becoming addictive.
Like any medical treatment or hospital visit, attending drug rehab does carry a financial cost. The cost of not getting help can be even higher and should not be a barrier to getting help.

If someone is planning on attending heroin addiction treatment but isn’t sure how to pay for it, there are many options. Many people use health insurance to pay for drug rehab. Others pay privately. Some may use public assistance, such as scholarships and grants from their employers, local community or the federal government.

Yes, most health insurance companies cover all or part of the cost of substance abuse treatment programs. Private insurance plans through employers often have substance abuse coverage as well. Each plan’s coverage differs. Some plans may cover a certain amount for treatment while others only cover outpatient or inpatient programs.

To determine what your insurance covers, call a customer service representative at your insurance company. Representatives at The Recovery Village® can also help you determine if your insurance covers heroin treatment.

If you’re unable to use insurance to pay for rehab, you still have options. Many government programs offer substance abuse treatment assistance. For example, if you’ve served in the military, the U.S. Veterans Administration offers assistance for vets who need drug rehab. Public insurance programs, Medicare and Medicaid, also offer substance abuse treatment coverage. Some people also choose to pay for rehab privately, whether it’s through paying cash rates or seeking help from friends and family.

Heroin treatment can be a life-saving experience for people who face addiction. If you’re ready to learn more, contact The Recovery Village® to get in touch with a representative who can make recommendations, verify your insurance and schedule your first day of treatment.

Rachel N. Lipari, Ph.D., and Arthur Hughes, M.S. “Trends in Heroin Use in the United States: 2002-2013” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2015. Accessed March 2019.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs.” Updated January 2019. Accessed March 2019.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Behavioral Health Barometer, 2015” Published 2016. Accessed March 2019.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction.” Updated July 2018. Accessed March 2019.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse. “DrugFacts Report.” Published 2011. Accessed March 2019.

Heroin Addiction Treatment and Rehab
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