A variety of effective heroin addiction treatment are available for heroin addiction, including both behavioral and pharmacological (medications). Both approaches help to restore a degree of normalcy to brain function and behavior, resulting in increased employment rates and lower risk of HIV and other diseases and criminal behavior. Although behavioral and pharmacologic treatments can be extremely useful when utilized alone, research shows that for some people, integrating both types of treatments is the most effective approach.
Heroin Addiction Treatment Medications
Medical management is important in helping wean individuals off heroin by helping to reduce cravings and prevent future use. Some medications commonly prescribed to people addicted to heroin include:
- Buprenorphine. As an opioid, buprenorphine interacts with the same receptors as heroin, though its effects are limited. This helps with withdrawal and cravings.
- Methadone. Although stronger than buprenorphine, methadone essentially works in the same way. Methadone use is controversial because it can build up in the body if taken too often, making overdose more likely; it is also potentially addictive itself.
- Naltrexone. Also used in treating alcoholism, naltrexone blocks opioid receptors. This reduces cravings and prevents heroin from having an effect when taken.
- Suboxone. This is a combination of buprenorphine and naltrexone. This combination not only relieves withdrawal pain, but also inhibits the effects of heroin.
Scientific research has established that pharmacological treatment of opioid addiction increases retention in treatment programs and decreases drug use, infectious disease transmission, and criminal activity.
Get Help Now
Heroin addiction treatment is out there now. The first step is outlining your specific needs, whether it’s counseling for anxiety or other mental disorders, or treatment for a co-occurring addiction. There are also resources and rehabs that can help you work with your budget to help pay for treatment. If you’re not sure where to start,