Ohio is one of the five states with the highest death rates linked to opioid overdose. Opioids are a classification of drugs that include substances such as heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine. These kinds of substances are often taken to relieve pain. An illegal substance like heroin can be taken in order to try and achieve a similar effect to that of morphine.
This opioid overdose rate has risen steadily and drastically in Ohio since 2009. The number of opioid drugs prescribed annually in Ohio is significantly higher than the national average.
Many people who struggle with addiction to opioids begin by taking a prescription painkiller. The euphoric effects of opioid drugs and their ability to change the perception of pain makes them highly addictive. Since heroin is often cheaper and more widely available than prescription opioids, numerous individuals eventually turn to this dangerous alternative.
At Vertava Health of Ohio, we hope to prevent the damage that heroin use and addiction can cause. Our specialized treatment programs for heroin addiction offer holistic care to individuals who are ready to battle this addiction and reclaim their lives.
Heroin Detoxification Process
The heroin addiction treatment program at Vertava Health of Ohio begins with a medically supervised detoxification. Heroin not only causes a mental addiction, but also a physical dependence. This means that a person’s body does not function normally without the drug. When an individual turns to heroin, they are usually seeking a solution for their pain and desire a certain kind of numbness to escape the reality of life.
The body adjusts to accommodate the new substance and over time, the brain becomes used to the numbing sensation. Eventually, this state of mind becomes “normal” to the brain and body. Once the drug is removed from the body through quitting cold turkey or detoxification, withdrawal symptoms will begin to appear.
Addiction to any opioid increases the probability that an individual will experience a severe level of addiction. Because heroin is an opioid, by its very nature the process of detoxing from it will be difficult due to severe withdrawal symptoms.
Heroin withdrawal symptoms can start within 12 hours of the last dose and may include:
- Muscle aches
Withdrawal from heroin can be very unpleasant. A medically supervised detox program regulates withdrawal symptoms to make the process more comfortable. This monitoring may include administering medication in order to control the severity of withdrawal symptoms, as well as monitoring of vital signs and reactions to any medication. When the drug is out of a person’s system, they may begin an addiction treatment program.
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What to Expect From Heroin Addiction Treatment Recovery
Many factors in a person’s life and personality can lead to addiction. The best treatment programs address all the influences that encourage substance use. A professional assessment at the onset of Vertava Health of Ohio opioid rehab program allows treatment plans to be tailored to individual needs.
Depending on the severity of the heroin addiction, a long-term program may be most beneficial. People suffering from prolonged addiction, polysubstance use or co-occurring mental disorders often need more time in treatment to truly get to the heart of the matter. Habits that have spanned many years are difficult to break because they become so ingrained in everyday life and routine that trying to live life separate from an addiction has become a foreign notion.
In fact, three months or more in treatment may be ideal for most people struggling with a substance use disorder. Our inpatient rehab program takes the time to explore deeply ingrained issues that may eventually lead to relapse. We use a wide range of evidence-based therapies in conjunction to provide the most comprehensive care.
Individual Counseling And Group Therapy
Individual counseling allows a person struggling with addiction to develop a trusting relationship with a therapist. Together, the two set goals for the individual’s recovery and discuss progress made during treatment. This one-on-one format allows for deeper discussion and examination of issues related to the heroin addiction.
Group therapy sessions bring together people to discuss their experiences with opioid addiction. These groups are often led by a licensed therapist who may provide insight and guidance. People in therapy groups may work together to meet common therapeutic goals. Peer support groups are less formal, but still focus on common struggles and may continue after treatment ends.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) are often used to treat opioid use disorders. These therapies help people recognize and remedy negative thought patterns that lead to unhealthy behavior, like using heroin or other opioids. They also teach an individual how to regulate their emotions and attitudes. For some individuals, a heroin addiction is a poor way of managing stress and coping with difficult emotional situations. In order to correct this method, therapy can teach individuals different methods and skills with which to handle problems and conflicts.
It is very important for an individual suffering from opioid addiction to gain control of their emotions and thought patterns, so they can choose more positive actions. Behavioral therapy teaches skills for coping with stress and reacting proactively to negative life events. As a person progresses, they are able to build their confidence and regain control of their lives.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) From Heroin Addiction
Even after detoxification, a person may experience cravings associated with opioid addiction. At times, cravings can become so strong that a person returns to their former heroin habit. In an effort to keep people in treatment, so they can obtain abstinence, some addiction treatment programs may use medication-assisted treatment.
Some medications that have been approved to treat opioid use disorders include buprenorphine (Subutex, Suboxone) and naltrexone. Buprenorphine works in the brain to reduce cravings, while naltrexone blocks the euphoric effects of opioid drugs. This can make it easier for an individual to resist relapse and use their energy to focus on recovery and moving forward in therapy.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in the cases of some with heroin or other opioid addictions, detox might not be a level of care that they enter into. Instead, medication like Suboxone might be initially utilized to mimic the effect of the substance in the body to prevent severe withdrawal symptoms.
Medication management may continue outside of a treatment program to prevent someone from returning to heroin use. When a person feels they are strong enough to live without the medication, it is tapered off. Medication-assisted treatment produces the best outcome when used in combination with other therapies.
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Alternative Heroin Addiction Treatment Methods
Nutrition and fitness may be integrated into a heroin addiction treatment program to encourage wellness. Physical health is a vital part of the healing process. Addiction to heroin can wear on the body and weaken the immune system. A healthy body and mind are able to heal more quickly and completely.
One major aspect of mental health that contributes to addiction is the inability to deal with stress. If someone cannot handle stress productively, they are more likely to turn to substance use and develop an addiction. Heroin drug rehab programs may teach positive stress management outside of behavioral therapy through mindfulness training, yoga and meditation.
Alternative therapies like expressive and adventure therapies give individuals the opportunity to explore different ways of self-expression and to develop new hobbies. Expressive therapies may use art, music or writing to open up fresh areas of a person’s mind and encourage uninhibited emotional expression.
Adventure therapy challenges people to participate in active team-building activities like hiking. This type of therapy can produce a healthy adrenaline rush, introducing individuals to a natural alternative to the high from opioid use.
What Happens After Heroin Treatment?
Once a person has completed a heroin addiction treatment program, it can be challenging for them to return to everyday life. The home environment may be rife with relapse triggers and people who encourage opioid use. Environment is often a key factor in determining the success of recovery and avoidance of relapse. For this reason, if possible, it’s advisable to try to avoid people and places that are associated in any way with heroin use and addiction.
Heroin and opioid addiction treatment programs at Vertava Health of Ohio continue to support recovering individuals after their residential treatment has ended. We stay in contact with alumni to encourage their ongoing progress as they integrate back into society.
Alumni support groups provide a setting for people who completed a treatment program to stay in touch and support each other. These groups may offer recreational activities that encourage positive fun and a healthy bond between members.
Community support groups can also be helpful in sustaining abstinence. These groups do not require regular attendance, but individuals can attend them as often as needed to meet with others who share the challenge of recovering from addiction.
While relapse prevention is a major component of opioid addiction treatment, the reality of living substance-free after an inpatient drug rehab program can be more difficult than people think. Aftercare services reinforce lessons learned in treatment to help individuals make better choices and live healthier lives.
Find Treatment For a Heroin Addiction Today
The highly addictive nature of heroin and other opioid drugs leads many people to drop out of treatment or relapse before completing a rehab program. Our multifaceted treatment plans at Vertava Health of Ohio works with individuals to resolve all the factors that contribute to addiction, so they can find freedom in recovery. Start the process for your recovery by contacting us at (888) 481-7821.