What to Expect During Heroin Addiction Treatment
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Heroin addiction treatment consists of using medication such as Zubsolv, Suboxone, Naltrexone, and many others to aid with the opiate withdrawal symptoms. Treatment for Heroin addiction usually takes place in a Medically Assisted Treatment (or medication assisted treatment, MAT) environment or clinical setting such as a drug rehab, substance abuse treatment center or residential treatment center.

What is Heroin Addiction Treatment?

Heroin Addiction Treatment consists of proper drug addiction treatment programs. Sometimes, professionals will suggest using medication such as Zubsolv, Suboxone, Naltrexone, and many others to aid with the opiate withdrawal symptoms. These medications help the brain readjust to normal chemical levels and stave off the craving for the heroin “high” or rush of euphoria that the user has become so familiar with and dependent on.

Treatment for Heroin addiction usually takes place in a Medically Assisted Treatment environment or clinical setting such as in a drug rehab, substance abuse treatment center or residential treatment center.

There are some inpatient drug rehab centers that specialize in heroin addiction treatment. Usually, these heroin drug rehab programs will have a medically assisted treatment track that provides for an extended period of time to “taper” off the drug, instead of the usual, short 3-7 day detox.

Many clients reach out to us at Prevail Intervention for their loved ones who in many cases started abusing prescription opiates such as Oxycodone and Fentanyl but then progressed to heroin. If you feel this might be helpful to your loved one’s recovery, reach out to us and we can help find the treatment options that are right for your family. We have an Addiction Helpline you can call 24/7 to talk with one of our professionals.

How do I know if my loved one needs Heroin Addiction Treatment?

There are many warning signs of heroin addiction. Some of these may include:

  • Constantly getting sick or “not feeling well”
  • Overhearing the term “dope sick”
  • Unexpected money going missing
  • Orange caps to needles or syringes
  • Needle marks on the arms or hands
  • Small baggies found in clothing or laundry
  • Itching
  • Dilated Pupils (small pinpoint pupils)
Heroin Addiction Treatment - Signs of using heroin - pupils will look like this in low or normal light settings.
Signs of using heroin – pupils will look like this “pinpoint”, in both low and normal light settings.

New and Improved Heroin Addiction Treatment

It is key to remember that although you or your loved one is considering undergoing heroin addiction treatment, caution should be taken in deciding which option is best for the specific individual.

In all cases, any type of treatment options for heroin addiction such is handled by medical professionals in a controlled clinical or medical setting.

If you are taking interest in the Medication-Assisted Treatment option, beware of potential outcomes. Many heroin addicts will substitute these medications and abuse them or use them to “get by” until they can get more heroin. It is also common for heroin addicts to use opiates and other drugs such as kratom and Xanax to ease their withdrawal symptoms.

In many states (New Jersey, Philadelphia, Illinois, Texas, North Carolina) methadone clinics are easily available. However, methadone is not a good solution for an opiate addiction or heroin addiction treatment without close medical supervision. Methadone, although commonly used to help herion withdrawal symptoms, can be addictive to heroin addicts.

New Heroin Addiction Treatment Medications

Heroin Addiction Treatment – Vivitrol – WKYT Investigates | Is Vivitrol a cure for heroin addiction?

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Naltrexone

What is Naltrexone?

This new heroin addiction treatment is the first non-narcotic, non-addictive medication of its nature to be approved by the FDA.

Lofexidine Hydrochloride works by suppressing the release of adrenaline within the body’s nervous system caused by the intake of heroin. Thus, it works by reducing some or most withdrawal symptoms in heroin users. However, it does not reduce the cravings for the drug.

Naltrexone is actually a multi-purpose non-narcotic heroin addiction treatment medication since it is used to not only treat heroin addiction but alcohol addiction as well. It is classed as an opiate receptor agonist. This simply means that it blocks the effects of heroin on the receptors in the brain.

Naltrexone and Lofexidine are often used together in order to speed up the detox process. This simply works by using naltrexone to block the opioid receptors thus sending the individual into an immediate state of withdrawal and using lofexidine to simultaneously relive those symptoms.

Using this combination, the detoxification process lasts an approximate 3-7 days.

Zubsolv

What is Zubsolv?

This medication combines two (2) narcotics that were once marketed as separates: buprenorphine, and naloxone, in order to fight the fatal heroin addiction.

Similar to other heroin addiction treatment medications, Zubsolv is to be used as a maintenance treatment, with counseling, however, those being treated with Zubsolv will be required to take much fewer doses and will still receive adequate amounts of the medication.  

Similar to other heroin addiction treatments, Zubsolv is to be used as a maintenance treatment with counseling and psycho-social support, for those suffering from opiate addiction. But patients will require less of this drug to achieve the same results as currently used treatments.

Probuphine

What is Probuphine?

This new treatment for heroin addiction has also recently been approved by the FDA and is one of the best of its nature since it offers the user to have constant treatment in private.

Probuphine is an implant that supplies the individual with a constant dose of buprenorphine. It comes as a one-inch (1″) rod of which, four (4) are inserted into the upper arm of the heroin abuser. This insertion procedure is done by a trained physician and lasts six (6) months.

This type of heroin addiction treatment medication offers great advantages. Since not only is it discreet, but unlike pills, the user will not have to remember to take his or her medication on a daily basis. Because of this slow and consistent release of Probuphine, the patient is already being constantly supplied with the right amount of buprenorphine. Therefore, the cravings for heroin are put at ease. This is helpful because even if the user tries to get high, most likely, it won’t work. 

The downside to this option is that the implant can be expensive. However, more and more healthcare insurance providers are applying this to treatment coverage. There is a possibility you or your loved one can receive this implant and start the recovery process with ease.

Sublocade

What is Sublocade?

Since the majority of heroin addiction treatments are taken orally, this is where Sublocade is a cutting rank above the rest. Thankfully, the FDA has approved this injectable form of buprenorphine and is considered as a long-term maintenance drug to treat opioid dependence.

This heroin addiction medication offers the following key benefits:

  • Once injected, Sublocade keeps the individual with a constant supply of it for 31 days (one month)
  • Injections are only needed once per month
  • Individuals on treatment using Sublocade will remain on schedule since it is ONLY given to them by a trained medical professional
  • Only attainable with a prescription

New: CAM2038

What is CAM2038?

Similar to Sublocade, CAM2038 is also an injectable form of heroin addiction treatment medication that is actually not yet available for distribution. But as 2018 progresses, it will become more readily available.

CAM2038 will be available in syringe form with pre-filled doses ranging from  8mg – 32 mg, depending on the individual who it has been prescribed for, and is required to be taken on a weekly basis. Research is still going on for this option but it is good to be on the lookout for it in the next coming months or years. 

Finding Heroin Addiction Treatment

How do I find heroin addiction treatment?

Drug addiction is a serious disease so always do your research if you or a loved one is struggling with heroin addiction. Heroin addiction treatment should usually take place in a drug rehab, substance abuse or residential treatment center setting. In many cases, health insurance will cover the cost of treatment. Many health insurance carriers offer drug rehab options including Blue Cross Blue Shield and Aetna.

If you don’t have health insurance, there are also state-funded rehab programs available. Let us know what your situation is, and at Prevail Intervention, we can help you find the right place in order to receive the proper help you need. You can still go through recovery and get sober to live a successful heroin and drug-free life.

Outpatient Drug Rehab – Heroin Addiction Treatment

Heroin addiction treatment in an outpatient drug rehab setting usually works best as part of a continuum of care. Once an inpatient drug rehab or residential drug treatment program has been completed, then outpatient care continues. This is the best option because aftercare is crucial as a successful recovery. We don’t recommend outpatient treatment right off the bat for heroin addicts, because in most cases it is ineffective. Trying tog et sober without the intense focus an inpatient facility provides, is usually difficult. This is why we only recommend outpatient as continual support after a more structural treatment.

During outpatient rehab, we highly recommend self-help support group such as narcotics anonymous or alcoholics anonymous. Of course, other methods of this treatment continue, such as regular therapy sessions and group counseling. During this phase of heroin addiction treatment, the client often starts to reintegrate back into work and family life. As to expect, this can take some time. The brain of the recovering heroin addict is readjusting back to normal functioning, as well as their body which was so long dependent on heroin.

However, you must beware and take caution as relapse is a very real risk, particularly for heroin addicts. Even though they are not physically going through withdrawals it can take months and sometimes years for the Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms to subside.

Related Articles

Will My Health Insurance Cover Drug Rehab?
Heroin Addiction: Effects and Treatment
Getting Help for Addiction
Does Rehab Really Work? 
The Complete Guide to Finding and Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab Center
How to Better Understand Coping with Addiction
Top Ten Signs of Drug Addiction 
How to Stop Using Heroin for Good

Sources

“Oral naltrexone maintenance treatment for opioid dependence”
“Utilizing buprenorphine–naloxone to treat illicit and prescription-opioid dependence

 

Heroin Addiction Treatment Resources

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