An individual who is abusing heroin puts their life at risk every day. The long-term and short-term health risks associated with the drug are bad enough, but when one also considers the chance of contracting HIV or hepatitis as a result of sharing dirty needles, the need to kick their addiction to heroin immediately becomes exponentially greater.
The following information is designed to shed light on the challenges facing those who are living with a heroin drug addiction, as well as the steps that need to be taken in order to get them stop.
Helping Someone Kick a Heroin Addiction
Heroin addicts live in a state of deep denial. They rarely stand up and admit that they have a growing problem until they have hit “rock bottom” and the situation has become quite dire. To help, friends and family must step up to the plate and call for an intervention. Working with a professional interventionist, concerned loved ones can help the individual see the depth of his or her heroin addiction and understand that it is having a negative impact on those around them.
Once an intervention is successfully completed, the individual should be taken immediately to a heroin rehab center (that is researched before the meeting takes place). It is here that the individual will be able to get “clean” and focus on the long journey ahead.
Drug Rehab for a Heroin Addict
Once the individual has entered into a heroin rehab program, they can begin to engage in comprehensive treatment for their addiction. This means addressing the physical and psychological components of addiction. This can be accomplished through three processes: detox, counseling and aftercare.
- Heroin detox. There are two major forms of heroin detox – each of which helps wean the individual off of the drug. With natural detox, the individual gives up heroin “cold turkey” – enduring withdrawal symptoms before overcoming their heroin physical addiction. With medical detox, the individual takes a synthetic opiate (such as Methadone) in smaller and smaller doses over time until they are no longer addicted.
- Counseling. Heroin addiction counseling helps treat the problem at its core. Through heroin counseling, the individual learns how to make better decisions about drug use, and learns why they developed their addiction in the first place. There are three common types of counseling and therapy found in drug rehab: individual counseling, group therapy and family counseling.
- Aftercare. 12-step groups, follow-up counseling and sober living are all forms of aftercare – processes by which the individual makes a smooth transition back into daily life. Aftercare helps the individual stay focused on the lessons learned during rehab – and utilize the lessons learned while in treatment.
Beating heroin addiction is not an easy thing to do, but it is not impossible. If you want your addicted loved one to conquer this dangerous disease, then you should be prepared to give him or her all your love and support.