A heroin treatment center seeks to help the heroin addict through the process of heroin detoxification, and also teaches heroin addicts how to live without using drugs. A mixture of therapy, relapse prevention, group therapy, and informative lectures might be used to try and help the struggling heroin user. Those who follow through with treatment suggestions and stick to their heroin treatment program will tend to do well and can recover from addiction to heroin. Many will struggle with some point in the treatment process, however, and end up relapsing back into the cycle of heroin addiction.
Detox and Heroin Addiction Treatment Centers
Heroin treatment starts with the heroin detox process. Before real recovery can begin, the addict must be free from all mood and mind-altering substances. This includes heroin. Most people realize the difficulty in detoxing from heroin, because the heroin withdrawal symptoms are notoriously uncomfortable. Thus, most addicts will need a lot of help with this part of the process, and many will get that help from a medical heroin detox center. In a drug rehab setting, medical staff can help the struggling heroin addict make it through withdrawal by giving them certain medications. In most cases, a synthetic opiate drug is used to taper the addict off of opiates entirely, and in most cases the rehab can have them chemical-free within about a week or so. Using this strategy, most people experience only brief periods of moderate discomfort, and can honestly say that the detox process was tolerable compared to doing it cold turkey.
Following detox, most heroin treatment centers have a segment of treatment that they refer to as “residential.” This is where the addict will start attending groups, lectures, and meetings in order to learn more about their addiction and about the process of recovery. Now that the addict is fully detoxed from a physical standpoint, the challenge is to maintain their newfound sobriety and avoid relapse. So there will generally be groups about relapse prevention that discuss various strategies for avoiding relapse, as well as different methods that can be used to maintain ongoing support when the addict leaves treatment. In many treatment centers, 12 step programs are used as a means of providing this ongoing support, though there are some alternatives out there as well.
A Holistic Approach to Treatment for Heroin Addiction
Some heroin treatment facilities provide a holistic approach, in which they encourage clients to seek personal growth in a number of areas of their lives. For example, the rehab center might have extensive exercise accommodations, classes on nutrition, and an emphasis on physical health and fitness. While this can be a more effective approach for long term success in recovery, most treatment centers do not have the time or resources to explore these options as part of their core program, and basically stick to more traditional drug addiction recovery strategies. Basic heroin addiction treatment can be as simple as detox followed by 12 step group participation, or it can be as intensive as a 2 year stay in a long term heroin treatment center. It all depends on the addict and their specific needs in achieving their recovery goals. Success or failure of their recovery efforts is also in the hands of the patient.