In 2011, The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimated that over 4.2 million people aged eleven and over had tried heroin, and twenty percent of those people would definitely become addicted to the drug. Learning about how to provide help for heroin addicts might point you in the right direction as far as what you can do.
The use of heroin is on the rise, in Vermont, it spike 250 percent between 2000 and 2014, having more than 681000 heroin users across the United States in 2013, according to the substance misuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Even in the face of such stunning numbers, real recovery is very achievable for those people who are addicted to heroin. Treatment options for heroin can really assist those addicts to build clean, new lives that are free of heroin use.
Help for Heroin Addicts – Stages of Opiate Addiction Withdrawal
While the use of opiates painkillers can be great for pain relief, they’re highly addictive, just as addictive as heroin. Heroin and opiates are extremely addictive, and recovery from opiate addiction can be very difficult. Stopping the use of opiate painkillers or heroin means letting go of the physical pain, it means going through the difficult symptoms of opiate withdrawal. Once you stop using any kind of opiates, symptoms such as diarrhea, depression, and insomnia begin to occur and can last for months. Knowing what to expect and when, as one goes through withdrawal, can be the knowledge you need to provide help for heroin addicts:
Knowledge to Help for Heroin Addicts – Stages of Opiate Addiction Withdrawal Phase 2:
As the body detoxifies during heroin and opiate withdrawal, it begins to re-balance endorphin levels depleted during heroin and opiate addiction. This phase of recovery from heroin and opiate addiction can last as long as two weeks. Symptoms typically include:
- Dilated pupils
- Leg cramps
- Chills and goosebumps
Knowledge to Help for Heroin Addicts – Stages of Opiate Addiction Withdrawal Phase 1:
This stage of heroin and opiate addiction withdrawal is known as acute withdrawal stages. Withdrawal symptoms begin about 12 hours after your last use of an opiates or heroin and peak the three-day mark. These symptoms can last up to five days and may include:
- Abdominal cramps
Knowledge to Help for Heroin – Stages Of Opiate Addiction Withdrawal Phase 3:
This is the longest stage of heroin and opiate addiction withdrawal, lasting anywhere from one week to two months, but it is the least severe. Phase 3 symptoms may include:
What Does Heroin Do to a Person?
Treating someone suffering from heroin addiction demands that users ween off their physical dependence on the drug itself. Heroin has an immediate psychological and neurological impact on the brain so, “how do you help heroin addicts?” becomes the number one question. Heroin addicts have to be carefully and gradually weaned off their the opiates or make use of detox medications like Suboxone, Subutex or Methadone. This requires reducing the amount of heroin they consume, while at the same time controlling for the unavoidable withdrawal symptoms succumbed by the body receiving less of the drug than it’s used to.
How Does Medical Detox for Heroin Addiction Help?
Medical detoxification ensures that trained medical experts who know how to ease people through the worst parts of withdrawal always oversee those who are withdrawing. These experts can ensure that people receive the right treatments to be successfully weaned off heroin, taking into account each individual’s mental health, medical history, and susceptibility to other addictive substances.
Another merit to professional medical detox is that people are in a system that gives them the additional needed resources to subdue their heroin addiction. Such resources include therapy and counseling. In the same way that detox addresses the physical charge of heroin addiction; the mental charge of the addiction is treated with therapy. Sessions often cover how the person can better cope with the kind of stressors that would have, in the past, enabled heroin use.
What kind of solutions are there to help heroin addicts?
Regardless of an individual’s inpatient or outpatient status, treatment is not complete without medical therapies to assist control thought and behavior processes. The National Institute on Drug Abuse indicates Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Contingency Management (CM) therapy as two examples of mental health interventions that seek to show persons how they can plan the outside world and remain sober. In 2009, the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs made publicly known the findings of a study that showed that seventy nine percent of patients who received CBT as part of their treatment reduced their rates of substance misuse to a greater extent than patients who received substance misuse treatment without CBT.
There is great hope for those addicted to heroin. With research-based and professional treatment, individuals can achieve stable, balanced lives in recovery. While that recovery is not always easy, with comprehensive care and rehabilitation support, it is within reach.
Inpatient Heroin Addiction Treatment
Inpatient treatment provides a couple of key dynamics that outpatient treatment does not. Inpatient care inspires participants with feelings of safety and security, as twenty four hour supervision prevents the likelihood of regression.
The sense of protection of inpatient therapy comes from giving customers a place that is free of the temptation and stresses of the outside world. Here, they have distance from the problems that may have enticed them to heroin in the first place, and they can concentrate all their energy and time on restoring and healing themselves. The freedoms offered by outpatient therapy are so attractive, but they are not for everyone and generally, they are not for those suffering from this severe addiction.
We can create a network of relationships and support in inpatient treatment. Psych Central refers to this network as a therapeutic community, whereby the participants in an inpatient program create a bond of inspiration and understanding that lasts far beyond the last day of conventional treatment. Some of the friendships made in these programs can assist those battling to stay on the cart when their calmness is threatened.
In additional, health insurance plans may provide coverage for inpatient treatment (pursuant to a doctor’s written referral), as long as the treatment costs for inpatient therapy do not go beyond the costs that would be acquired by surgical or medical treatment. Rehabilitation centers normally offer a wide range of payment options, such as monthly payment plans or sliding scale, to assist those people pay for their treatment.
Outpatient Heroin Addiction Treatment
If the addictions are short-term, or not so extensive, people may be directed to treatment programs; however, this is mostly not applicable to heroin addiction. Since heroin addiction is severe and usually serious, outpatient detox is not advisable. Medical detox, in an inpatient setting, is usually needed for this addiction.
For those recovering from heroin, outpatient treatment usually follows a stay in an inpatient treatment program. Once individuals have experienced medical detox and graduated from a treatment program, rehabilitation can commence in the form of outpatient care. This may vary from a daily treatment program, given on an outpatient foundation where the individual returns home each night, to weekly meetings with a medical expert.
Despite the fact that those in an outpatient program are allowed to go home at the end of the day, a frequent visit to a treatment facility can last for hours, observation, requiring tests and counseling sessions. Such an intense program gives a sense of duty upon participants, compelling and motivating them to keep their calmness and meet the standards of outpatient medical expert.
Most times, outpatient therapy may take place at different intensity levels as the people progress through care. Individuals may begin with daily medical therapy sessions. As they become more firm in their recovery and more-easy with their return to daily life in the real world, they may advance to semi-weekly or weekly sessions.
The ASAM Criteria
Whether a patient is referred to an outpatient or inpatient program depends on the results of the first intake process. So many intakes use the criteria set forth by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), which checks six dimensions for getting the individual’s position on the addiction spectrum:
- Potential for misuse and/or withdrawal (determining the individual’s past history and current situation with regards to heroin misuse and seriousness of withdrawal effects)
- Medical conditions and potential complicated state (evaluating the individual’s family history, medical history, and current physical condition)
- Behavioral, emotional, and cognitive conditions (evaluating the individual’s emotional and mental state of mind)
- Interest in, and readiness to, changing (how determined the individual is to overcome heroin addiction)
- Potential of regression or continued use (evaluating the possibility that the person will regress or otherwise struggle to maintain calmness)
- Recovery/living environment (evaluating the individual’s home environment, including the places, people, and things in that environment