Last updated: 04/30/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Heroin rehab can truly help you put an end to your substance abuse and make a change in your life. However, it is not a cure-all for addiction, and you will need to do considerable work through and beyond professional treatment in order to stop abusing heroin for good.
What Is the Purpose of Heroin Addiction Rehab?
Professional treatment for heroin addiction uses a number of different methods to help patients put an end to their substance abuse. However, this is not the only goal of treatment, as the National Institute on Drug Abuse, states, “Addiction treatment must help the person”
- Stop using drugs
- Stay drug-free
- Be productive in the family, at work, and in society.
If a treatment program is able to do these three things, it will often be considered successful. It is important, though, for a patient to understand why all three are necessary. The first two goals are contingent with helping one quit heroin, or put an end to the use of the drug. The individual must not only stop but also avoid returning to substance abuse.
The third goal puts the individual back in their day-to-day life. It makes them a functioning member of their family, workplace, and society as a whole, which will minimize the desire for and the likelihood that the individual will return to heroin abuse. But how is this done?
How Can Rehab Help Me Quit?
As stated by Harvard Medical School, “Opiates are outranked only by alcohol as humanity’s oldest, most widespread, and most persistent drug problem.” As a result, it is extremely difficult to stop abusing heroin once you start, and especially, once you become addicted. Professional treatment utilizes a number of methods to help one stop using heroin and resist the urge to relapse.
- Medication can benefit an individual trying to stop using heroin immensely. Many rehab centers utilize this treatment option as a result.
- Methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are all pharmacological options for the treatment of heroin abuse.
- They minimize one’s cravings for the drug, reduce withdrawal symptoms, and in the case of naltrexone, give patients a very compelling reason not to return to substance abuse, as it will precipitate withdrawal symptoms in someone with opioids in their system.
- Behavioral therapy is one of the most consistently used treatment options for addiction. It can help patients realize the reasons why they started abusing drugs in the first place, which, in turn, helps them gain more control over that use. In addition, it teaches individuals valuable life skills that perpetuate abstinence and other, more beneficial choices.
- The staff at a rehab center should also participate in this list of benefits, as they should create healthy, supportive relationships with patients that will keep them in treatment longer.
- As longer treatment stays often are contingent with good outcomes––specifically, a stronger likelihood of staying sober––it is very important for the doctors, nurses, and counselors at one’s rehab center to provide this additional source of encouragement to patients (NIDA).
If you go to a rehab center that offers you the treatments you require (including any help or support for additional issues that may or may not pertain to your drug addiction), the program should be able to help you truly quit abusing heroin. This will make an enormous change in your life for the better.
Post-Treatment Work Is Important, Too
However, rehab isn’t the only part of recovery that will help you quit. It is important to remember that, even after your treatment is over, you will still need to actively pursue your recovery and practice your abstinence. Because addiction treatment is not considered a cure for addiction, you will need to stay aware of your needs and your state of recovery after the program is over, possibly even seeking additional care if necessary.
Rehab Can Help Put an End to Your Heroin Abuse…
But the program cannot simply erase your addiction. You must work hard to make a change in your life, but this change will be much easier to make and you will be much less likely to return to substance abuse with the help of a professional, heroin rehab program.