Last updated: 10/25/2018
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Heroin is an extremely potent drug that can cause addiction very quickly in those who abuse it. For many former heroin addicts, recovery is a long and difficult process that never ends, but everyone has to start somewhere. Here are 5 tips for getting on the road to heroin recovery.
1. Start with Medically-Assisted Withdrawal
According to the NIDA, in many cases, “medications offer help in suppressing withdrawal symptoms during detoxification.” With a drug like heroin, the withdrawal syndrome is not usually life-threatening, but its effects can easily cause someone to relapse in order to avoid the discomfort and pain. If you are still dependent on heroin, you should consider starting with medically-assisted withdrawal to help you through one of the more difficult stages. Remember, though, that detox is not the same as addiction treatment.
2. Search for a Rehab Center that Fits Your Needs
There are many different websites that contain information about rehab centers by location, type, and payment options. All of these issues (and others) may be relevant to you when choosing a rehab center. Make sure that the one you attend fits your financial, personal, and treatment-related needs as well as any others you may have.
3. Remember that You Can Find Help
The NIH states, “Broader acceptance that heroin is a chronic brain disease” has made large changes in the treatment of this issue. Remembering that:
- It is okay to ask for help
- You can and will get better
- Relapse doesn’t mean failure
- You decided to stop abusing heroin because of the negative effect it has had on your life
are all important in the long-term success of your treatment and recovery. Do not tell yourself that your use of heroin is something you cannot break away from or change; remember that you can eventually go back to feeling like your old self but that you may need to ask for help––and that’s okay.
4. Don’t Go It Alone
If you decide that you’re going to attend an outpatient clinic, consider asking a friend or relative to stay with you so that you will not be alone during the time you are not at the facility. Also, if you do decide to stay at an inpatient center, ask friends and family members to support you, visit you, and try to get to know the other individuals in your facility (caregivers and patients alike). Feeling alone will be one of the worst things you can do at this time, so make sure that the people who are most important to you know to be there when you need them.
5. Take Little Steps
Being mindful and making sure you are kind to yourself are extremely important during the process of starting your road to recovery. This is why you shouldn’t push yourself too hard to quit cold turkey or do other things which may be extremely difficult. Take little steps toward your recovery, and try to make sure that you are caring for yourself during this time.