Learning how to quit a heroin addiction isn’t difficult at all. Many people with a substance use disorder know that the first step in the journey is admitting that addiction is a problem. After that, the first physical step is going through detox. Quitting heroin fast may not be possible, but there are ways to keep people more focused on following the path to recovery.
When done properly, heroin addiction treatment can be very effective. People can stop doing heroin and start living sober and purposeful lives. If you or someone you care about is in the middle of active addiction, contact Midwest Detox Center online or call 833.647.0392 to learn more about how we provide medical detox and treatment for heroin addiction in Ohio.
Why People Need to Deal With a Heroin Addiction Immediately
Heroin addiction can be dangerous if left unaddressed and untreated. The impact the drug has on a person’s mind, body, and emotions can leave someone overwhelmed – and eventually, it will lead to an overdose.
Heroin use can seem harmless to those who are experimenting or trying the drug for the first time. It can induce enjoyable feelings of drowsiness or dizziness, and there are no comedown effects or a hangover after use – unlike other drugs. However, the drug changes brain chemistry and is highly addictive. Eventually, someone with heroin dependence can’t feel normal without the drug because their brain can no longer produce natural amounts of dopamine.
4 Steps to Quitting Heroin
1. Assess the Heroin Addiction
People with medical conditions that come up due to long-term heroin addiction might need a different type of care and recovery plan, compared to people with a new addiction but are otherwise healthy. Heroin addiction severity can also deepen along with the length of time a person’s been drug dependent.
In many cases, those struggling from severe heroin addiction need more intensive care which inpatient treatment can provide.
2. Hold an Intervention
People addicted to heroin may need a push from their loved ones to admit their addiction and start the recovery process. In cases like this, their family and friends can hold an intervention.
Sometimes, this can look like many informal one-on-one talks between the person with an addiction and a loved one. However, some may hire professional interventionists to help with the format of the intervention and to guarantee its success. Whatever the case may be, the goal is clear: to make the need for immediate treatment very clear.
3. Go Through Medical Detox
Heroin withdrawal can be life-threatening and very uncomfortable. It can feel like going through a severe case of the flu while also dealing with intense drug cravings.
Medical detox can help, and sometimes, a medical team will decide that a patient’s customized detox and treatment plan should include tapering off using replacement medications. Suboxone and methadone can be prescribed and given to patients in decreasing doses. This can keep the flu-like withdrawal symptoms from developing while not causing a high.
A medical team can also decide to give a patient ancillary medications to deal with other physical symptoms, such as loperamide for constipation. They may also use intravenous (IV) therapy to keep a patient’s nutritional health stabilized throughout the detox process.
4. Attend a Heroin Addiction Treatment Program
When medical detox is complete, patients are typically encouraged to transition into addiction treatment programs. These programs can last for months and will be comprised of various therapies and forms of care. Some of them will be residential programs, too.
The goal is for patients to identify their addiction triggers and to learn coping skills to deal with those triggers. Therapy sessions may also help identify why the addiction developed and help patients through their thoughts and feelings about that fact.