Heroin Addiction Treatment?
Heroin addiction or use of any narcotic substance can devastate the lives of many who retort to it. The family of the individual can also be affected. It is never easy to come off the addiction. Heroin addiction treatment is a complex process and there are several de-addiction centres that focus on established methods to help recover the lives that have been displaced by the addiction.
Did you know there is a variety of effectively focused treatments that will help you come off the addiction? The treatment methods involve the use of medication or behavioural therapy. But, these methods will help restore the balance physically and psychologically to a certain extent. When you are seeking an opportunity to rehabilitate, you will see the obstacles clearing ahead of you. The chances of employability increases automatically, you will also have lesser chance of acquiring the HIV and other serious ailments. If you seek the treatment in the early stages, you will be less likely to indulge in crimes. Although, research has pointed out that it is possible to treat the addict with a medical approach or a behavioural therapy as a standalone treatment technique, it is better to integrate both the treatment for best results.
Pharmacological Treatment (Medications)
Research has indicated that the opium addiction can be treated with drugs by going through the hardship of the treatment program. It will also decrease the use of drugs, and there will be a greater tendency for the addicts to not engage in vicious crimes.
In the initial stages of stopping the drug use, the addicts can experience moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms can be pain, diarrhoea, vomiting and nausea. The craving can be controlled via detoxification stage of the treatment using pharmaceutical drugs. The positive response to the treatment will motivate the addicts into relapse.
While the medical treatment as a standalone method doesn’t cure the Heroin addiction, detoxification is a robust treatment technique to help the addicts on the road to recovery.
The opium addiction can be overcome when the medication acts on the opioid receptors. Such focused treatment approach is known to be less harmful in aggravating the behaviour.
There are three forms of medication that helps the addicts to recover.
- Agonists (It activates the opioid receptors)
- Partial agonists (it also activates the opioid receptor, but you will see only slight response)
- Antagonists (It blocks the receptors and will prevent the addicts from the rewarding effects of drug)
The decision to use a select drug on the addicts is made based on the medical conditions that are patient specific.
Here are some meds that are known to work positively with the addicted member. Effective medications include:
It is an antagonist drug that acts slowly on the body. Methadone is to be taken orally, and the effect of the medicine will reach the brain gradually. It reduces and prevents the potential effects of withdrawal symptoms.
Methadone is a reliable drug that is being used since 1960 to treat the heroin addiction. Owing to its effectiveness, especially when the patient isn’t responding well to other treatment techniques, it is the best alternative. Methadone is available as a prescription drug at federal government-approved outlets. It is regularly dispensed to those who want to get rehabilitated.
- Buprenorphine is a partial agonist drug. Buprenorphine will suppress your craving for the drugs without triggering the violent side effects of the opioids. Buprenorphine is taken orally or sublingually for better effectivity. Buprenorphine based tablets also contain naloxone (antagonist) to prevent the side effect behaviour by injecting the meds to the addict. But, Suboxone is known to trigger withdrawal symptoms due to the presence of naloxone. But, if the medication is taken orally, the addict will not feel the state of “high”. In the year 2002, the FDA has permitted the use of buprenorphine as a prescription drug. It can be prescribed by qualified doctors. Due to this facility, the addicts need not visit a special clinic for getting the meds and the treatment is more accessible. In 2013, FDA approved the use of Suboxone as a generic drug thus making I more affordable.
- Naltrexone is an antagonist. The drug is not sedative or addictive. To take the drug, any form of physical dependence isn’t required. Many patients have been reported to have compliance issue while taking the drug. Hence, it has resulted in reduced effectiveness. An injectable form of naltrexone was recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of the addicts. If taken once a month, it will eliminate the need to take the drug daily.
To treat the addiction, many behavioural therapies are available. These de-addiction programs are offered to them in residential or outpatient settings in a regular hospital. There are special methods of treating those suffering from addiction. Many hospitals and clinics choose various approaches like the behavioural therapy and the contingency management. These therapy sessions are coordinated along with the medication. The contingency management is a reward based program where the rehabilitating individual is given an opportunity to earn points (voucher-based system) every time the drug test results return negative. When you accumulate points, you can exchange them for items that encourage positive living. However, behavioural therapy is a customized program where the patient’s behaviour and expectations are tuned to help him, or her rehabilitate into positive living. Since every individual is unique with this regards, it is essential to adjust the treatment techniques based on each individual’s lifestyle.
Drug addiction can lead to the destruction of lives and damages relationships and leave you in disarray. Many who retort to drugs have reported of being stressful or having a triggering incident that lead them to become addicts. Drug addiction is just a momentary escape from the situation. Nevertheless, it is a negative way of seeking relief from any situation.
Rehabilitation is a long process that involves strengthening the mind and body in a gradual manner by repairing the damage done by the addictive substances.