What Happens at Heroin Rehab?

Heroin is used by an estimated 494,000 people in the United States and was linked to over 15,000 overdose deaths in 2017. Heroin is a highly addictive illicit opioid that can be difficult to stop using without professional help. A heroin rehab center offers drug detox, counseling, and behavioral therapies to help people safely recover from heroin use disorder and move forward with living healthier, sober lives.

Here is what happens at a heroin drug rehab center and how to find help if you or a loved one is suffering from heroin addiction.

What Is Heroin Drug Detox?

Heroin drug detox is a treatment that manages the physical symptoms of heroin withdrawal. This is the first treatment people will receive when they go to drug rehab for heroin addiction.

Heroin withdrawal is not life-threatening but can feel like a bad case of the flu. Heroin and drug cravings can be extremely intense during this time and may lead to an accidental overdose in those who try withdrawing from heroin outside of a treatment center. Going through heroin medical detox at drug rehab is the safest way to withdraw from heroin and reduce the risk for relapse and overdose.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms usually begin within 8–24 hours after the last use and continue for between 4–10 days. During heroin detox, patients are monitored closely by nurses and doctors and provided with medications that relieve symptoms. Clonidine, buprenorphine, and codeine phosphate are commonly used in drug detox to help patients experience relief from heroin withdrawal.

What Will I Do During Heroin Detox?

Many drug rehab centers instruct patients to relax as they go through heroin detox and withdrawal or until they feel well enough to begin therapy. During detox, patients can eat healthy, nutritious meals prepared by a chef and engage in low-key activities such as yoga and meditation. High-intensity exercise and workouts are usually not recommended during detox since the body needs ample recovery time. Medical staff will work closely with patients to determine when they can begin therapy to recover from addiction.

What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment for Heroin?

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is commonly used in heroin addiction treatment to help people stay abstinent and prevent relapse. MAT combines the use of medications, counseling, and behavioral therapy and is only available for those in recovery from opioid and alcohol use disorders. The medications used in MAT can be used long-term during the weeks, months, and/or years following drug detox to promote long-term recovery from heroin addiction.

There are currently three medications used in MAT: methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. Methadone and buprenorphine bind to the same opioid receptors in the brain as heroin but without producing euphoria and other pleasurable effects. These medications trick the brain into thinking it is receiving heroin and are effective at preventing withdrawal symptoms. Naltrexone blocks opioid receptors to prevent people from feeling the effects of opioids if they relapse.

MAT is available at many heroin rehab centers to help patients manage drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms as they receive ongoing therapy for heroin addiction. The medical team at drug rehab can determine whether you or a loved one can benefit from MAT for heroin addiction.

How Is Heroin Addiction Treated at Drug Rehab?

Drug and alcohol rehab centers use an individualized treatment approach since each patient has different recovery needs. All patients undergo an assessment and evaluation before they begin treatment so rehab staff can develop the best customized treatment plans.

Heroin addiction treatment always begins with drug detox. After detox, patients receive behavioral therapies that teach them how to go through everyday life without drugs and alcohol. These therapies educate patients on how to manage triggers and stress and introduce them to new activities that keep them occupied and give them a sense of purpose.

Common therapies offered at drug rehab include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Contingency management
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Dual diagnosis therapy
  • 12-step support groups like Narcotics Anonymous
  • Family therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Equine therapy

Recovering from Heroin Addiction with ARC

America’s Rehab Campuses offers drug and alcohol detox, inpatient rehab, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient rehab, and standard outpatient rehab. We also offer many luxury amenities that can enhance your recovery and motivate you to stay abstinent from drugs and alcohol. Contact ARC today at 833-272-7342 to begin your recovery journey.