Why Medical Heroin Rehab Is Critical to Recovery

Heroin is an illegal, extremely addictive drug that has created an “epidemic” of addiction in the U.S. It crosses borders of socioeconomic status, age, gender and race and is both the most abused and the most rapidly acting of the opiates. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heroin use in the U.S. increased 63% between 2002 and 2013 and continues to grow.

Those addicted to heroin are prone to relapse, and heroin addiction treatment must take a multifaceted approach. Treatment should include medical care with evidence-based medications to ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings like Suboxone® treatment, 24/7 medical monitoring, and behavioral care that gets to the root causes of opiate addiction. Clients must learn practical recovery skills like how to replace drug use with healthy activities that fill the void left by addiction.
When heroin enters the brain, it is converted into morphine and binds to opioid receptors. These receptors are located in many areas of the brain (and in the body), especially those involved in the perception of pain and reward. Opioid receptors are also located in the brain stem — important for automatic processes critical for life, such as breathing, blood pressure and arousal. Heroin overdoses frequently involve a suppression of respiration.

Because heroin depletes the production of natural “feel-good” brain chemicals and affects opioid receptors, heroin detox can be especially painful. At a medical detox center, physicians and nurses can minimize this pain with research-backed medications to prevent cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms.

After you safely move through heroin detox, inpatient heroin rehab will help you address the issues that fuel your addiction. Many people with addictions have undiagnosed or under-diagnosed mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. Heroin use could be an attempt to self-medicate symptoms of a mental illness. Other times, past trauma like physical or emotional abuse, neglect or exposure to disturbing events propels people to numb emotional pain with substances. At The Ranch, specialized mental health professionals will help clients address these issues and begin to move past them.

Relapse prevention is a key component of heroin addiction treatment at The Ranch. This may include evidence-based anti-craving medications. It also involves developing healthier coping skills and building a network of supportive peers and resources in recovery. The National Institute of Mental Health recommends at least 90 days of treatment for successful addiction recovery and a longer time period for drugs with high relapse rates, such as opioids, to help heroin addicts recover.

Heroin Detoxification

The main objective of heroin detox is to relieve withdrawal symptoms while individuals physically and mentally adjust to a drug-free state. Not in itself a treatment for addiction, heroin detoxification is a practical step only when it leads to long-term treatment.

During medically monitored heroin detox, scientifically backed medications can be prescribed to ease withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings. Vital signs are also continuously monitored, with support from a team of nurses and other medical professionals. The heroin detox time frame will depend on the individual.

Get Truly Life-Saving Addiction Treatment

Heroin addiction can be a life or death battle. Choose life. We’ve been helping people and families move beyond the destruction of drugs since 1979. We can help you or your loved one too. Call us for a free, confidential assessment. There’s life after heroin addiction. And it’s so much better. Call us: 888-478-0285


Choose a better life. Choose recovery.