How is Long-term Heroin Addiction Treated?

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Heroin addiction, especially long-term use of the drug, can be absolutely devastating to every aspect of an individual’s life. Therefore, it is important for a person to seek help after long-term heroin abuse. Call (800) 407-7195 now to find safe, reliable rehab centers where you can put an end to your heroin addiction.

Long-term Heroin Abuse and Its Effects

The effects of heroin use over a long period of time are destructive and often difficult to treat. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Repeated heroin use changes the physical structure and physiology of the brain, creating long-term imbalances in the neuronal and hormonal systems that are not easily reversed.” In addition, a long-term abuser can also suffer from:

  • A high tolerance for the drug
  • Severe dependence and withdrawal symptoms
  • Clogged blood vessels
  • Abscesses
  • Infection of the heart lining and valves
  • Collapsed veins
  • Liver disease
  • Pneumonia

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Many users also suffer from hepatitis B and C and HIV as a result of their risky behavior while under the influence of the drug like sharing needles and engaging in unprotected sex, etc. (Center for Substance Abuse Research). And, of course, addiction is a very likely result of long-term heroin abuse.

Many people struggle for years with their recoveries. Heroin addiction and abuse can be treated, however, even after repeated use over a long period of time.

Treatment for Long-term Heroin Addiction

Long-term Heroin Addiction

Many long-term heroin users contract diseases through needle sharing or unprotected sex.

Most individuals who have been abusing heroin for a long period of time require treatment in a controlled environment that offers intensive medical help. Methadone centers are one of the most trusted facilities for this type of treatment.

Patients receive methadone at doctor recommended dosages once a day at the facility and also have access to a number of other treatment options. The medication will minimize severe withdrawal symptoms and cravings, allowing the individual to focus more easily on their recovery.

Some individuals may feel more comfortable being treated with buprenorphine, but as stated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Because buprenorphine is unlikely to be as effective as more optimal-dose methadone, it may not be the treatment of choice for patients with high levels of physical dependency.”

Most people who have been using heroin for a long period of time often suffer from severe dependencies and withdrawal symptoms, so methadone is usually the best choice.

In addition, behavioral therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy, contingency management, family therapy, and group therapy can be very effective for the treatment of heroin addiction, and most rehab centers will offer a number of therapeutic options in addition to medication.

Through these treatments, patients can learn better coping skills and how to recognize triggers and cravings for the drug in order to avoid them.

Do I Need Heroin Addiction Treatment?

If you have been abusing heroin for more than a few weeks and are experiencing dependence, tolerance, and other issues, it is likely you are already addicted to the drug. It is important to seek treatment before your symptoms become worse, but it is never too late to find help for addiction.

Call (800) 407-7195 now to find rehab centers that will cater to your needs and help you end your heroin abuse for good.

the Take-Away

Long-term heroin abuse can take a major toll on your physical health. Medications and behavioral therapies are the most common forms of treatment for heroin addiction.