Which Narcotic Addictions are the Hardest to Treat?

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All addictions involving narcotics––both illegal and prescription opioid drugs––are treated using the same types of options: medications and behavioral therapy. While which of these options is used depends on the patient and their specific needs, many people wonder which narcotics cause the addiction syndromes that are the hardest to treat. In truth, they are mostly similar in their treatment with a few differences.

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Availability of the Drug

Narcotic Addictions

Heroin is one of the hardest addiction syndromes to treat.

According to the National Library of Medicine, “In the United States, the most commonly abused opioids are heroin and methadone.” This is partially because these drugs are so easily available to those who would hope to abuse them. Methadone can often be found diverted to the black market, and heroin is not only easily obtainable but often cheaper than purchasing prescription opioids illegally. Because of the extreme availability of these drugs, it can be hard to treat someone who is addicted to them and help them avoid the potential for relapse. However, a person who is addicted to opioids will often abuse any type of drug that falls under this category.

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47,300* People Addicted
23,100* Getting Help
8,209* Deaths
*Statistic from 2015

Intensity of the Drug

Treating heroin addiction is extremely difficult because the drug is very intense in its effects. Those who become addicted to it often do not stop using it and, according to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, even do so after they no longer feel its effects just to avoid the intense withdrawal symptoms. For this reason, it can be very hard to treat and recover from heroin abuse, which is a drug that creates its effects much faster than other opioids and, therefore, causes extremely intense addiction syndromes.

Which Narcotics Are the Most Addictive?

In Truth…

The difficulty of treating a narcotic addiction often comes down more to the patient, though, than the drug itself. Yes, heroin creates an intensive addiction syndrome in those who abuse it, but a person who becomes strongly addicted to fentanyl, oxycodone, or another narcotic may struggle just as much to quit it.

Physical and psychological dependence and their severity from patient to patient can also make certain addictions harder to treat than others. A person who is extremely dependent on a narcotic will have a hard time quitting because of the severe withdrawal symptoms, and treatment will likely be difficult. Therefore, there is no one answer to this question when considering all the variables different individuals can experience based on their use of a certain narcotic or based on their specific addiction syndrome.

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Those who start out abusing prescription opioids can experience just as difficult a time going through treatment and making a change as those who abuse heroin. This is why individuals who begin misusing narcotics should seek treatment as soon as possible: abuse can always worsen and is more likely to lead to addiction the longer an individual continues it.

If you have been abusing narcotics and believe you are experiencing symptoms of an addiction, call (800) 407-7195 today. We can help you find a treatment program that will cater to your needs as well as answer any questions you have about narcotic abuse, addiction, and rehab.

the Take-Away

An addiction to any narcotic can be difficult to treat, however the availability and intensity of the drug can make a significant difference.