Heroin Addiction Recovery Assistance Kansas City MO

Heroin addiction is complex and powerful: most men and women who have become addicted to heroin were mostly likely first dependent on prescription painkillers, like hydrocodone, Oxycontin, Vicodin, etc. When the prescription drug addict can't afford or get painkillers, he or she moves on to the cheaper, more potent alternative: heroin.

More and more people in drug rehab and recovery reveal the similar story of an addiction first to prescription drugs that lead to heroin use and subsequent addiction. When an individual finally realizes the grave reality of their drug addiction and seeks treatment, what are the treatment options?

Pharmacological (Medications) Treatment

Medications that reduce opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms help individuals abstain from opiate use.

  • Methadone. Methadone works by diminishing the high that occurs during opiate use. It also works to reduce physical withdrawal symptoms, like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, that could the addict to relapse. It has been used to treat heroin addiction since the 1960's and remains highly used today.
  • Buprenorphine. Subutex and Suboxone work by reducing opiate cravings without the production of a "high." Only qualified doctors can prescribe these medications.
  • Naltrexone. It works to block opioid receptors and has several benefits: it's not addictive and doesn't carry the possibility of physical dependency.

Behavioral Treatments

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy. This type of therapy works to address the cause of dysfunctional behaviors and thought processes. It focuses on specific problems and works to create actions that help the individual overcome behavioral and cognitive difficulties.
  • Contingency management. Addicts work to earn points that they can redeem for items that inspire healthy living, such as gear for hiking or camping.

Studies on addiction treatment have shown that pharmacological and behavioral therapies, when used concurrently, have a high effectiveness rate for treating opiate addition. When an addict enters drug rehab, it's important to figure out the best approach to treatment that meets his or her individualistic needs.

Medically-managed detox also helps the addict safely withdrawal from opiates. It's important to mention that unsupervised detox — detox not managed by medical doctors — is very dangerous and could even result in cardiac arrest or death. Drug addiction and dependence is a cunning, powerful disease — but it is treatable.

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