The kind of treatments of heroin addiction used to deal with this problem will depend on how long the person has been using the drug. If he or she is well motivated, the chances of being able to get off of heroin are greatly increased. Some people who start getting treatments of heroin addiction go voluntarily and have the support of their family and friends. Others are directed to seek treatment from the courts and have no choice in the matter.
The first stage in the treatments of heroin addiction is for the person to go through a detoxification process. The goal of this portion of the treatment is to get the person off heroin and to help manage the physical symptoms of withdrawal. Symptoms can start within a few hours, and include:
- Muscle pain
- Goose bumps/cold flashes
The first 48-72 hours after stopping heroin use is the time when the withdrawal symptoms will be most troublesome. It may take a full seven days before these symptoms subside completely. A person with a history of heavy heroin use should not attempt to give up the drug all at once; the results could be fatal.
The second phase in treatments of heroin addiction is to offer support and treatment through a rehab program. Methadone may be given to help relieve the cravings for heroin that may lead to a relapse. This medication is taken once a day and people can continue to use it over a long period of time.
In addition to using methadone, the recovering heroin addict should undergo some form of "talk therapy." Behavioral therapy can be used to help the person understand why they started using heroin and to learn what feelings or circumstances may trigger a desire to use again.