Heroin Addiction Treatment

Clinically Reviewed by Linda Whiteside, LPCC

Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson, MD

Heroin Addiction Treatment

Table of Contents

Heroin Addiction Treatment

Heroin addiction can have devastating consequences for the individual and society.

This substance can have profound physical and psychological effects, leading to a cycle of abuse that’s difficult to break.

Fortunately, heroin addiction can be treated effectively with treatment options like medications and behavioral therapies.

Understanding Heroin and Its Effects

Heroin is a drug derived from morphine, which is found in certain poppy plants. It rapidly enters the brain when consumed, causing intense pleasure and relaxation.

However, these short-lived effects often lead individuals to seek more of the drug to maintain their euphoric state. The risks associated with heroin use include overdose, infections, and the potential transition to injecting the drug, increasing health risks.

Treatment Approaches for Heroin Addiction

A personalized treatment plan for heroin addiction can help people recover from their disorder and regain control over their lives.


Drug and alcohol addiction treatment often starts with detoxification.

In the case of heroin detox, this is the process where the body eliminates the traces of heroin in the system. This detox process may lead to challenging withdrawal symptoms, so heroin detox is usually done with professional help from health care services through either inpatient or outpatient treatment.

Counseling and Therapy

Therapies play a significant role in addressing heroin addiction. Below are some of the most commonly used behavioral therapies for rehab:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps individuals understand their addiction triggers and develop healthier coping mechanisms.
  • Contingency Management provides positive reinforcement for abstaining from drug use.
  • Medication-Assisted treatment involving Methadone, Buprenorphine, and Naltrexone helps manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Family Therapy sessions can help improve communication, resolve conflicts, and rebuild trust with family members.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) focuses on helping you regulate your emotions, tolerate distress, and improve your interpersonal skills.

Holistic Approaches

Holistic treatments recognize the interconnectedness of physical and mental health conditions.

Techniques like mindfulness and meditation promote self-awareness, while nutritional counseling ensures a comprehensive approach to recovery. Alternative therapies like acupuncture may also be explored to address addiction’s complexities.

Recovery and Maintenance for Heroin Addiction Treatment

Long-term recovery requires ongoing effort. Strategies for relapse prevention are crucial to combat triggers. Support groups and community engagement provide a network of encouragement, while aftercare planning and family support contribute to long-term success.

Recovery and Maintenance for Heroin Addiction Treatment

Challenges and Controversies in Heroin Addiction Treatment


One of the biggest challenges in heroin treatment is the stigma associated with substance use disorder.

Many people view opioid addiction as a moral failing or a personal weakness rather than a chronic disorder. This can make it hard for people to seek help or to receive the adequate care and support they need to overcome addiction.

Stigma can also lead to discrimination, social withdrawal, and shame.

Harm Reduction Debate

Harm reduction is a philosophy and a set of strategies that aim to reduce the negative effects of drug use without requiring abstinence.

Some examples of harm reduction are needle exchange programs, safe injection sites, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT). These interventions can help prevent overdose, infection, and other health risks associated with heroin use.

However, some critics argue that harm reduction enables or encourages drug use and that abstinence is the only acceptable goal for treatment.

Lack of Standardization

The absence of standardized treatment is a hurdle. No universal solution exists for heroin addiction, and individuals respond differently. Behavioral and pharmacological therapies can help reduce cravings, heroin withdrawal symptoms, and relapse risk and improve coping skills, motivation, and self-esteem.

However, there is still a need for more research and scientific studies to determine the optimal combination and duration of these treatments for different individuals.

Choosing the Heroin Rehab Center in Los Angeles

Here are some factors to consider before choosing a rehab center:

Inpatient vs. outpatient treatment facility

Inpatient heroin rehab centers provide 24/7 care and supervision in a residential setting. In contrast, outpatient heroin rehab centers allow you to live at home and attend treatment sessions during the day or evening.

Cost and insurance coverage

Rehab centers can vary widely in their fees and payment options. Some may accept insurance plans or offer sliding scale fees or scholarships, while others may require upfront or out-of-pocket payments.

Check with your insurance provider and chosen Los Angeles Treatment Center before enrolling in specialized programs to avoid unexpected costs or financial difficulties.

Quality and reputation of the treatment facility

You want to choose a rehab center with qualified and experienced addiction specialists, evidence-based and personalized treatment programs, comfortable and safe facilities, and high success rates.

Research online or ask for referrals. If you have co-occurring disorders or mental illnesses, you should check if they provide dual diagnosis treatment.

Ready to Take Control of Your Journey to Recovery?

At NuView Treatment Center, Los Angeles, California, we’re here to guide you on overcoming heroin addiction. Our experienced medical professionals here specialize in evidence-based dual-diagnosis treatments, providing personalized care tailored to your unique needs.

Don’t let drug and alcohol addiction hold you back fulfilling life. Contact us today and start your journey towards a healthier, happier, and drug-free life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you or someone you know is battling heroin addiction, the first step is recognizing the issue and seeking help. Contact a healthcare professional or addiction specialist for treatment options and drug detoxification.

The duration of heroin detox varies based on factors such as the individual's addiction and physical condition. Generally, withdrawal symptoms peak within 1 to 3 days of drug detox and subside over 5 to 7 days, although some symptoms may persist.

Inpatient detox involves staying at a treatment center under medical supervision, ensuring round-the-clock care and supervised detox. Outpatient detox, on the other hand, allows individuals to receive treatment while living at home, attending scheduled sessions.

Medication-assisted treatment uses approved medications like Methadone, Buprenorphine, or Naltrexone to alleviate cravings and withdrawal symptoms. These medications work with counseling and therapy to improve the recovery journey.

Counseling and individual and group therapy address the psychological aspects of addiction for lasting sobriety.

Relapse prevention involves recognizing triggers and developing strategies to cope with cravings. Engaging in support groups, therapy and maintaining a strong support system can reduce relapse risk for long-term sobriety.

Families can attend therapy sessions, learn about drug abuse, and provide emotional encouragement. Open communication, understanding, and creating a substance-free environment at home all contribute to a drug-free future.

Valizadeh, Leila, et al. “A Concept Analysis of Holistic Care by Hybrid Model.” Indian Journal of Palliative Care, vol. 23, no. 1, Scientific Scholar, 2017, p. 71. Crossref, https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-1075.197960.

“4 Physical Detoxification Services for Withdrawal From Specific Substances – Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment – NCBI Bookshelf.” 4 Physical Detoxification Services for Withdrawal From Specific Substances – Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment – NCBI Bookshelf, 1 Jan. 2006, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64116.

“Stigma Reduction.” Stigma Reduction, 25 July 2023, www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/stigma/index.html.

“What Are the Treatments for Heroin Use Disorder? | National Institute on Drug Abuse.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 8 June 2018, nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin/what-are-treatments-heroin-use-disorder.

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Written By: Linda Whiteside

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who has been providing mental health services for over 10 years.

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson

Went to medical school at The George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

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