How to Treat Heroin Addiction

How to Treat Heroin Addiction

Heroin affects the brain and body in a way that can change a person’s brain chemistry. Explore the symptoms and signs of heroin addiction to learn more about potential treatments for heroin addiction.


Physical and psychological changes occur in an individual who uses heroin. Treatment of addiction to heroin must take into account both factors to be successful. Every individual will experience addiction differently. Treatment will vary depending on each person but the main modalities of treatment include medication and behavioral therapy. A combination of the two can help a person optimize a plan for recovery and long lasting health.

Medication vs. Behavioral Treatment

Opiate substitution therapy helps people addicted to heroin by providing baseline opiate effects which are less harmful to the body overall. Popular treatments include methadone and buprenorphine. Medications are monitored while a person takes them and should only be taken as prescribed. Other medications which may treat heroin withdrawal including naltrexone, clonidine or other over-the-counter medication. Behavioral treatment, on the other hand, help the body detox from physical symptoms of heroin use. Modalities which treat the psychological underpinnings of addiction can be done in one-on-one or group therapeutic settings. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be helpful to understand and control the compulsion to use Heroin and live a life free of addiction

Seeking Help

Several paths can help build success for treatment of heroin addiction. Some of the following are just a few ways to get started:

Heroin addiction treatment center

Recovery from heroin addiction can be extremely difficult. Many people find even small problems can trigger the desire to use heroin. Medical and behavioral treatments are provided during inpatient heroin addiction treatment including activities to transfer the desire to use. Self help groups and counseling are also offered in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Heroin detox clinics

Heroin detox clinics treat the physical withdrawal of heroin from the system. Withdrawal from any substance in the first hours can be painful and even dangerous. Detox clinics provide a safe inpatient supervision space for initial detox from heroin. This helps decrease the likelihood of relapse in treatment. A detox clinic also provides medication with supervision needed to prevent a person from taking heroin while monitored.


Psychiatrists and psychologists work with people in group or one-on-one settings in treatment. Addiction specialists have vast knowledge of the ways addiction works and which treatments are best for people. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who diagnose underlying medical issues which may affect an individual. Therapy is provided for behavioral modification techniques.

Other forms of treatment may include the following:

Addiction support groups

Licensed clinical social workers

Physician support

Trusted spiritual or religious leader

Several factors play into heroin addiction. When it comes to addiction, every individual experiences it differently. Oftentimes a person is just not prepared to head to treatment. It is important to make the first step of being ready for treatment prior to making the decision to make sure it lasts. Rock bottom looks different for everyone but sometimes intervention helps prepare a person to seek treatment needed to finally overcome addiction.

If you or a loved one are struggling with heroin addiction, there is hope. Find help through Blueprints to get you on the path to feeling healthy and whole again in recovery.


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