If you became addicted to prescription opiate painkillers following an accident or medical procedure, it may not have taken long for you to reach a consumption level that could no longer be supported by your existing supply of medication. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common situation that can lead to heroin abuse -- in fact, nearly fifteen percent of those who are addicted to prescription painkillers eventually find themselves abusing heroin as well. Heroin use can carry a variety of potentially deadly consequences, from overdose to HIV, but is one of the most difficult addictions to successfully treat. Even if you're committed to recovery, you could have trouble managing the physical cravings for the drug. Read on to learn more about the heroin treatment options that can offer you the greatest chance of success at kicking this potentially-deadly habit for good.
How can methadone help you eliminate your reliance on heroin?
Methadone, like heroin, can bond to the opiate receptors in the brain -- however, unlike heroin, methadone doesn't produce a desirable high. Those dealing with the unpleasant side effects of heroin withdrawal can find relief from these symptoms by taking methadone and may even notice a decrease in the psychological craving for the drug with regular methadone use. Over time, you may be able to wean off this methadone and live a completely drug-free life.
In order to legally access methadone, you'll need to sign up for treatment at a state-licensed methadone clinic. You'll be subjected to an intake examination where you'll be asked questions about your medical history, addiction to heroin, and daily heroin use. This treatment will be administered under the supervision of a doctor or addiction specialist to ensure you're taking only enough methadone to help dampen your cravings, and you'll generally be required to come to the clinic each day (or a few times per week, if daily treatment hasn't been recommended).
Depending upon your heroin consumption level prior to entering treatment, as well as the length of time you've been addicted, you may be able to wean off of methadone after a few weeks or months. In other cases (such as those whose addiction has permanently harmed certain chemical receptors in the brain), long-term or even permanent methadone use may be necessary to prevent relapse.
What can you do to improve your odds of treatment success?
Although methadone can be a tremendous help when it comes to diminishing your physical reliance on heroin, methadone alone may not be enough for you to kick the habit for good. Coupling methadone therapy with intensive counseling that can give you the tools you need to avoid relapse is much more likely to set you on a path toward long-term success. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be especially effective when it comes to drug abuse treatment, as it can help you learn to identify and correct the thought patterns and behaviors that tend to lead you into trouble. Your therapist may ask you to name each of the situations in which you feel tempted to use and then come up with several ways to redirect your thoughts (or behavior) to either avoid these situations or combat the cravings you feel.
For those whose prescription drug use may have spiraled into heroin addiction because of prior untreated mental health issues like depression or anxiety disorder, talk therapy can also provide a good outlet for your frustrations and anxieties. This therapy is what is most often portrayed in movies and other media and simply consists of you talking to your therapist about the issues and problems you're facing. Your therapist may periodically ask questions or request that you elaborate on a certain point, but the majority of your session will focus on helping you talk through whatever you're experiencing.
For more information about using methadone to overcome your addiction or other options that may help, contact a local rehab center or visit sites like http://www.olalla.org.Share
23 May 2016
I suffered depression for much of my life, and I lived with it for years before seeking help. I visited a psychiatrist and received an antidepressant prescription along with a referral to a counselor. I filled my prescription, but I put off making an appointment with the counselor. The medication began to help, so I decided that I didn't need to see a counselor after all -- or so I thought at the time. After a couple of months of medication, a close friend of mine died of an illness. I then learned that even though the medication helped my depression, I still had not learned the coping skills I needed to deal with traumatic life experiences. That even motivated me to seek counseling, and it helped me immensely. I created this blog to remind others that medication can help when suffering with depression, but counseling is also extremely important.