Help for heroin addiction

Help for heroin addiction includes medications, detox, and counseling. Where to find help for heroin addiction? We tell you here.

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If you know anything about how heroin works, you know that it is highly addictive.  There are several ways you or a loved one can find help for heroin addiction. But where does one start on the path to helping heroin addiction?

Here, we look at the different ways you can get help for heroin addiction and where to look.   First, it’s important to know what is withdrawal from heroin like,  what are heroin withdrawal symptoms like, and which medications can help.  Then, learn more about behavioral interventions to prevent relapse.  If you still have questions about help for heroin addiction, please ask them in the comments sections below.

How to help heroin addiction

1. Pharmaceutical interventions for heroin addiction

More and more research is going into how to treat opiate addiction to substances such as heroin. Specifically, pharmacological supports which aim to promote successful recoveries from heroin addiction have been targeted, both in and out of treatment programs as well as researched during incarceration. Methadone has been a popular alternative treatment for heroin addiction in the past, but research is finding that methadone maintenance programs are less successful and that people often become addicted to methadone. In 2002, buprenorphine was approved by the FDA to help treat heroin addiction and has shown success in not only detoxification but as a relapse prevention tool. Buprenorphine can now be offered and regulated in the doctor’s office. Heroin also alters the brain chemistry in such a way that SSRIs or other medications for mental conditions may be needed into order to maintain recovery.

2. Mental health treatments for heroin addiction

The other main way to treat and help heroin addiction is by addressing the mental and psychological aspects of addiction. Addiction is one part physical and one part psychological. While heroin does have a strong physical control over the body, an unhealthy psychological state doesn’t make it any easier to stop using heroin. If you can learn, understand and change the reasons WHY you use heroin, you can be more successful in living a drug-free life. There are so many treatment modalities out there that can help: heroin rehab or treatment facilities, support groups, and psychotherapy can all help treat heroin addiction.

Getting help for heroin addiction

It is really important to get help for heroin addiction. The more you use heroin, the more you increases chances of overdose, death, and potential jail time. Getting help for heroin addiction may be as simple as asking a friend or family member to help. Or you may need to spend time learning about addiction treatment centers in your town or state. There are several outpatient behavioral programs that can help you get started or find ways to treat addiction. Many times parole or probation mandates these helps for addiction and can be effective in overall treatment of heroin.

How to help a heroin addict

If you know someone who is using heroin, it affects lives so drastically that an intervention may be needed. Find a way to get them into a treatment facility so that they are away from their known environment. This way they can get clean without having to worry about jail time or the contributing factors of heroin addiction. Call a local treatment center or seek a professional interventionist for more information.

It is also important for people who know a heroin addict to understandtheir relationship to addiction and the role they play in relapse and recovery. Sometimes people are addicted to the addict and their behaviors. But many loved ones unknowingly contribute to the relationship of addiction and enable users to continue using drugs. Through their actions, they let heroin addicts think their behavior is normal.Having firm boundaries can be helpful in forcing the addict to look at their behavior and think about seeking treatment. Seeking help from support groups like Al-Anon or Nar-anon can be a way to help an addict. Or asking for help from a family counselor or addiction therapist can also help.

Heroin addiction help and helplines

It can be overwhelming to find help for heroin addiction. One place you can contact that everyone in the country has access to is: 1-800-662-HELP (4357). This 24 hour call center not only gets you in touch with a treatment specialist but can refer you to detox and rehab centers able to treat for heroin addiction. This national drug abuse hotline can get you in contact with treatment facilities, detox centers, psychologist, and social workers. The service can condense the many hours of searching to a few simple steps. The SAMHSA treatment locator is also a great site you can look up that can help you specify a search by city and state.

Help with Heroin addiction questions

Still have questions about help with heroin addiction? Please, leave us your questions below we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Reference Sources: NIH: Heroin Addiction facts
National Institute of Drug Abuse: Heroin Treatment
NCJRS: Addiction
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. I’m a concerned sister and I appreciate any information My brother was a “recovering” heroin addict for years, He ate a LOT of opiate based pills however, and chased them with alcohol. In the past year or so he began buying suboxene on the street – at first to combat withdrawal but eventually as more cost effective high. Heroin has hit my town very hard in the past couple of years. Concern for my brother was at the forefront of my thoughts and he finally admitted to me that he had succumb to the temptation. Yesterday he stopped by and informed me that he had eaten “20 tabs….10 a while ago and 10 more 20 minutes ago. He was totaled. It’s just dawned on me that he, judging from his unfamiliar demeanor (he’d never do heroin and see me in the same time frame in the past) that he was likely on a heroin high. How can I tell the difference? What can I do for him? I don’t want to ban him from visiting or from my life but I cannot watch him kill himself or be so wasted around my minor child who is old enough to know that his uncle is abusing substances. I know forced treatment is a futile effort. I fear that he’s not going to get out alive this time.

    1. Hi Jacqueline. I suggest that you look into the CRAFT model for families and interventions. One NGO called Allies in Recovery has some online reading that can help:
      Also, call a toll-free Heroin Helpline on 1-888-988-7934 to get in touch with trusted and confidential helpline professionals available 24/7. You will speak to a sympathetic, well-trained individual who can help you find a reliable recovery program that will meet your brother’s treatment needs.

  2. A very close friend of mine is using. They started off smoking and now they are shooting. We are trying to pull together the money to get him into a facility that can treat him. As a friend should I support him from a distance or would it be OK if I held their hand so to speak threw the process?

  3. Hello M. Wing. You can benefit from professional counseling sessions. I think you can be more strict to your son. Stop enabling his use; if he needs a place to stay, there are some rules he needs to follow…or otherwise. Make it clear that you won’t be providing him with food and shelter unless he makes a true effort to get his life together. This is just the beginning, a therapist can help you further more.

  4. My son is staying with us suppose to be getting his life together but he is as high as a kite hasn’t slept in 3 days us either wipes everything off coffee table , counter, we no longer can function he calls me horrible names ALWAYS leaves at 7 in the morning comes home around 8 pm what CAN i do I need help

  5. Hi DD. I’d check with your state attorney general’s office to learn more about the processes and protocols for withdrawal during incarceration. Usually, heroin withdrawal is NOT life threatening, but can be very uncomfortable.

  6. Hi

    What happens when a heroin addict is incarcerated for possessing heroin? Do they care if this peson dies from the withdrawals? please advise on what to do. Thank you, DD

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