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Treatment for Heroin Addiction: Understanding the Detox Phase

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For women who have been using heroin on a regular basis, the idea of quitting can seem like an extremely bold move.

Avid heroin users who would like to stop have a number of things to consider before they do, and we are happy to do everything we can to make the transition easier. Let’s look at the process in more detail.

Know Your Motivations

The first thing to consider in your recovery is your motivation. Why do you want to quit? It may seem obvious, but women who go into recovery because they are being forced to or because they are trying to prove to someone else they can take charge of their lives are at a disadvantage already.

The same is true for women who quit because a drug screening test at work is forcing them, or because their spouse has threatened to leave unless they do.
treatment for heroin addictionThe fact is that, while any reason to get into recovery is a good reason, you’ll be on a much stronger footing if you quit for yourself. If you come to the realization that there’s a better life waiting for you after heroin, a better you, you’ll be in a far better place as you go up against your chemical dependency.

To have someone forcing you, or to feel like there’s someone forcing you into your decision leaves you at the risk of a potential relapse down the road. If you do it for yourself and to better yourself, on the other hand, you’ll have the benefit of a natural “drive” keeping you going through the rough spots.

Don’t Fear the Detox Process

It’s true that detox can be the most turbulent part of treatment for heroin addiction. Severe symptoms of physical withdrawal are often part of the process. Fortunately, there is help waiting for you.

If you go through recovery with New Directions for Women, you’ll have the option of starting your journey at a professional inpatient treatment and detox center. This is one of the best routes available — bar none.

During detox, you’ll be monitored by medical professionals who have the ability to prescribe medications and otherwise cope with the withdrawal until your 2system has started to adjust to life without heroin.

Part of “easing” off heroin for many people is methadone. This is a synthetic opiate used to wean the patient off the drug while letting the withdrawal symptoms and cravings diminish over time. Since methadone stays in the system 24-48 hours, it can be taken once a day instead of being taken every few hours.

It has a similar mechanism of action to painkillers like Oxycontin or Vicodin, and it’s extremely effective for treating opiate addictions. When dosed correctly, methadone does not produce a “high.” Instead, it allows the patient to feel normal again as their withdrawal symptoms subside, letting them live life productively.

How We Treat Heroin Addiction

Once the detox phase is complete, we take a highly customized, holistic approach to treating heroin addiction. This means that we apply a broad array of programs — from traditional group and individual therapies to experiential therapies like rock climbing — to tackling the client’s substance use disorder.

The reason for this is especially for women, addictions have many different causes. Only by treating our women on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels simultaneously can we assure the best possible results.

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