How We Treat Heroin Addiction
Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs known to man. The intensity of heroin withdrawal, coupled with the high rate of relapse and the ever-present risk of a deadly overdose make finding a reputable heroin addiction treatment center of paramount importance.
The Summit Wellness Group’s heroin rehab center in Atlanta, Georgia features a cutting edge combination of integrative talk therapy, psychiatric care, neurobiological treatments and holistic therapies that collectively work to restore the lives of men and women addicted to heroin. Our program thoroughly addresses the psychological, neurological and physical damage done by heroin, freeing our clients from heroin addiction and improving their overall health and wellness.
The Summit Wellness Group’s team of professionals includes doctors, psychiatrists, clinical therapists, counselors and recovering addicts who work tirelessly to guide our clients through the heroin addiction treatment process. We advocate for our clients from detox to aftercare and every step in between.
Customized Heroin Treatment Plan
The Summit Wellness Group’s staff of experienced, caring professionals will help you develop a heroin treatment plan that is customized to your individual needs. Factors include:
- The length of time heroin was used and how severe the addiction is
- The severity of heroin withdrawals
- Whether other drugs or substances are being used along with heroin
- The existence of co-occurring mental health disorders
- Preexisting medical conditions
- Stability of current living situation
- Insurance coverage
- Your ability to afford the cost of treatment
- Your level of commitment to supervised inpatient treatment or unsupervised outpatient treatment
Managing Your Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
For many people who are addicted to heroin, the first step is to go to a heroin detox facility during the acute stages of withdrawal. With the medical help available at The Summit Wellness Group’s network of partner heroin detox programs, you will be able to get through acute withdrawal in the least painful and safest way possible.
This is the time where most relapses happen as the withdrawal symptoms are most intense and without medication or medical supervision, many addicts will choose to use again to make the pain stop. It is highly recommended to undergo this process at one our partner heroin detox facilities located in Metro Atlanta, Georgia.
In addition, since heroin is frequently used by injection, we can help facilitate the necessary testing for HIV, Hepatitis B or C, and blood or heart infections as well as liver and kidney functions tests.
Therapy For Treating Heroin Addiction
The Summit Wellness Group incorporates a number of the leading talk therapies into our heroin addiction treatment program in Georgia. Heroin in particular seems to dampen or even eradicate most, if not all emotion while using it. When in early recovery, an addict will be flooded with all of the suppressed emotions from their time using. Additionally, cravings can be expected for some time after quitting heroin. The body will take time to adapt to life without heroin and in the mean time, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and cravings may be prominent.
Without an outlet and a way to deal with this, it is not uncommon for someone to feel overwhelmed and return to heroin as a way to feel sane again. Learning to express what is going on internally to other people is a critical life skill, and heroin addiction often causes that skill to atrophy through disuse. Building that skill up again can be very scary and uncomfortable, and having one of our experienced clinicians available individually and via group therapy is absolutely vital.
Our Nutritional Program For Heroin Addiction
The Summit Wellness Group’s heroin addiction treatment program also includes a strong emphasis on healthy eating and nutrition. It may seem like common sense, but eating a well rounded diet can be of special importance to a recovering heroin addict. Aside from malnutrition due to decreased appetite and the priority of heroin over food, heroin affects the gastrointestinal tract through partial paralysis and it should be expected that an addicts digestion will take some time to recover.
The partial paralysis can cause healthy gut flora to die and makes complete digestion difficult in early recovery, so it is very important to eat lots of different kinds of fruits, vegetables, and grains. Protein is always important and soluble and insoluble fiber are very helpful as well as vitamins and minerals. This may also help the brain recover quicker and more fully as many vitamins are used in the brains synthesis of neurotransmitters.
Our Holistic Heroin Addiction Therapies
The natural opioid system of the brain is used naturally when someone experiences stress of any kind. Natural opioids are used to reduce pain, anxiety, and depression and using this system as it was meant to be used can speed the psychological recovery process and help the brain return to normal.
The Summit Wellness Group incorporates over half a dozen of the most effective holistic therapies into our heroin rehab program to assist in restoring the aforementioned natural opiod balance and correcting neurochemical deficiencies that often accompany recovery from heroin addiction.
Some of the holistic therapies we offer clients in our Georgia treatment program include massage, chiropractic care, therapeutic fitness, guided meditation, yoga, art therapy.
Why Is Heroin Rehab So Important?
Heroin addiction is deadly and very few people are able to quit on their own. The threat of overdose is very high. This is due to a variety of reasons including adulterants like fentanyl, IV heroin use, mixing heroin with other drugs or alcohol, and relapse overdoses. Relapse overdoses may be the most heartbreaking, as a heroin addict who has been abstinent loses the tolerance they built up from active addiction. When they get high “one last time” they tend to do the same amount as when they quit, which by now since they have lost their tolerance is too much for their body to handle.
Regardless of the reasons, heroin overdoses, especially in areas like Georgia and Atlanta’s “Heroin Triangle” are often fatal due to the potency of heroin and the variety of vital functions it affects.
- In 2015, there were 16,770 heroin related hospitalizations in the United States with a disproportionate amount of those coming from Georgia. Over twice as many men were hospitalized as were women, and the age range was between 20 to 34 years old.
- More alarmingly, there were over 81,000 ER visits for heroin related poisoning or overdoses in 2015. Likewise, well over twice the number of men went to the ER as women and the largest age demographic by far was the 25 to 34 year old group.
- In 2016, 15,469 people died from Heroin overdoses. Just over 3 times as many men died from overdoses as did women and the hardest hit age demographic was the 25 to 34 year old group.
Our Medication-Assisted Treatments
Heroin addiction seems to be particularly challenging among other drugs as the wide range of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms may take a very long time to diminish. The Summit Wellness Group is MAT friendly, finding it to be hugely beneficial in the treatment of heroin addiction. This is especially true for chronic relapsers.
Our Georgia based Medication-Assisted Treatment program offers substitute medications to stave off the worst of heroin withdrawal symptoms as well as opioid antagonist medications which may be taken for extended periods of time and tapered off over the course of months. Additionally we offer medication options to reduce cravings for heroin.
The Summit Wellness Group’s heroin rehab utilizes MAT in conjunction with the rest of our therapeutic, holistic and behavioral treatments for heroin addiction. This buys time for our clients that opt for MAT to build a foundation in recovery which will help them stay removed from heroin use for long enough that some of the longer lasting symptoms will dissipate and to develop effective coping skills, as well as a strong sober network, so that when cravings return, they have the tools they need to deal with them in a healthy way.
MAT Program Medications
Buprenorphine is a partial opiod agonist. This means it binds to opiod receptors, but activates them with less intensity than that of a full agonist like methadone. Fortunately the impacts it creates are far more limited. It is a powerful ally in dealing with the pain of withdrawal and helping to satisfy the incessant cravings created by heroin and pain pills.
Naltrexone has a long and successful history of treating serious alcoholism. It works by blocking out the receptors that sense opiates. This cuts down on the cravings for heroin too. It also eliminates the pleasurable effects that heroin produces.
Suboxone works through a potent combination of Naltrexone with Buprenorphine. This pill addresses the agony of the heroin withdrawal symptoms while blocking any pleasant effects that heroin produces within the brain.
Heroin Addiction Resources
The current heroin addiction epidemic in America is alarming and tragic, to be sure, however heroin itself is nothing new. It has been used for over 140 years and opiates have been used by humans for many thousands of years. As early as 3,400 B.C.E. Mesopotamian farmers were cultivating the Papaver Somniferum plant (opium poppy), which is the plant from which most opiates/opioids originate.
A 2015 study by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that over 5,000,000 Americans admitted to using heroin during their lifetime. Additionally, over 828,000 people admitted to use in the last year, while over 329,000 people admitted to use in the last month. Keep in mind that this study was self-reporting, so the actual numbers are higher in reality.
- Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Addiction – Find out why heroin is so addictive, as well as the signs of worsening heroin addiction.
- What are the Effects of Using Heroin? – Detailed guide outlining the short-term and long-term effects of using heroin.
- Heroin Withdrawal Guide – Symptoms of heroin withdrawal, as well as an overview of medications used to assist people in detoxing from heroin.
- What are the Dangers of Heroin Addiction? – The top 5 dangers associated with heroin use, including overdose, health complications and more.
- What Happens When You Use Heroin? – Detailed breakdown of how using heroin affects the body and mind, broken down system by system.