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3 Heroin Addiction Treatment Options You Should Know

By Neha Kashyap
Get the facts on heroin detox centers, inpatient rehab, and more.

Heroin addiction is part of the opioid crisis that kills 128 Americans daily, according to 2018 government data. The 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that about 745,000 people 12 or older had used heroin in the year prior. Heroin addiction can damage physical and mental health, fracture relationships, and shatter life goals. Here’s how to get help.

Heroin Addiction Treatment Options

Detox centers: Detox is when the body rids itself of a harmful substance. When you’re detoxing from heroin, you could have withdrawal symptoms like: 

  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Body aches 
  • Sweating 
  • Blood pressure changes

The safest way to detox is under medical supervision. “Home detox is usually not recommended, as risk for relapse is high and missed assessment of complications can result in loss of life,” Jasleen Chhatwal, MD, FAPA, of Sierra Tucson in Arizona, tells WebMD Connect to Care. 

Detox facilities can provide medications for withdrawal symptoms while monitoring you for any complications. After detox, options like therapy, medications, and support groups can help you stay clean. 

Inpatient rehab: This requires that you stay in a facility for at least 30 days. It can provide addiction treatment away from temptations. Inpatient rehab can include: 

  • Detox 
  • Individual, family and group therapy 
  • Life building activities 
  • Medication

“Treatment programs can help provide unwavering support, structure, and guidance to a person,” says Devin Lincenberg, clinical psychologist at Recovia in Scottsdale, AZ.

Rehab is usually covered by insurance, but there are other options. Some rehab centers provide scholarships, and some are funded by local governments. Charities like the Salvation Army and community centers can also help with heroin addiction treatment. 

Outpatient rehab: This can include therapy, support groups, and medication without a live-in requirement. Outpatient rehab is appealing to those with responsibilities like school or work, and it might be less expensive than inpatient rehab.

Not all patients require inpatient treatment, although many do. Outpatient programs that utilize medical-assisted treatment are a very good choice either in place of inpatient rehab or after rehab as the next step in treatment,” says Steven Powell, MD, of PursueCare in Connecticut.

Still Unsure About Treatment?

If you’re addicted to heroin and you aren’t ready to quit, a harm reduction program can lower some of your health risks and teach you more about treatment options. 

“The basic philosophy of harm reduction is we want to meet people where they are, on their terms,” says Andrew Tatarsky, PhD, of the Center for Optimal Living in New York City. “Harm reduction services include making clean syringes available, honest information about risk, [alerting] communities to the presence of fentanyl, making Narcan available.”

Narcan is a brand of naloxone, a drug that can reverse overdoses. Tatarsky recommends that opioid addicts and their loved ones keep some at home.

Get Help Now

If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin addiction, WebMD Connect to Care Advisors are standing by to help.

Life After Treatment: General Information