What is heroin addiction?
Heroin is a powerful and dangerous Class A drug. Sometimes referred to as brown, gear or smack. Heroin has been around for many years in one form or another. Due to the nature of the drug and its active ingredients, heroin is highly addictive, and it is possible to become physically dependent in under one week. In many cases, the user may opt to go to heroin rehab to recover from the addiction.
Due to the increased tolerance of the user, most people find that over a period of time, the addiction progresses, and the user requires more heroin for the same effect. As the addiction increases, most heroin addicts no longer experience a feeling of ‘being stoned’, but have to use to avoid awful withdrawal symptoms.
There are a range of substitute therapies available; most commonly methadone or buprenorphine. This is the most common way to treat heroin addiction in the UK. Unfortunately, this does not always lead to people getting clean and staying clean. It also doesn’t help individuals resolve the underlying or related issues. This is where heroin rehab comes in.
The Providence Projects are widely accepted as leaders in the field of heroin detox and heroin rehab programmes. The team of doctors at The Providence Surgery are highly skilled and experienced in this area and were given special commendation in their most recent CQC Report for their work in this area.
Heroin rehab programmes can range from 28 days up to 90 days depending on your individual requirements. Generally, the first stage is heroin detoxification. During this stage individuals are also engaging in the daily therapy programme. During detox, you will have a comprehensive 1-1 session with your focal counsellor and agree a care plan. This plan will outline identified goals during your rehab programme.
The heroin rehab programme at The Providence Projects is designed not only to help individuals stop safely and comfortably, but to help individuals address the underlying issues; gain a better understanding of their addiction; and to develop the skills and ability to maintain recovery. This is the key to a successful heroin addiction treatment.
The Providence Projects have been delivering heroin rehab programmes in our Bournemouth centre since 1996 with excellent success rates. If you think that this could be the help you need, call our experienced, friendly team today on 0800 955 0945.
Heroin Rehab Admission
When the time has come, and you want help, we understand that arranging a quick admission is essential. At The Providence Projects we pride ourselves on responding immediately to your individual situation. We can arrange immediate admission into the programme here to ensure that you get help when you need it.
The admissions team at The Providence Projects will provide you with full information of what to bring, what time to arrive and what to expect. Someone from our admissions team is available from 8am until 10pm every day.
On the day of admission, you will be assessed by Dr Niman. After this assessment, a detox regime will be agreed, and you are formally admitted into the programme by the superb counselling team.
Throughout your detox regime you will be monitored on a daily basis to ensure that you are comfortable. As well as the medication to ease withdrawals (usually subutex), you will be offered medication to assist with sleep in the evening, as we understand that this is often a worry for many people.
It is perfectly normal to feel nervous about your rehab admission. We can assure you that there is nothing to be nervous about. Our environment is kind, supportive and encouraging. In fact, many of our clients don’t want to leave!
As mentioned above, the first stage of any heroin rehab or addiction treatment is heroin detox. Most heroin addicts are nervous at the thought of detox due to previous negative experiences of heroin withdrawals. Many people who have been on methadone have particularly negative experiences of withdrawals and insomnia.
However, when detox is managed correctly, withdrawals are kept to a minimum. There may be some moments of discomfort, but with regular reviews and the correct medication at the correct dosage, alongside the correct psychological and emotional support, heroin detox can be a simple process.
There are a range of medications that can be used during the heroin detox including buprenorphine (subutex), methadone, clonidine and dihydrocodeine. It is generally accepted that the preferred medication is buprenorphine (subutex) for a range of reasons. At The Providence Projects, we have found that this medication is excellent in ensuring minimal withdrawals when coming off of heroin. Very often, clients may also be prescribed medication in the short term to help sleep.
All prescribing is overseen by Dr Mufeed Niman at our drug rehab. Each patient is treated in a caring and delicate manner to help make them feel safe and comfortable and to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms.
Opioid withdrawal reactions are very uncomfortable but are not usually life threatening. Symptoms usually start within 12 hours of last heroin usage and within 30 hours of last methadone exposure. As pointed out, most of these symptoms and sometimes all of them are alleviated during your prescribed detox regime here at the Project.
Please note, detox alone is not the solution. It is often necessary and is the beginning of the treatment recovery process but without the necessary therapeutic interventions that treatment offers, the chances of long term recovery are slim.
Getting through a heroin detox is the first step on the road to recovery. There are a number of options available to those who want to quit drugs, including both inpatient and home detoxes. Our team of addiction specialists are on hand to guide you through the options available.
The best chance you have of overcoming heroin addiction is finding a programme that works for you. With so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to look. Fortunately, there is plenty of help available.
Due to the strong physical dependency associated with heroin use, the user will always experience withdrawals if they try to stop heroin use without the help of a heroin rehab. The ‘cold turkey’ approach of trying to simply stop without the correct medication or support is incredibly difficult and usually results in relapse.
Each person will experience different symptoms when trying to cut down, reduce or stop their heroin use. It will depend on a variety of factors and is not as straight forward as how much one is using or how long one has been using for. Generally, those who are looking to detox from methadone will often experience longer withdrawals due to the nature of the drug.
Many of the withdrawals experienced are physical. These are also linked with psychological withdrawals which result in strong cravings. This is why trying to stop without professional help can be too difficult.
Heroin withdrawal symptoms include:
- Runny Nose
- Mood swings
- Muscle cramps / spasms
- Watery eyes
- Intense craving
- Flu like symptoms
- Constipation / Diarrhoea
Heroin Rehab Programme
The heroin rehab programme is designed in a way to ensure that it’s engaging, it’s fun and it’s effective. The range of therapies used during this programme include 1-1 counselling, self-esteem work, relapse prevention, group therapy, assignments, music therapy, exercise classes and alternative therapies including acupuncture.
There is specific work done on a range of issues during this programme including:
- Thinking errors
- Self esteem
- Stress management
- Anger management
- Relapse prevention
- 12 Steps
- Family therapy
- Recovery skills
It is the drug rehab programme which really helps the individual to understand their addiction, look closely at themselves and to develop the skills to maintain long term recovery without the use of any drugs.
Which heroin rehab programme is right for me?
There are a range of programmes available for heroin addiction. In our experience many people find it very difficult to overcome their addiction whilst in their home environment. They find that there are too many triggers, not enough support and that the whole heroin detox process is just too difficult. For those that do manage to get through the detox phase, they often find that they have not developed the skills to stay clean from drugs and relapse.
At this point, you may start to explore heroin rehab programmes. Here is a guide of how to choose the best heroin rehab programme for you:
There is often no need to spend £2,000
Look for rehab centres that have been established for 20 years+
Look up rehab reviews and articles online. Also speak to the places you like the look of.
Detox alone is usually not the answer. Short programmes of 14 days are mostly ineffective.
Heroin and other drugs
There are many people who use heroin and no other illicit substances. However, many users also use other drugs for different effects. Heroin users may also use other drugs, such as crack cocaine, alcohol, benzodiazepines and prescription drugs, such as pregablin.
The chances of overdose dramatically increase when mixing drugs. The majority of overdoses recorded also involve other substances, most commonly methadone or alcohol.
As addiction progresses, many heroin users use fewer other drugs due to the financial pressure of maintaining the heroin addiction, which can range from £10 daily to £100 daily.
Life after heroin rehab
As you come towards the latter stages of your comprehensive heroin rehab programme at The Providence Projects, you will work out a plan with your counsellor and with your family if appropriate. It is essential that every aftercare plan is designed to suit the individual.
Whether you are returning for work or looking to start life again; whether you are returning home or looking to relocate; whether you are looking for on-going one-one counselling or prefer attendance at group meetings, our counsellors will help designed an aftercare plan that meets your needs.
Once all of these factors are considered, you will agree a plan with your focal therapist. It is also important to remember that The Providence Projects are here for as long as the client needs us. Believe it or not, we still get calls and visits 20 years after people have left! We really are a family and are always here for our clients, ex-clients and their families.
If you or a loved one needs help to quit drugs and are looking for effect heroin or opiate addiction treatment, speak to our friendly counsellors today. We will offer you our expert advice on the best way to start your recovery.
Additional heroin detox FAQs
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There are of course a range of options and medications when considering a heroin detox. Substitutes such as methadone or buprenorphine are generally popular while some people prefer to simply reduce slowly. Over the years, people have used Lofexidine, Dihydrocodeine, sedation, and a plethora of ranges and techniques to break the physical heroin addiction.
Research in recent years and clear guidelines published by NICE demonstrate that the most effective medication in detox is buprenorphine (subutex). This medication works slightly differently in that it also partially acts as a blocker whilst being very effective at minimising withdrawal symptoms.
Detox regimes will vary in length dependent on a range of factors. The majority of heroin detox programmes at The Providence Projects are between 10 and 14 days. As well as buprenorphine, there are other medications used during detox to assist with sleep and other potential withdrawal symptoms. Success rate for heroin detox at The Providence Projects is 95%.
Although the right medication is key in a successful detox programme, the wrap around support is equally important. At The Providence Projects all clients are provided with a range of comprehensive therapies including talking therapies, complementary therapies and physical therapies to ensure a holistic treatment. Recovery from addiction is not about medication but that medication is necessary as a bridge into recovery.
When deciding whether to go into a detox and drug rehab clinic or to detox from home, there are a range of factors to consider.
Detoxing at home may be more convenient as it will not involve any travel and will probably be far cheaper. Home detox programmes usually cost in the region of £1,000 – £2,000. For many reasons, home detox has a much lower success rate than heroin detox at a rehabilitation clinic.
The disadvantages of home detox:
- No supportive therapy programme
- No addictions counsellors on hand on a daily basis
- Possible lack of understanding from those around you
- Relapse triggers
- Lack of monitoring
As mentioned previously, there are a range of options for a heroin detox and depending on the route you choose will affect how long the detox is. NICE guidelines strongly advise against rapid detox for a range of reasons. This approach is generally unsuccessful and potentially dangerous. Some people prefer to go on to long term opioid maintenance prescriptions. Most commonly this will be a methadone script. Most local authority drug agencies will use this as their first line of treatment and whilst there are some benefits, there are also a range of pitfalls.
Methadone, which has a much longer half-life, is a highly addictive drug. Due to the way in which it is released, many methadone users want to reduce or stop but find that it is too difficult and the withdrawals are too much to manage. Those who support methadone use claim that on the right levels of methadone, users can function effectively and live a normal and happy life. In our experience this is a very rare occurrence. Like any opioid drug; taken over a long period of time it is simply not good for you. There are a range of long-term side effects which can be quite debilitating and generally prevents people from living a full life in recovery.
To detox from heroin and be drug free is the best goal. Getting into recovery is what most people want and really is the life that people deserve. The length of a heroin detox for this purpose will depend on the length of use, the quantities used and a range of personal health factors and history. The average length of heroin detox at The Providence Projects is 12 – 14 days. During this period, clients are monitored regularly to ensure comfortable withdrawal. The detox regime is flexible and can be reviewed or amended at any time depending on the process of the client.
This really is the key. Believe it or not, in many ways, the detox is the easy part of recovery! There may be times that you experience cravings or some mild withdrawals but the success rate of heroin detox is very close to 100%.
The key to recovery is staying stopped. The comprehensive and intensive heroin rehab programme provides you with the level of support required during those difficult stages after detox. It also gives you the skills and the tools required to stay clean after completing your rehab programme.
As part of this process, there are a range of therapies including 1-1 counselling, group therapy, assignments, workshops, family therapy, exercise, self esteem work, relationship workshops and much more. This programme enables people to not only break the cycle of addiction, but to ensure that this cycle can be broken for good.