Free Rehab Centers for Heroin Addiction Spiking Controversial Concerns
Free rehab centers are noted to be as effective as their costly counterparts. Particularly with opioid addiction, evidence-based, individualized care is necessary for patients to achieve lasting sobriety. Getting clean requires quality addiction care. There are state-sponsored options for those who don’t have insurance or a means to pay.
A Three Pronged Approach
Recovery from heroin addiction is a multi-layered process. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has attempted to curb the nationwide drug epidemic by focusing on three specific areas: pain management, preventing overdose and treating opioid addiction. Since 2001, NIDA has helped educate medical professionals and aid recovery efforts for heroin addicts.
Heroin is a powerful opiate. The majority of addicts begin with alcohol and marijuana and eventually graduate to pills that are a part of the opiate family. Once opiate craving has developed, many seek heroin for a greater high and more lasting release from physical and psychic pain.
In order to recover from addiction, medical professionals must help patients manage pain in order to make sobriety bearable. State sponsored rehabilitation centers offer medical pain management consultation in addition to other therapies.
Because heroin is an illicit drug, it is not regulated. Methadone and suboxone are two drugs that aid in preventing cravings and minimizing withdrawal symptoms. By using medication to help in the cessation of heroin, addicts are less likely to seek the high of heroin and fall prey to the danger of overdose.
Treating Opiate Addiction
Unlike addictions to other substances, opiate addiction treatment can be tricky. Opiates work on the mµ receptors in the brain, skewing the way the brain processes pleasure and pain. When people become dependent on heroin, the withdrawal symptoms are significant because the receptors are overactive.
In essence, the intense pain and craving addicts feel when coming off heroin is very real. Long term treatment is necessary to address every area impacted by addiction.
There are essentially two schools of thought in recovery. The first school submits recovery does not exist if other drugs are in use. Because methadone and suboxone are opioids themselves, some addiction counselors do not believe a patient is truly in recovery until free of all chemicals.
However, another school of thought offers that patients are more successful staying off heroin when using pharmacological therapy as a stepping stone. Research widely supports using medication in addition to behavioral and cognitive therapy.
Shouldn’t Addicts Be Going to Those Meetings?
12-step recovery is largely rooted in a belief in a Higher Power. While this type of recovery is used in programs around the country, evidence of success is lacking because of the anonymity principle in place in these organizations. Dr. Lance Dodes, author of The Sober Truth, speculates that between 5% and 10% of people get clean and sober using a 12-step program, leaving the other 90-95% floundering.
Can the Controversy and Get Clean
Regardless of personal beliefs regarding treatment methods, the evidence is clear that heroin addicts need treatment to get off the drug. Free rehab centers offer quality care and professionally licensed staff trained in a comprehensive approach. Research various centers to find one with multiple paths to wellness. For help finding a facility that meets your needs, call 800-402-6251 (Who Answers?) .
Hsu, A. (2016). Treating heroin addiction with a drug raises hope and controversy. Shots Health News from NPR. Retrieved November 21, 2016 from http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/05/17/478387232/treating-opioid-addiction-with-a-drug-raises-hope-and-controversy
Staff (2014). With sobering science, doctor debunks 12-step recovery. NPR Books. Retrieved November 21, 2016 from http://www.npr.org/2014/03/23/291405829/with-sobering-science-doctor-debunks-12-step-recovery
Volkow, N. (2012). America’s addiction to opioids: Heroin and prescription drug abuse. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved November 21, 2016, from https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2016/americas-addiction-to-opioids-heroin-prescription-drug-abuse