Medications for Substance Use Disorders

While addiction is a lifelong disease that requires constant diligence to sustain sobriety, seeking official treatment has some immediate benefits that can help you work through the process. These benefits can help patients feel confident in their recovery and motivated to continue further treatment. One of the ways you can work to sustain your sobriety is by participating in a 12-step support group. These are group meetings where you connect with others who share similar experiences with addiction and talk about your challenges or concerns. You can also ask questions or offer your support to others going through a tough time. Aftercare planning is essential for your treatment since it will help you maintain your sobriety long after official treatment.

What is the antidote for heroin?

Naloxone is an antidote to opioids that will reverse the effects of an opioid overdose if administered in time. Naloxone has virtually no effect in people who have not taken opioids. Access to naloxone is generally limited to health professionals.

During the admissions process, you will be evaluated for any other substance abuse issues or co-occurring mental health disorders. This evaluation will help the clinician develop a treatment plan that’s right for your needs. Relapse prevention training is an important part of addiction treatment. It helps people in recovery learn to identify and manage triggers that could lead to a return to drug use. The goal of heroin relapse prevention training is to help you develop a solid plan for avoiding relapse and staying sober.


You’ll also have access to many of the same treatments as people in inpatient care, including withdrawal management and various types of therapy. A medication-assisted treatment program can help you manage your withdrawal symptoms and make you more comfortable during treatment. You’ll be monitored by medical staff 24/7 to ensure the medication is working and that you’re as comfortable as possible. When a person stops using heroin, they can experience various withdrawal symptoms, including cravings and physical symptoms. Heroin withdrawal can be uncomfortable and, in some cases, dangerous to a person’s health.

Get the support you need to help yourself or your loved one break free of heroin addiction. Obtaining heroin from the streets puts you at risk since you can’t be sure about the purity of the drug or what it’s been laced with. Dealers sometimes mix heroin with poisons or pesticides that increase the risk of an overdose. Are you or someone you know experiencing a substance use and/or mental health crisis or any other kind of emotional distress? Please call or text 988 or chat to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

How Can I Help a Loved One With Heroin Addiction?

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  • When it comes to heroin addiction, stopping on your own can not only be incredibly difficult but also dangerous.
  • Heroin, also known as dope, fairy dust, or smack, is a highly addictive opioid derived from opium poppy plants.
  • As we mentioned earlier, most individuals going through a withdrawal will begin using again to ease the pain or discomfort they experience during withdrawal.
  • Behavioral therapies help patients identify strategies for recognizing situations that might lead them to use so that they can avoid such environments.
  • Some of the drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration , known as FDA-approved medications, are naltrexone, buprenorphine and methadone.
  • Nearly one million Americans have used heroin in the last year, and more than half of those individuals have a heroin use disorder, a testament to the addictive potential of the drug.

Recovery is hard, and it’s a life-long struggle that not everyone can overcome, even after treatment. While we hope to give you the tools and confidence to live a sober, productive life, the reality is that some of our former residents need additional assistance. Withdrawal is one thing that keeps heroin abusers using long after they cease to gain any enjoyment from taking the drug.

Long-Term Effects of Heroin on the Brain and Body

Medications can make it easier to wean your body off heroin and reduce cravings. Buprenorphine and methadone work in a similar way to heroin, binding to cells in your brain called opioid receptors. Naltrexone blocks those receptors so opioids like heroin don’t have any effect. Relapse prevention helps you create a plan to prevent relapse when encountering a challenging situation. You’ll learn how to utilize coping skills and your support network in reaction to your triggers and stressors. For example, if you experience stress at work, rather than turning to heroin to cope with stress, you’ll learn healthy ways to respond to this situation.