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Heroin Addiction

Heroin is an illegal and highly addictive Schedule I substance (according to the Controlled Substances Act of 1970). It is an opiate (meaning it is derived from opium), and processed from the sap of the poppy plant. From a physiological perspective, heroin is a central nervous system depressant that relieves pain and induces sleep.

Heroin is usually sold as a white (or brownish) powder, or as the sticky substance known commonly among users as “black tar.” Most street heroin is cut by drug manufacturers and dealers with any number of substances, including sugar, starch, powdered milk, quinine, as well as strychnine, fentanyl, or other poisons.  Heroin may be intravenously injected, smoked, sniffed, or snorted. The fear of infection through sharing needles has made snorting and smoking a preferred way of ingesting the drug. In recent years, the increased availability of heroin in the United States and the decrease in price have combined to create what many public health officials consider an epidemic.

Treatment of heroin addiction

Appropriate treatment of heroin addiction must begin with a medically supervised detox at a reputable clinic or hospital. After completion of the detoxification process, the patient should admit to a residential program that specializes in the treatment of addiction and underlying psychiatric disorders.

Here at Milestones we understand the intractable nature of heroin addiction and are here to help clients repair their lives and thrive. Also, we know that primary residential treatment is only the first phase of recovery. After completion of the Milestones program, the patient will graduate with an aftercare plan in place and alumni services to help him or her transition smoothly to the next phase of care. An aftercare plan may include: medication management with a psychiatrist, sober living residence, occupational support, ongoing individual therapy, family therapy, a structured path to recovery through community support such as 12 step, and continuation of evidence-based therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Dialectical Behavior therapy, to name a few.

We hope the information contained in this article has been of help to you. Please feel free to contact us at Milestones Ranch Malibu with any questions or comments you may have. Call: (800) 791-6859 for assistance.

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