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Heroin Rehab

According to the NHS, heroin is the most abused drug in the UK. Moreover, although cocaine is gradually catching up, heroin remains the drug of choice for several reasons. First, it is relatively inexpensive and easy to come by on the streets. Second, it is one of those rare drugs that can be abused without leaving any tell-tale outward signs.

The prevalence of heroin has resulted in an upsurge in heroin rehab programmes at private clinics and NHS facilities. Drug addict experts in the UK are warning the problem could get worse if things continue as they are right now.


Heroin Use 101

Heroin is an opioid known for its ability to induce both relaxation and intense euphoria. It can be ingested through smoking, injection or snorting, depending on the preference of the user. The different methods of ingestion partly explain how addiction to heroin can be hidden so well.

For example, when we think of illicit drug users, the mind often conjures up images of a worn-out and bedraggled individual with track marks up and down the arms. However, the ability to smoke or snort heroin means there are no track marks left behind. Furthermore, the emaciated look and sunken eyes often associated with heroin use are the result of malnutrition rather than the drug itself.

It should be noted that heroin addicts could easily hide their addictions if they take care of themselves otherwise. This is clearly seen in the examples of actors like River Phoenix and Cory Monteith, both of whom were heroin addicts despite their squeaky clean Hollywood images. Because they took care of themselves, only their closest friends knew they were addicted to heroin.


Coming Clean

Coming clean from heroin often requires a long-term rehab programme of some sort. As an independent referral service, our first recommendation is a residential programme lasting anywhere from six to 12 weeks. We believe the residential programme offers addicts the greatest chances of permanent success.

The NHS recommends heroin users contact their physicians if they want help kicking a heroin habit apart from a residential programme. The NHS offers a limited number of services that include stabilising medications, counselling and detox. Most services are made available via outpatient programmes.

Residential heroin rehab at a private clinic takes a different approach. Instead of daily or weekly outpatient sessions, the addict actually lives at a residential facility for the duration of his or her treatment. This model separates the heroin addict from his or her current lifestyle and forces them to deal with their addiction around the clock.


The Detox Process

The first step in any rehab programme is detox. Medical experts warn heroin addicts not to attempt a detox on their own due to some very real medical complications. Some go so far as to classify detox as a medical emergency.

The difficulty with detox lies in the fact that heroin use causes very definitive damage to the human body. That damage is often not manifested until the detox process begins. Combined with the normal symptoms of withdrawal, the physical damage can lead to serious injury or even death.

To make heroin detox as safe as possible, private clinics will often use stabilising medications as prescribed by doctors. These medications make the withdrawal process more gradual, thus alleviating many of the emergency medical risks. However, make no mistake; these medications are not an instant solution to heroin addiction.

During detox, the heroin addict will undergo withdrawal symptoms that can be quite unpleasant. The good news is that they peak by the second or third day, followed by a gradual subsiding. In 7 to 10 days, the addict can be completely clean.


Post-Detox Rehab

The days immediately following detox are when the real work begins. This post-rehab period begins the long process of dealing with emotional and psychological issues relating to heroin addiction. For the next 6 to 12 weeks, the recovering addict will be involved in a range of therapies including:

  • Individual Counselling – Recovering addicts need intense individual counselling with trained professionals. This counselling is intended to bring the addict to a place where he or she can recognise and admit the underlying issues that originally led to their addiction.
  • Group Counselling – Counselling in a group setting is a means of providing support to the addict by placing him/her in the company of others dealing with the same problems. Group counselling is a means of support, accountability, and encouragement.
  • Life Skills – When the recovering addict eventually leaves the residential facility, he or she will undoubtedly face pressures and temptations that could draw them back to heroin. Part of a residential treatment programme is teaching the recovering addict the life skills necessary to properly handle these pressures and temptations.
  • Recreational Activities – During the latter stages of heroin rehab, a residential facility will often take groups out for recreational activities. This is done to show the recovering addict that life can be enjoyable and fulfilling without the use of drugs. Believe it or not, many heroin addicts do not believe this is possible while still in the throes of addiction.


Following up with Aftercare

No residential heroin rehab programme is complete without aftercare follow-up. The idea behind aftercare is to provide continued support for as long as necessary; support that helps the recovering addict avoid relapse. Aftercare includes many of the same therapies and services the addict was exposed to during his/her residential treatment. They include individual counselling, group support and so on.

The heroin rehab process is one that takes time and effort. Unfortunately, there is no ‘quick fix’ when someone is addicted to this dangerous substance. Nevertheless, complete and total victory is possible if the addict is willing to get the help he or she needs.

We are here to assist you in finding that help for yourself or someone you love. We work with the best clinics in the UK, all fully certified and meeting our very high standards of safety and quality. We can help you locate a facility and programme right for your circumstances. We can even help you make arrangements if that’s necessary.

If you or someone you love is addicted to heroin, there is a way out. Just call or send us an e-mail so we can get started. We want to see you on the road to recovery as quickly as possible

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