There are multiple steps involved in heroin addiction treatment. Those addicted to heroin can choose between partial hospitalization and outpatient treatment settings for the first step. Knowing what’s involved in each of these steps can help individuals struggling with addiction prepare for rehab.


woman talks to her doctor about heroin addiction treatment

The first step in heroin addiction treatment is withdrawal. It’s best to go through withdrawal with medical assistance because these symptoms can be painful. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Cold flashes
  • Bone and muscle
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Heroin withdrawal often starts within 24 hours of the last dose. However, this is directly related to how much heroin an individual takes and how often he or she uses it. These factors also affect the severity of the symptoms and length of withdrawal. Although most people go through withdrawal for a week, some report that the symptoms last for months.

During medical detox, most doctors prescribe medication to ease the symptoms and help the body readjust. A 2013 study found that doctors prescribe medication for nearly 80% of detox patients. However, detox alone isn’t enough to help people recover from heroin addiction. Further treatment is necessary.

Behavioral Counseling as Heroin Addiction Treatment

To continue to recover from heroin addiction, those who abuse the drug need behavioral counseling or therapy. This method of treatment helps patients change their behaviors and attitudes toward using drugs. Therapy also helps them adopt healthy life skills. There are a few types of counseling that experts use.

Cognitive behavioral therapy helps those in recovery notice, cope with and avoid triggers that promote drug use. Contingency management gives them positive support to stop using drugs. Motivational interviewing urges them to enter treatment and change how they act. Developed for teens, multidimensional family therapy deals with the pressure to drug abuse and improves how the family functions.

In addition, counseling helps therapists address the behaviors that led to heroin abuse. It can help them detect and treat co-occurring disorders such as depression as well.

Ongoing Treatment

Recovery from heroin addiction is a lifelong commitment that requires ongoing treatment. After completing an addiction treatment program, people who struggle with heroin abuse need continued support. This involves attending 12-step support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous and going to individual therapy.

Support groups gather for meetings to share stories and support others struggling with heroin addiction. The members consist of people in recovery that have recovered from addiction, as well as family members and friends.

Through counseling, therapists can help people who suffer from heroin addiction focus on maintaining their hard won sobriety. Therapists can also help them cope with cravings and changes at home. Family members of recovering heroin users might also attend therapy for help dealing with the changes.

Addiction Treatment at Crestview Recovery

Crestview Recovery in Portland, Oregon offers customized heroin addiction treatment for each patient. Our 30-bed facility uses evidence-based methods and offers several treatment types, including:

Stop letting heroin addiction control you. You can learn how to live your life free of heroin when you complete a quality drug rehab program. Call us at 866.262.0531 so that we can get you started with treatment.