Inside Heroin Treatment: What It Takes To Recover From Heroin Addiction

Heroin is one of the most addictive substances out there. Not only is overdosing common, but it can be challenging to get off as well.

When you try to quit heroin, you can suffer from some uncomfortable and distressing withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are often so difficult to manage that you’ll be tempted to relapse.

For the best chance of success when quitting heroin, you’ll need to attend some kind of rehab program. This article describes what it takes and what you need to do to recover from your addiction through heroin treatment.

Rehab for Heroin

If you have a heroin addiction, it’s recommended that you attend some kind of rehab center. Heroin is notoriously difficult to withdraw from and if you don’t have any support, it’s likely that you’ll relapse.

Once you’ve locked yourself into an addictive, destructive pattern of behavior like using heroin, it becomes difficult to change your course of action and behave differently. Attending a rehab program gives you the chance to change your routine for the better.

Also, rehab doesn’t just address your physical addictions. You’ll also explore your mental health.

Quite often, people who are addicts have an undiagnosed mental illness or unresolved trauma they need to deal with. When you attend a good rehab program, you’ll have the opportunity to tackle these issues. If you try to quit without addressing these kinds of things, the chances of you staying off heroin are much lower.

When looking at rehab options, you’ll see that there are two distinct kinds of rehab: inpatient and outpatient rehab. Each of these two options has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.

Inpatient Rehab

This is the kind of rehab that has the highest chance of success for a heroin addict. During a stay in inpatient rehab, you’ll live in the rehab facility throughout the course of your treatment. You’ll have round-the-clock access to the care you need to help you get off and stay off heroin.

During your heroin withdrawals, you might experience some difficult side effects. When you’re in an inpatient rehab facility, you’ll have medical professionals available whenever you need them. They’ll be able to help you with the worst of the withdrawal symptoms.

It’ll also be much more difficult for you to relapse, as you’ll be living in a facility where you’re constantly monitored.


The downside to going to inpatient rehab is that you have to devote all of your time and energy to your recovery. While this does offer you the best chances of success, it’s not for everyone. Some people can’t afford to take time off school, work, or looking after their children.

Another issue is cost. Inpatient rehab is probably going to cost you a lot more than some of the alternatives. Also, you won’t be able to make any money when you’re going through rehab.

You stand the best chance of recovery at inpatient rehab, but it isn’t for everyone.

Outpatient Rehab

During an outpatient rehab program, you’ll continue to live at home but go into the rehab facility from time to time. This kind of rehab is suited to people who have less money to spend or if they have commitments they can’t get out of.

If you were to do this kind of rehab, you’d ideally have a good home environment. The effectiveness of outpatient rehab can depend heavily on the type of living environment you’ll be going back to.

If you’re living with other people who are still using, you’re not going to have much luck. If you have a good support network available to you outside of rehab, this kind of rehab could work quite well for you.

Therapy Sessions

Successful recovery requires you to address the mental issues that led to your addiction in the first place. This might involve one-on-one therapy sessions with a qualified therapist or it could involve group therapy sessions with other addicts.

As an addict, you might suffer from some form of mental illness that’s never been properly diagnosed. For example, you might have PTSD from something traumatic that happened to you in the past, or you might have a major depressive disorder.

Attending therapy sessions can ensure you understand the kind of issues you’re dealing with. This will allow you to get the treatment you need for your mental condition, reducing the chances of relapse and you needing treatment again.


Throughout your time at rehab, you might be prescribed certain medications to help ensure your chances of recovery are as high as possible. This could include heroin substitutes, such as methadone or suboxone. These will help to reduce the cravings for opiates and they’ll also help to prevent any strong withdrawal effects.

You could also be given medication to treat any psychological conditions. Ideally, you should only take these kinds of medications with the guidance of medical professionals.

Sober Living

After you’ve completed your rehab program, it might serve you well to spend some time at a sober living facility. A sober living facility is somewhere where you live alongside other ex-addicts.

Here, you’ll have access to the help and support you need should you feel tempted to relapse. Spending some time in a sober living facility can dramatically increase your chances for successfully withdrawing from heroin and not relapsing.

Staying Sober

Even if you’ve completed a stay in rehab and subsequently stayed in a sober living facility, you’re still at risk of relapsing at any time. It’s important that you continue to be mindful and look after your mental health. If you’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness of some kind, you should continue to get treated for it.

Take the First Step in Heroin Treatment

Taking the first step in your heroin treatment is quite often the hardest part of recovery. Once you’ve made that initial phone call, things will start to get better for you. Take the first step today and start your recovery journey.

If you or a loved one needs reliable rehab services, get in touch with us today.


Content Reviewed by Jacklyn Steward

Jacklyn StewardJacklyn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and an EMDR trained trauma therapy specialist with over 6 years of experience in the field of addiction. She has a Masters Degree in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling from Nova Southeastern University.