Why Can’t I End My Heroin Addiction on My Own?

Getting over heroin addiction on your own is not that simple. Many have tried to quit only to fall back into patterns of heroin abuse. This happens because addiction is a disease of the brain that requires professional treatment. Quitting on your own also exposes you to physical and mental health risks due to severe withdrawal symptoms including paranoia and depression.

Successfully getting over heroin addiction involves a strategic and comprehensive approach to treatment. The various steps to recovery typically include detoxification and stabilization, individual therapy, family therapy, and continuous efforts to remain clean long after rehab.

What You Need to Know About Heroin Addiction

Heroin is an illegal drug made from morphine which comes from the opium or poppy plant. It is a leading opiate, alongside cocaine and morphine, being abused by millions of men and women in the US. This substance is highly addictive even after one-time use. It is smoked, snorted or injected into a vein.

Once the person continues to use the drug, they are likely to develop a tolerance for it and eventually become addicted. People addicted to heroin show physical, mental, and behavioral symptoms. They include:

• Compulsively seeking the drug
• Overpowering cravings
• Denying the addiction
• Frequent use
• Increase in dose and tolerance level
• Aggressiveness or hostility
• Reckless behavior or poor judgment
• Withdrawal symptoms, e.g., anxiety or depression after a missed dose
• Difficulty keeping a job
• Withdrawal from social circles

Risks of Trying to End Heroin Addiction on Your Own

Ending heroin addiction on your own is not only dangerous, but also difficult. Underlying mental health issues are often associated with heroin addiction, for example, anxiety disorder, eating disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Heroin abuse may also be linked to life problems, e.g., stress, involving work, family or personal relationships.

Persons attempting to self-treat may experience some of these severe, possibly life-threatening withdrawal symptoms:

• Irritability or restlessness
• Insomnia
• Headaches or body aches
• Nausea and vomiting
• Anxiety and panic attacks
• Paranoia
• Hallucination
• High blood pressure
• Excessive sweating or cold sweats

Why Heroin Addicts Relapse

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug addiction relapse is likely. This is because addiction needs to be treated and continuously managed for recovery to be successful. Heroin addiction disrupts the normal functions of the brain, which is why it is called a disease of the brain. Once heroin use becomes ingrained in a person’s lifestyle, it makes it difficult for them to think logically and make good decisions.

Many people trying to quit on their own end up relapsing because they cannot withstand the severe and discomforting withdrawal symptoms. Dual diagnosis and treatment in the safe, supportive, and professional environment of a treatment center can help make recovery much easier.

Steps to Getting Over Heroin Addiction at a Treatment Center

Instead of trying to quit on your own, you should consider getting treatment at a rehab that provides heroin recovery programs and services. Depending on the severity of the addiction, you may need inpatient or outpatient treatment. The treatment plan typically involves the following steps:

1. Medically-Assisted Detoxification

Detox is the first step in heroin treatment. It is the process of getting the drug out of the body. Medically-assisted detox is supervised by a physician who may administer medications, e.g., naltrexone, to reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms. You may still continue to crave the drug since heroin addiction affects the brain. During this time, you may receive low doses of a prescription opioid drug, e.g., suboxone, to help maintain treatment as you gradually lose all cravings for heroin. These medications work to satisfy cravings while blocking the opioid receptors in the brain.

2. Psychotherapy

Individual or group psychotherapy, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), seeks to change the way a client thinks about heroin use. It aims to uncover underlying mental issues that trigger substance abuse. Clients are also taught coping skills to deal with life’s challenges and how to cultivate a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. Skipping therapy after detox is not recommended since the risk of relapse increases when co-occurring problems associated with heroin addiction are left untreated.

3. Family Therapy

The National Drug Abuse Institute and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend that family therapy be incorporated into the treatment plan for drug abuse. Studies show that involving family and loved ones in the systematic approach to treatment increases the chance of successful recovery. Family members can provide another layer of support, encouragement, and empathy needed to help the client beat addiction and stay sober after rehab.

4. Relapse Prevention

Relapse prevention means activating the coping strategies learned in therapy to avoid the environmental triggers of heroin abuse. You may think that a “quick hit” won’t hurt but remember one hit was all it took to get you hooked in the past. With a relapse prevention plan, you will be aware of the triggers and warning signs to help you steer clear of this addictive drug. Triggers include anxiety, frustration, fear, anger, stress, loneliness, peer pressure, or seeing the drug itself.

5. Continuous Support

Breaking heroin addiction is the first step to getting your life back. Staying clean is a life-long commitment. Having a support network that includes family, friends, therapist, and community groups such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can provide you with continuous support after leaving rehab.

Effectiveness of Heroin Addiction Treatment

Trying to end heroin addiction on your own increases the risk of relapse. It doesn’t mean you have failed. It means a step-by-step, systematic approach is more effective in ridding the drug from the body and treating underlying mental health problems that encourage heroin abuse.

A treatment center near you, in South Florida, may have comprehensive treatment programs that can help you break the addiction and return to your family, work, and community physically and psychologically functional. Their programs are designed to help you understand why you turn to drugs and how you can modify your thinking and behaviors to avoid drug use.

Treatment may also include family therapy to provide a neutral forum where you and your loved ones can address issues related to addiction and learn to work as a team to prevent it from recurring.

Your road to recovery from heroin addiction starts here. All it takes is a simple phone call to a treatment center that can change your life forever. Call us today at 877-978-3125,

Real Client Testimonials

  • Before coming to coastal I was hopeless, helpless, and my family wanted nothing to do with me. It wasn’t the first detox I’d ever been to, but it was the only one who showed me so much love and compassion. They gave me hope. It’s hard to put into words the amount of gratitude I have for this facility. The employees were my family when I had none. The staff went out of their way to make sure not only were my physical needs taken care of, but my emotional needs as well. From the first phone call prior to admission, to helping me set up continuing care, they never missed a beat. Even going as far as to help me with my legal issues via Zoom court. This isn’t just a detox, they are the family I never had. All of the techs, especially Karen, are phenomenal. They will take the time to listen to you, laugh, and cry(if needed) with you. If you are reading this and you or your loved one is suffering like I was, go to Coastal Detox. The level of care is more than I could ever put into a review. It wasn’t the first detox I’d been to, but it has been my last; I owe them everything I have today, including my life.

    Travis B. Avatar
    Travis B.
    12/07/2020
  • Had a really good experience at Coastal. The staff really went above and beyond in helping me get in and gave me the respect l, space and care I needed after I first got there. As I started to fell better they encouraged me to take part in groups which helped get me out of my head and bring positivity and health to my thinking. They had a great massage therapist, who came daily and it was evident the nursing staff genuinely cared. Got to know some of the staff as well and I’m grateful for the cooks Joe and Chris. Those guys literally made us sirloins and pork chops for dinner. Also I gotta thank Chris and Chris for helping me get in and setting me up with a transition plan. Real grateful for that help, I’m not sure if it’s management intention to hire guys named Chris but they got a good thing going there. Overall, I’m clean and sober today and walking it out. Coastal gave me a base that set me up for the success that I’m walking in today

    Brandon B. Avatar
    Brandon B.
    1/16/2020
  • My family is very thankful for Coastal Detox. They have went above and beyond for my son a few times. Unfortunately he has needed their help more than once and they have ever turned their back on him, even when he was at his worst. Jeannie and Chris have been amazing and kept me informed through the entire process. They truly care about the addict and want to help them especially when it would be easy to give up on them. I had many detox facilities be rude and uncaring to me when I was searching for help for my son, but Coastal never did that to us. I don't know the names of all the team members that have helped my son but I know their are many and y'all are angels!! One day we will be able to pay it forward and help someone as you have helped us. Thank you for all you do!!

    Brenda A. Avatar
    Brenda A.
    1/01/2020
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/13/2019
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/06/2019

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