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Heroin Treatment

by James Heller 18. September 2009 10:48
In general, the choice of medication used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction is based on safety and efficacy, patient preferences, and treatment goals.  These goals can either be harm reduction through a maintenance program or to achieve abstinence through medical detoxification.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has provided detailed information about various heroin treatments.  Some excerpts are below, followed by the link to the page.

-- Begin external content --

A variety of effective treatments are available for heroin addiction.  Treatment tends to be more effective when heroin abuse is identified early.  The treatments that follow vary depending of the individual, but methadone, a synthetic opiate that blocks the effects of heroin and eliminates withdrawal symptoms, has a proven record of success for people addicted to heroin.

The primary objective of detoxification is to relieve withdrawal symptoms while patients adjust to a drug-free state. Not in itself a treatment for addiction, detoxification is a useful step only when it leads into long-term treatment that is either drug-free (residential or outpatient) or uses medications as part of the treatment.

Methadone treatment has been used for more than 30 years to effectively and safely to treat opioid addiction.  Properly prescribed methadone is not intoxicating or sedating, and its effects do not interfere with ordinary activities such as driving a car.  The medication is taken orally and it suppresses narcotic withdrawal for 24 to 36 hours.

Buprenorphine is a particularly attractive treatment because, compared to other medications, such as methadone, it causes weaker opiate effects and is less likely to cause overdose problems. Buprenorphine also produces a lower level of physical dependence, so patients who discontinue the medication generally have fewer withdrawal symptoms than do those who stop taking methadone.

Although behavioral and pharmacologic treatments can be extremely useful when employed alone, science has taught us that integrating both types of treatments will ultimately be the most effective approach.

-- Source: http://www.nida.nih.gov/researchreports/heroin/heroin5.html --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides heroin detox using methadone and buprenorphine as well as outpatient methadone treatment as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  If you or a loved one needs help with heroin addiction, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.