Most Effective Treatment for Heroin Addiction

Most Effective Treatment for Heroin Addiction


Opiate addiction is a serious problem that affects many people around the world today. Opiates can start as something recreational and lead to an addiction, often due to issues to financial strains or worsening mental health. In extreme cases, addicts rely on illegal sources for money or engage in criminal activity to obtain the drug when they cannot afford it. Once addicted, many users question how long does heroin withdrawal symptoms last because they want out of their situation before becoming homeless or resorting to violence. The following Most Effective Treatment for Heroin Addiction:


This is the most common medication-assisted treatment for heroin addiction. It’s a synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine and works by binding to opioid receptor sites in the brain that would otherwise be occupied by heroin, which reduces cravings while preventing withdrawal symptoms.


This is an opioid receptor antagonist (meaning it blocks those receptors) that decreases cravings and also prevents people from experiencing a “high” if they use opioids again. The FDA approved this drug in 2010 as a once-a-month injected medication or as a daily pill, making it potentially easier for recovering addicts who cannot always maintain abstinence to stay clean when they need to take pills regularly at work or for family reasons. Naltrexone is available in several brands and generic formulations, including Vivitrol (depot) and Revia (tablet).


Like methadone, this drug has opioid agonist effects; however, it also acts as an opioid antagonist at a lower dose, meaning it can help with withdrawal symptoms if someone relapses. It’s often used for in-home detoxification or maintenance treatment because of the lower risk of overdose associated with buprenorphine compared to methadone. The FDA recently approved Suboxone tablets that combine buprenorphine and naloxone to prevent abuse by injection; they work quickly when taken sublingually (under the tongue) and are indicated for treating adults with a history of opioid addiction. The FDA also approved a dissolvable buprenorphine film (brand name: Bunavail) in 2014 that treats people for up to 12 hours and is less likely to be diverted or abused than other formulations.


This is an antihypertensive medication that decreases cravings by lowering the body’s “fight-or-flight” response, which can help calm down someone who needs to stay clean before going out to do things like look for work or visit family. It’s often used as an adjunct treatment along with suboxone or methadone maintenance therapy for people who need stabilization before they can become abstinent long enough to benefit from these other medications.


In 2010, the FDA approved a new treatment for adult smokers with serious mental illness called Chantix (varenicline). The drug works by blocking nicotine receptors in the brain and has been shown to double quit rates. It’s routinely used as an adjunct to behavioral therapy because of its positive effect on depression and anxiety that often accompany quitting smoking. People taking varenicline should not smoke or use products containing nicotine, like cigarettes or gum, while using this drug.


This drug is used for people who have completed detoxification but have trouble remaining abstinent; it causes unpleasant reactions when mixed with, which can help encourage abstinence. This drug is often used with alcoholism treatment.


A derivative of the cannabis plant, cannabidiol (CBD) oil, has been shown to reduce seizure frequency in people with certain forms of epilepsy and help relieve pain, anxiety, and inflammation in some people who have neurodegenerative disorders or cancer. Some companies are also developing CBD-derived medications for various types of addiction, including alcohol addiction and heroin addiction.

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