Heroin Addiction Treatment Centers: Detox, Outpatient vs Inpatient Rehab Programs

heroin heroin abuse causes, signs, effects, detox and rehabs

What you need to know about heroin addiction rehabilitation, causes, signs, long & short term effects, and treatment program options!

The abuse of heroin, which is an extremely powerful opiate, is a very serious drug problem in America, leading to more and more need for outpatient & residential heroin addiction treatment centers services.

Heroin abuse and addiction are a type of drug use disorder that when the signs of being addicted are neglected can produce some serious consequences and effects.

Death due to the overuse of heroin and other opiate drugs has been increasing rapidly every year and has even surpassed deaths to car accidents and guns in recent years and is now one of the leading causes of death in the country.

In 2015 alone, research shows that 12,990 Americans overdose on heroin.

With detox programs, psychotherapeutic treatments, medications, and aftercare services, an experienced heroin treatment center can help to guide addicts into a sober and normal lifestyle.

The increased availability of heroin, its decreased prices, the glamorization of addicts and addictions in film and music industry, its widespread abuse right from school-aged youth, all point out that it is highly important that people understand this drug addiction warning signs, short & long term effects, causes, withdrawal symptoms, helpful resources for treatment, and other important information.

If you or any of your loved ones are in need of a heroin addiction treatment, read to understand the drug better and please do not hesitate or feel ashamed to seek help from a drug abuse treatment provider

Definition: what is heroin?

According to recent statistical studies, there has been a change in the usage of heroin.

It was being injected earlier and now it has shifted to smoking or snorting because of the increased purity and the common misconception that this is safer.

Heroin is obtained by processing morphine, which is a natural substance extracted from the Asian poppy plant’s seed pod.

It appears as a brown or white powder.

Its common street names are H, smack, junk, Mexican black tar, etc.

While certain drugs may be legally prescribed to alleviate severe pain, heroin is classified by the Federal Government as a narcotic of type Schedule I without any legal use.

The highly addictive properties of heroin are characterized by compulsive and obsessive seeking as well as usage, and by molecular and neurochemical changes caused in the brain.

Heroin abusers commonly report a rush or surge of pleasurable sensation, the intensity of which depends on the amount of drug taken and the speed with which it enters the brain.

Heroin enters the brain very rapidly and hence is exceptionally addictive. Its action is that it gets converted to morphine in the brain and binds itself to the opioid receptors in the brain.

Heroin dependency is usually chronic and severe. It devastates ones all aspects of life including that of their family’s.

This is why seeking treatment for heroin on time is always essential.

Different symptoms and signs of heroin abuse/addiction

Common addiction to heroin signs and symptoms include the inability to control the use and uncontrollable cravings despite the bad effects it causes on health, finances, and personal relationships.

Below are some of the signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • Depression
  • Lack of attention to hygiene
  • Anxiety
  • Weight loss
  • Hallucinations
  • Doing anything including stealing, prostitution, and offering sex to get the drug
  • Lack of attention to work, family, and other responsibilities
  • Change of social circle to those who do drugs
  • Constantly losing friends and job because of the use of the drug
  • Paranoia
  • Bruises
  • Scabs
  • Memory issues
  • Agitation
  • Drowsiness
  • Not feeling much pain
  • Needle marks
  • Slurred speeches

Once the symptoms have been identified and the addiction is proven, always take the patient to an addiction recovery hospital.

Even curtailing the usage of an addicted person can cause death or other medical complications.

Heroin detox is never to be attempted without the supervision of a licensed doctor or medical professional experienced in treating patients for heroin withdrawal and dependence.

Effects and health implications of heroin abuse/addiction

The continued usage of heroin can cause serious and sometimes lasting damage to the brain and body, which can be effectively treated if one seeks help as soon as possible.

As the abuse and addiction progress, side effects increase and can present more complications if there is any other chemical dependency as well.

Following the consumption of heroin, the user feels a ‘rush’ usually followed by a dry mouth, warm flush, and a heavy feeling. Vomiting, nausea, and severe itching usually follows. Short-term side effects include:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Reduced mental alertness
  • Decreased awareness of physical and emotional pain
  • Itching resulting in compulsive scratching

When heroin addiction continues untreated for long, there are consequences and the following lasting health conditions can occur:

  • Brain Damage, brain hemorrhage, and stroke
  • Weakened immunity, respiratory illnesses, and recurrent lung infections
  • Eating disorders and Malnutrition
  • HIV and Hepatitis
  • Skin Infections
  • Cardiomyopathy and Pulmonary embolism
  • The higher risk of getting a heart attack
  • Vision problems
  • Liver cancer and decreased liver function
  • Memory Loss
  • Depression
  • Suicide
  • Death due to overdose

Causes of heroin abuse and addiction

Any drug use disorder including heroin abuse and addiction can happen to anyone.

With that said there are certain factors such as family, depression, and risky behavior history that can contribute to the chances of someone being an addict to any substance.

Some of those factors are:

Biological factors

Biological factors can increase the chance of someone abusing drugs such as heroin. Some of the biological factors include

Environmental factors

Some environmental factors include:

Heroin addiction treatment overview

Heroin rehabilitation is one of the most misunderstood and most feared among the recovery processes of addiction, possibly since it is marked by forceful cravings and the extremely distressing withdrawal symptoms especially during detoxification of the drug.

Recovery from addiction to heroin is a process that can possibly last years. And the first step is the addict acknowledging that they are an addict and need help.

Once one acknowledges their heroin abuse issues then they can seek the proper treatment. And there are various treatment options available to heroin addicts based on several factors, such as the individual medical history, substance abuse history, severity of the addiction, and the length of the addiction.

Some of the approaches and options available for treating heroin addiction may be a combination of detox, medication, counseling & behavioral therapy sessions, and group counseling sessions, etc.

Detox is usually the first step of treatment and it is available to help the addict break free from withdrawal symptoms and clean their system off the drug.

Prescription drugs may also be needed at this stage. Heroin addiction treatment centers should then provide psychotherapeutic treatment for months or as needed.

The aftercare services which are ongoing is what enable a previous addict to gel into a new life completely free from alcohol or drugs.

Inpatient as well as outpatient treatment options are possible in most heroin rehab centers and are chosen after considering various factors.

These considerations can include the physical condition of the addict, need to continue or break free from regular routines such as work, home environment, or classes, and then, of course, the treatment expenses.

What are heroin addiction treatment centers

We have been mentioning heroin treatment facilities so what are they and their benefits? A rehab center for heroin addiction is a substance abuse treatment facility that those addicted to heroin and other drug problems go to to get treatment services.

These facilities typically have the staff and resources to help people get better with their drug abuse issues.

These facilities may provide the detox, medications, therapies, facility, staff, activities, and other programs necessary to aid in being addiction free.

And there are different treatment facility options such as the:

  • Inpatient care program: The addictive live here while getting treatment.
  • Partial hospitalization program (PHP): More like the inpatient but the addictive goes homes after treatment.
  • Intensive outpatient program(IOP): This type of program is not as intense as the inpatient or partial hospitalization programs more intense than the outpatient program.
  • Outpatient program: A lesser intense program that one typically visits a few hours a week.

Others worth mentioning that are not really a rehab center but more of a support and aftercare programs are:

  • Recovery house: Short term supervised stay in a house with other addicts that teach of life after addiction and other skills like how to find a job etc. This is typically an aftercare program and an ongoing support facility after an inpatient, partial hospitalization, or intensive outpatient program.
  • Therapeutic communities:  This is also another aftercare and ongoing support facility that one stay at for about 6 to 12 months after an inpatient, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient or outpatient program.


The right heroin recovery centers provide a lot of benefits in helping those struggling with heroin addiction be sober. Below are some of the benefits:

  • They provide a structured environment that helps in long term recovery.
  • The counselors and staff are trained to help you dig into the underlying issues that are causing your addiction problems.
  • Peer support: At these treatment facilities part of the program is peer support sessions where you meet others who are like you which can help with learning coping and recovery skills from one another.
  • They have trained doctors and staff that will administer your medications and make your you are safe.

Heroin addiction detoxification programs

As mentioned earlier, the detoxification of heroin from one’s body is usually the first step in starting the treatment for this type of drug abuse.

The process involves clearing the heroin substance from one’s system while making sure that withdrawal symptoms are mitigated.

One of the good news for those going through this type of drug addiction detox is that treatment clinics typically use different medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms.

Most of the drug abuse recovery facilities offer different treatment options for heroin use disorder.  There may not be a one shoe fit all approach and may vary from person to person depending upon their individual conditions.

However, the most successful treatments typically start with a medically supervised heroin detox program. And it is not advised to do heroin detoxification without the help and supervision of experienced medical professionals.

A medication side may also be there to help prevent cravings once the therapy starts. Methadone, Buprenorphine, or Naltrexone are a few of the commonly prescribed drugs.

Methadone helps to prevent the occurrence of withdrawal effects of heroin. Buprenorphine helps in stopping the substance cravings while reducing the side effects.

Naltrexone’s action is to block the effect of heroin or other drugs so that you are not dependent on it and is not sedating or addictive.

The potential side effects and impacts while moving off the drug should also be taken care of while using any of these drugs since it can even affect life.

These medicines should be taken only on continuous consultation with a doctor at the rehabilitation center so that heroin addiction can be completely overcome.

Besides medications for heroin withdrawal symptoms, there is an electronic device called the NSS-2 Bridge that also helps with withdrawal problems that can be used during the detoxification of heroin program.

Detox duration

Heroin detox has different durations which is typically based on the severity of the individual addiction. Here are the common ones:

There is also a ten-day detox program option. The detoxification price increases the more days you spend on the detoxing program.

Inpatient heroin treatment centers program

The best starting point once the need for addiction is identified is a heroin rehab center that has a provision for inpatient treatment.

Residential heroin rehabilitation programs are recommended more since treatment is available around-the-clock and can help to avoid continued exposure to trigger factors which may have caused the person to begin the substance abuse in the first place.

The patient is being given an opportunity to stay away from all temptations and to focus only on recovery.

During the initial days and weeks of treatment, the cravings and withdrawal symptoms can get so intense that staying off the drug feels impossible. Getting admitted to an inpatient rehab facility helps to remove the access and temptation to relapse to a very large extent.

Also, the continuous treatment and care that is offered to help the person to learn more about the addiction and also to learn the tools and skills needed to remain sober.

The psychotherapy sessions also help to identify and solve issues that led to beginning substance abuse initially. The benefits include:

  • Constant supervision can prevent possible relapse
  • A physical and mental break away from the daily pressure
  • Any medical, psychological, or therapeutic disorders are handled simultaneously
  • Full focus is given to healing

The expense involved can be a deterrent, however, inpatient heroin addiction treatment centers are worth it for some people in the long term.

Outpatient heroin treatment centers program

The outpatient heroin addiction treatment centers work best for those who are committed to recovery even while getting on with their normal lifestyle.

It is possible only in the initial stages of addiction and after considering the impact of addiction on health conditions.

If you wish to not lose the current job, or cannot take leave from school and other responsibilities, the outpatient heroin treatment facility can be beneficial.

There are different options for this type of treatment programs such as partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient program.

It also helps to lower treatment expenses, unlike the residential programs which cost more.

But the things to be considered are:

  • Since there is less supervision, chances to relapse can be more
  • Since the time you spend at the center is less, the opportunity to pass on education regarding addiction and coping skills can be less
  • If the environment remains the same, continued exposure to trigger factors or stressors is there, which can cause a relapse

Duration of treatment

There are different treatment duration options for heroin abuse and addiction.

The length of time someone spends at an outpatient or inpatient heroin treatment facility depends on various factors such as their financial resources, the severity of the addiction, addiction history, work obligations, and other factors.

Below are the different most common rehab duration options:

There are longer programs such as the 120-day and 180-day program. When you with a professional addiction rehab clinic they should be able to help you figure out which treatment program length is best for you based on your unique situation.


Some people may put off going to treatment for heroin addiction due to various factors.

One factor is the long term dependence on the substance which makes the person resistant to a change in lifestyle and the stigma involved may also put them off.

Another deterrent can be the treatment program costs involved.

The cost of heroin treatment can be enormous, especially, for a private treatment facility. However, the actual cost of your treatment will depend on many factors. Some of those factors are:

  • The severity of your addiction
  • Whether you detox and the duration
  • Whether you check into an inpatient, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, outpatient
  • Whether you check into a luxury & executive treatment facility
  • The duration of the treatment program
  • How many sessions you go to in a week
  • The type of insurance you have
  • Medications

With all of the above and other factors in mind, just to give you a general idea, heroin residential treatment programs may cost you between $6000 to $25000 for a 30-day program depending on the facility. An outpatient program may cost between $2000 to $4000 for a 30-day program.

The best thing to do is to speak with different drug rehab clinics to see what the exact cost will be for your treatment.

Drugs Addiction Treatment Payment Options

Paying for your rehabilitation

Some people may put off going to treatment for heroin addiction due to various factors. And one of those factors is how to afford the price for the treatment.

The good news is that there are different treatment centers that accept various payment options.

Most accept private medical insurance. Some centers offer in-house payment plans and accept finance options like care credit etc.

Some facilities also accept public insurances such as Medicare and Medicaid. You can also get scholarships, grants, and medical loans for your treatment.

If you contact these addiction treatment facilities, they will work with you to find out how you can get the best benefits from your insurance providers and sometime may refer you to other helpful resources.

Tips on staying sober after heroin rehabilitation

One of the biggest challenges facing a heroin addict after treatment is a relapse. For this relapse prevention should be a big part of his or her ongoing treatment programs.

Knowing and learning how to prevent heroin relapse can help an addictive in the long term.

Here are some heroin relapse prevention tips that can help:

  • Stay away from bad influences: Cutting bad friends and social circles that encourage drug and substance abuse use is very important in a long term recovery.
  • Minimize stressful situations: Stressful situations are one of the reasons that people abuse and get addicted to opioid drugs like heroin so reducing stress and doing activities that reduce stress such as reading, exercising, and meditating can be helpful.
  • Practice self-care
  • Support system: Have a support system of people who really care and invested in your long term recovery.
  • Aftercare meetings: Join an aftercare group or program.

Self-help & aftercare heroin program options

Self-help and aftercare programs are essential in the long-term recovery from substance abuse issues including heroin use disorder.

There are many self-help options for those with drug abuse and addiction issues. Here are some of them:

  • Pills Anonymous meetings
  • Dual Recovery Anonymous meetings
  • Narcotics Anonymous meetings
  • Nar-anon meetings

These aftercare services and support communities can help you by giving you the support and encouragement you need to continue your recovery journey.

Go to a heroin rehab near me or far away from home?

One of the decisions that you and your loved will have to make is whether to check into a heroin rehab center near you or one that is far away in a different state or city.

The reality is that there is no clear cut answer because treatment facilities near you or far away have their pros and cons.

It all comes down to personal choice and assessing one’s unique situation.

For some people, staying close to home provides the triggers that will make it easy for them to relapse and not go through with their treatment program. So in this case going far away from home is the best option.

How can I find and choose a heroin addiction program?

Finding the right heroin use disorder recovery facility can be daunting. And worse is picking the wrong facility. Below are some tips on where to for ones and the things to look when you are comparing them.

Where to look

There are different resources that one can use to find heroin addiction recovery services providers. Here are some helpful tips.

  • You can search on google and bing
  • You can search on review sites like Yelp
  • Contact your city or state department of social or health services
  • Speak to your primary doctor for recommendations

Things to look for in a facility program

Here are some tips on how to choose the right facility program for you or a loved one.

  • Ask about their experience
  • Ask about their staff and doctors accreditations
  • Ask about their facility accreditation
  • Find out if they are licensed and bonded
  • Ask them about their process and how a typical program works on a daily basis
  • If you an LGBT or other minorities and working with a facility that understands you then make sure that they have experience or programs also geared towards someone like you
  • Find out about the activities and amenities that they have

Call 866-579-8780 to get connected for a free consultation

Just give us a call to be connected for help.

A professional admission counselor will give you a free consultation and helpful information in getting started towards recovery that can help you to no longer have to be in the same loop of heroin dependency.

The right recovery service program can put you or a loved on a journey of recovery to stay sober and to live a fulfilling and happy life.

Call to see if you can get help from a private heroin treatment center.

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