Heroin Rehab: Inpatient or Outpatient?

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Heroin rehab is essential for ending a heroin addiction for good.

Heroin addiction is difficult, if not impossible, to beat on your own. Addiction is caused by changes in the physical structures and chemical functions of the brain that affect your thought and behavior patterns, and these dysfunctional ways of thinking and behaving perpetuate the addiction and make it very hard to stop using heroin. Compounding the difficulty of recovery is heroin dependence, which results in withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop, including cravings that can last for months after treatment. Heroin rehab helps you withdraw from heroin comfortably, while treatment helps you develop the skills you need to stay off of heroin.

Inpatient Detox Centers

The first step of heroin rehab is detox or medication-assisted treatment.

Detox is the process of letting all traces of heroin leave the body so that brain function can begin to return to normal. During detox from heroin, withdrawal symptoms occur. These can range from mild to severe and include muscle aches, abdominal cramps and diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and hot and cold chills. Inpatient detox centers offer medical detox, which is supervised by medical and mental health professionals who administer medications as needed to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and shorten the duration of detox.

Medication-assisted treatment involves taking methadone or buprenorphine instead of going through detox. These medications prevent the onset of withdrawal and reduce cravings for heroin. A newer drug, naltrexone, can be taken after detox to block the effects of heroin and stave off cravings. Medication-assisted treatment offers better treatment outcomes than detox, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab for Substance Abuse

Heroin rehab can take place through an inpatient treatment program or an outpatient program.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment involves living at a residential treatment facility while undergoing rehab. Inpatient treatment is essential for people who have:

  • A long history of addiction.
  • A severe addiction.
  • A co-occurring mental illness.
  • An unsafe or unstable place to live.
  • Little support at home or in the community.

Inpatient treatment has a number of benefits over outpatient treatment:

  • It offers around-the-clock support and supervision.
  • It enables you to focus solely on recovery without stressors and triggers getting in the way.
  • It helps you develop healthy lifestyle habits that will stick after treatment.
  • It provides a safe, supportive, and structured environment for recovery.

Inpatient treatment through a high quality, holistic heroin rehab program works for most people who fully engage with their treatment plan.

Outpatient Treatment

While inpatient treatment generally offers the best outcomes, outpatient rehab for substance abuse can work for some people, as long as they have:

  • A safe and stable living situation.
  • A high level of support at home and in the community.
  • Good physical and mental health, aside from the addiction.
  • Reliable transportation to get to their daily treatment sessions.
  • A high level of intrinsic motivation to recover.

Outpatient treatment has a few benefits over inpatient treatment:

  • It enables you to continue working, caring for the family, or attending school while in treatment.
  • It’s less expensive than inpatient treatment.
  • It offers the opportunity to put the skills you’re learning to use in the “real” world right away.

A mental health or addiction professional can help you choose between inpatient and outpatient treatment, depending on your circumstances, your needs, and your preferences. Either way, the National Institute on Drug Abuse stresses that heroin rehab lasting less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness.

High Quality, Holistic Heroin Rehab is Essential

Whether inpatient or outpatient treatment is right for you, choosing a high quality treatment program that takes a holistic approach to rehab will offer the best outcomes. A holistic program uses a variety of traditional and complementary therapies to help you address a wide variety of issues, develop essential coping skills to prevent relapse, and learn to think and behave in healthier ways.

Heroin rehab helps many people overcome a heroin addiction for the long-term, and it can help you, too.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.

Sources:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/effective-treatments-opioid-addiction/effective-treatments-opioid-addiction

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/how-long-does-drug-addiction-treatment