Heroin Addiction

A derivative of opium poppies, heroin is highly addictive, no matter the method of intake. Because the chemicals in heroin build a physical dependence alongside tolerance for the substance, it creates a hugely damaging cycle.

The addict craves the drug due to physical dependence, but continually needs more to satisfy that dependence because of increased tolerance.

If not treated, heroin addiction can consume lives, and while the medical process of physically stopping ingesting the drug are central to dealing with heroin addiction, counseling has an important part to play in maintaining a heroin-free life. From dealing with the need for heroin, to coping with life without returning to the drug, a counselor can help addicts rebuild life and importantly, maintain their recovery.

Inpatient counseling

The journey to overcome heroin addiction begins with medicated treatment that usually takes place over a period of months. Here the medication is slowly tapered to overcome the physical dependence on heroin. During this phase, addicts are often recommended to attend a rehabilitation center, where the medication can be monitored effectively and obtaining heroin is impossible.

Counseling is an important aspect of this process, where on-to-one sessions give addicts the opportunity to learn and understand the driving force behind the addiction, and then begin to see a life without heroin as a reality. Group sessions are also common in these facilities, where addicts can share their experiences and concerns. Because heroin addiction tends to turn patients inward, where they become secretive and uncooperative with family and friends, this group activity is a powerful tool for helping patients to learn to be open about their problems again.

Relapse prevention

In the residential center, with counseling and other activities the day is filled, entirely focused on helping patients to avoid heroin. But eventually each patient must leave the controlled environment and begin life again. Continual counseling throughout this period gives an outlet to the fears and concerns, and helps patients find the structure for life that keeps them clean.

Whether behavioral therapy to provide the coping mechanisms needed to avoid relapse in difficult situations, to family therapy to rebuild the support needed to remain drug-free, a counselor can tailor their treatment to suit the specific needs of each individual addict.

This is particularly important with heroin addiction, due to the nature of the drug and its highly addictive properties. Taking the drug just once is enough to restart the addiction, but with ongoing counseling, it is possible to spot signs of relapse early and work with the patient to overcome the challenges pushing them back to their addiction.

With family support and continued counseling, patients can rebuild and live heroin-free in the long-term.

If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction, Nancy Hilsenrath can help set you on the path to recovery.

Nancy Hilsenrath LCSW, CASAC, SAP(718) 551-2777 EMAIL NANCY TODAY

Therapy for people addicted to heroin – Long Island and Queens, New York residents.
COUNSELING LOCATIONS: West Hempstead, NY, Douglaston, NY, Hewlett, NY