Information About Heroin Addiction Treatment

Author: Peter sams

Information about Heroin Addiction Treatment

Drug addiction is a complex but treatable brain disease. It is characterized by compulsive drug craving, seeking, and use that persist even in the face of severe adverse consequences. For many people, drug addiction becomes chronic, with relapses possible even after long periods of abstinence. In fact, relapse to drug abuse occurs at rates similar to those for other well-characterized, chronic medical illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.

Soon after injection (or inhalation), heroin crosses the blood-brain barrier. In the brain, heroin is converted to morphine and binds rapidly to opioid receptors. Abusers typically report feeling a surge of pleasurable sensation, a "rush." The intensity of the rush is a function of how much drug is taken and how rapidly the drug enters the brain and binds to the natural opioid receptors.

Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive drug. It is both the most abused and the most rapidly acting of the opiates. Heroin is processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seedpod of certain varieties of poppy plants. It is typically sold as a white or brownish powder or as the black sticky substance known on the streets as "black tar heroin." Although purer heroin is becoming more common, most street heroin is "cut" with other drugs or with substances such as sugar, starch, powdered milk, or quinine.

Drug addiction treatments and detoxification via the administration of drugs such as Naltrexone and more recently Buprenorphine have been shown to help the heroin addict maintain abstinence and thus can prevent the need for future a detox. While no magic bullet, pharmacology advances have made the successful treatment of heroin addiction more hopeful and the detox more humane. Another treatment Ibogaine, while not FDA approved and thus not available in the United States has been shown in recent studies to alleviate the cravings for heroin and may be one of the more viable therapies in the future.

Most heroin users are not receiving treatment. Most recent data indicate that there are approximately 112,000 patients in narcotic maintenance treatment. Barriers exist to both access to narcotic maintenance treatment and effective treatment, despite the science on the neurobiology of heroin addiction and the evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of treatment in reducing drug use and crime and preventing the spread of HIV and HCV. An important reason for some of these barriers is that narcotic maintenance treatment remains controversial. The science has not yet overcome the stigma of addiction and public perception about narcotic maintenance treatment.

Heroin addiction treatment has involved Methadone used to treat opiate addiction for more than 30 years. Methadone suppresses heroin withdrawal symptoms for 24 to 36 hours. Although the patient remains physically dependent on the opiate, the craving from heroin use is reduced and the highs and lows are blocked. This heroin addiction treatment permits the patient to be free from the uncontrolled, compulsive, and disruptive behavior associated with heroin addiction. While many methadone maintenance clinics (long term methadone use) are available, we believe the most effective use of methadone in heroin addiction treatment is found in utilizing the drug to assist in the gradual withdrawal from heroin addiction.

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Information About Heroin Addiction Treatment
Information About Heroin Addiction Treatment
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