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Rehab Centers For Heroin Addiction

Drug heroin, syringes, money on a dark background with the inscription help

Published: August 2, 2023

Heroin use disorder (HUD) affects thousands of people in the U.S. today. Even though the percentage of people using the opioid is less than 2%, it’s still thousands of people. And as with any statistic, this number matters a lot more when it affects you or your loved ones personally.

While addiction to or dependency on heroin isn’t curable, it is treatable with medically approved, evidence-supported rehabilitation programs.

It can be hard to admit that you have a problem you can’t solve on your own. Health care providers and other professionals are available to work with you on your journey to sober living.

If you’re curious about heroin addiction treatment, keep reading to learn:

  • What happens during heroin rehab
  • What to expect after heroin treatment
  • Where to find heroin addiction treatment centers
  • The cost of treatment

What Happens During Heroin Rehab?

Heroin rehab programs are designed to specifically treat individuals with heroin addiction or dependency. They may be inpatient or outpatient programs.

There are several ways to approach heroin addiction treatment, and you should talk to your health care provider about which program will work best for your needs.

Heroin Detox

The process of removing heroin from the body is known as detoxification. This is usually done under medical supervision.

Patients are given doses of other medications that help their bodies cope with withdrawal symptoms while the opiate leaves their system.

People undergoing heroin detox will have vital systems monitored, such as heart and breathing rates, blood pressure, and body temperature.

They will receive hydration and nutrition care to restore the body’s lost nutrients and prepare it for heroin rehab.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

As it sounds, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) means that health professionals use different medications to rehabilitate your body from drug addiction or dependency.

These are usually combined with other therapies that treat the root causes that led you to begin using heroin.

Medications that may be used include:

  • Buprenorphine provides relief from withdrawal symptoms as a partial opioid agonist. It reduces cravings without producing a high feeling.
  • Naltrexone is a full opioid antagonist. It’s not addictive, and it keeps you from experiencing feelings of euphoria with opioid use.
  • Methadone blocks heroin’s effects on your body and reduces withdrawal symptoms. It’s also an opioid agonist but slow-acting.
  • Naloxone combats opioid overdose but isn’t used for general addiction. Like naltrexone, it binds with opioid receptors to prevent the effects of heroin, such as during overdose.
  • Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone that prevents the side effects of heroin.

Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) addresses the mental and/or environmental reasons that caused you to turn to heroin and become addicted. Often, there’s a dual diagnosis with drug addiction, and it’s important to address behavioral health.

Substance use disorders like this frequently have a co-occurring diagnosis with mental health disorders. Removing the substance doesn’t remove the desire to use it when things get hard. Therapy helps.

If you are in an abusive environment or dealing with peer pressure to use or some other environmental factor, therapy helps you identify those factors. In therapy, you can create a game plan for how to deal with those places, people, and situations moving forward.

Addiction Counseling

Seeking counseling to help you deal with your life challenges is important. Addiction counselors are trained to help you through treatment and recovery and can be vital to your support system.

You can work with an addiction counselor to plan for preventing relapse on heroin and educate yourself about your condition.

Alternative Therapies

Sometimes, a more traditional route to therapy doesn’t quite meet your needs. In those situations, you might consider alternatives.

These may include exercises like yoga or tai chi or creative outlets like music or art therapy. You’ll still need standard therapy for heroin use disorder, but alternatives can increase the effectiveness of your treatment plan.

Support Groups

Support groups can help you during and after rehab. You may attend group therapy sessions or consider support group options like Narcotics Anonymous which follow the 12-step program formula pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous.

There are other support group options, and some of them may be tied to the treatment program you completed.

How Long Will Heroin Rehab Last?

The length of heroin rehab can vary. The programs are usually not shorter than 30 days. They can last 60 or 90 days as well. If your heroin use disorder is severe enough, you may need to commit to a longer program that runs six months to a year or longer.

Short-term treatment can be inpatient, where you can be monitored 24/7. You may be eligible for an intensive outpatient program (IOP) instead, but that would be determined by medical staff.

A partial hospitalization program (PHP) allows you to receive some treatment that is inpatient but then transition to your home for continued care.

The facilities available to you may have different program lengths, and your location and insurance coverage can also affect your options. Your willingness to follow the program will also determine your options.

What to Expect After Heroin Rehab

During rehab, your life can be very regimented. There are health care providers who can help you with the day-to-day treatments and provide a new normal. Once you’ve completed that stage of treatment, what comes after can be intimidating.

You’ve worked hard to get to this point and may have worked on a plan. But how do you ensure that you’ll follow through on it?

Here are some follow-up care options to help you stay the path of sobriety from heroin.

Heroin Anonymous

Based on the 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) program, the Heroin Anonymous curriculum focuses more on the nuances of recovering from heroin addiction.

You’re surrounded by people who are uniquely situated to understand many of your struggles. Everyone’s story differs, but you can find comfort in knowing that you’re not alone.

Sober Living

Sometimes, returning to your pre-rehab living situation is not possible after treatment. It may be that the area where you lived was part of why you started using. You may need additional help at a recovery center to continue working on your addiction.

Whatever the reason, housing designed specifically for sober living may be your best option. These are communities of other people who are trying to continue their recovery journey and want to do what they can to avoid relapse.


Caring for yourself and your recovery once you’ve completed a heroin rehab program can be tricky. The likelihood of relapse is real, and you’ve put in a lot of effort to begin healing.

Studies show that group therapy, individual counseling, and support groups play a huge role in helping people to stay on the path to recovery long after rehab.

Relapse Prevention After Heroin Rehab

You may think that you’ve tackled the biggest obstacle by going through rehab and facing your addiction.

The truth is that you’re going to face obstacles daily. The difference is that you’ve hopefully gained several coping skills to keep you from picking up heroin again.

You can help prevent relapse by:

  • Monitoring your health
  • Attending support groups and individual therapy
  • Avoiding situations and environments that may lead to relapse
  • Learning how to manage cravings

How Much Does Heroin Rehab Cost?

As with any medical treatment of chronic disease, costs can be high. How much rehab you need will depend on many factors — your age, health, genetics, dependency level, and addiction length — to name a few.

According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics data, treatment can range from over $2,200 to $32,500. Where you seek treatment, what your insurance covers, and how much treatment you need will also determine the total cost.

Keep in mind that the cost of rehab is also more than dollars. You and your health care team are investing time and emotion into treatment. Your loved ones support you in many ways. In other words, more than money is riding on the success of rehab.

Does Heroin Rehab Cure Heroin Addiction?

Heroin use disorder is a chronic disease, meaning there is currently no cure for it. Instead, it must be treated as any other chronic disease by managing it with medication and therapy.

What does that entail? It varies. You can speak with your health care providers to decide on the heroin rehab program that best fits your needs.

Who Needs a Heroin Rehab Program?

Anyone who is addicted to or dependent on heroin will need heroin rehab. Any use of heroin is heroin abuse, because it is an illicit drug. The effects of heroin drug use can show up in all parts of your life.

If you’re not sure if you or a loved one has heroin abuse issues, there are signs and symptoms that can help you figure it out.

Signs of heroin addiction/dependency can include:

  • Changes in behavior
  • Changes in health, like blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Bloodshot eyes or altered pupils
  • Disinterest in usual activities or relationships
  • Sleep irregularities
  • Covering needle marks with long sleeves

Heroin withdrawal symptoms can look like:

  • Mood fluctuations
  • Differences in blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing
  • Upset stomach
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Craving heroin
  • Pain or aches all over

Benefits of Heroin Drug Rehab

If you feel like your life is on a downward spiral, going through heroin drug rehab may help you rebuild. It starts with working to rebuild yourself mentally and physically. As you improve your health, you reduce the chance of overdose.

You also have opportunities to reconnect personally and professionally. Your presence matters to your family, friends, and colleagues.

Heroin use alienates everyone around you. As your addiction grows, your focus shifts to the opioid and prioritizes it over your normal activities, relationships, and even financial goals.

You can’t undo the damage of heroin use disorder, but with the right help, you can reform your life into something that makes you happy to be in recovery.

Where to Find Heroin Rehab

Many hospitals, clinics, medical centers, VA centers, and other medical facilities offer heroin rehab programs. You can use those and other resources available to you to locate treatment centers.

SAMHSA Treatment Locator

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides, a search engine and resource website that allows you to anonymously find a treatment center in your area.

It includes other options and information to maximize the chance that you’ll find the right spot for you.

State Treatment Centers

Each U.S. state has its own treatment centers for people with drug dependency or addiction.

Find the treatment center closest to you.

Find Heroin Rehab Centers Today

Treating your heroin addiction is possible with the right help. A combination of therapies and a good support group can give you what you need to start your recovery.

Reach out to our helpline to find out more about drug addiction treatment options.

Heroin Rehab FAQs

What is the best treatment for heroin use disorder?

The best treatment approaches heroin use disorder as a chronic disease that affects the whole body.

In other words, patients are treated with a combination of medication and therapy in a program that follows evidence-based practices.

What is the most common form of treatment for opioid dependence?

Opioid dependence means that a person’s body cannot function without regular doses of the drug and experiences withdrawal symptoms without it.

To successfully treat that, health care providers often use medication like buprenorphine or naltrexone to help reduce physical symptoms.

In addition, the patient attends therapy sessions to help them deal with the mental and environmental factors that may have contributed to their opioid dependence.

Can you get free heroin treatment?

While there are free substance abuse treatment programs available, qualifying for them isn’t guaranteed.

The cost of addiction rehab is affected by the level of care needed, what free rehab options are offered by the state, what insurance covers, and whether the patient is eligible for VA benefits.

Does harm reduction for heroin addiction work?

Research shows that harm reduction does help to prevent opioid overdose and the spread of disease through needle sharing.

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