The need for heroin addiction treatment is urgent for the U.S. because of the spike in overdose deaths in 2016, and Baltimore, MD has a long history as the heroin capital of the U.S. The Baltimore Sun reported on March 29, 2017 that President Donald Trump vowed to increase federal efforts to confront opioid addiction, largely with heroin addiction treatment availability. The effort has bipartisan support that began during the Obama administration. The article cites the rising death toll due in part to fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that mixes with heroin.
All too often, the path to heroin addiction treatment begins somewhat innocently, with prescription painkillers. From the March 29, 2017 Sun article: “Vanessa Vitolo, a New Jersey woman, told the president her addiction stemmed from an injury for which she was prescribed painkillers. She eventually switched to heroin to satisfy her addiction and wound up homeless before enrolling in a long-term treatment facility.” She told the president, “You have no feelings, and you’re a shell, and it takes over your whole life. There is hope and there is a tomorrow, and there is a day after that. You just have to fight for it.”
How Heroin Addiction Treatment Works
The most effective form of heroin addiction treatment is with medication assistance. A medical professional prescribes methadone or buprenorphine, allowing the person to transition off of the opiate without going into extreme withdrawal. Managing withdrawal with medication assistance convinces the body that it is getting what it needs, yet there is no feeling of rush or high. There is no feeling of dope sick, either. After moving through the withdrawal stage, the medical professional prescribes a maintenance dose. The best outcomes typically happen with the highest doses of medication and staying on the medication for at least a year. There is no harm in taking methadone or buprenorphine for many years. It’s like a diabetic taking insulin, and medication-assistance for heroin addiction treatment doesn’t show up on an employer’s typical drug screen. It’s also a protected substance that meets Americans with Disability Act (ACA) criteria.
Important ‘Part 2’ of Heroin Addiction Treatment
Counseling is an essential process to achieve lasting success in heroin addiction treatment. It’s more than just talking about what leads a person to addiction, although that’s important to understand. In counseling, and with support, men and women learn triggers for using and how to avoid them. They also learn how to create new habits and a new lifestyle. They can’t go back to where they were with the same friends using, or back into other unhealthy situations. Everything is new. It’s difficult to begin a new life, and this is where counseling and support encourage each person on his or her path of recovery.
Heroin Addiction Treatment Resources
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has excellent resources about addiction and recovery. Their website cites the following four major dimensions that support a life in recovery:
- Health—overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) or symptoms—for example, abstaining from use of alcohol, illicit drugs, and non-prescribed medications if one has an addiction problem—and, for everyone in recovery, making informed, healthy choices that support physical and emotional well-being
- Home—having a stable and safe place to live
- Purpose—conducting meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school volunteerism, family caretaking, or creative endeavors, and the independence, income, and resources to participate in society
- Community—having relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope
If you or someone you love in Baltimore, MD want a place to begin recovery, contact MedMark Treatment Centers on North Eutaw Street (two locations).
821 North Eutaw Street
Suites 101 & 201
Baltimore, MD 21201