Heroin is an extremely potent opioid narcotic, one that results in a great deal of severe personal consequences in the life of the user, from health-related issues to a harshly compromised quality of life. Since the year 2007, the number of individuals throughout the United States who actively use heroin has been steadily rising.
Heroin addiction is a chronic and relapsing brain disease, meaning that the symptoms will only continue to worsen if they are not effectively treated and that while heroin addiction can be successfully treated, there is no long-term cure. Regardless of how much clean time an individual has after battling a heroin abuse or addiction disorder, he or she is liable to experience mild to moderate psychological cravings.
These cravings will be much more severe and overpowering early on in recovery, which is why individuals have higher rates of relapse during early sobriety. If you start craving heroin, there are several steps you can take to effectively reduce these cravings. However, it is important to understand that heroin cravings are exceedingly normal. Just because you experience cravings on occasion does not mean that recovery isn’t “working” for you, or even that there is anything wrong at all. Coping with these physical and psychological cravings is a skill that will be learned in medical detox and inpatient treatment. At Allure Detox, we begin instilling our patients with the tools they need to combat cravings from the moment they walk in the door.
Coping Skills When You Are Craving Heroin
Below are five ways in which to effectively combat when you have a craving for heroin.
- Call a trusted friend or sponsor and talk things through. Talking with someone when you start to feel an urge to use is one of the most effective methods of relapse prevention. Share where you’re at and listen to any advice that is offered. Calling someone who has been through something similar and has come out the other side unscathed is always a good idea.
- Get outside. Go on a walk. Spend some time in nature. Go take a long walk on the beach and meditate. Getting outside and exercising is always a good way to get your mind off of substance use and put things back into perspective.
- Find a healthy way to express your feelings. If you are feeling sad, angry, or overwhelmed, your first instinct might be to reach for heroin or another chemical substance. Rather than do that, try to put your energy towards something productive. Paint a picture, sing a song, turn up the music and dance. Work the energy through your body and beneficially express yourself.
- Engage in self-care. Do something that makes you feel good. If you start to feel triggered, take a long bubble bath and read a book or listen to your favorite music. Make a list of things that calm you down and engage in one (or several) of these things if you start craving chemical substances.
- If cravings are persistent, overwhelming, and difficult to manage, further intervention might be necessary. If you are concerned that your cravings could lead to relapse, you might want to speak with a medical professional (one with expertise in the realm of addiction). A prescribing physician could prescribe Suboxone or another similar medication for short-term use, which could successfully alleviate post-acute withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone is a short-term solution, one that is typically only utilized in very early recovery.
Allure Detox and Heroin Cravings
At Allure Detox, we utilize numerous methods to help our patients combat heroin cravings – cravings that could easily lead to relapse if left untreated. One of the most common detox methods we utilize is Medication-Assisted Therapy. Our on-staff physicians prescribe medications like Suboxone to help alleviate all symptoms associated with heroin withdrawal.
While Suboxone is often extremely effective in alleviating cravings – and other symptoms of heroin withdrawal – it is important to note that this is a short-term solution. Once patients move onto the next appropriate level of clinical care they need for MAT will be reassessed. If you or someone you love has been suffering at the hands of heroin abuse or dependence disorder, help is available. At Allure Detox, we have extensive experience effectively treating all of the symptoms associated with heroin withdrawal – including cravings. To learn more about our detox program or to discuss admission options, give us a call today.