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What Is Heroin-Assisted Recovery?

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What Is Heroin-Assisted Recovery?

Heroin-assisted recovery involves prescribing medical heroin to individuals addicted to heroin or other opiates. This form of treatment is available in countries such as Canada, Switzerland, and Germany. Addicts, especially chronic addicts, are less likely to seek out traditional recovery programs or do not find them effective. Heroin-assisted treatment believes that providing addicts with legal doses of heroin can help get individuals off of more dangerous street forms of the drug.

Potential Benefits of Heroin-Assisted Recovery

Chronic or serious heroin addicts are often involved in risky activities such as intravenous drug use that come with health risks such as HIV and hepatitis. Heroin users have no guarantee of a street drug’s quality or contents, and reactions can cause overdose and death. Many addicts will engage in theft, sex trafficking, and other crimes to acquire street versions of heroin. An addiction to heroin is incredibly hard to overcome because it requires users to completely change their lifestyles.

Heroin-assisted treatment and recovery believe that, if addicts can receive medical heroin instead of street heroin, they will stop using illegal heroin. This can eliminate dangerous health concerns, delinquency, and incarceration. After stabilizing the addict’s lifestyle and improving his or her social and health situation, it may be easier to progress into heroin addiction recovery treatment.

What Is Heroin-Assisted Recovery?

Problems with Heroin-Assisted Treatment and Recovery

Heroin-assisted treatment is not yet available in the US, and, while there are potential benefits to this form of addiction treatment, it is not a method recommended by many recovery professionals. Putting an end to any drug addiction involves treating the individual and not just treating the addiction. By offering prescribed heroin instead of street heroin an addict is given the idea that using is acceptable. This does not enforce the need for total change or recovery, and the individual may continue to use prescription heroin without getting further help, relapse back to street heroin or begin using other drugs.

An individual has to treat the underlying causes of addiction to find lasting recovery. Through rehab, patients are able to quit using heroin and develop skills to manage a drug-free life. Rehab treatment also offers medical detox programs that can help wean patients off heroin. Detoxing in a rehab facility ensures the safety and greatly increases comfort. Comprehensive rehab programs for heroin addiction recovery are effective and offer a variety of options to meet unique recovery needs.

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