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Article Summary

Heroin Addiction Medication

Heroin addiction is one of the most dangerous forms of addiction and also one of the hardest to treat. Striking a lot of people around the world, heroin has the potential to take a solid grasp over an individual's life, making it hard to sustain any kind of normal lifestyle after the addiction prevails. This can ruin relationships and lead to the loss of families, jobs and homes. In most cases, heroin dominates all other aspects of an individual's life and that is why it is such a fatal disease. There are several treatment options obtainable on the market these days, with varying scopes of success.

Medications for Heroin Addiction

Certain experimental medications have been researched to reverse the physical addiction of heroine. Although methadone has been the basic of medication treatments, buprenorphine has also been utilized. Short-term substances have exposed it to be less addicting compared to methadone particularly when used together with other kinds of therapy.

These medications can mimic the effects of heroin inside the body, facilitating a more temperate comedown. They can also alter the physiology considerably so that the body does not crave heroin to any further extent. The medications are based on the person's addiction level. Here are heroin addiction medication treatments that can help addicts to recover from their addictions.

Methadone programs

This is a safe and effective program that has been used to treat the addicted individuals for more than 30 years. Methadone is a long acting medication that minimizes opiate craving and inhibits the consequence of opiates. It eliminates the craving that often causes relapse enabling patients to steadily detoxify from heroin without experiencing throbbing withdrawal symptoms. The medication therapy used in this program lasts for 24-36 hours. Most patients are capable of coming out of their emotional reactions and inner pains. Methadone dosages have to be carefully supervised in addicts who are getting antiviral treatment for HIV infection.


Buprenorphine (generic for Suboxone) is the first narcotic drug approved by FDA for addictions. It is becoming increasingly popular for heroin addiction treatment and can be prescribed by doctors in their offices. Though it can lead to addiction and withdrawal symptoms when discontinued, buprenorphine is a treatment for heroin and several other opioid addictions. It has huge benefits compared with methadone and naltrexone and it produces a smaller degree of physical dependence.

Buprenorphine can significantly reduce heroin withdrawal symptoms and is more efficient at eliminating drug cravings compared to naltrexone. Though methadone is usually prescribed on a daily basis, buprenorphine is only required every other day and there is an usually minor risk of overdose incident compared to methadone. Unfortunately this medication is a bit expensive, but physicians may be able to put an addict on a treatment program to help them obtain the medication cheaply or free if they don't have insurance.

LAAM and other medications

LAAM is similar to methadone and is used for the treatment of heroin addiction. It normally obstructs the effects of heroin up to 72 hours with minimal side effects. Its extended duration of action allows dosing only 3 times per week. Another medication used for the treatment of heroin addiction is desipramine. Continual use of heroin suppresses the formation of the neurotransmitters and dopamine that help normalize moods and depression. In this regard, desipramine acts as an antidepressant that counteracts the post-withdrawal depression experienced as a result of heroin addiction.

These medications are administered to help eliminate an addict's dependency on heroin in the process of physical detoxification, which may take weeks or even months based on the level of addiction. The medications are utilized to re-establish a more natural brain correlation in order to rebuild an addict's self-esteem, helping them devote to lifestyle changes, build up a negative reaction to narcotics, and go back to productive drug free lives. However, some of the medications used can be harmful and their use should be monitored carefully by a practiced physician.

After the medication treatment of heroin addiction, the next phase is usually more involving, comprising a meticulous combination of physical, psychological and behavioral therapy. A significant task is to match the most effective treatment approach to suit the specific needs of the heroin addict. And as knowledge of drug addictions develops, so does the number of successes of individuals overcoming a heroin addiction.

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