10 Characteristics of Great Heroin Treatment Centers
Selecting the right heroin treatment center can mean the difference between a relapse and a recovery, so it is one of the most important and difficult choices to make when you want to help a heroin addict recover. There are many things to consider, and most people do not have extensive experience in researching heroin treatment centers.
These are ten of the most important characteristics to keep in mind when you are looking for the best place for your loved one.
1. They are licensed and highly rated. This may seem obvious, but you should still check. Licensed programs are going to have the most skilled staff and well-organized strategies for helping people overcome their addiction.
2. They offer long term programs. Many heroin addiction treatment centers offer 28-day programs. Given the complexity of heroin addiction, this is rarely enough time for a person to become completely sober. Look for a treatment center that offers long term solutions.
3. They teach life skills. Most people who start using heroin do not do so because they are thrilled with the way that their life is going. Whatever problems and stressors that caused them to start using in the first place will still be there once they have become sober. Good heroin treatment centers will not only deal with the physical aspects of addiction but will also help people to develop the life skills they need to navigate challenging situations without turning to drugs.
4. They provide a plan for after release. While heroin addiction treatment centers are great for turning someone’s life around, there needs to be a plan for after they complete the program. Research has shown that patients who are eased into a 12-step program or other support group do better than those who are simply released to their old life without new coping mechanisms.
5. They have similar goals to you. Different heroin treatment centers, just like different people, have different definitions of success. Some consider completing the program a success, some consider continued sobriety a success and some consider post-program employment a success. Make sure that you are on the same page as any treatment center you are considering, so that you and the staff can all work together towards the same goal.
6. They do not depend on dangerous drugs. Some medications have been proven to be highly successful in treating heroin addiction. However, some pharmacological solutions can bring an added danger. Xanax, for example, can be addictive itself, leading to a whole new set of problems. Make sure that the medical personnel have good reasons for all of the drugs that they prescribe, and are not simply layering drugs to mask each other’s side effects.
7. They manage cravings. An addict will crave the drug they are addicted to – this is natural. There are medications that will suppress these cravings, but those do not reach the source of the cravings in the first place. Good heroin addiction treatment centers will offer nutritional, behavioral, detox and other techniques to help the addict move past their cravings completely, so they do not desire the drug once they leave the program.
8. They include a nutritional component. Good nutrition helps alleviate cravings and also leads to good health. By the time they arrive in rehab, heroin addicts can be in extremely poor health because they have focused so much of their energy on obtaining and using the drug. Heroin use can even cause malnutrition. A good rehab center will offer healthy meals and help people learn how to eat well on their own once they leave treatment.
9. They explain everything. You deserve to understand what will be happening at the treatment center and why this particular program should work. If a center seems shady, or involves treatment steps that you are uncomfortable with (such as forced labor, heavy drugging, or electric shocks) do not be afraid to walk away.
10. They do not overpromise. When you are worried about a loved one and the immense damage that heroin can do to their life, it can be easy to believe someone who offers a miracle cure. Sadly, it is simply not possible to completely cure a heroin addiction instantly. It takes time for a person to heal physically and emotionally, and any heroin treatment centers that are not willing to admit that are trying to sell you something that cannot be done. Healing is a long and challenging road, but it can be done.
Before choosing a heroin addiction treatment center, be sure to do your research, read the reviews, talk to past patients, and even visit a few in person. The center that you choose will have a significant impact on the degree of success a heroin addict has in recovering, so do not be afraid to ask questions and seek out a place that you feel confident in.