Heroin Addiction Treatment

Orange County Detox

Heroin tolerance, dependence, and addiction are all manifestations of brain changes resulting from repeated heroin use. The struggle for heroin abuse recovery is in great part a struggle to overcome the effects of these changes.


Symptoms of heroin withdrawal

  • Anxiety
  • Low energy
  • Dilated pupils
  • Depression
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Drug cravings
  • Joylessness
  • Physical pains
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea


How to help someone with heroin withdrawal

A variety of heroin dependence treatment options are available to help men and women kick a heroin habit, including opioid detoxification services, pharmacotherapies, behavior therapy, and cognitive therapy. All of these proven strategies help to restore a degree of normalcy to brain function and behavior resulting in decreased risk of HIV, Hepatitis C and other infectious diseases.


Opioid Detoxification Services

Opioid withdrawal syndrome, should always be prevented, because the longer a person uses opioids, the longer it may take to safely detox. Our opioid detoxification program ensures your health, safety, and comfort with the highest standards of excellence. We offer professional services that are also cost-effective.



Fortunately, there are helpful pharmacotherapies that act upon the same brain structures and processes as addictive opioids, but with protective and normalizing effects. Despite the usefulness of these beneficial medications, they must be used in conjunction with appropriate behavioral-based treatments in order to achieve sustainable health benefits.

Pharmacotherapies used for treating opioid addiction work predominantly with mu opioid receptors (MOR), which are the receptors most responsible for heroin’s drug-effects. Currently, there are three FDA approved pharmacotherapies used to treat heroin addiction and they include: (1) full-agonists, like methadone, which fully activate mu opioid receptors; (2) partial agonists, like buprenorphine, which partially activate mu opioid receptors and produce minimal drug effect; and (3) antagonists, like naltrexone, which block mu opioid receptors.

Scientific research has established that pharmacotherapies increase retention in addiction treatment programs. When people initially quit, they often develop withdrawal symptoms (pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting), which can sometimes be quite severe. We have found that pharmacotherapies are very helpful for treating heroin withdrawal symptoms.

Heroin withdrawal treatment a.k.a. heroin detoxification, is typically the initial treatment strategy. Detoxification is designed to treat heroin withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings using appropriate medications. Typical treatment centers implement Behavior Therapy and/or Cognitive Therapy following the detox program, but our center may implement all three simultaneously on a case by case basis. If the client is healthy enough we begin therapy that day.


Behavior Therapy

The many effective behavioral treatments available for heroin addiction can be delivered in outpatient and residential settings. Behavior Therapy has been shown to effectively treat heroin addiction, especially when applied in concert with Cognitive Therapy and pharmacotherapies.


Cognitive Therapy

“Cognitive” literally means to think. The thinking aspect of Cognitive Therapy addresses how thinking influences feelings. The cognitive approach emphasizes directly changing how we think in order to improve how we feel. The concept being that by modifying one’s thinking, a person can improve the way they feel and change behavior.