Does Suboxone Rehab Treat Heroin Addiction?

Heroin addiction rates have reached epidemic proportions, affecting people from all walks of life. As one of the most powerful opiate drugs on the market, heroin’s effects take hold quickly with regular drug use, leaving users unable to function in daily life without the drug’s effects.

Suboxone, one of a handful of drugs used in the treatment of heroin addiction, offers recovering addicts much reprieve in terms of alleviating drug cravings and uncomfortable withdrawal aftereffects. Suboxone rehab treatment entails combining medication and behavioral therapy interventions as a means for addressing the physical and psychological aftereffects of heroin addiction throughout your time in recovery.

Heroin Effects on the Body

heroin effects

Heroin can permanently alter your brain chemistry.

Heroin, an opium derivative, has a chemical make-up similar to certain neurotransmitter chemicals in the brain. These chemicals play a central role in regulating the body’s pain and pleasure signal transmissions and also help regulate most every major system in the body.

When ingested, the brain easily integrates heroin within its own chemical system. In the process, heroin stimulates neurotransmitter production from certain groups of brain cells.

In effect, heroin overstimulates these cells to the point where structural deterioration develops. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, this deterioration makes them less responsive to the drug’s effects, at which point users must increase their dosage amounts in order to experience a “high.”

These mechanisms not only drive the abuse-addiction cycle, but also leave a lasting imprint on the brain’s chemical pathways that can persist long after a person stops using the drug.

Suboxone’s Therapeutic Effects

Restore Brain Chemical Balance

Suboxone, a brand name form of buprenorphine, belongs to the opiate class of drugs, the same drug class as heroin. Suboxone interacts with the same brain cells and chemical processes as heroin. Unlike heroin, Suboxone is specifically formulated to support damaged brain cell functions and restore a natural chemical balance in the brain. Suboxone also contains naltrexone, which prevents a person from getting high off Suboxone through snorting or injecting the drug.

Behavioral Treatment

Suboxone rehab programs not only administer Suboxone, but also provide behavioral treatment interventions throughout the course of drug treatment. According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Suboxone’s effects work to relieve the physical aftereffects of heroin addiction, whereas behavioral treatments help you work through the psychological effects of heroin addiction.

Over time, heroin effects “rewire” a person’s thinking and emotions to the point where he or she becomes obsessed with getting and using the drug regardless of the consequences. Suboxone rehab uses behavioral treatment interventions to help a person undo the addiction mindset and develop a drug-free lifestyle.

Interventions most commonly used include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Drug counseling
  • Support groups
  • Drug education

What you need to know about Suboxone Treatment

Treatment Considerations

For people recovering from chronic heroin addiction, the physical aftereffects of the drug on the brain can make it near impossible to maintain abstinence for any length of time. Ultimately, the physical support Suboxone provides helps you to feel “normal” again as brain chemical levels return to normal. These effects also enable you to become more engaged in the recovery process.

If you or someone you know struggles with heroin addiction and have had little to no success with traditional drug treatment programs, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 877-631-0460 for more information on Suboxone rehab. Our phone counselors can also connect you with Suboxone rehab programs in your area.