Counseling for Heroin Addiction
Heroin addiction causes considerable damage on both a physical and psychological level. Anyone who’s made it through the detox stage of recovery has accomplished a great deal in terms of breaking heroin’s hold over the body. That being so, breaking the body’s physical dependence on heroin is only a beginning step in heroin addiction recovery.
Addiction, in any form, develops inside the mind of the individual, warping his or her thoughts, emotions and behaviors. In the case of heroin addiction, these effects become even more so pronounced simply because of how aggressively heroin overpowers the brain’s functions.
Counseling for heroin addiction provides treatment for the psychological aftereffects of drug abuse, which is actually where the addiction cycle lives and thrives. For these reasons, the need for counseling in heroin addiction treatment cannot be overlooked.
Heroin Addiction and the Brain Reward System
According to University of Arizona, heroin addiction breeds chemical imbalances in the brain that grow increasingly worse with repeated drug use. Eventually, these imbalances start to interfere with the brain’s reward system. When functioning normally, the brain reward system assigns a high priority to positive experiences on day-to-day basis.
In effect, positive experiences stimulate dopamine production in the brain, a neurotransmitter that regulates pain and pleasure sensations. Dopamine also regulates brain reward system functioning.
Heroin also stimulates dopamine production rates and over time, trains the reward system to assign a high priority to anything having to do with getting and using the drug. These developments lie at the heart of the heroin addiction cycle. Counseling treatment specifically focuses on retraining the brain reward system to assign a high priority to positive, drug-free activities and behaviors.
Not sure if your insurance will help cover your treatment costs? Call our helpline at 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) for more information.
Heroin Addiction Counseling Approaches
Counseling for heroin addiction can take place within any type of treatment setting. In effect, counseling is such an essential part of heroin addiction recovery that most all rehab programs incorporate some form of counseling within their treatment process.
Counseling approaches used in heroin addiction treatment include:
- Individual psychotherapy
- Drug education training
- Group therapy
- 12 Step support groups
Once heroin becomes a top priority in a person’s daily life, his or her thinking, emotions and behaviors all work to support compulsive drug use. In effect, the mind has reached a point where heroin has become its primary means for coping with everyday life pressures.
According to U. S. National Library of Medicine, counseling for heroin addiction helps a person identify addiction-based thinking and behavior and the consequences that result. Oftentimes, this entails working through the underlying emotional issues that drove a person to seek escape through heroin’s effects. Counseling also helps those in recovery develop healthy ways of communicating with others, dealing with conflict and expressing feelings. Over time, the effects of counseling help a person develop the types of thinking, habits and behaviors that promote long-term abstinence from drug use.
While overcoming the physical effects of heroin addiction can be difficult, working through the mental and emotional undercurrents that drive addiction-based behaviors can be equally unsettling.
In essence, the heroin addiction treatment process doesn’t begin until a person enters counseling treatment. Counseling treatment walks a person through the process of change needed to break heroin’s hold over his or her life.
If you or someone you know are considering counseling for heroin addiction and need help finding treatment that meets your needs, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) to speak with one of our addictions specialists.