Heroin Addiction Treatment in Sacramento
Heroin use can leave people feeling stuck and hopeless.
However, safe and effective treatment is available. As with any drug use, treatment for heroin use starts with an assessment. Our heroin rehab in Sacramento is here to help you get your life back on track.
At this initial assessment, we work to understand the history of heroin use, duration, and treatments tried before (it is common that our patients have tried other things, including inpatient treatment centers). We then discuss if there are prescription medications that could help.
We know that using medication (medication assisted treatment, or MAT) dramatically increases the chances of successful treatment and is a key component of helping people quit heroin.
How We Can Help
Understanding Heroin Addiction
Heroin is a natural opioid– this means it is an opioid that is from the opium poppy, and processing is what transforms heroin from the poppy’s sap into heroin. Heroin is a potent opioid, and is highly addictive and dangerous.
Compared to other opioid drugs, a relatively small amount is needed to experience euphoria, and it is relatively easy to develop physical dependence. Heroin acts on the same opioid receptors as other opioids.
Because heroin is potent, it is easy to become physically dependent and require addiction treatment. Opioid dependence is when a person has withdrawal symptoms in the absence of the drug.
The physical symptoms of opioid withdrawal are similar across all opioids, and usually start within a few hours of when heroin stops.
These symptoms include body aches, severe cravings, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and insomnia, among others. Heroin is a common cause of opioid overdose deaths.
Medication-Assisted Treatment for Heroin Addiction in Sacramento
We provide medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. There are several medications prescribed for opioid addiction treatment: buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex), Vivitrol (naltrexone), and methadone.
The most commonly used medicine, Suboxone (buprenorphine), is a partial opioid agonist that both blocks the effects of other opiates, and decreases the feelings of withdrawal and craving.
Another medicine, Vivitrol (naltrexone), is an injection that blocks the effects of opiates and decreases cravings.
A third medicine, methadone, can only be prescribed from a methadone clinic (which is not us), so it is not something we offer. While methadone can be the right choice for some people, methadone usually leaves people still feeling a little bit numb to the world and a little bit high.
This is not our goal— and not how buprenorphine nor naltrexone works. All of these medications help reduce the risk of overdose, but a comprehensive discussion of risks and benefits, including relative risks of overdose, is part of the initial appointment.
We want to help our patients be fully present and engaged in life and to help develop the skills necessary for a lasting recovery.
We believe that substance abuse is a chronic disease— like diabetes or hypertension— that requires long-term treatment.
Addiction treatment is not a short-term process but requires ongoing care and support to be successful.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient: Which is Right for Me?
Inpatient treatment can be a great way for people addicted to heroin to get started in treatment. In an inpatient program, physicians are available to help monitor the symptoms of heroin detox (or another drug detox) and can prescribe medication to help with symptoms.
Doctors can also start a person with opiate use disorder on buprenorphine while in a controlled setting. For a person that has been to residential treatment, we can start seeing you after discharge to continue to help you make progress and to help manage the risk of relapse.
While inpatient treatment programs are a good fit for some people, not everyone wants or needs inpatient treatment.
We can help people transition directly off of heroin without staying at a residential treatment center.
At the initial appointment, we review treatment options and decide together how to manage sometimes painful withdrawal symptoms— usually by prescribing short-term medications in addition to buprenorphine.
Once heroin use has stopped, we transition to building a plan for stabilization and recovery. Recovery is not a short-term proposition: the goal is not just to get stop drug abuse but stay off.
As a patient moves into recovery away from an active opioid use disorder, we start working to build treatment services and plans that can fit your unique situation.
Many who battle heroin addiction also struggle with other mental health issues. However, understanding and accurately diagnosing mental illness in the context of addiction to a drug (or drugs) is nearly impossible.
When a person is actively using heroin (or having a lot of withdrawal symptoms), it is difficult to distinguish symptoms of mental illness from symptoms of drug use.
For example, heroin use leads to depression, but depression can also lead to a substance use disorder. As long as there is ongoing heroin use, it is almost impossible for a doctor to figure out if the symptoms are from the drug abuse or from an underlying mental health disorder.
As people begin to stabilize and move away from active use, mental illnesses become easier to diagnose, and mental health treatment is more likely to be successful.
We start working more on behavioral therapies and developing strategies for long-term sobriety. Sometimes, this means emotional support, and other times, much more specific strategies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, are needed.
These patients, who have both a mental health diagnosis and a substance abuse problem, are often said to require dual diagnosis treatment.
For any therapy or counseling to be effective, it needs to be tailored to the individual. Because our healthcare providers are experts in addiction medicine and addiction treatment, sometimes psychiatric diagnoses exceed our ability to effectively treat them; in these cases, we will involve other experts in the community to help get needed care.
Getting Started at Sequoia MD's Outpatient Heroin Treatment Center
Most people are anxious about seeking addiction treatment— this is true whether a person is struggling with opioid use disorders or with any other drugs.
Visiting a doctor and discussing options to treat addiction often feels impersonal and expensive, not to mention a huge hassle. People worry: Will I actually get the help I need? Will I be judged?
When you eventually get an appointment, many people feel apprehensive and uncertain about how safe it is to share their needs openly. Drug and alcohol rehab both have a stigma associated with them, but at the right addiction treatment center, your treatment provider will put you at ease.
We believe everyone deserves easy access to care that empowers them to live healthy, meaningful lives.
We understand how frustrating it is when you cannot get the care you need when you need it. At Sequoia MD, we provide direct care to our patients without the hassle of long wait times and insurance. Our patients are empowered with the care they need to live healthy, meaningful lives.
Here’s how to get started: First, sign up online. Second, we will reach out to you to schedule your appointment.
When you arrive for your appointment, enjoy being treated as a person, not a number. Experience what it feels like to have a professional working with you, guiding you on the road to recovery.
From medication assisted treatment that focuses on the physical, to treatment that focuses on your mental health, you’ll receive individualized treatment at our Sacramento, CA location.
Stop feeling frustrated and apprehensive, and start getting the personalized, empathetic care you need. We provide addiction treatment and care to those who struggle, because we want everyone to live healthy, meaningful lives.
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5025 J St #206,
Sacramento, CA 95819