Heroin Addiction Treatment & Rehabilitation

Caring for Patients from Alaska, California, Oregon, & Washington

The easy availability of heroin has made it a drug of choice for users, particularly among young abusers, ages 18-30. Many of those who formerly took opioids, like OxyContin, have switched to heroin because it’s cheaper, offers an equivalent high, and can be smoked or snorted.

Heroin is highly addictive, and users need it daily to fight the cravings and ward off withdrawal symptoms. The torment of heroin withdrawal leads many to begin injecting the drug, which significantly increases the risk of death due to accidental overdose.

How Counter Conditioning Works

Counter conditioning is the cornerstone of the Schick Shadel treatment program. Medical research shows that counter conditioning is an effective way to reduce the cravings for heroin. It retrains the brain to associate the sight, smell, and taste of the addictive substance with displeasure and apathy, eliminating cravings on a neurological level. Because cravings often lead to relapses, Schick Shadel’s highly effective treatment program—based on decades of research and refinement—specializes in the elimination of these relapse-inducing cravings.

The typical treatment program for heroin requires a detox period followed by ten days of inpatient medical treatment and two “recap” reinforcement treatments with an overnight at the hospital at no additional cost. The heroin treatment program is offered alone or in conjunction with treatment for opioid dependency.

Safe & Comfortable Heroin Detox

The detox program at Schick Shadel Hospital provides patients with a safe, comfortable transition through the addiction withdrawal period, made easier through the use of buprenorphine. Physicians certified in addiction medicine direct the detox team, and experienced, registered nurses provide compassionate and supportive care for patients. Patient care is enhanced by 24-hour access to personnel and constant monitoring of any medical issues that might arise.

Once safely detoxed, patients continue on for the 10-day stay, where they receive counter conditioning treatments under medical supervision, and relaxing sleep therapy on alternating days. Patients participate in both individual and group counseling, and they join other patients for four intensive, interactive educational meetings in the auditorium each day.

Addiction is caused by physiological and psychological factors in 20% of patients. Often addiction treatment only focuses on psychiatric factors, but both causes need to be addressed for recovery to be successful. Many have died of their addictions spending too much time trying to find out why they use heroin.

At Schick Shadel Hospital, we address both the physical and psychological components of addiction, getting at the root emotional causes for use in the minimal sedation interviews (sleep therapy) so that counseling sessions post-discharge can be used to work on underlying issues. The good news is that Schick Shadel tackles the cravings through the medical treatments so that patients can focus on psychological and emotional well-being, both in treatment and in counseling sessions post-discharge.

While counter conditioning does not make it impossible to use alcohol or drugs, it makes it possible not to use. Schick Shadel’s counter conditioning program breaks the stronghold of a craving and restores free will.

*#1 success rate for treating alcoholism based on results of a verified survey of former patients (success being measured as total abstinence for one year and assessed by self-evaluation), as against published success rates from verified, comparable studies of other medical institutions.