Heroin is an extremely powerful and highly addictive drug that has the potential to inflict grievous harm on individuals who abuse it. A member of the opioid family, heroin initially creates an intense rush of euphoria when abused, along with a decrease in blood pressure and respiration. Addiction, or heroin use disorder, can occur quickly and is accompanied by a need for increasingly larger or more potent doses, which raises the risk of overdose. When a person with heroin use disorder attempts to stop abusing the drug, he or she will likely experience a series of distressing physical and psychological symptoms within a few hours. These withdrawal symptoms can make it virtually impossible for a person to end his or her dependence upon heroin without effective treatment from a reputable addiction rehab center.
With professional help though, individuals who have developed heroin use disorder can regain control over their lives. At White Deer Run, we have developed effective programming that can empower the men and women of Pennsylvania to rid their bodies of heroin and to develop the skills and strategies that will allow them to successfully pursue lifelong sobriety.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
Discovering that someone you care about has developed an addiction to heroin can be a profoundly distressing experience. But the pain that you are feeling should not preclude you from believing that you can play a positive role in your loved one’s life. The following are a series of steps that you can take to help your loved one get his or her life back on track:
- Educate yourself about heroin and the disease of addiction. As you understand how heroin impacts a person’s brain, and as you gain insights into the nature of addiction, you will become better prepared to provide meaningful support to your loved one.
- Talk to experts. Your family doctor, local mental health providers, addiction counselors, and interventionists can all help you to understand the various issues that are associated with helping your loved one overcome his or her dependence upon heroin.
- Research rehab centers. Learn about the types of professional assistance that have helped others whose problems were similar to what your loved one is experiencing.
- Identify addiction treatment centers that provide the type and level of care that your loved one needs.
- Contact these programs for additional information about their rehab services and to get answers to your specific questions about their ability to help your loved one’s life
- Support your loved one whenever and wherever you can. Share information. Accompany him or her to appointments or center visits. Help make whatever arrangements are necessary to get him or her into treatment.
- Be part of your loved one’s ongoing support network. Treatment will be just one step in the long journey of recovery. Plan to continue playing an active supportive role in your loved one’s life as he or she works to achieve long-term abstinence from heroin and other drugs.
Do not ever lose sight of the fact that your loved one is dealing with a debilitating progressive disease. Addiction is not a lack of willpower or a sign of poor character. As your loved one progresses in recovery, he or she will experience setbacks, frustrations, and possibly even relapses. Your active and informed presence can make a lasting positive difference.
Why Consider Treatment at White Deer Run, in Pennsylvania
For people who have become addicted to heroin, life is a dangerous and painful experience. It is not an overstatement to note that continuing to abuse heroin means putting one’s life at risk on a daily basis. For example, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that the average life expectancy of a person who engages in long-term heroin abuse is between 15 and 20 years after he or she begins using. Of course, death is not the only negative outcome of heroin addiction. Long-term heroin addiction can cause irreversible cognitive deficiencies by alter the physical structure of the brain. Physically, the protracted abuse of heroin has been associated with a weakening of the immune system, muscle weakness, sexual dysfunction, disrupted menses, and a range of additional problems. With their bodies and minds weakened by the drug, individuals who fail to get proper treatment for heroin use disorder from a reputable addiction rehab center are also likely to have problems in school and at work, with a significantly increased risk of failure, job loss, and unemployment. Additional negative outcomes of a heroin addiction include financial devastation, arrest and incarceration, social isolation, and homelessness.
Types of Treatment Offered at the White Deer Run Treatment Network
The White Deer Run Treatment Network is a renowned and respected network of residential and outpatient centers for adults who are struggling with chemical dependency and certain co-occurring mental health conditions. With 16 locations throughout the state of Pennsylvania, the White Deer Run Treatment Network is uniquely prepared to offer a full continuum of care to help individuals in Pennsylvania achieve and maintain long-term recovery.
Programs within the White Deer Run Treatment Network include detox, residential rehabilitation, outpatient programs (OP), intensive outpatient programs (IOP), partial hospitalization programs (PHP), and halfway houses.
The goal of rehab at any White Deer Run program is not merely to alleviate symptoms, but to provide actionable solutions that empower individuals to identify, address, and ultimately overcome the obstacles that have been preventing them from living healthier, drug-free lives. When an adult enters rehab at a White Deer Run program, he or she can expect to receive clinically superior care that has been customized to meet his or her specific needs and that is provided by teams of experienced professionals in an atmosphere of dignity and respect.
Rehab at White Deer Run is a comprehensive experience in which participants are encouraged and empowered to play active roles in their own recovery. Depending upon an individual’s unique history, needs, strengths, and goals, the following are among the elements that may be incorporated into his or her treatment plan at programs within the White Deer Run Treatment Network:
Detoxification: When a person has become dependent upon heroin, attempting to stop or significantly reduce his or her heroin use without assistance from a licensed addiction rehab center can trigger the onset of distressing and potentially dangerous symptoms. At several locations within the White Deer Run Treatment Network in Pennsylvania, individuals who have been incapable of ridding their bodies of heroin can complete medically monitored detox prior to starting a residential rehabilitation program. Detox at a White Deer Run center is a safe experience that features around-the-clock supervision by qualified medical personnel who can alleviate many of the painful symptoms of withdrawal. When the individual completes detox, which can last anywhere from three to seven days, he or she can seamlessly transition directly into residential rehab.
Individual therapy: Individuals who enroll in residential rehab, outpatient treatment, or a halfway house within the White Deer Run Treatment Network to be treated for heroin abuse and addiction have the opportunity to participate in individual therapy sessions with a therapist or counselor. Depending upon the program, individual therapy sessions may be held according to a regular schedule or arranged on an as-needed basis. While the frequency and duration of individual therapy sessions may vary from program to program, the purpose and function will remain the same. In individual therapy sessions, an individual can work one-on-one with a qualified professional to process successes, setbacks, and other treatment experiences, while also having the opportunity to address issues that he or she may be hesitant or unable to discuss during group or family therapy.
Group therapy: Group therapy is a fundamental aspect of treatment at all the rehab centers within the White Deer Run Treatment Network. Group therapy sessions, which typically involve a small number of individuals in treatment along with one or two experienced professionals, offer a range of immediate and long-term benefits to participants who are recovering from heroin use disorder. During group therapy, individuals in treatment can learn from the insights and experiences of others who are working through similar problems and challenges. Group therapy also provides a forum for individuals in rehab to become more effective listeners, practice healthy interpersonal communication skills, and share their own knowledge and opinions. While the type and general topic of a group therapy session will have been established before the group begins, the specific content and direction of the group will be influenced by the contributions of participants, thus providing another means for individuals in treatment to play active roles in the course of their care.
Family therapy: Parents, spouses, siblings, and other family members can be significantly impacted by an individual’s heroin abuse, addiction, and co-occurring mental health disorders. They can also play an essential role in their loved one’s treatment and ongoing recovery. However, the transition from caring about a loved one who is struggling with an addiction to supporting a family member in his or her efforts to maintain long-term recovery may require significant changes both in general family dynamics and in the specific behaviors of the individual family members. In recognition of these realities, programs within the White Deer Run Treatment Network conduct family therapy sessions on both scheduled and as-needed bases. Among the many benefits of family therapy, these sessions provide a structured and supervised forum for addressing divisions among family members, strengthening the family unit, improving healthy communication, and helping family members learn how to provide valuable ongoing support to their loved one.
At each level of care within the White Deer Run Treatment Network in Pennsylvania, participants work closely with therapists, counselors, and other professionals to prepare detailed discharge plans. The result of this intensive ongoing planning process is that when an individual has completed his or her time in rehab, he or she will have a thorough plan that identifies the professional referrals, community services, and other resources that will support his or her efforts to maintain and build upon the progress that was made in rehab.
Regardless of whether the next phase of an individual’s recovery will take place at home or in a follow-up or step-down treatment environment, the goal of the White Deer Run Treatment Network is to ensure that he or she is prepared to experience continued success along the path of long-term recovery.