What Are The Addiction Recovery Rates For Heroin?

What Are The Addiction Recovery Rates For Heroin?

Heroin is a highly addictive opioid. The term opioid refers to a class of drugs that is chemically similar to the opium that comes from poppies. Throughout history, these drugs have been used to relieve pain, but they have also been widely misused. The misuse of heroin and other opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone can have serious health consequences. In 2011, there were more than 17,000 instances where people died due to overdosing on opioids.

Heroin can come in the form of a white powder or black, sticky goo that is called black tar heroin. Its effects include euphoria and drowsiness. Heroin is often abused by injecting, snorting or smoking it. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), over 4.8 million people report that they have used heroin at some point in their lives and over 681,000 people used the drug in 2014. While the use of heroin is still small in comparison to the use of other drugs, it has risen significantly in the past 11 years.

About Heroin Addiction

The reality is that heroin addiction, as well as addiction to other drugs is treatable and people have been able to stop using drugs and resume healthy, productive lives. While addiction may not be curable in the sense that other chronic diseases are curable, treatment may be used to counteract the effect on a substance abuser’s brain and behavior.

About Relapses

A relapse does not necessarily indicate failure of the treatment. The reality is that addiction to any substance is a chronic disease, which makes relapses likely. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that between 40 and 60 percent of recovering drug addicts will eventually relapse. With heroin, those rates are even higher. Some experts place the rate of relapse for heroin addicts as high as 80 percent, which means that the recovery rate may be as low as 20 percent. The rates of relapse are similar to those seen in other chronic illnesses including diabetes and asthma. Relapses for recovering substance abusers mean that the therapy must be tried again, or adjusted. Relapses may also mean that another form of therapy must be tried.

About Heroin Recovery

A report from the National Institutes of Health states that at present, only approximately 20 percent of the nation’s heroin addicts have sought or received treatment for their addiction. Because heroin addiction is multidimensional and affects numerous aspects of the addict’s life, the treatment is not a simple process. The focus of addiction treatment is to get the individual to stop using and then to maintain a drug-free lifestyle.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

This form of therapy involves structured meetings with a mental health counselor. The focus is on helping the individual to become aware of negative thinking and to start viewing challenging situations in such a way that they are able to respond more effectively.

Why Seek Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Heroin Addiction?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can provide an addict with insights on why they started using heroin in the first place. The addict will look beyond their physical dependence and at the core problem behind their addiction. It is possible for an individual to go through withdrawal and have no physical compulsion to take heroin and yet, still relapse. This is because they have not dealt with their underlying need for the drug. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help to provide them with strategies to ensure that they remain sober. These strategies can help to reduce the potential for relapse.

11 thoughts on “What Are The Addiction Recovery Rates For Heroin?

    • daniel says:

      I was told how dangerous it was my whole life…didn’t stop me. it IS awful. people who have never experienced the grip of this hell should keep their mouths shut and their prayers on repeat.

  1. carcol says:

    It’s sad to hear that the relapse rate for heroin is 80% but then the other side of this is that only 20% of people addicted to heroin even get treatment. Both of these statistics need to be better. If we could reverse them then we would be getting somewhere. But as it says in the article, relapse does not mean the treatment didn’t work or that the person can’t be helped. They just need to pick themselves back up and get back onto the program and do it again. If they keep at it, they will have success.

  2. Diane says:

    Wow, these statistics are terrible. Only 20% recovery rate and of all the heroin users only 20% have asked for help. This is not a good sign that we are helping enough people get the help they need to get off of this dangerous drug. Seeing that the technology exists to help them, we really need to implement better programs to get these people recognized and into treatment centers so they can get help. And if they do relapse, get then into the program again. Keep track of these people and make sure they continue to do well and get them back in if there is any indication that they are close to relapse. This would be so much better than just picking them up and putting them in jail time and time again.

  3. Anthony says:

    Its more than obvious that the replys posted here are All written by people with zero first hand experiance with heroin addiction. Of course im glad that these people have never been down the dark road that is a serious heroin problem-how ever the comments posted here are of no help to those of us who do attempt to deal with our tragic addiction day by day and minute by minute. May you never know first hand what it really is to fight a heroin addiction. For knowing first hand is to suffer first hand. Fighting ones heroin addiction is a kin to a civil war inside ones own mind, body and soul. As each second of every day ticks by a battle is waged inside the mind. Fighting your owm brain, body and soul with the very same brain, body and soul. casulties are always highest in a “civil war”. For this simple reason is why 80% relapse amd only 20% seak help.

  4. Steve says:

    So coming from a 20 year addict who is only 35 years old I can tell you the actual rate is 90% will not make it. 1 of 10 actually get clean and maintain sobriety. I personally have been through 6 treatment centers and always relapsed the day I decide to ACA/AMA (against clinical/medical advise). I want everyone to know this disease is no damn joke. Ive been with my wife 20 years married 10 and have 2 children ages 8 and 9 today. No matter who asked me to go to treatment mother, wife, in laws, family members and or loved ones it never worked until the day I decided to stop being a slave to the drug! Today I can say I am clean/sober and living life on life’s terms. People please understand this is a epidemic now which does not discriminate from park bench to park place. The best way I can also explain the withdraw of Herion is you are dying but god will not allow you to die. True story a 20 year dove off the 3rd story head first into the asphalt because he thought there was no other way to get clean! This shit is no joke. One time and my addictive personality had me hooked. Go and google “miss herion”. Hope this helps one person decide to say no when asked to try this devil.

  5. Chas says:

    I’ve only read a few comments, but has anyone here actually been an addict? I’m sensing a whole lot of empathy and compassion, but truly, if you have never used/become an addict, you will never understand the torture that comes with withdrawal, relapse, and the psychological anguish associated. I used a gram of heroin every day, for two hellish years, and I wouldn’t wish the misery it includes on my worst enemy. Seriously, any of you who try to use timelines, charts, statistics, whatever…wrong, WRONG. The first week or two is EASY compared to the PAWS. It is a hell that will not leave your side for a month or two. It is relentless, and that is why most people cave in, commit suicide, or become a slave to methadone or suboxone. No one ever portrays it accurately, and that really annoys me. You may have all the education, credentials, degrees, medical facts, etc…you don’t know SHIT until you’ve experienced it. Unfortunately, most addicts will not know the life that waits for them after the PAWS subsides. It really does get normal again, and if u want it enough…like, more than you have EVER wanted ANYTHING in your life, you will beat those fucking awful chains of being a junkie. It will take at least 40-50 days of misery, not sleeping right, and weird bowel issues, but the reward is so mind-blowing, it is worth it. I’m 186 days clean, I’ve never felt more strong or focused in my life, including before I ever started using. DO NOT GIVE UP. DO NOT LISTEN to your stupid brain when you’re going through the withdrawal. It will try to rationalize using, making that call, calming that fuckin rattling feeling. All lies. And the more you stay strong, the easier it gets to BE STRONG. That is a high in itself. A much cheaper, self-rewarding feeling that you won’t have to worry about affording.

  6. Annie says:

    Every situation is different but our daughter (my step daughter (a.k.a. bonus child) from 3 to 26…knew she was loved. My personal belief for her addiction may be that her Mother put her on drugs from a very young age for “hyperactivity”. We saw a normal child full of energy that was drugged and stoned a’s early as 4 yrs old. We did not medicate her when she was with us. Her Mother said she was having “seizures” in school. We asked her to describe them. She said the teacher said she stared out into space. We call that daydreaming. She was drugged for it. Then the psychiatrist every other week. Her Mother drug her through 4 marriages mentally and there’s much more but if you put a child on dope at 4 for having energy…their blood is on your hands. She was in and out of jail many times the months before her death. She was beautiful inside and out at one time. She “died” long before her actual death. Saved by narcan at least once. Our daughter left her daughter behind. If not for God who gives us strength….we would be in ruin. Her Mother preceeded her in death.

  7. Bron says:

    The article is omitting the fact that statistics have also shown that every year, roughly 10% of all addicts quit on their own, without any treatment whatsoever. Roughly 50% of all Vietnam vets stated they used heroin and other drugs while overseas, 15% stated they had become addicted, but upon returning home, only 5% continued using. A full 95% quit, and most did so on their own. That seemingly dismal 80% relapse rate? Does that include those who quit on their own? Or only the 20% who received treatment?

  8. amanda scott says:

    I got lucky. I was the 20 percent. I will be celebrating 5 years clean this year from heroin. It’s not an easy drug to get off of. It takes very strong influences and a very strict structured life to get clean. And then staying clean after a while becomes easy. I pray for whoever is struggling. Know it can be done. I’m proof.

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