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Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms Reduced with Medication Assisted Treatment

Reducing Heroin Withdrawal SymptomsGateway recognizes the benefits of medication assisted treatment to reduce or eliminate heroin withdrawal symptoms and reduce the risk of relapse.

Research shows that medication assisted treatment helps people remain drug and alcohol free. And Gateway treatment centers administer medications like Suboxone® and Vivitrol® on-site to alleviate discomfort and allow individuals to engage in a personalized drug treatment program.

Medication Assisted Treatment: A Former Addicts Story

"Once I started using heroin, there was no stopping it. Within six months, my heroin dosage multiplied by three times," explains Mike, a former heroin addict now in recovery.

According to the Centers of Disease Control, 100 people die from drug overdoses every day in the United States. Lucky for Mike, he grew tired of living the way he was before becoming a statistic.

"Heroin users describe physical withdrawal from opiates like the worse flu one can ever imagine, multiplied by 10. They don't sleep for days. Major anxiety in addition to horribly aching bones and muscles also are common."

Sally Thoren
Executive Director
Gateway Chicago West

Today, Mike sees things much differently. He turned to the Gateway treatment center in Caseyville, IL, to help him put the use of heroin and other drugs behind him. At the age of 20, Mike is now in recovery.

Mike chose Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers to help him with his drug addiction because of its integrated treatment approach, which includes medication assisted therapy. To manage the intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms that occur when heroin use stops, Mike was prescribed a medication called Suboxone® along with the substance abuse counseling, therapy and education.

"Using Suboxone® was a tremendous help. My mind wasn't focused on getting heroin, and it helped me through the symptoms of physical withdrawal. Getting the medicine, therapy and counseling all from Gateway was both reassuring and convenient," says Mike.

Relapse Prevention

When medication assisted treatment is part of an integrated drug treatment program, the likelihood of a person staying in treatment and remaining drug free is increased. Treatment for dependency on opiates, alcohol or other substances can include the use of a few medications, including Vivitrol® and Suboxone®. Gateway physicians and clinicians work closely with individuals to help determine the most appropriate drug treatment plan for them.

In addition to prescribed medications, counseling helps individuals increase one's motivation for recovery and enhance overall quality of life. It also helps people develop the skills needed to recognize events that may trigger their use of drugs or alcohol and how to cope with those situations in a healthy way.

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