Heroin Addiction & Recovery - What Works?

Old 03-07-2012, 06:16 PM
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Heroin Addiction & Recovery - What Works?

Hello all,

In a prior post, I mentioned that my AS is addicted to heroin. I don't believe the addiction has been long standing. I believe he started using occasionally last summer and it escalated from there. He entered in-patient rehab (detox) a few weeks ago and was discharged after 12 days - our health insurance would cover no more. He was supposed to start an after-care program that included an IOP and NA meetings, but relapsed the day after his release and hasn't done a single thing in the week and a half since his release for his recovery. He will be 20 years old in April.

My question is this - is there an "optimal" treatment approach to beat heroin addiction? I'm told that you really want 60-90 days in-patient rehab (which we can't do because insurance won't cover), but that even there, chance of recovery is only about 50%. Here's what I'm thinking: It doesn't really matter which treatment approach you use - 60-90 days inpatient, or 12 day detox plus IOP. What matters is whether the addict really, intensely WANTS to quit. Without that commitment, that desperate desire to conquer this thing, no treatment program will work; but with it, any treatment program would work.

Am I right about that? Or am I just trying to make myself feel OK about the fact that I can't afford a 60-90 day inpatient rehab program?
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:36 PM
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Yes, you're right and it applies to any addiction. Until a person is done, they won't stay done. Even then, someone has to recommit every day for the rest of their lives.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:40 PM
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What matters is whether the addict really, intensely WANTS to quit. Without that commitment, that desperate desire to conquer this thing, no treatment program will work; but with it, any treatment program would work.
When he's ready he'll seek help. In the meantime it's important that you take care of you and don't do for him what he should be doing for himself. That's called enabling and that can prolong someone's ability to keep using.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:52 PM
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Nothing works unless he works it as if his life depends on it.

One of the lousier decisions I made on my journey was allowing my daughter to come home after 3 back to back stints in rehab. She relapsed within hours and truth be told, she was likely to do so, regardless of where she landed. And Wham-Bam, I was back in the middle of the lying, manipulation, decpetion and stealing, once again.

I gave her a roof over her head, a bed, food and access to my stuff which she stole. That was my role in her relapse. She had no reason to consider alternatives, given I took care of her basic needs.

If I had a do over, based on what I know now, I would likely have given her better choices, homelessness or Oxford House. If she chose to relapse, she was not going to do so while living in my home.

I was a living example of " if nothing changes, nothing changes".
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:51 AM
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My 21 yr old son has been on heroin for at least 9 months that I know of...could be longer. He was addicted to pain pills before that for probably 1.5 years. (They are really one in the same addiction--opiates.) I can't tell you what the most effective route is because we certainly have not found one. His addiction is as strong as ever no matter what WE do.

He's been homeless since January 31 and that seems to be getting his attention but really it's only made his whining a little louder and his promises of "really cleaning up this time" sound a bit more believable. But after having been snake-bit about 100 times, my boundaries are getting much stronger.

If he "hasn't done a single thing" to invest in his recovery, then I would advise you (based on MY experience) to start cutting your losses as much as possible, tell him he has one week to make other living arrangements, and learn how to cope with the tough days ahead with therapy, Al-Anon and the SoberRecovery F&F forum.

Just my hard earned $0.02.

((((Hugs)))) I know it hurts like hell and you're more frightened than ever. I'm sorry
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:30 PM
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Don't feel guilty about not being able to provide the rehab.

When my son said he was ready, we set him up in an IOP and paid for that. He learned all about the recovery process and was introduced to NA/AA principles.

Since then, each time he has relapsed and decided to get back on the wagon, he knew exactly where to go and who to call.

Some of his longest relapses were directly related to how long it took for me to ask him to move out. Weird huh?
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