06 Oct Heroin Study Shows Importance of Multi-Faceted Treatment
Different drugs each have their own set of side effects and potentially lethal ramifications. Heroin is no different. The drug, also known as diamorphine, is an opioid analgesic drug that was originally synthetically created in 1874.
Since then, heroin began to be illegally created and sold on streets all over the globe. The heroin compound is inactive until it enters a person’s bloodstream, where it’s converted to morphine. This is the substance that leads to a transcendent state of relaxation, euphoric feelings, and ultimately very dangerous ramifications.
Heroin Addiction Requires Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment
Heroin is allegedly one of the easiest drugs to become addicted to because tolerance to both the heroin and morphine components happens quickly and simultaneously. This is why proper treatment of a heroin addiction is imperative and should be extensive and multi-faceted. Ultimately, the best care consists of both an inpatient and an outpatient component, according to a recent study performed by a team of researchers at Boston Medical Center and published in the August 2014 issue of the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
The Boston researchers formed two groups of 139 patients. Both groups utilized buprenorphine, which is an opioid substitute that is meant to replace the need for heroin and eventually be weaned off of by the user.
The first groups began buprenorphine treatment at the hospital but were personally referred to an outpatient treatment for their heroin addictions. The second group received a graduated dose of buprenorphine while in a hospital to help them manage their withdrawal but was only given referral information on local organizations and support groups and was not forced to enroll in any.
Study Results Show Significance of Proper Heroin Addiction Treatment
The results of the study conducted by the researchers at Boston Medical Center are noteworthy. Thirty-seven percent of patients from the first group had no follow-up reports of illegal drug use in the month that followed them being discharged from the hospital. The second group was not so lucky. Only 9 percent of this group had no follow-up reports of illegal drug use in the month following their hospital release.
Furthermore, the first group reported less drug use in the six month time frame after leaving the hospital than the second group, proving that the combination of outpatient and inpatient care may just be the key to treatment success when it comes to warding off a possible relapse.
Many often disregard the importance of outpatient treatment, especially when it comes to people struggling with heroin addiction. However, referral to substance abuse groups and treatment centers is crucial because outpatient follow-up care is crucial. If the aftermath of a person’s hospital stay for heroin addiction is discussed and planned in detail, he or she has the chance for a much higher level of success and will be less likely to experience relapse.
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