A Guide to Heroin Rehab programmes
and Treatment Options in Thailand
Heroin abuse and dependence
mental health and heroin abuse
Signs of heroin abuse
- Burnt bottle caps or silver spoons for cooking drugs
- Burnt aluminum foils, rolling papers or gum wrappers for smoking
- Rubber tubing or shoelaces for tying off an arm
- Needles or syringes for injection
- Cotton balls for straining impurities
- A straw or rolled bill with traces of white powder for snorting
When should you seek help from a heroin rehab clinic?
- You are willing to go to great lengths in order to obtain the drug, including lying about your whereabouts, or stealing objects or money
- You are unable to stop using heroin no matter how hard you try
- Your behaviour is changing in ways that include withdrawal from loved ones, lack of interest in hobbies, and/or poor personal hygiene
- You are failing to manage several areas of your life, including work, home, school, or finance because of your heroin use
- You are building up a tolerance for heroin, requiring greater doses in order to experience the same effects
- You are spending a lot of time obsessing about, obtaining, and recovering from the effects of heroin
- You are increasing the frequency and quantity of heroin use than initially intended
- You are having intense cravings for heroin and needing to use to get through the day
- You are experiencing withdrawal symptoms, such as insomnia, shakiness, restlessness etc.
- You continue to use heroin despite negative impacts on your personal relationships
- Your heroin addiction is having a negative impact on your physical and/or psychological well-being
What is heroin rehab?
How long is inpatient heroin rehab?
How successful is rehab for heroin?
How much does heroin rehab cost?
- Detox: $4,000 – $7,000 for 7 days
- Intensive outpatient programmes: $3,000 – $7,000 for 7 days
- Standard inpatient rehab: $8,000 – $30,000 for 30 days
- Luxury inpatient rehab: $40,000 – $100,000 for 30 days
- Inpatient heroin rehab in Thailand: $8,000 – $16,000 for 30 days
Types of rehab for heroin addicts
Rehab options for heroin generally fall into outpatient or inpatient programmes, depending on the particular circumstances faced by each heroin user. The intensity and scale of treatment may also vary depending on need; however, all else being equal, lengthier and more intensive treatment schedules are better at producing long-lasting sobriety. Both inpatient and outpatient care can lead to positive outcomes, as long as high-quality treatment is provided on a consistent and comprehensive basis.
Outpatient heroin rehab
Outpatient treatment may be appropriate for heroin users with a strong social support network, pre-existing social, familial, or work-related responsibilities, a relatively mild heroin addiction, and no dual diagnosis. By requiring a smaller time commitment, outpatient counselling offers greater convenience to those undergoing treatment – although it puts the onus on the client to manage their self-discipline outside counselling hours.
Precise scheduling depends on the availability of both the person and the specific centre, but many outpatient clients choose to take this form of treatment after office hours. Prices are generally much cheaper than inpatient treatment, since there are no additional services (such as room, board, holistic activities, and 24-hour supervision) provided at typical outpatient rehab centres.
Inpatient heroin rehab
Individual therapy sessions, as well as group activities, are normally included, with the client residing at the self-contained and purpose-built facility. Typical inpatient programmes last from 30 days at the very least, up to three months or longer depending on the rate of progress through the recovery effort. The cost of inpatient treatment is substantially more than that of outpatient care, although inpatient treatment leads to a greater likelihood of avoiding relapse.
What to expect in a heroin rehab centre
Most heroin rehabs require you to be drug-free before entering treatment – so if you’re a heavy user, you may have to first complete detox in a controlled environment. Not all rehabs offer this service, so you need to check with your rehab of choice.
Heroin withdrawal symptoms tend to be severe, which is why constant supervision and access to medical assistance are essential. Withdrawal can start between 6-24 hours after your last heroin dose, and get even worse on days 2-4. Symptoms may include cravings, diarrhoea, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and anxiety.
Heroin rehab programmes will allow you to switch to a heroin substitute, known as replacement therapy, to assist your body and mind through this difficult stage of the process. You will then gradually be eased off the substitute drug, and in most cases be entirely drug-free within 30 days. The aim is to eradicate all drugs from your body while managing your withdrawal symptoms. If you are also addicted to alcohol or other drugs, such as benzodiazepines, you’ll be offered support with stopping these as well.
The most common prescription drugs used in replacement therapy for heroin addiction are methadone, naltrexone and suboxone. According to NIDA, the use of opioid prescription drugs during heroin withdrawal treatment increases your chance of staying clean and completing a rehab programme. Medications like methadone and suboxone are effective in treating heroin addiction because they trigger the same opioid receptors in your brain as heroin, but they are safer for your body and less likely to cause you to behave in harmful ways.
When you have stopped experiencing withdrawal symptoms, you will be ready to begin the next phase of your heroin addiction rehab. This part of the recovery process involves a combination of evidence-based approaches to overcoming addiction.
Psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy help you understand the root causes of your heroin addiction – as well as what your triggers are, and how to deal with them effectively. Treatment can be provided through group therapy, one-on-one counselling sessions, or family counselling. In each session, you will learn to regain your self-control, and practise keeping your mind focussed on positive goals. These and other valuable lessons will make up the core elements of your heroin addiction rehab programme.
Some heroin rehab centres offer dual diagnosis treatment, which is designed to address the challenges of addiction while also treating any associated mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, or bipolar disorder. This dual-pronged approach can dramatically increase your chances for lasting recovery, if you suffer from this type of co-occurring disorder. It is important to note, however, that not all heroin addiction rehabs specialise in treating mental health in conjunction with standard care.
Many inpatient treatment centres provide an assortment of alternative therapies to support and supplement the core psychological programme. In most cases, these additional activities represent a kind of holistic care aimed at helping you develop a healthier approach to your daily routine, while also making your time at the centre memorable. Some of the more common alternative forms of therapy include recreational outings, mental and physical wellness activities, as well as sports and group games to guide you toward your personal health goals.
These individual and group activities can help you rebuild your physical conditioning, and get your body accustomed to a healthy day-to-day routine. This focus on keeping your mind, body, and spirit in balance is more common at luxury rehab centres, adding a welcome dimension of fun and variety to the rehab experience.
Staying clean after heroin addiction rehab
Many cities have support groups for heroin users, and these are usually a good starting point when seeking post-rehab care. In these sessions, current and past heroin users can get together and discuss their journey. These peer groups can provide much-needed love, understanding, and encouragement. Members share their experiences regarding their own recovery, while providing input for other members of the group as they face their own challenges. Since these sessions are based on group support and camaraderie, a team effort is emphasised and encouraged.
As effective as support groups can be for many people, other resources are also available. Outpatient counselling is another way to stay clean after rehab, allowing you to discuss with a professional any difficulties you may be experiencing as you try to stay clean. As these outpatient counselling sessions are mainly one-to-one and confidential, many recovering addicts find them to be a more comfortable setting to talk in a straightforward manner about any issues they might have.
Another way to stay clean after receiving treatment in a heroin rehab centre is to join a sober living programme. This arrangement can be considered a type of less-intensive inpatient treatment facility, as it represents only a partial transition back to life in the outside world. Residents in a sober living facility can use the experience to solidify the skills they had learned from rehab, within a lightly controlled and monitored setting.
Sober living houses are an excellent option if you feel that you lack full self-control, and need a little more time to navigate the path towards complete sobriety. Sober living environments have specific rules such as curfews, as well as required group meetings, while also allowing you to come and go as you like. The effect of this transition home is to give you the feeling that you are stepping back into your daily life and society – rather like putting training wheels on a bicycle.
Private heroin addiction rehab in Thailand
- Luxury private accommodation in a beautiful setting, with access to spa treatments and fitness facilities
- Medical and psychological experts, many of whom are native English speakers
- Complete removal from your former life and the temptations that it holds
- A relaxing holiday setting with access to resort-style accommodation – perfect for recovery
- A wide range of holistic therapies such as mindfulness meditation, yoga and massage
- Secular 12-step treatment that has been adapted to suit international clients from around the world
- Opportunities to go on adventure trips and cultural excursions you’d never experience at home
- Quality treatment that meets international standards
- NIDA. “Heroin.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 8 Jun. 2018, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin. Accessed 3 Feb. 2020.
- NIDA. “Heroin.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 21 Nov. 2019, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/heroin. Accessed 3 Feb. 2020.
- “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5).” American Psychiatric Association, www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/dsm.
- NIDA. “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition).” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 17 Jan. 2018, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition. Accessed 3 Feb. 2020.