Heroin addiction is a devastating experience that can inflict considerable damage on a person’s physical, mental, emotional, and social wellbeing. Addiction to heroin can happen with stunning swiftness. Dependence can begin to set in with the first dose, and experts estimate that about one in four people who experiment with heroin will eventually become addicted.
In addition to being highly addictive, heroin also exerts its hold on users via painful withdrawal symptoms. Severe cramping, nausea, diarrhea, excessive perspiration, and a host of additional unpleasant symptoms can set in within a few hours after a person’s last dose of heroin. The combination of dependence and withdrawal symptoms can conspire to keep heroin users addicted for years, during which their lives are simultaneously consumed and destroyed by the drug.
The good news is that, with effective professional heroin abuse rehab, heroin addicts can overcome their dependence on the drug and achieve long-term recovery. At the Life Center of Galax, comprehensive residential care and a highly effective 12-month post-residential care program have helped many men and women in Virginia to not only rid their bodies of heroin, but also develop the skills and strategies that have allowed them to successfully pursue lifelong sobriety.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
If someone you care about is struggling with heroin abuse or addiction, then you understand how devastating this disease can be. In addition to robbing addicted individuals of the ability to control their behavior and live healthy lives, heroin addiction can also exact a severe toll on friends and family members. But those friends and family members may also hold the keys to unlocking the chains of addiction that have enslaved their loved one. The following are a few of the many steps that you can take to help your loved one get the help that he or she so desperately needs:
- Educate yourself about heroin. The more you understand about the ways that this drug interacts with the brain, the better prepared you will be to provide compassionate and empathetic assistance to your loved one.
- Talk to experts. Mental health providers, addiction counselors, interventionists, and even your family doctor can be excellent sources of information to help you understand what options are available for helping a heroin addict.
- Research heroin addiction treatment centers and options. Armed with the information you have received from the experts you have met, do some online or in-person research on programs that may be good fits for your loved ones. Learn about NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings, outpatient care centers, and heroin rehab programs to determine where your loved one will find the right level and type of help.
- Be present in your loved one’s life. Show support whenever and wherever you can. Share the information that you have learned. Accompany him or her to doctors’ appointments or visits to heroin treatment centers. Help make whatever arrangements are necessary to get him or her into treatment.
- Be part of your loved one’s support network. Heroin rehab is just the first step in the long journey of recovery, and your loved one will need a strong support network once treatment has ended. Plan to continue playing an active, supportive role in his or her life over the long term.
Most importantly, understand that your loved one is struggling with a very real (and potentially deadly) disease that will require a lifelong effort to hold at bay. Addiction is much more than merely a lack of willpower or sign of poor character. It is a debilitating condition that robs individuals of their ability to control their own lives. There will be setbacks, frustrations, and possibly even relapses on the road to lifelong recovery – but your active and informed presence can make a real and lasting difference.
Why Consider Treatment at Life Center of Galax in Virginia
There is no way to sugarcoat what life is like for heroin addicts. It is a miserable and dangerous existence where pain is a near-constant companion and hope is in short supply. It is not an overstatement to note that individuals who are addicted to heroin put their lives on the line every time they use, and the only “good” outcome of heroin abuse is survival. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the average life expectancy of a heroin addict is 15-20 years after they begin using. But death is hardly the only negative outcome of heroin addiction. Long-term heroin addiction can actually alter the physical structure of the brain, causing damage that can be difficult, if not impossible, to reverse. Heroin abuse also leads to a weakening of the immune system, memory loss, cognitive deficiencies, muscle weakness, sexual and menstrual problems, and a host of additional physical, mental, and emotional troubles. Without treatment, heroin addicts who survive are at significant risk of ruining their health, devastating their finances, damaging their interpersonal relationships, and destroying their job prospects.
Types of Treatment Offered at Life Center of Galax
Life Center of Galax is a licensed, accredited, and highly-respected heroin abuse treatment center that has been providing life-changing care to the men and women of Virginia for more than 40 years. The program, which is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia and nationally accredited by the Joint Commission, offers beneficial treatment options for individuals who are struggling with addiction and co-occurring disorders.
Heroin rehabilitation at Life Center of Galax is a comprehensive and holistic experience that addresses the patient’s physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. The goal of the Life Center’s treatment teams is not merely to alleviate heroin abuse symptoms, but to identify and help the patient overcome the underlying issues that have been preventing him or her from living a drug-free life. For example, in addition to providing detox and residential care for a patient’s heroin addiction, Life Center staff will develop a treatment plan that also provides all necessary interventions for co-occurring disorders such as mental health problems, behavioral concerns, and other issues that have either contributed to or have been exacerbated by the patient’s heroin abuse.
As Virginia’s leading heroin addiction rehab center, the following are among the various treatment methods included in the adult addiction residential treatment program at Life Center of Galax:
Medical detoxification: Life Center of Galax offers sub-acute medical detoxification services for patients who are in need of a safe and effective way to withdraw from any substances that may be present in their bodies, including heroin. This medical detox occurs under the supervision of an ASAM-certified medical director and registered nurses are on staff and available for assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Medication management: Patients who are referred by our medical director or therapist for psychiatric assessment and treatment may also receive medication management services when deemed clinically appropriate. Medication is managed by nurses, nurse practitioners, and physicians assistants, under the direction and supervision of our psychiatrist. Those receiving medication management services will likely receive additional support through our counselor-led dual diagnosis groups each week.
Individual therapy: All Life Center patients participate in individual therapy sessions on a regular basis. These sessions occur in a confidential, one-to-one setting and give patients the opportunity to discuss their progress (or setbacks) in treatment, address any concerns they have about the treatment process, and address any issues or emotions that have arisen during the course of treatment.
Group therapy: Group therapy is cornerstone to the therapeutic process at Life Center of Galax. The adult addiction residential treatment program features a variety of group therapy opportunities, which provide structured and supervised environments in which patients can interact with, learn from, and share personal experiences with others who are dealing with similar struggles. The types of groups offered may include the following:
- Daily Reflections
- Start Up Group
- Community Group
- Home Group
- Lectures (didactic presentations on various aspects of addiction)
- Dual Group
- Relapse Group
- Thunder Alley
- Men’s and Women’s Recovery Groups
- Men’s and Women’s Flex Groups
Recreation therapy: Under the direction of a certified recreational therapist, the Ridge & Valley Recreational Program provides Life Center patients with the opportunity to hike on Virginia’s New River and Appalachian trails, as well as participate in activities such as therapeutic horseback riding, cooking classes on a regional farm, painting, and ropes courses.
Experiential therapy: Life Center incorporates various experiential therapies that are designed to increase each patient’s awareness of his or her true self, as well as form a connection between the mind and body. The following experiential therapies are featured within this exceptional program:
- Personal mask sculptures
- Wall exercise
- God boxes
- Self-esteem exercises
- Therapeutic recreation
These therapies are day-long tracks that are offered once per week and feature topics such as King Baby, relapse, family and triggers, cravings, and anger.
Family workshops: Family members can be integral parts of successful long-term recovery. To support family members as they both work through their own issues and prepare to support their loved one, Life Center holds family workshops every weekend. These workshops include a variety of educational and therapeutic opportunities related to the impact of substance abuse on the entire family, including lectures, group sessions, and individual counseling.
Additionally, Life Center of Galax offers the following innovative services that can be incorporated into a patient’s programming during his or her time in rehab for heroin abuse. Each individual’s participation in these services is based on his or her unique, individualized needs and are designed to be a beneficial component to the holistic care we offer. These services include the following:
Comprehensive opiate recovery: Individuals who are dealing with heroin abuse or addiction will participate in our opiate addiction program, which can take them from detox to abstinence and then into a medication-managed recovery program using methadone, buprenorphine, or Vivitrol.
Spirituality-based treatment: To meet the needs of patients who desire a strong spiritual component in their recovery, Life Center of Galax offers both the Prodigal Program and the Mind-Body-Spirit Group. The Prodigal Program is a Christian-focused experience that incorporates Biblical principles into treatment. The Mind-Body-Spirit group is a nondenominational experience that focuses on spiritual elements within the 12-step recovery model.
Dual diagnosis service: This service was created to provide specialized assistance to individuals who are simultaneously battling substance abuse concerns and co-existing psychiatric problems. When a patient’s mental health has been identified as negatively interfering with his or her ability to be successful in recovery, this service will provide him or her with additional counseling, specialized group sessions, educational opportunities, and workbook activities that are designed to enhance his or her ability to cope with the presence of a dual diagnosis.
DUI/DWI service: Individuals, in Virginia, who are facing legal charges related to driving under the influence of alcohol or another drug may benefit from our DUI/DWI service, which features comprehensive medical and psychological assessments; education on the disease of addiction, counseling (both individual and group), and an introduction to the 12-step recovery model. Also, with the patient’s permission, we can provide documentation of program completion to counselors, attorneys, and the court system, as deemed appropriate or if requested.
Chronic relapse prevention service: When a patient has engaged in one or more prior treatment experience, he or she may be referred to this intensive programming option, of which incorporates educational lectures, journaling exercises, additional group sessions, and workbook activities. These interventions are designed to help prevent heroin relapse.
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
At Life Center of Galax, we know that residential rehab for heroin abuse is just the first step on the path of lifelong recovery. In order to ensure that all patients are prepared to build upon their progress when they complete treatment at our center, we place a strong emphasis on continuing care.
Discharge planning begins with the meeting that a patient has with his or her primary counselor and is then finalized at least three days prior to his or her discharge.
For patients who have completed residential programming and are ready to return home, yet would benefit from the intensive structure of a day-long therapeutic program, Life Center of Galax offers a partial hospitalization program (PHP). The services and groups that patients engage in during PHP are determined on an as-needed basis and are outlined in each patient’s individualized treatment plan. Patients taking part in PHP have the option of returning home at night or of residing in the onsite housing provided by Life Center.
From the moment a patient walks through our doors for the first time, the goal of Life Center of Galax is to be a source of lasting and positive change and to provide the comprehensive care and compassionate support that will allow struggling individuals to overcome the obstacles that have prevented them from achieving long-term recovery and living happier and healthier lives.