Treatment for heroin addiction

Heroin is one of the most addictive and most dangerous substances in existence which make it vital that addicts and users undergo an intensive, holistic treatment program. CITA has specialised in rehabilitating heroin and opiate addicts since its inception 30 years ago.

Tratamiento adiccion a la Heroína

Heroin remains Europe’s most commonly used illegal opioid and is also the drug responsible for a large share of the health burden attributed to illegal drug consumption. Dependency can take hold with as little as two or three uses leading to short- and long-term risks to physical and mental health.

The seriousness of heroin addiction and the peculiarities of the detox make a treatment program like CITA’s necessary to recovery. Our holistic, intensive program includes rehab, detoxing and therapy which will help you not only get rid of your dependency on the drug, but also put you on the path to a better life.

Curing heroin addiction

A variety of effective treatments are available for heroin addiction, including behavioural and pharmacological (with medications). Both approaches help to restore a degree of normalcy to brain function and behaviour, which results in increased employment rates and lower risk of diseases including HIV and and criminal behaviour. While behavioural and pharmacologic treatments can be useful when used alone, research shows that for most people the methodology utilised by CITA is the most effective, i.e. integrating both types of treatments into a holistic plan.

Pharmacological treatment

Scientific research has established that pharmacological treatment of opioid use disorder increases retention in treatment programs (to almost 100%) and decreases drug use, infectious disease transmission, and criminal activity.

When people addicted to opioids like heroin first quit, they undergo withdrawal symptoms (pain, diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting), which may be severe. Medications can be helpful in this detoxification stage to ease craving and other physical symptoms that can often prompt a person to relapse.

Advances in pharmacology mean that we have a variety of these medications at our disposal which help ease the transition into treatment, including the most widely known and used one – methadone.

Our professionals, however, assess the need and administration of methadone and/ or other withdrawal medications on a person-by-person basis.

CITA has 30 years of experience treating heroin addiction. We always take a research-based but patient-first approach for all our treatment programs.

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    Heroin addiction treatment with psychotherapy

    The use of psychotherapy in the treatment of heroin has been shown to be effective and is usually done in a residential setting to multiply its effect. The therapeutic approach with psychotherapy helps the self-control and social growth of the patient suffering from heroin disorder.

    Psychotherapy is applied from the first moment of the start of treatment, although it is most effective in the phase of heroin cessation. It is made up of various therapies that help modify behavior by motivating the patient with the aim of improving their health. They also help to clarify the daily habits and problems that led the patient to consume.

    That is why at CITA we apply psychotherapy individually to each patient, because consumption habits and daily habits are different in each patient.

    Heroin Detox

    The heroin cessation phase is the overcoming of psychological dependence and the psychopathological sequelae derived from the substance itself and the addiction. Through psychology applied to him and his environment, the patient engages in various activities to avoid future relapses from various perspectives.

    The heroin cessation program at CITA Clinics consists of combining psychotherapeutic and sociotherapeutic activities and actions to overcome addiction through a change of habit. The help that patients receive from professionals has proven to be efficient and effective in all phases of heroin cessation treatment.

    Heroin Rehab

    In the heroin rehabilitation phase, the patient recovers from the sequelae produced by the addiction. Through therapeutic strategies and rehabilitation with CITA professionals, the personality is strengthened, improving the total ability to cope with situations that led to consumption and motivates them to move forward with the change.

    Addictive diseases such as heroin addiction often alienate the patient and weaken their social and family environment. And, even if they live together, conflicts and personal situations often lead to isolation. That is why it is so important to help an addict, CITA offers help to family members so that they can start to rebuild their lives by starting an effective treatment.

    For the correct social reintegration, multidisciplinary work is carried out through psychotherapies, activities and sociotherapies. The treatment ends with the total reintegration of the patient into his environment, stronger and more prepared to recover his life.

    Treatment with advanced neuroscience applications

    There is the possibility of resorting to neuroscience treatment to detoxify heroin and methadone, thanks to Neurojet, which incorporates the latest advances in pharmacology and therapy models, such as the use of the innovative non-invasive technique.

    This method is currently under development and study.

    Using neuroelectrical stimulation, it facilitates the treatment of addiction to opiates, such as heroin and methadone, significantly reducing the withdrawal syndrome.

    This treatment for opioid addiction uses neuronal stimulation, applying the latest knowledge in the field of neuroscience.

    The computer-controlled stimulation device, combined with a withdrawal protocol, significantly reduces the withdrawal syndrome.

    In this way, the detoxification process takes place faster and with less discomfort, as the electronic device specifically stimulates the body’s own production of opiates (endogenous morphine) by means of barely perceptible impulses.

    The result is that withdrawal from drug addiction is no longer as painful an experience as conventional withdrawal treatments.

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    What our patients say about us

    Sonia PazSonia Paz
    13:49 31 Mar 22
    Los terapeutas y auxiliares atienden muy bien las necesidades de su paciente, y los recepcionistas responden a todas las dudas y preguntas de forma amable y rápida. En general son todos muy profesionales y serios en su trabajo, además el lugar es agradable y superbonito.
    Javier CudeiroJavier Cudeiro
    11:15 28 Mar 22
    Un lugar para reflexionar, escuchar, aprender de otros y aceptar cómo eres.Magníficos profesionales que te ayudarán durante tu estancia y después de ella.Un remanso de paz que irá apareciendo de forma más y más clara, si te comprometes contigo mismo.
    mathew MJmathew MJ
    15:20 20 Mar 22
    CITA, un centro ideal para ayudar a las personas con problemas de adicción y salud mental. Yo ingresé hace 2 años y medio y no me arrepiento de nada, fue una etapa mala de mi vida, gracias a saber aprovechar la oportunidad que me dieron tanto mi familia como Cita ahora soy otro ser distinto, ánimo a toda esa persona que necesite ayuda que se deje ayudar por profesionales de verdad, animaros para daros una segunda oportunidad.
    Info VilafrancaInfo Vilafranca
    14:47 28 Feb 22
    Conozco de cerca su increíble equipo de médicos y puedo avalar su profesionalidad y su alto índice de recuperación que tienen en sus pacientes. Realmente muy recomendable.
    Eva González ChavesEva González Chaves
    20:10 11 Feb 22
    Centro de adicciones fantástico, muy cuidadosos con el trato al paciente, muy profesionales, en 4 meses me siento curada

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      Why choose CITA?


      We have professionals with more than 40 years of experience


      Expert help is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year


      We apply and adapt to the latest advances in neuroscience


      All pets are welcome on our expansive, green campus

      And if you want to know more about heroin treatment at CITA you can contact us in the contact form on this page or call us at 93 791 80 80 or 93 791 80 08 Our specialists will give you the information you need.

      FAQ Frequently Asked Questions About Treatment to Quit Heroin

      What is heroin?

      Heroin is a semi-synthetic drug derived from opium. It is one of the most addictive illegal drugs known. Nowadays it can be consumed in various ways, but the most common forms are by inhalation or by syringe injected into areas such as the forearm, mainly.

      Heroin functions as a central nervous system depressant and its use causes the patient’s physical dependence. Because of this depressant effect, some drug addicts mix it with cocaine, which further increases the danger of the substance.

      Heroin was first synthesized in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was originally conceived as a substitute for other substances, such as methadone or cocaine.

      However, it was soon discovered that heroin caused even greater problems than the substances it was intended to displace.

      Despite the fact that its consumption has decreased significantly since the 1980s and 1990s, the high addictive potency of heroin means that it still retains a sad and important role in the field of drug addiction.

      According to the latest European Drugs Report, there are 1.3 million problem opioid users and heroin addiction in Europe. The same report points out that opioids are the main drug in 45% of admissions requested in detoxification centers within the European Union.

      In Spain, heroin goes by many other names, such as “caballo” or “jaco”.

      Heroin addiction problems

      Heroin addiction continues to be one of the leading causes of admissions to detox centers in our country. Despite the fact that its consumption has decreased significantly since the 1980s and 1990s, the high addictive potency of heroin means that it still retains a sad and important role in the field of drug addiction.

      According to the latest European Drugs Report, there are 1.3 million problem opioid users and heroin addiction in Europe. The same report points out that opioids are the main drug in 45% of admissions to detoxification centres within the European Union.

      The professionals who supervise these processes at the Center for Addiction Research and Treatment are trained in advanced techniques for the treatment of withdrawal syndrome. Pharmacological protocols are used, ranging from the administration of alpha-adrenergic beta-blocker drugs to the latest advances in neuroscience.

      The use of synthetic opioid derivatives in the treatment of heroin addiction allows for a safe and convenient way to meet this stage of treatment. Today, heroin detoxification can be done while maintaining the patient’s quality of life.

      It is sometimes believed, and erroneously believed, that heroin addicts could quit opiate use if they wanted to and agreed to a change in attitude. But not far from the real thing, heroin addicts have difficulties to perform this action because scientifically it is identified as a disease.

      Quitting heroin is possible without suffering from health problems due to withdrawal, but only the patient decides when and how to quit heroin, whether on their own, assuming the risks and the high possibility of relapse, or with the help of professionals specializing in heroin and addictions.

      Heroin withdrawal syndrome

      Heroin and opioid withdrawal syndrome is the set of manifestations that occur in a person who has been taking them for a long period of time and has abruptly stopped using them

      Heroin withdrawal syndrome is characterized by the immediate onset of one or more of the following symptoms of discomfort: dysphoric mood, nausea or vomiting, muscle aches, tearing or rhinorrhea, pupillary dilation, piloerection or sweating, diarrhea, yawning, fever, and insomnia.

      The fear of withdrawal, or the withdrawal syndrome itself, is responsible in many cases for the maintenance of dependence. Overcoming it becomes the first step to the addict’s recovery.

      The fact that a person observes some of the typical symptoms of withdrawal syndrome does not imply that the individual is dependent. It is simply an indicator that, after repeated administrations of the substance, you have adapted to its effects and when the dose has been stopped, your body complains.

      However, dependent people are very susceptible to the presence of these symptoms, so quickly that they relate them to the lack of drugs, which leads them to look for other doses to make the withdrawal symptoms disappear. This syndrome is popularly called ‘mono’.

      The manifestations of withdrawal will depend on several factors. It is necessary to know which opiate is consumed in order to anticipate when the syndrome will begin, at what time it will be at its most intense, what its duration will be and when it will disappear.

      When Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms Set Out

      In the case of this drug, heroin withdrawal syndrome appears eight hours after its last administration, reaches its maximum intensity between the second and third day, and lasts for about a week. The withdrawal syndrome will be more intense, but not more prolonged, the greater the amount of heroin consumed in a single day.

      Other factors to take into account are how long it has been consumed and the constitution of the individual. In subjects who have been using heroin for many years and who have made several attempts at detoxification, the idea of having the monkey seems unbearable, so they will react with significant anxiety to the initial symptoms, while the reaction is less desperate in individuals who are facing this situation for the first time.

      Phases of Heroin Withdrawal Syndrome

      The initial phase of heroin withdrawal syndrome appears around eight hours after the last dose, with the characteristic manifestations being runny nose or distemper, tearing, yawning, and sweating.

      The intermediate phase appears around twelve hours after the last administration. Symptoms of this phase include dilated pupils, goosebumps, changes from cold to heat, tremors, muscle aches, and loss of appetite.

      The advanced stage appears between 18 and 24 hours after the last administration of heroin. Typical manifestations are increased breaths and heartbeats per minute, increased blood pressure and temperature, nausea, anxiety, and insomnia.

      The late phase appears between 24 and 36 hours after the last administration of heroin. Symptoms include muscle cramps and intestinal cramps that can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, as well as low-grade fever.

      Treatment of Heroin Withdrawal Syndrome

      Treatment of heroin withdrawal syndrome should be carried out after an adequate medical and psychological evaluation. Hence, hospital emergencies or health centers are not the best place to start them. The treatment of opioid dependence requires the intervention of professionals and cessation and reintegration programs.

      The patient who wants to undergo an opioid detoxification treatment usually receives support with drugs to overcome the withdrawal syndrome, which can be done on an outpatient or inpatient basis. The drugs used are aimed at relieving symptoms. You have to understand that detoxification is the first step in the recovery process.

      Being detox doesn’t mean being cured. The process of quitting that follows detoxification implies that the individual will have to make the necessary changes in their lifestyle to avoid relapses and normalize their habits

      Heroin dependence

      Heroin or opiate dependence develops after a period of regular use, with the time required varying to be dependent on the amount, frequency and route of administration, as well as individual vulnerability factors and the context in which use occurs.

      In heroin users, the production of intoxication, withdrawal, tolerance, etc., are evident and occur in a relatively short time.

      In addition, this is accompanied by physical problems such as thrombosis, overdose, hepatitis B and C, HIV, and AIDS. Its use also causes significant mental health problems (e.g. depression, anxiety, paranoia, suicidal thoughts), social problems (e.g. financial, relationship problems, unemployment, loss of home, etc.), with the justice system (e.g. robberies and other crimes), etc. Heroin addicts are often also polyusers of other drugs.

      At CITA we are aware and have experience in several cases of patients with heroin dependence who have undergone treatment and have recovered their lives. Leaving heroin-addicted patients in inexperienced hands often complicates their situation, which is why we recommend getting treatment from professionals and doctors specializing in addiction.

      Effects of Heroin

      The effects of heroin are initially unpleasant, with nausea and vomiting, but it is immediately replaced by an intense sense of pleasure, with euphoria, a sense of well-being and sedation.

      The main effects of heroin use on the body are: weight loss, constipation, caries, anemia, insomnia, inhibition of sexual enjoyment, pulmonary complications, gynecological complications such as amenorrhea (disappearance of the menstrual cycle), and various infections (hepatitis, endocarditis, etc.) associated with the consumer’s lifestyle, etc.

      The psychological risks are diverse: personality alterations, memory problems, anxiety, depression, etc. Their dependency generates serious deficits in the consumer’s life (family, social and labor breakdown, fall into marginalization, etc.).

      Side Effects of Heroin

      Few users of this drug are aware of the side effects of heroin. Heroin works as a central nervous system depressant and is one of the most addictive drugs known. Its use causes the physical dependence of the patient. Heroin has a depressant effect, so some drug addicts mix it with cocaine, which further increases the danger of the substance.

      Heroin use causes significant physical and psychological alterations in the patient. The body becomes addicted to the substance with extraordinary ease and the degree of dependence on it is extremely high.

      In the event of an overdose, heroin use carries extremely high risks, including death.

      Psychological Effects of Heroin

      The psychological effects of heroin are:

      Sense of well-being
      Orgasm-like pleasure

      Physiological Effects of Heroin

      The consequences of heroin use have the following physiological effects:

      • Analgesia (lack of sensitivity to pain)
      • In the first consumption, nausea and vomiting
      • Appetite suppression

      CITA is a heroin detox center specializing in the treatment of heroin addiction. We have different locations in which to carry out treatment with heroin addicts, which allows us to adapt to the needs of the patients.

      What is the success rate in your school?

      The vast majority of people who have committed to completing the program have done so.  Your recovery is our priority.

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