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If you're addicted to heroin and you want to stop, you can ask your doctor or local drug treatment service for help.
As someone with a drug addiction you are entitled to the same confidential NHS care as anyone else who has a health problem.
If you're not ready to stop, you can still get help with staying safe and healthy.
Heroin is an opiate drug. Other opiate drugs include codeine, opium and morphine.
If you need treatment for addiction to heroin or another opiate drug you can either see your doctor or contact your local drug treatment service.
At your first appointment your doctor or drugs worker will ask you lots of questions including:
They will also ask you for a urine sample. This will be tested to confirm that you are using heroin.
You'll be given a key worker who will help you put together a personalised treatment plan. You'll meet your key worker regularly throughout your treatment.
Your key worker will help you decide between two different approaches to stopping heroin: maintenance therapy or detox.
Both treatments aim to help you withdraw from heroin gradually and ease withdrawal symptoms.
You'll usually stay living at home while you switch to maintenance therapy or go through detox.
Detoxing from heroin while you are living at home can take up to 12 weeks.
You can switch from maintenance therapy to detox at any time.
Your daily dose of methadone or buprenorphine will be supervised by a drugs worker or pharmacist for up to three months.
If you're also addicted to alcohol or other drugs, such as benzodiazapines, you'll be offered support with stopping these as well.
Detox lowers your tolerance to heroin. Your risk of overdosing is higher if you take heroin after detoxing.
You'll normally only be offered detox as a hospital inpatient or in residential rehab if:
Visit rehabonline for more info about rehab.
You'll be offered other help and support while you come off heroin. This may include:
After detox your key worker and drugs team will carry on supporting you for up to six months to help you stay off heroin.
This support may include help with issues such as housing or getting back into work or education.
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.