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Heroin and Opiate Addiction

The abuse of heroin and other opiates continues to be a public health crisis in the U.S. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has characterized the devasting effect of the opioid overdose crisis by saying:

In 2019, nearly 50,000 people in the United States died from opioid-involved overdoses. The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relieversheroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.

According to the CDC, that number jumped to over 90,000 in the 2020 reporting period.

SMART Recovery is a pathway for those who are struggling with heroin and opiate-use disorders. Many find it works in fighting this destructive behavior.

SMART’s mutual support groups and practical tools are two reasons SMART helps so many. Another contributing factor is SMART’s support of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), which is considered a legitimate part of battling this addiction, not as a drawback to true recovery.

SMART Recovery has always been congenial to the choice of a participant to use prescribed medications for help in her or his recovery.

MAT is defined by SAMSHA as:

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Medications used in MAT are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and MAT programs are clinically driven and tailored to meet each patient’s needs.

Research shows that MAT can help sustain recovery, and is also effective to prevent or reduce opioid overdose.

If you are abusing heroin or other opiates, SMART can help. SMART Recovery provides you with tools and support you can use to help yourself to recover from your addiction – be it to heroin and other opiates, alcohol, or negative behaviors. SMART Recovery’s 4-Point Program® is designed to help you overcome your substance abuse problems and quit by:

  1. Build & Maintain Motivation
  2. Cope with Urges
  3. Manage Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors
  4. Live a Balanced Life

Taking advantage of what SMART has to offer is a straightforward process. If you would like to get started right away, you can join our online support group where you can read, share and learn from our worldwide community of members at any time of the day or night.

You can also find a local SMART Recovery meeting, or, if we don’t have any meetings in your area yet, you can join us at one of our online meetings. Specific information for families and friends can be found here. If you’d like to have printed study material, we suggest the SMART Recovery Handbook.

Remember, you are not alone in battling this addiction. SMART Recovery can help.

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