Essential Pittsburgh
4:14 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Heroin Addiction & the Social Stigma of Rehab

Credit Wikimedia Commons

The recent rash of deaths from heroin laced with fentanyl, and the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman have brought attention to the need for more efficient clinical treatment for drug addiction.

Gateway Rehab Medical Director Dr. Neil Capretto works with addicts and talked about what a relapse can mean to someone trying to conquer their dependency.

Capretto says much of what he focuses on as a counselor is teaching patients what life could look like without their habit. He outlines how treatment can look for different types of people from long-term psychological care to rehabilitation through halfway houses, but notes that regardless of the path to recovery, the process is difficult for all former addicts.

“This is a chronic disease. It’s not like you’re coming in and have pneumonia and you get a dose of penicillin for a week or so and then you live happily ever after. You have to stay on top and manage this everyday—similar to someone with diabetes. Cause if you don’t manage it and get away from it, it’s going to come back and clobber you.”

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