Opiates are a group of medications, usually prescribed for pain, that also end up becoming addictive. The drugs included in this group include morphine, oxycodone, dilaudid and heroine.
All opiate drugs are addictive and you may need a rehab center if you cannot get off of them. All opiates need medical supervision or you could die in withdrawal.
There are some drugs that doctors and nurses at rehab and detox centers now use to treat heroin addiction. One of the most traditional and one that has been used for over thirty years is methadone. Methadone is an opiate drug that helps relieve the need for other opiate drugs. Methadone does not change feelings or thoughts and there is no high. The result is that the drug does not act to fuel addiction.
Buprenorphine (also known as suboxone) is an opiate medication that can block the effect of pain killing opiates. It is very safe and there is no risk of overdose. It tends to work on addiction in one week where methadone usage can only be increased slowly over weeks. That is why methadone is usually first administered in a detox or rehab.
Buprenorphine is used on less extreme addiction cases and many people feel results just using it every two or three days. Extreme addiction cases may need the daily dose of methadone to battle their addiction instead.
The problem with just using drugs to fight the opiate addiction is that it does not address the underlying cause of the addiction in the same way that true therapy, ongoing support and counseling does. Also sometimes the patient has other psychiatric problems that need to be treated with other types of antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs or the methadone or buprenorphine is simply not enough to beat the addiction.