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  • Heroin Anonymous is a 12-step program based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous and similar self-help groups. These programs emphasize the importance of helping others to maintain sobriety. 

    12-step programs are not a replacement for professional treatment but may be an effective addition to any treatment plan. Many treatment facilities often encourage people to implement 12-step recovery during and after treatment. 

    What Is Heroin Anonymous?

    Heroin Anonymous (HA) is a non-profit fellowship of men and women who support each other through recovery using a 12-step program

    Through the 12-steps and shared experiences, HA encourages members to share their experiences with the next person who is seeking help for heroin addiction

    According to Heroin Anonymous World Services, the primary purpose of HA is to stay sober and help other people achieve sobriety. HA is fully self-supporting through voluntary donations made by HA members but it does not accept outside contributions.

    The Benefits Of Heroin Anonymous (HA)

    HA views addiction as powerlessness over drugs and alcohol. Powerlessness can be overcome through reliance on a higher power and the 12-steps one day at a time. 

    Some of the benefits of including Heroin Anonymous to your treatment plan include:

    • a social network of people who support recovery
    • a safe place to share experiences, cravings, and struggles
    • positive sense of community
    • there is no fee for membership
    • HA meetings are open to everyone

    How To Find HA Meetings

    In-person and online meetings are usually held daily at various times and locations. The only requirement to attend HA meetings is a desire to stop using heroin. HA World Services can help you find a meeting near you that fits your schedule.

    History of Heroin Anonymous

    HA is based on the 12-step program of recovery developed by Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1930s. The first HA meeting was held on August 12, 2004 in Arizona. The fellowship now spans across the world and has helped thousands of people recover from heroin addiction.

    Although people with heroin addiction are welcome at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, HA was developed specifically for people with heroin addiction. Having a separate fellowship that focuses on heroin addiction may help people feel more comfortable sharing their experiences.

    What Are Twelve-Step Programs?

    A 12-step program is a set of steps and traditions that can help you maintain abstinence and healthy behaviors. 12-step programs are beneficial for people looking for a better way of life, especially when used in combination with professional treatment. 

    Some treatment centers employ a 12-step approach to recovery or will bring people to 12-step meetings. Beginning a 12-step program along with residential or outpatient treatment can help you build a solid foundation for recovery. 

    The following summarizes the main ideas in the 12-step approach:

    • acknowledging powerlessness over your addiction
    • trust in a power greater than yourself 
    • accountability for harmful behaviors 
    • making amends for harms caused on others
    • being honest with yourself and others
    • willingness to help other people

    The basis of the 12-steps is a “higher power,” which can be interpreted however you feel comfortable. Some people are hesitant to begin a 12-step program because of the misconception that it is a religious program. 

    However, 12-step programs are not aligned with any particular religion. 

    Heroin Addiction Treatment 

    Addiction doesn’t have one specific cause, which means treatment should be individualized to meet each person’s needs. HA does not claim to be a replacement for therapy, counseling, or medication. 

    Along with 12-step programs, addiction treatment options may include:


    A detox is often the first step in addiction treatment and helps you through the heroin withdrawal process. In some cases, detoxes will provide medications to ease symptoms of withdrawal and cravings. 

    Learn more about Detox

    Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

    MAT programs help people maintain long-term sobriety by combining FDA-approved medications along with therapy. These medications, which may include Suboxone or methadone, help to relieve cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms. 

    Inpatient/Residential Treatment

    This type of treatment program provides a highly structured environment with 24/7 support from staff. Depending on your treatment plan, you may have access to individual counseling, group therapy, behavioral therapy, and healthy activities. 

    Learn more about Inpatient Treatment

    Outpatient Treatment

    Outpatient programs provide a set number of sessions that you attend each week at the treatment center. This treatment option is best for people who have already completed an inpatient program or have a strong support system. 

    Learn more about Outpatient Treatment

    If you or someone you love is seeking more information about heroin addiction treatment options, please contact Ark Behavioral Health today.

    Find A 12-Step Support Group Near You

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
    Medically Reviewed by
    Lauren Weinand, M.D.
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