Author: Charles Frank

Heroin Detox The Helpful Guide to Detoxing From Heroin

detox from heroin

Additionally, if a person has a history of mental illness or has undergone withdrawal for other opioids tend to experience strong withdrawal symptoms. If you feel the need to manage withdrawal symptoms, talk to your healthcare team right away. Once your opioid taper starts and you’re taking a lower dose of opioids, you start to have a lower tolerance to opioids. If you suddenly take a higher dose of opioids, you’re at an increased risk of overdose. Behavioral approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and contingency management are two types of therapy that are often used to treat heroin addiction. Feeling depressed, anxious, or irritable, also known as having a dysphoric mood, is a normal part of heroin withdrawal.

  1. Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, is a common and essential tool in drug addiction treatment.
  2. A substance abuse treatment center can help you detox off heroin.
  3. Heroin withdrawal symptoms can begin as quickly as a few hours after a person’s last dose, so it helps to be prepared before detoxing from heroin.
  4. When it’s time for you to stop taking opioids, ask for your healthcare professional’s help.
  5. The first stage of heroin treatment, detox aims to reduce the effects of withdrawal and help people transition to recovery.

Medical detoxification begins while there is still heroin in a person’s system, and the process usually lasts about five to seven days. It can take up to 10 days for those who were heavy, long-term users. Detoxification is the first step in recovery from heroin addiction.

However, withdrawal syndrome can last much longer, warranting medically assisted detox using the options delineated earlier. However, detox cannot be expected to eliminate the withdrawal symptoms entirely, nor can it prevent other medical consequences for some individuals upon cessation of heroin use. Lack of motivation for long-term treatment, as well as the stigma often attached to heroin addiction, are common barriers to full recovery and a productive life. If you have withdrawal symptoms, tell your healthcare team right away. Follow all instructions about how to manage your withdrawal symptoms. Especially follow your healthcare professional’s instructions about how and when to take medicines during the taper.

Withdrawal Symptoms of Heroin

Treatment for heroin use is often most effective when it involves a combination of behavioral approaches with medication. Although these symptoms are distressing, nausea and vomiting are normal aspects of heroin withdrawal. It wears you out, makes you feel very uncomfortable, puts you off your food, and keeps you close to the bathroom. Copyright © 2024, The information provided by is not a substitute for professional medical advice. View our editorial content guidelines to learn how we create helpful content with integrity and compassion.

This is because the body has grown accustomed to heroin and requires it to function. Treatment centers are equipped with trained professionals who monitor clients throughout the day and help them deal with these effects. You can find a rehab facility that treats heroin addiction by calling a heroin hotline. Once evaluation is complete, stabilization is the next step. During this phase, medical professionals assist clients with completely ridding heroin from the body and reaching a medically stable state, which may involve using medications.

If you’re living with heroin use disorder, your physical dependence on heroin comes with an uncontrollable urge to take the drug despite experiencing negative consequences. If you decrease how much heroin you’re using, or stop using it completely, your body will feel this imbalance acutely. A medication called naloxone can block the effects of a heroin overdose if it’s used quickly. But it also comes in measured doses as an auto-pen (Evzio) and a nasal spray (Narcan).

Most people experience heroin withdrawal symptoms between eight and 24 hours after last use. During the first day of withdrawal, symptoms are usually mild. Your healthcare professional may recommend that you have naloxone available to lower your risk of an overdose. Naloxone reverses the effects of opioids during an emergency if you stop breathing. Narcan and Revive are naloxone nasal sprays you can buy without a prescription.

detox from heroin

Going through heroin detox is a crucial first step in getting sober after heroin abuse. Heroin withdrawal symptoms can begin as quickly as a few hours after a person’s last dose, so it helps to be prepared before detoxing from heroin. Individuals detoxing at home may not know how to properly overcome withdrawal symptoms and may not have access to medications that reduce these effects. Additionally, suffering through withdrawal symptoms has damaging health effects and can lower a person’s chances of recovering from heroin addiction.

Not sure if your medication is considered an opioid?

For example, opioid medicines may help when the pain level is very high and short term. A number of treatment centers simultaneously treat addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Like substance use disorders, mental illness can cause physical and psychological distress. Treating both disorders can reduce the risk of relapse and help individuals prosper during recovery.

These nerve sites regulate hormones, pain sensation, and your sense of well-being. To try and keep balance, your body can start to compensate by making adjustments. Because of these effects, heroin has a high potential for misuse. The number of people in the United States who use heroin has risen steadily since 2007. Heroin is a drug that comes from a flower, the opium poppy, which usually grows in Mexico, Asia, and South America. It’s very addictive and has been illegal in the United States since 1924.

detox from heroin

Medical supervision will be required for some individuals in the detox phase of treatment. Special care must be taken in the detox process for individuals suffering from advanced HIV/AIDS, advanced age and coronary artery disease. If you’re experiencing a medical emergency related to heroin use, calling 911 or your local emergency services can provide immediate care. Withdrawal treatment can be very safe when done under the supervision of a healthcare professional. Gradual weaning, or tapering off, may cause less severe symptoms than sudden stoppage. Your individual characteristics, such as height and weight, and level of dependence can influence what you’re feeling.

All About Heroin Withdrawal

Talk with your healthcare team if the taper becomes difficult. A person on heroin may not look like they’re “on drugs.” They may just seem sleepy. People who are addicted almost always deny that they’re using. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you pay attention to the things you think and do when it comes to drug use. It gives you ways to better cope with stress and other triggers. Another type of therapy called contingency management offers rewards such as vouchers or money if you can stay drug-free.

Therapists are Standing By to Treat Your Depression, Anxiety or Other Mental Health Needs

Some people may experience withdrawal symptoms longer than average, for several months. The U.S. opioid overdose death rate rose nearly 400% between 2010 and 2017. Some of these deaths happen because heroin is laced with other drugs, such as the powerful painkiller fentanyl. Fentanyl has become one of the leading contributors to overdose deaths in the U.S. People going through heroin withdrawal often experience restlessness, which, coupled with anxiety and insomnia, can make you feel agitated.

Are there complications or side effects?

They may also recommend additional care, like supplements, to ensure your overall well-being. Depending on how much you used to take and the length of time you took it, heroin withdrawal symptoms can last 3 to 5 days—potentially up to 2 weeks. However, something known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) might occur. This can extend the withdrawal phase for months or years after a person stops using the drug. Though symptoms of PAWS are not as severe as the ones experienced in the days after stopping the use of heroin, they can be enough to trigger someone to use the drug again. Heroin withdrawal symptoms vary based on the amount, potency, and frequency of use of the drug before going clean.

This means it causes health problems, disabilities, and trouble at home, work, or school. No matter how you take it, heroin gets to your brain quickly. Even after you use it just one or two times, it can be hard to stop yourself from using again.