Author: James Anderson

Heroin Withdrawal: Symptoms, Timeline, & Treatment

heroin detox

This means unpleasant withdrawal symptoms will occur when someone stops using the drug. This is because the body has grown accustomed to heroin and requires it to function. Once evaluation is complete, stabilization is the next step. Detoxing from heroin can take anywhere from a few days to more than a week. The duration of heroin detox depends on several factors, including how long a person has been using heroin, their tolerance level and their preferred method of use.

heroin detox

While it is possible to go “cold turkey,” the severity of withdrawal effects often warrants seeking out professional drug treatment help. Above all else, ensuring a successful heroin detox recovery greatly reduces the risk involved with relapse and overdose. Most people experience heroin withdrawal symptoms between eight and 24 hours after last use. During the first day of withdrawal, symptoms are usually mild. If heroin withdrawal symptoms become severe, hospitalization may be required. Doctors can treat these symptoms with prescription medications such as clonidine, which can reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

Heroin Detox

Whenever someone goes through heroin detox, the body’s tolerance level for heroin can decrease considerably. As people who relapse often return to the dosage amounts they left off at, there’s a significant risk of overdose with each relapse episode. For these reasons, it’s critically important to choose the heroin detox approach that has the best chance of success.

  1. While many people get adequate medical help during heroin withdrawal, some do not.
  2. Strong similarities between heroin and the chemicals the brain uses to regulate pain and pleasure sensations become the driving forces behind heroin addiction.
  3. Recovering from heroin addiction involves gradually reducing opioid intake to avoid withdrawal.
  4. Once evaluation is complete, stabilization is the next step.

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. After evaluation and stabilization, medical professionals prepare clients to enter treatment. For individuals who show a pattern of not seeking further treatment after completing detox, a written contract may be incorporated to encourage further treatment. More than one million people have died since 1999 from a drug overdose.

Why Are More People Using Heroin?

Additionally, if a person has a history of mental illness or has undergone withdrawal for other opioids tend to experience strong withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms usually peak in severity 48 to 72 hours after last use. Moderate and severe symptoms include insomnia, vomiting and diarrhea.

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. Codeine phosphate reduces withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings.

heroin detox

This article discusses the symptoms you can expect during heroin withdrawal and how to cope. It also covers long-term treatment options that can help you recover from addiction. It was originally developed as a medication to treat pain, but its likelihood to cause physical dependence has made it a popular recreational drug. Some people may experience withdrawal symptoms longer than average, for several months. If you decrease how much heroin you’re using, or stop using it completely, your body will feel this imbalance acutely. Symptoms of withdrawal will appear, and they may be severe.

How Long It Takes to Detox from Heroin

Because there’s no blood test to diagnose withdrawal, your symptoms may need to be evaluated along with your current rate of heroin use. This is why heroin can lead to a condition known as heroin use disorder. While heroin is in your system, your body incorporates it into its balance. Suddenly stopping or decreasing the amount of heroin you’re using will send out the alert you need more. You may experience slow gastric emptying and effects, such as vomiting and constipation.

People withdrawing from heroin may experience muscle cramps, anxiety or insomnia, which could last up to 10 days. But safely detoxing from heroin under medical supervision is an important step toward overcoming heroin abuse and entering recovery. Slow detox makes use of synthetic opiate medications, such as methadone and buprenorphine. Both drugs mimic the effects of heroin thereby reducing the severity of withdrawal effects a person experiences. Treatment duration can last anywhere from three months to several years depending on the severity of the addiction. A number of treatment centers simultaneously treat addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.

In some states, you don’t need a doctor’s prescription to get Narcan. While faster than traditional methods, the risk of experiencing complications during the procedure raises some concerns regarding its overall safety. According to the California Society of Addiction Medicine, there have been reports of cardiovascular changes and even death during anesthesia-assisted rapid detox. This similarity between morphine and the brain’s natural painkilling chemicals accounts for why heroin wreaks such havoc on brain and body processes. Heroin activates opiate cell receptor sites located throughout the brain and body. Once activated, these sites secrete large amounts of neurotransmitter chemicals.