Heroin Detox Treatment: What To Expect

Heroin use disorder often leads to intense withdrawal symptoms. Addiction treatment facilities often have detox services designed to handle these symptoms, making treatment more comfortable and manageable.

Heroin withdrawal can cause a number of physical symptoms that range from flu-like symptoms to mental complications such as difficulty concentrating, agitation, and depression.

Detoxification is the process of treating these symptoms at a medical facility.

This is often an important part of heroin addiction treatment programs and can make severe symptoms become milder and more manageable.

Read on to learn more about the heroin abuse and addiction treatment you or a loved one could receive at a detox facility.

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline

Heroin is a fast-acting opioid, which means it takes effect and leaves the body quickly.

The timeline for heroin withdrawal can start within two to 48 hours of your last dose of heroin.

These symptoms can last anywhere from four days to several months and have three distinct stages: an early stage, a peak stage, and a later stage.

The severity of the symptoms and the length of time it takes to progress through each stage can vary. Typically, the more heroin was abused, the longer and more severe the symptoms.

Symptoms Of Heroin Withdrawal Treated In A Detox Program

The medical detox process can remedy a range of heroin withdrawal symptoms. The addiction treatment program you attend will provide many treatment options to address these.

Physical symptoms of heroin withdrawal can include:

  • dilated pupils
  • goose bumps
  • abdominal cramping, nausea, and diarrhea
  • increased heart rate
  • muscle aches
  • runny nose

The psychological and mental health symptoms of withdrawal may involve:

  • increased anxiety and depression
  • drug cravings
  • restlessness and insomnia
  • difficulties concentrating
  • agitation and hopelessness

Various forms of medications and therapies are used at addiction centers to relieve and lessen these effects. These medications are described in more detail below.

Medications Used In Heroin Detox Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in combination with behavioral therapy is one of the best ways to ensure proper detoxification and treat the side effects of heroin use.

Many of the medications used in MAT are opioids themselves. One way to slowly wean yourself off of opioids is to use other, less addicting narcotics in order to let your body adjust to sobriety.

Narcotics used to treat heroin abuse include:

  • naltrexone (Vivitrol)
  • buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex)
  • methadone

If you are experiencing a heroin overdose, naloxone is an overdose reversal medication that blocks opioid receptors in the body.

Where Can I Detox From Heroin?

The best place for treatment is a heroin detox center. The healthcare providers there will provide expert medical supervision, and ensure that you are safe and comfortable at all times.

These facilities typically have multiple levels of addiction care to suit your needs and schedule.

With 24-hour inpatient treatment and detox, and step-down options such as partial hospitalization programs and outpatient services, you can have everything you need to detox safely from heroin and recover long-term.

Can I Detox From Heroin At Home?

It is theoretically possible to manage the effects of opioid withdrawal from home without medical intervention, but it is not recommended by medical professionals.

This is because symptoms can be life-threatening, and may intensify with heavier use. A treatment plan from a professional will help mitigate side effects much more effectively.

There are many health risks associated with quitting cold turkey or detoxing without medical care, and contacting a professional is always advised.

Recover From Heroin Addiction Today

Spring Hill Recovery Center is a top-rated addiction treatment center in Massachusetts that provides evidence-based care tailored to your needs.

If you or a loved one is in need of heroin substance abuse treatment, consider our facility’s holistic and clinical services.

Staff at our helpline are available 24/7 to guide you toward the treatment you need to start healing both your body and mind. Call us today to learn more about recovery options.

  1. Medline Plus — Opiate And Opioid Withdrawal https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000949.htm
  2. National Institute of Health (NIH) | National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) — Withdrawal Management https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK310652/
  3. National Institute of Health | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) How do medications to treat opioid use disorder work? https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/medications-to-treat-opioid-addiction/how-do-medications-to-treat-opioid-addiction-work
  4. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — Information about Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) https://www.fda.gov/drugs/information-drug-class/information-about-medication-assisted-treatment-mat

Written by Spring Hill Recovery Editorial Team

© 2024 Spring Hill Recovery | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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