Heroin Detox Help for People Addicted to Heroin

Heroin detox is a vital form of help for people affected by heroin addiction. Unfortunately, addiction to this drug is a growing concern.

If left untreated, it can lead to severe problems, including major life disruption and death.

Like many people, you may be wondering how to help someone detox from heroin.

By far, the preferred path is enrollment in a medical supervised detoxification program.

This kind of program can help you quit heroin in the safest way possible.

It can also get you ready to enter a treatment program that helps you stay sober long-term.

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Detoxing Off Heroin

The opioid drug heroin is known for its ability to produce addiction.

It does this by making lasting changes in the way your brain normally works.

At a certain point, your brain will take these changes for granted. Once this happens, you’ve developed a case of opioid addiction.

Like all other forms of opioid addiction, heroin addiction is diagnosed as a condition called opioid use disorder (OUD).

One of the common symptoms of this disorder is opioid withdrawal.

Withdrawal occurs when addicted users don’t get as much heroin as their brains expect.

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The Stages of Opioid Withdrawal

Opioid withdrawal happens in stages. The first wave of symptoms includes things such as:

  • Feeling unusually agitated or anxious
  • Uncontrolled yawning
  • Problems falling asleep and/or staying asleep
  • Achy muscles
  • Excessive or unexplained sweating
  • Uncontrolled tear production
  • Excessive mucus output

The second wave of opioid withdrawal can include:

  • Feelings of nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loose bowels
  • Muscle cramps in your abdominal region
  • Abnormally wide pupils
  • Goose bumps that don’t go away

Other symptoms you may experience at some point during withdrawal include:

  • A rapid heartbeat
  • Muscle tremors
  • Fever
  • Chills

Detox helps you cope with these symptoms.

Heroin Detox - A member of the detox team faces the camera as she talks with a detox patient who has his back to the camera. She is helping him ease the withdrawal symptoms while he is in the heroin detox.

The Best Heroin Detox

The best way to detox from heroin is to enroll in a medically supervised program.

In this kind of program, doctors and other professionals take charge of your care. These trained experts know how to maximize your comfort as you move through the phases of withdrawal.

They also know how to provide emergency assistance if you experience any withdrawal complications. Failure to detox in a supervised setting could potentially endanger your life.

Heroin detox also has other important goals. First, it gives your doctor the chance to stabilize your overall medical condition. This assistance is called supportive care.

It can include steps such as:

  • Monitoring your pulse and other vital signs
  • Providing you with vitamins or electrolytes
  • Improving your general state of nutrition

In addition, medical detox helps you prepare for participation in a heroin treatment program. This is a vitally important thing to do. Why?

Unless you follow up detox with active treatment, you have very little chance of fully recovering from addiction. You also face another serious threat if you don’t go to rehab after completing heroin detox.

Namely, you have an increased chance of overdosing if you start using opioids again. That’s true because withdrawal makes you less tolerant to opioids’ effects.

If you start using again, even relatively small amounts of drugs can overwhelm your system.

Heroin Detox Medication

Medication is a big part of supervised heroin detox. In fact, experts recommend that no one detox from an opioid without it.

That’s true because even milder symptoms of opioid withdrawal can cause significant discomfort.

Two of the most commonly used medications are methadone and buprenorphine.

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Like heroin, methadone is a member of the opioid family.

Given that fact, it might seem strange to use this substance for heroin detoxification. However, methadone differs from heroin in important ways.

When used in detox, methadone does produce an opioid effect. But importantly, this effect is not as great as that produced by heroin. When given in the right amounts, methadone basically acts as a temporary opioid substitute.

It allows you to go through detox while avoiding the worst symptoms of withdrawal. Over time, your doctor will lower your methadone dose.

This gradual reduction will help you reach a sober state while maximizing your comfort.


Buprenorphine is also an opioid medication. Compared to methadone, it has an even smaller opioid effect. During detox, buprenorphine serves the same purpose as methadone.

Other Medication Options

Your doctor may also prescribe other medications during heroin detox near you. One common option is the blood pressure medication clonidine.

Clonidine works by changing the function of your involuntary nervous system. This can help relieve some, but not all, of your opioid withdrawal symptoms.

You may also receive a sedative to help relieve symptoms of insomnia.

Heroin Detox - A needle and some white powder sit on a table. In the background slightly out of focus a man sits with his legs crossed and his hands on his head. He is addicted to heroin and needs a heroin detox to get clean so he can start rehab.

Who Needs to Enter a Heroin Detox Program

Detox is a necessity for anyone addicted to heroin. How can doctors tell if you’re addicted? In addition to withdrawal, you may have a range of other symptoms.

These symptoms can include:

  • Rising tolerance to the effects of heroin
  • Losing control over your heroin intake
  • Trying to quit using the drug multiple times without success
  • Devoting much of your day to using heroin, obtaining it or recovering from its effects
  • Substituting heroin use for other activities you once enjoyed
  • Continuing to use heroin even though you’re aware of its harmful mental and physical impact

It takes just two of these symptoms including withdrawal to qualify for an opioid use disorder diagnosis. Severely affected people can have as many as 11 symptoms. That includes issues related to both addiction and abuse.

Timeframe for Heroin Detox

So, how long does it take to detox off heroin? The exact amount time needed to detox can vary from person to person.

Still, most people experience their worst withdrawal symptoms about three days after they stop using heroin. On average, it takes about a week to complete the entire process.

However, it’s important to note that your cravings for opioids can last for much longer.

Heroin Detox Centers Near You

Heroin detox centers in your area may operate in two kinds of locations. Many centers are standalone facilities that only offer detoxification services.

Other centers are part of a larger hospital or treatment center. Programs in both types of locations provide effective services.

Covering Your Heroin Detox Expenses

There are several options for covering the expense of detox, including:

Depending on your circumstances, any one of these options might make the most sense. You may also cover the cost of detox through a combination of payment methods.

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Find Heroin Detox Treatment Today

Medical detox is a must if you or your loved one are addicted to heroin. During detox, you will receive help that eases the effects of opioid withdrawal.

You will also receive general supportive care and prepare to enroll in active treatment. Doctors can use several medications to reduce the impact of withdrawal. Some of these medications are also opioids.

However, when used properly, they provide crucial short-term assistance. Your doctor may also ease your symptoms with non-opioid medications.

How Long Does Heroin Detox Take?

The process last for about a week in most cases. However, everyone is different it can also take you a longer or shorter amount of time to completely detox.

Detox centers are often standalone facilities dedicated to a single purpose. You can also go through detox in a hospital or at a treatment facility. Top-quality programs can be found in all of these settings.

Want more information on how to detox from heroin? Contact the experts at 877-224-0761 today.


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  • (877) 224-0761
  • Mon-Sun: 24x7


  • 2953 S Peoria St. Suite 230 Aurora, CO 80014
  • (877) 224-0761
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