Heroin Detox Prepares You for the Next Steps in Recovery

Heroin detox in Colorado can be essential if you or your loved one use this powerful street drug. Professional detox programs are far and away your best option. These programs know what it takes to keep you safe during detox. They also know how to help you prepare for your next steps toward lasting sobriety.

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Heroin Detox Basics

Detox is common shorthand for detoxification. You detox from heroin when you stop taking it and go through withdrawal. Why is this necessary to recover your sobriety? A brief rundown of heroin addiction will help make things clear.

Heroin is made from flowers called opium poppies. It belongs to a group of drugs and medications called opioids. All opioids produce the same basic effects. When they travel from your bloodstream to your brain, they slow down your central nervous system. They also boost levels of your brain’s main pleasure-producing chemical, dopamine.

Dopamine is also released in other ways. For example, levels of this chemical rise when you eat foods you like or have sex. However, opioids trigger a much higher rise in dopamine than everyday activities. This helps explain why people use heroin and other opioids repeatedly.

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Physical Opioid Dependence

If you use heroin often enough, your brain will come to expect its presence in your system. This expectation is called physical opioid dependence. Repeated users of the drug can also develop psychological opioid dependence. This basically means that you have an emotional urge to keep taking heroin. Together, physical dependence and psychological dependence define addiction.

Once you get addicted to heroin, you have to go through some form of detox. This is the only way to get the drug out of your system and reach a state of initial sobriety. Unless you take this step, you cannot get started on the road to recovery.

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How do You Detox From Heroin

You may wonder how to detox from heroin. Some people attempt to do this on their own, without professional help. However, by far, the best way to detox from heroin is to sign up for a supervised detoxification program. That is the only way to safeguard your health and limit your chances of experiencing a dangerous heroin relapse.

Heroin Detox Treatment

During heroin detox, one of the main goals is to treat the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. When you first start detoxing off heroin, these symptoms can include:

  • Painful muscles
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Unexplained anxiety
  • Unexplained mental agitation
  • High output of sweat, tears and mucus
  • Excessive yawning


As detox proceeds, you may also:

  • Feel nauseous
  • Vomit
  • Develop loose stools
  • Develop a fast heartbeat
  • Experience fever and chills
  • Develop cramps in your abdomen


Together, these symptoms can make you feel physically and mentally terrible. In fact, unless you are in a detox program, you may feel so bad that you start taking heroin again just to make your withdrawal symptoms stop. Fortunately, supervised detox can help you make it through withdrawal without relapsing back into heroin use.

Heroin Detox Drugs

Medication is an essential part of successful, supervised heroin detox. The type of heroin detox medication you receive depends on your personal circumstances. The two main options are methadone and buprenorphine.

Detox with Methadone

Methadone is a relatively strong opioid medication. You might wonder why anyone would ever prescribe an opioid to help you detox from heroin. However, there are specific reasons for using methadone as a detox treatment.

While methadone is strong, it still does not produce the same kinds of opioid effects as heroin. When you start taking methadone during detox, you get enough opioids to lessen the impact of withdrawal. However, you do not get enough opioids to feel “high.”

As you make progress in detox, your doctor will reduce your methadone intake. Eventually, you will take your last dose of the medication. At this point, you will have made it through opioid withdrawal.

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Detox with Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine also belongs to the family of opioid medications. While it is even weaker than methadone, it still plays the same role during detox. Namely, it helps you tolerate opioid withdrawal and complete the detox process.

Additional Detox Medications

While detoxing from heroin, you may also receive other types of medications. Some people need sedatives to combat the effects of sleeplessness during withdrawal. You may also receive a medication called clonidine. Clonidine can help you cope with withdrawal by supporting parts of your central nervous system.

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Who Requires Heroin Detox in Colorado

People who require heroin detox have opioid use disorder, or OUD. This disorder includes symptoms of opioid addiction such as:

  • Being unable to control how much heroin you take
  • An inability to quit using heroin even if you want to
  • The need to take increasing amounts of the drug to get an effect
  • Failure to halt a pattern of heroin use that you know damages your body or mind


It also includes symptoms of non-addicted heroin abuse. Some people in need of detox only experience addiction-related symptoms. However, they may also have additional symptoms of non-addicted abuse.

How Long is Heroin Detox in Colorado

People looking for help often ask, how long does it take to detox off heroin? As a general rule, you can complete withdrawal in about seven days. However, some people take longer to get all opioids out of their system.

You must also keep one thing in mind. Even when you have completed detox, you may still experience a desire to start using opioids again. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to enter a treatment program once you finish detox.

Locations for Heroin Detox in Colorado

Colorado heroin detox centers near you may be independent operations with their own resources. However, not all programs operate in this manner. Instead, some Colorado centers are departments of a larger healthcare resource.

How to Pay for Heroin Detox in Colorado

It is common for Colorado residents to pay at least some of their detox costs through health insurance. If you do not have insurance, you must pay for your detox services yourself. Some people are in a position to bear the full cost of their programs. For people who do not have insurance or the money to pay for rehab, we can make agreements for you to pay your bill in installments.

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Pathfinders Heroin Detox in Colorado

Heroin is an addictive opioid that can trigger physical and psychological dependence. To break dependence on this drug, you must go through heroin detox. If you are wondering how to help someone detox from heroin, experts have a universal recommendation. Instead of trying to detox at home, get help from a medically supervised program.

A supervised program can help keep you safe while you go through heroin withdrawal. It can also help you avoid relapsing back into the active use of the drug. Heroin detox centers rely on two main medications: methadone and buprenorphine. Both of these substances provide enough of a temporary opioid effect to help you make it through withdrawal.

How long to detox from heroin? The process takes about a week, on average. Your personal experience may differ. In addition, you may still crave opioids even after you complete detox.  That is why you should go from detox to active heroin treatment.

Heroin detox near you may be conducted by large healthcare organizations. You may also find independent detox centers that don’t have a parent organization. You can pay for your stay in a detox through insurance or self-financing.

To learn more about heroin detox in Colorado, just contact our specialists today at 866-414-0220.


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