What to Expect During Heroin Detox - Long Island Recovery Center

9.2 million people around the world use heroin. Heroin is a highly addictive drug, impacting your brain’s reward system. This makes users crave the drug.

Over time, your body becomes used to heroin. Your body develops a tolerance to the drug; when you use heroin, you need more to develop the euphoric effects. This is when addiction begins.

To relieve a heroin addiction, users go to a Long Island rehab and participate in heroin detox. When you decide to sober up and stop taking the drug, your body reacts in a negative way. It’s normal to feel nauseous and muscle pain. It’s also normal to experience insomnia and even mental effects such as anxiety.

When you recover from heroin abuse, you’ll have to go through a detox process to treat your addiction safely. But what should you expect from the heroin detox process?

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

While we touched on some common heroin withdrawal symptoms, understand that heroin withdrawal is different for everyone.

You’ll usually start experiencing the symptoms between six and 12 hours after your last heroin dose. Many describe it as a bad case of the flu. The symptoms you may experience include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Dilated pupils
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Muscle aches
  • Abdominal cramps

These symptoms usually peak the second or third day after your last heroin dose.

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline

How long is heroin withdrawal? The heroin withdrawal experience differs for everyone. That’s because no two addicts are the same.

Your heroin withdrawal experience depends on these factors:

  • Amount of heroin you take
  • Length of time you use heroin
  • Drug administration method (and type of heroin you use)
  • How frequently you use it
  • Any underlying medical and/or mental health issues

Most people can expect this general timeline.

Days 1 and 2

This is when symptoms first develop. You may experience pain, panic attacks, shaking, insomnia, and diarrhea.

Days 3 and 5

The most intense withdrawal days. You’ll experience sweating, abdominal cramps, nausea/vomiting, and shivers.

Days 6 and 7

Nausea and muscle aches fade. You’ll overall feel better but may still feel worn down and tired.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

Neurological changes occur with heroin use, resulting in withdrawal symptoms that can last for months after your last heroin dose. Some of the long-lasting symptoms include depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, and irritability.

What Is Heroin Detox?

Withdrawal symptoms can be debilitating, especially if they’re long-lasting. In serious cases, people can get injured or even die during the heroin withdrawal process.

This is why heroin detox is recommended. Heroin detox is a service that offers a safe place to recover from heroin addiction. You’re given treatment to reduce the withdrawal effects and you’re under the care of a specialist.

Patients are also at risk of relapsing. In some patients, the withdrawal symptoms become so severe that they start using it again. Your specialist will also make sure you don’t relapse during the withdrawal phase.

Your general health will also be monitored to ensure you recover safely. The clinicians will make sure you stay hydrated. Your heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and breathing levels will be checked regularly.

They will also watch for psychological issues, such as anxiety and depression, that may contribute to relapsing or even self-harm.

Detoxing at Rehab vs. DIY

Why should you detox at rehab and not by yourself?

First, it’s safer. Heroin addicts endure many dangers during the withdrawal phase, such as dehydration. They also risk relapsing, self-harm, and more. You’ll have access to low-strength opiates that can decrease your cravings as well as other medications for your other symptoms.

Even when following DIY heroin withdrawal tips, your success rates will be higher when you attend rehab. That’s because you have a supportive team surrounding you that monitors your health and encourages you to stay clean.

Rehab clinics can treat more than just the physical effects of heroin. They can target any mental issues that caused your addiction or that arose during addiction. This makes you mentally less dependent on heroin.

If you don’t want to choose an inpatient heroin detox, there are outpatient options. You can stay at home and devote between 10 and 12 hours a day to treatment. This is recommended if you had a mild heroin addiction.

Medications Used During Detox

Rehab clinicians will prescribe medications to ease your withdrawal symptoms. They also help minimize your cravings and will prevent relapsing. Here are some common medications you may take.

Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine is an opioid used specifically to treat heroin addiction. It reduces cravings because it causes a low to moderate euphoric sensation. Buprenorphine can also reduce vomiting and muscle aches.

Methadone

Methadone is one of the most common medications used to treat heroin addiction. It’s a low-strength and slow-acting opioid that reduces heroin cravings and prevents withdrawal symptoms.

Naltrexone

Naltrexone actually blocks off the brain receptors that react to heroin. When used over time, it stops heroin cravings. It’s not an addictive drug and also isn’t sedating. This is usually prescribed after a patient finishes detox.

How Long Does Heroin Detox Last?

It’s recommended you start your heroin detox soon after your last heroin dose. Depending on the severity of your withdrawal symptoms, heroin detox usually lasts a week or 10 days.

The detox process also depends on if you need further treatment. For example, if you need counseling as well as a physical detox, you may stay in rehab longer to treat your underlying mental health conditions.

Attend Heroin Detox in Long Island

Recovering from heroin addiction isn’t easy. You’ll suffer from withdrawal symptoms that can be dangerous. The safest and most effective way to treat your heroin addiction is by going through a heroin detox in rehab.

Are you looking for a heroin detox in Long Island? Take a look at our detox services.

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor

About

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.