Heroin Detox

Welcome to Silicon Valley Recovery, where hope begins and healing takes root. Our team aims to guide you through the crucial first step of your journey toward recovery from heroin addiction – Heroin Detox. Whether you're grappling with acute withdrawal symptoms within the first 8-24 hours or facing protracted challenges, we are here to support you!

What is

Heroin Detox

Heroin detox is the first phase of heroin addiction treatment for dependent people. Heroin – a highly addictive illicit opioid – poses many health risks that often require medical attention. Drug detox helps clear an addictive substance from the body in a safe and controlled environment. Detox is an essential step before starting an addiction treatment program. That said, detoxification does not guarantee long-term abstinence. Instead, it prepares and stabilizes a user for additional addiction treatment programs. Heroin addiction treatment aims to:
  • Relieve your discomfort.
  • Build trust between you and your provider and other treatment staff.
  • Prevent complications that may arise when you stop taking heroin (withdrawal symptoms).

Acute Withdrawal

8-24 Hours After Last Intake

Acute withdrawal or simply withdrawal begins 8 to 24 hours after the last intake and can continue for 4 to 10 days. According to the ASAM, withdrawal is the onset of a predictable constellation of signs and symptoms following the abrupt discontinuation of, or rapid decrease in, the dosage of a psychoactive substance.

Nausea & Vomiting

Anxiety

Insomnia

Feeling sick & strong cravings

Hot & Cold Flashes

Muscle Pain

Sweating

Watery Eyes

Runny Nose

Diarrhea

Yawning

Heart Pounding

Protracted

Withdrawal Symptoms

Also called extended withdrawal, it includes symptoms (of acute withdrawal) that last beyond the expected timeframes. The protracted withdrawal phase may last for several weeks or months. The most common symptoms include sleep disturbances, anxiety, and depression.

Visual or auditory hallucinations

Extreme Confusion

Profound Restlessness

Rapid Changes in heart Rate

Sensations of itching and burning

insomnia & Fatigue

Fever

Seizures

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Heroin Detox

Treatment Services

Heroin addiction treatment options can vary, but usually involve a combination of counseling services, medications, psychological support and lifestyle changes. Treatment also needs to be tailored specifically to the patient’s needs as each person has different issues requiring different types of therapies.

Medications

Detox medication is routinely used to help relieve withdrawal symptoms and prevent seizures.

For headaches and other pains from withdrawal 

To ease anxiety and restlessness

For the treatment of diarrhea 

For nutritional support

Counseling & Psychotherapy

Once you are stable and have mild withdrawal symptoms, you will receive counseling and psychotherapy. These non-drug approaches are crucial to maintaining long-term sobriety. 

You will work with a therapist to uncover the underlying causes of your addiction, such as past trauma, stress, and coexisting mental illness. Then, your therapist will teach you skills and tools to replace addiction-related negative thoughts with positive ones. 

Psychotherapy sessions may be conducted individually or in a group and can include: 

Specific drugs – Clonidine or Buprenorphine may be used if you have severe withdrawal.

Monitoring

A doctor reviews your condition daily. Continuous monitoring ensures you are responding to the treatment.

Emergency Plan

Because heroin users may have life-threatening complications during withdrawal, addiction experts carefully design an emergency plan soon after starting the detox program.

heroin detox timeline

How Long Does it Take to Detox From Heroin?

6 to 24 Hours

You may experience muscle aches, shaking, diarrhea, sleep disturbances, anxiety, poor concentration, and intense cravings.

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1 to 3 Days

Some of your symptoms peak within the first few days. Besides, you may have new symptoms, including irritability, tiredness, stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting.

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4 to 7 Days

The physical symptoms become milder but psychological symptoms may persist.

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Up to 2 weeks

Long-term or heavy users may struggle with psychological symptoms, such as sleep disturbances, anxiety, irritability, and depression. If these symptoms persist, you may need specialized treatment for a co-occurring disorder.

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Is it Safe?

Home Detox

No. Experts do not recommend at-home heroin detox, mainly for two reasons.
  1. Doing so may increase the risk of overdose.
  2. Second, self-medicating to relieve withdrawal symptoms may actually worsen them or cause fatal drug interactions. For example, combining Benzodiazepines (to reduce anxiety) with heroin can cause death.