Detoxing From Heroin and Its Effects on Health

Detoxing From Heroin and Its Effects on Health

Heroin remains a significant component of the nation’s opioid epidemic, which is causing havoc on communities and families. It’s an illegal opioid with high addictive quality. Heroin is made from morphine, which is obtained from the opium poppy plant. Heroin binds quickly to brain cells, causing an excess of dopamine in the brain. This overabundance of feel-good chemicals causes euphoria and well-being, as well as a reduction in pain and anxiety. Because of heroin’s addictive properties, a person may develop a desire for more and more of the drug in order to achieve that euphoric feeling or to empty their emotions.

Detoxing from heroin

What Is Heroin Withdrawal?

When a heroin addict stops using the drug, he or she goes through withdrawal. Tolerance and addiction are linked. Tolerance to opioids develops in the body over time. The Tolerance occurs when people require more of a drug over time in order to achieve the same effect. Dependency implies that they require the drug in order to feel normal. Heroin, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, causes extreme tolerance and dependence. When heroin addicts stop using the drug, their bodies and minds are thrown into chaos. Symptoms can appear as soon as a few hours after the last heroin dose. A few people have died as a result of severe withdrawal symptoms combined with a lack of medical attention.

Withdrawal Symptoms:

Users tend to feel withdrawal symptoms between 6 and 12 hours after their last Heroin dose. Heroin leaves the user’s system faster than painkillers, that’s why withdrawal occurs more quickly.

Withdrawal mostly sounds like a bad case of the flu. The worst pain and discomfort lasted a week — about as long as the bad flu — with withdrawal effects peaking on the second or third day.

Common symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches

If a person has severe symptoms, it is recommended that they seek medical attention or hospitalization, especially if they have diarrhea or are vomiting as electrolyte imbalances can occur.

Withdrawal typically lasts about a week:

Withdrawal from heroin typically lasts one week, but it can sometimes last longer. This can differ depending on how long and how much you use it. The first few days of the withdrawal are usually the most difficult. However, the length of withdrawal and the symptoms that accompany it differ from person to person. In most cases, regular’ heroin withdrawal lasts 5-7 days, with the most severe symptoms occurring in the first three days. Other factors that influence withdrawal include how much heroin is used, how often it is used, and how the heroin is consumed.

Read Also: Detoxing From Substance Abuse Safely

Heroin Detox:

Heroin detox provides a secure environment in which to manage withdrawal symptoms. Complications from heroin removal can occur and kill someone detoxing without medical supervision. Those suffering from withdrawal can become severely dehydrated. They can even choke to death after inhaling stomach contents. Even when the patient’s life is not in danger, withdrawal symptoms are often so unpleasant that the patient relapses and avoids attempting to quit in the future. To overcome heroin addiction, supervised medical detox is always advised.


A professional heroin detox program includes techniques that keep clients comfortable, address physical and psychological difficulties, and reduce the probability of relapse. When medication is required, trained and compassionate medical personnel can provide it.  It’s critical to remember that detox is only the first step out of addiction and into life-affirming recovery. Individuals must actively participate in drug addiction treatment in order to experience true long-term recovery. Quality treatment includes a variety of therapies used to discover “why” people started using drugs and to teach coping skills to help them avoid relapsing into heroin addiction.

The cycle of using, quitting, and relapsing will continue unless addiction is properly treated. Relapse is inevitable if people detox from heroin without seeking treatment. Each use of heroin puts your life in danger. In that situation, you should seek medical assistance. At Crestone detox, we offer a personalized, medically-supervised detox that works in tandem with our holistic treatment perspective. Our staff cares for you on all levels as you’re going through the detox phase.


At crestonedetox we provide 24/7 structured care. The length of detox varies, and it will depend on several factors including:

  • Your medical and mental health history
  • Drugs present in your bloodstream
  • Your history of previous detox episodes
  • Your motivation and desire for change

All detoxes begin with a clear analysis in which you will discuss your medical and psychiatric history. You will also meet with a physician. Because detox can be both physically and emotionally unpleasant, it’s common to spend the first few days sleeping or resting. When you go through medical detox, you’ll be surrounded by loving staff and other people who are trying to get better. A case manager or therapist may meet with you. These experts will teach you the basics of relapse prevention. They’ll also teach you how to cope with cravings.

Medications Used in Detox:

Clinicians in both inpatient and outpatient drug rehab can prescribe medications to help with withdrawal symptoms. Some drugs aid in the recovery process by reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings.


Withdrawing from heroin isn’t usually considered life-threatening. However, some of the medical and psychological symptoms can lead to life-threatening complications. For example, depression may lead to suicidal ideation. Heroin should never be abruptly stopped without the help of medical and/or mental health professionals who can use a variety of techniques to manage withdrawal symptoms and keep people safe.

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