Heroin detox can be dangerous. Don’t attempt to detox alone. Make heroin withdrawal as comfortable as possible with medical detox.

Heroin Detox

Heroin is an opioid and is very addictive. It doesn’t take long for someone to become addicted to heroin. Nearly 800,000 people reported using heroin in 2018.

Suddenly stopping heroin can be dangerous. This is especially true if someone is also struggling with another substance use disorder, such as alcohol addiction. Or also have a mental health disorder, such as major depression.

What Causes Heroin Detox?

Detoxification starts due to tolerance to a substance. When someone detoxes from heroin, they remove all heroin from their body which can be unpleasant.

Heroin works on the central nervous system receptors to trick the body into not feeling the pain it usually does. Once someone’s body becomes dependent on heroin, they often rely on the drug to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

As the body builds a tolerance, it will need larger doses over time. The longer someone abuses heroin, the more intense the detox process.

Signs of Heroin Abuse and Addiction

Many people start abusing heroin because they were first given an opioid prescription for a legitimate pain issue. Due to opioids’ strong effects, and the tightening restrictions around prescriptions, many people will start to take heroin they can purchase on the street.

Potential signs and symptoms of opioid abuse to watch for include:

  • drowsiness
  • mental fog
  • nausea
  • constipation

In extreme cases of abuse, some people may also experience slowed breathing, resulting in an overdose death. These are all possible signs you or your loved one are misusing opioids, such as heroin.

Another possible symptom of opioid abuse is the presentation of withdrawal symptoms.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Heroin withdrawal symptoms occur when someone suddenly stops taking heroin. The symptoms someone experiences will depend on how long they’ve abused heroin and how large a dose their body has become accustomed to.

If someone dependent on heroin stops heroin, they may experience the following:

  • restlessness
  • muscles aches
  • bone pain
  • diarrhea and vomiting
  • cold flashes
  • goosebumps

What To Expect During Heroin Detoxification

Because heroin is so addictive, it often requires a formal detox program. A complete health consultation is one of the first steps during a heroin detox program. This ensures that each individual will receive the care they need, including:

  • mental health care
  • nutritional care
  • medical needs
  • disorder treatment

Detox programs help you manage difficult physical withdrawal symptoms and cravings. However, finding a detox program that provides referrals to formal addiction treatment programs is essential for a better chance of a successful recovery.

Medical Detox for Heroin Addiction

Due to the changes heroin can impose on brain chemistry, it’s virtually impossible to detox alone. Medical detox can help reduce the risk of relapse you face when going it alone.

Medical detox programs typically last about a week. This is not enough time to fully overcome a heroin addiction for most people, so it’s vital to follow detox with an inpatient treatment program.

Most people who struggle with heroin abuse would likely benefit from an outpatient program following inpatient programs.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Heroin Abuse

There have been some medications developed to aid people in their efforts to stop using heroin. Medication-assisted treatment works to remove cravings for heroin and slowly taper the body off of opioids.

In some cases, however, the body has been permanently changed by heroin abuse and will have to maintain medication for the remainder of their lives. However, it is possible to do this and maintain your sobriety.

MAT medications for opioid abuse include:

  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Clonidine
  • Naltrexone

Heroin Detox Rehab Centers

If you or your loved one needs help with a heroin use disorder, the team at Desert Rose Detox is here to help. We can help answer any questions you may have about the detox process or finding further additional treatment programs in Florida. Call our helpline at (844) 866-1036.


National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus – Heroin

National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus – Opiate and opioid withdrawal