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How Long Does It Take to Detox from Heroin?

a person holds their hands in front of their face in hope as they wonder How long does it take to detox from heroin?

The problem with heroin is that the drug is so highly addictive. If someone is using it on a regular basis for just a few weeks, they might find themselves dealing with a full-blown addiction faster than they could have ever imagined. Trying to break dependence on the drug can be challenging and potentially dangerous depending on a person’s overall health, how long they’ve been using the drug, and how much they use it. This detox process is the first step on the road to recovery, but how long does it take to detox from heroin?

California Centers for Recovery helps people living with addictions to heroin and other drugs take the first steps toward a healthier future. Our heroin detox center in California is a safe haven where our clients receive support and peace while learning to live without heroin. Learn more about our addiction treatment services and how they could help you or a loved one by calling 877.328.5682 today.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

As you might guess, the withdrawal symptoms associated with heroin addiction can be quite significant. In the most extreme instances, these symptoms can pose a serious threat to the drug user’s long-term health. As a case in point, here are some of the more troubling heroin withdrawal symptoms one might encounter:

  • Rapid and strained breathing
  • Troubling increase in blood pressure and heart rate
  • Profuse sweating
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, along with severe stomach cramping
  • Auditory and visual hallucinations and nightmares if sleeping
  • Trouble controlling motor function and decision making
  • Depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideology

As you can see, this is quite a troubling list. This should make it clear why experts always recommend people addicted to heroin participate in a medically monitored detox program. Now that you have a general idea about what kind of heroin withdrawal symptoms one might encounter, keep reading to learn about the actual detox process from a time standpoint.

The Detox Process Is Unique to Everyone

The time it takes to detox can vary from one person to the next. In fact, there are several factors that will typically play a role in determining how long it takes. Those factors include:

  • The length of time the addict has been abusing heroin – When someone uses heroin for a long time, it takes much longer for the body to recover.
  • The method of heroin use – If someone has been snorting or smoking heroin, detoxing will usually be faster than if they had been injecting it intravenously.
  • Overall health – Those in good physical health tend to handle the detoxification process better than those who are dealing with existing medical issues.
  • The amount they are using with each dose – Those who take larger doses of heroin will generally have a longer detox period.
  • The frequency of the heroin abuse – The more often someone uses heroin, the longer it will take for their body to detox.

Additionally, someone with a larger frame and higher body weight will have a different detox experience from a smaller person. Addiction specialists will take all of these factors into account when developing a medication-assisted treatment plan.

How Long Does It Take to Detox from Heroin?

Daily life during the detox process will be different as withdrawal symptoms progress. Normally, the detox process looks like this:

The First Few Hours

From the moment someone takes their last dose of heroin, it will be about 8 to 10 hours before the cravings kick in and the withdrawal symptoms start.

The First Day

Over the first 24 hours, the person will probably experience some discomfort that includes agitation, anxiety, sweating, and nausea.

The Second Day

During the second day, the seas start getting a little bumpy. The individual will typically experience stomach cramping, profuse sweating, issues with heart rate and blood pressure, and more nausea and vomiting.

Days Three to Five

Heading into days three through five, the worst of the symptoms will occur. That will likely include nightmares, hallucinations, depression, breathing problems, escalating blood pressure, and loss of motor function. This is the critical time when the person going through withdrawal could really use some help. If the individual can get past the first five days, things will slowly get better. They aren’t yet out of the woods, but they should see the light at the end of the tunnel, and the worst of the symptoms should become a thing of the past.

The time it takes for the detox process to finish can be significantly extended for a person who has used heroin for a long time. They might be at risk if they don’t get help in the form of a tapering program that includes a prescription for a tapering drug like suboxone. In this kind of scenario, the person might experience withdrawal symptoms for at least a month.

Heroin Detox at California Centers for Recovery

Now that you know the answer to “How long does it take to detox from heroin?” it’s time to find out if you need help. At California Centers for Recovery, we understand the complexity of this issue, which is why we offer a safe haven where our clients receive support and peace while learning to live without heroin. We provide individualized treatment plans that help you or your loved one begin their journey toward recovery with medically monitored detox programs that are tailored to each person’s needs. If you’re ready to take the first step on the road to sobriety, contact us today at 877.328.5682 for more information about how our services could benefit you or someone close to you.