Heroin is a highly addictive illicit drug. It creates unbelievably powerful withdrawal and craving symptoms. All of this starts after using the product just one time.
When a person uses heroin, their body is flooded with chemicals that mimic dopamine. This overloads the body and instantly changes the brain’s makeup. It gets to the point where the body requires heroin and will produce painful withdrawal symptoms until that need is satiated.
Trying to break free from heroin addiction cold turkey is difficult and can be dangerous. That’s why anyone who wants to break free from heroin addiction needs to work with experienced drug rehabilitation professionals. The question is, how long does it take for a person to recover from heroin addiction?
How Long Does It Take to Detox from Heroin?
To recover from heroin addiction, you must first rid your body of heroin and its toxins. This is called detoxification.
As your body rids itself of heroin, the unpleasant withdrawal process begins. For many people addicted to heroin, fear of going through withdrawal is the primary thing that stops them from getting help. Thankfully, millions of people have successfully made it through the withdrawal phase and have found long-term happiness in recovery.
Within a few hours of stopping heroin, you may start to experience horrible flu-like symptoms. These could include muscle aches and a runny nose.
Within the first 24 hours, you will feel the most intense withdrawal symptoms. They will reach their peak at around 36 to 72 hours. For most people, heroin withdrawal symptoms last between seven and 10 days.
You shouldn’t try to quit heroin cold turkey. Detoxing at home or trying home remedies for detoxing is unsafe, unproven, and untested. A heroin treatment facility is the safest place to go through detox in a dignified way.
How Long Is Heroin in Your System?
Interestingly, your body can metabolize heroin rapidly. Most of the drug has gone through your system and is out in less than 30 minutes. Heroin has a half-life of three minutes. If a person injects 20 mg of heroin, all that’s left is 10 mg after the first three minutes, 5 mg after the first six minutes, and so on.
This means that in a relatively healthy individual with a fast metabolism, heroin can be completely clear from the body in just 15 minutes. However, for people with a slower metabolism, it’ll usually stay in their system for about 30 minutes.
What Does It Mean to Taper Off heroin?
Tapering off heroin is where you lessen dependence and tolerance over time. The idea is to take less and less of the drug, allowing your body’s nervous system to self-correct and heal itself. This is one way to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay to help you continue the recovery process. Your environment is a key factor in determining if tapering off heroin is the right approach for you.
Therapy After Detox
Detox is not treatment. Detox alone will do very little to help you completely recover from heroin addiction. Detox removes all traces of the drug from your system and breaks the physical dependency. However, heroin addiction affects the mind and the body. Detox addresses the body, and counseling is designed to fix the mind.
Outpatient Treatment Options
Outpatient detox treatment programs allow a person freedom of movement as long as they attend regular counseling sessions. This option is usually best for individuals whose heroin use was not severe enough to require emergency treatment but who still have developed an addiction that requires care. Outpatient therapy programs involve counseling and coping skills to help a person address life’s challenges without using drugs.
These are best for individuals whose addiction has reached an acute stage where heroin has caused a considerable amount of damage to that person and their life. They will need the education to help them get a deeper understanding of why they use heroin and help them live a clean life.
While heroin detox typically takes seven to 10 days, there is no set time limit for recovery. Recovery programs can last 30, 60, 90 days, or even a year. And even after recovery, follow-up care is often needed to help a person completely break free from heroin.
Do you or someone you love need help breaking free from heroin addiction? We want to be the guides that help you make sobriety a reality. Contact us today at 833-610-1174 to learn more.