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What You Need to Know About Heroin Detox

If you or a loved one is suffering from a substance use disorder, there is help. The experienced team at the Lighthouse detox in Orange County can help you to recover in comfort so that you can move on to recovery as quickly as possible. Heroin is one of the most frequently abused substances in the United States, often used as a replacement for prescription painkillers.  For this reason and because of its easy availability, heroin has become extremely easy to abuse and has always been highly addictive.

Like other opioids, Heroin is difficult to withdraw from because withdrawal symptoms are painful and often traumatic. Our focus on social recovery with group and counselor support, as well as medical support when necessary, is designed to get you or your loved one through heroin detox and into recovery as quickly and as safely as possible.

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline and Symptoms

Heroin is a short-acting opioid drug with a withdrawal profile similar to most prescription painkillers. Symptoms typically begin within the first 6-12 hours, peak after 1-3 days, and are generally gone within 1 week of taking the final dose. However, some users may experience considerably longer withdrawal symptoms, including Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, lasting up to months after the final dose.

Heroin detox symptoms typically include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Cold and flu symptoms (watery eyes, runny nose)
  • Sweats and chills
  • Fatigue
  • General malaise (muscle and bone aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Muscle spasms
  • Rapid heart rate or hypertension
  • Cravings
  • Respiratory issues

While most users experience the same spectrum of withdrawal symptoms, heroin withdrawal is not the same for everyone. Your metabolism, body and weight, length and use of abuse, and even the purity of the drug abused and how you used will affect withdrawal symptoms.

Heroin Detox Options and Treatment

Most people can choose between either medically supported heroin detox or a social model detox option. Both options are available at Lighthouse Recovery.

Medical Detox

Here, you are given a prescription medication to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings, preventing you from getting sick during the detox process. In most cases, you will be given buprenorphine or suboxone, which are safer opioids with a lighter withdrawal profile. Switching to either of these drugs allows you to go into behavioral therapy for treatment and then taper that drug off to avoid drug use and withdrawal symptoms. This form of detox is very safe, greatly reduces complications from withdrawal, and allows addicts to safely build coping mechanisms before completely stopping heroin use.

Social Model Detox

Lighthouse Treatment also offers social model detox, where you detox naturally, under the watchful eye of a medical team. Here, you are given comfortable surroundings and a home-like environment with 24/7 monitoring to ensure complications do not occur. While you will experience the full onset of withdrawal symptoms more quickly, many people prefer social model detox because you can detox more quickly and without the support of other medications.

If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin use, there is help. People come to heroin for a variety of reasons, including opioid medication and mental health problems, and the holistic detox care at Lighthouse Treatment is the ideal first step to quitting the drug while discovering the underlying issues behind the drug abuse, so you can get treatment and move forward with a drug free life.