a woman struggles to get out of bed due to the unpleasant symptoms of heroin withdrawal

How Long Does Heroin Withdrawal Last?

Heroin is among the very most addictive substances on the streets today. Sadly, the risk of overdose is also high, and the results can be deadly. While facing the quitting process alone can pose some real risks, the journey is well worth the destination. Call our heroin detox center near San Antonio, TX, at 1.844.675.1628 or contact us online for information on critical topics like how long heroin withdrawal lasts. We can also discuss the next steps following detox. In the meantime, get some preliminary information about quitting heroin below. 

What Is Heroin and What Is Its Withdrawal Timeline?

Heroin is an opioid that provides an intense rush when it’s first taken, followed by several hours of deep drowsiness. During the period of drowsiness, heart and lung function slows considerably, sometimes even to the point of being fatal. Unfortunately, the drug is incredibly habit-forming, not only on a psychological level but on a physical one. 

Heroin binds to brain receptors normally occupied by natural endorphins, which can ultimately undermine the body’s ability to feel good on its own. Moreover, those who use heroin develop tolerance over time. Tolerance means a person requires more and more of the drug to achieve the same effects. 

The following withdrawal timeline is standard among people who are physically dependent on heroin and have stopped using: 

  • Within the first 8-12 hours, they experience acute withdrawal symptoms. These include vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, cravings, temperature fluctuations, cramps, sweating, running eyes and nose, and insomnia. 
  • Symptoms intensify during the 24-36 hour timeframe, making this the most impactful part of detoxification. If a person gets through this phase without relapsing, they have a much better chance of fully recovering. 
  • Symptoms usually taper off between days 4-6 following the last dose, but longer-term symptoms may appear. These side effects include low energy, irritability, sleep loss, ongoing cravings, emotional numbness, memory issues, depression, and anxiety.
  • Starting at the two-week mark and continuing for several weeks or months, the body is physically free of heroin. Nonetheless, cravings and mood symptoms like anxiety and depression can continue. Mental health care and lasting lifestyle changes can be beneficial at this point. 

While everyone’s timeline is different, this is what you can expect on average when detoxing from heroin.

What Can My Loved One and I Expect From a Heroin Detox and Treatment Program?

Sadly, many people who try to quit without professional support end up using again within two days of their final dose of heroin. Relapse happens because the withdrawal symptoms are so unpleasant. There’s also a substantial risk of dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea during early withdrawal. For both these reasons, it’s a great idea to undergo detox in a controlled medical environment rather than on your own. Doctors can monitor your fluid levels, check your vitals, and potentially administer medication to lessen pain and cravings. 

Following detox, the next steps in heroin use disorder treatment often include the following: 

  • Individual therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy are especially popular in drug recovery. These models teach clients to reframe their self-defeating thoughts, giving them a toolkit to manage triggers. For clients with a complex personal history, a trauma-informed style of care such as EMDR may likewise be supportive. 
  • Dual diagnosis: Patients with mental health concerns like depression or bipolar disorder may struggle with heightened risks for substance abuse. Dual diagnosis allows for wrap-around treatment that simultaneously works with all areas of concern. 
  • Group therapy: Clients who reap the rewards of non-judgemental conversation, accountability, and regular positive social engagement often significantly increase their recovery odds.
  • Holistic approaches: Additional offerings like nutrition, art, music, or animal-assisted therapy can be great recovery supplements. These approaches involve the client’s physical intelligence and creativity in the healing process. They also allow clients to develop connections and coping skills that extend well beyond the timeframe of formal treatment. 

Get Help Today at Hill Country’s Effective Heroin Detox and Treatment Center Near San Antonio

An accredited heroin treatment program can significantly increase the odds of gaining lasting sobriety from this dangerous drug. Contact The Right Step Hill Country today if you’re seeking help in the San Antonio area. Our knowledgeable staff is waiting to assist you at 1.844.675.1628 or via online message

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