Heroin Detox: A Timeline

Gemma Andaya
Gemma Andaya
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    Heroin addiction is one of the most difficult drug addictions to recover from. This is largely due to the awful withdrawal symptoms associated with heroin detox. Not only are they unpleasant, but they can also be fatal. A medically-assisted detox is the most beneficial and safest way to detox when it comes to battling addiction.

    During a medically-assisted detox, a person has around-the-clock observation from trained staff. They are given medications to help ease the effects of withdrawal and make them comfortable. The medical team monitors their health to watch out for potential health issues that can arise. It is not uncommon for someone with heroin addiction to struggle with heart issues and organ failure. To better understand what a person goes through, let’s look at what the withdrawal timeline looks like

    What Are The First Three Days Like?

    The first three days are an ascent into major discomfort. Within hours, a person experiences nausea and abdominal pain. This is often when a person is likely to seek out more heroin to alleviate their discomfort. Over the next few days they will also experience:

    Physical pain
    Tearing of the eyes
    Runny nose
    Chills and goosebumps
    Excessive sweating
    Yawning and tiredness
    Vomiting and diarrhea
    Agitation and restlessness
    Uncontrollable tremors
    Inability to concentrate
    Heart palpitations

    This is the time when monitoring of health and medications are the most beneficial. At our facility, our focus is also on holistic methods. We feed each person nutritious meals to help their bodies regain strength and natural functions to fight off the toxins.

    After The First Week

    After about 3 days, many people will start to feel like their heroin withdrawal symptoms will subside. Medications are often altered following the individual’s needs. This does not mean that symptoms are gone, they are just lessened. At this stage many will feel:

    Bone and muscle pain
    Fatigue and yawning
    Struggle with focus
    Runny nose

    The Next Six Months

    Many people assume that once someone leaves detoxification that their bodies no longer have symptoms. This is unfortunately untrue when it comes to heroin and some other drugs. It is not uncommon for people with severe heroin addictions to feel symptoms for the next six months. They are not as severe as they are in the beginning and can safely be on their own. Depending on the severity of their continued withdrawal symptoms, they may require medication to help them stay on track with their new substance-free life.

    Do Not Detox Alone

    While some people can detox at home without the help of a medical team or recovery center, we never recommend it for heroin. There are too many stories of folks dying while trying to stop using heroin. Many cannot get through the first three days without giving up entirely. Anyone suffering from drug addiction needs the support of others to be successful. Trained medical staff at our facility understand what someone is going through and can keep one safe during the process.

    Treatment Options For Heroin Addiction

    There are many treatment options for anyone struggling with heroin addiction. The most common is to begin treatment with a detoxification process. One can focus on their recovery best when they are not plagued with the poison running through their bodies. Once completed, a person will have a variety of therapies to help them recover successfully. These options include:

    Ongoing pharmaceutical care
    Psychotherapy
    Cognitive-behavioral therapy
    Dialectical behavioral therapy
    Group therapy
    Individual therapy
    Family therapy
    Support groups
    Yoga therapy
    Art therapy
    Equine therapy

    How We Can Help You

    At Nestled Recovery, we have years of experience helping people recover from heroin addiction. Our team is professionally trained and many have their own personal experiences with drug addiction. Our treatment is focused on mindfulness, trauma-informed care, and the eight dimensions of wellness. By using these three key components, we set you up for lifelong success.

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