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How Long Does It Take to Detox from Heroin?

Last Updated on January 29, 2024
adam zagha of numa detox and rehab in los angeles
Writer: Adam Zagha
Clinical Reviewer: Ariana Gravanis

Breaking free from heroin's hold is tough work filled with ups and downs. Once you're caught in the cycle of addiction it feels like there's just no end in sight! It tests your limits, leaving you and those around you on edge hoping for a breakthrough. Many who are interested in quitting often wonder how long does it take to detox from heroin?

As a leading Los Angeles detox, NUMA is committed to providing support tailored to your unique situation. The team is available to help you get through this process. If you're ready to take the first step towards a life free from heroin, contact NUMA today to learn more!

Start Recovery Here.
Call (323) 970-9379

Quick Points

  • Heroin detox starts within 6-12 hours after the last dose, with symptoms peaking at 2-3 days.

  • Common withdrawal symptoms include muscle aches, intense cravings, mood disturbances, and gastrointestinal issues.

  • Post-acute withdrawal can last weeks or months, with ongoing cravings and mood swings.

  • Medical detox is recommended for the safety and effective management of opioid withdrawal.

  • NUMA provides comprehensive treatment programs, including medication and emotional support, for heroin addiction recovery.

Typical Length of Heroin Detox

The typical length of detox from heroin varies based on several factors, including the duration of use and the individual's overall health.

Generally, the process of heroin detox can start within 6 to 12 hours after the last dose, with symptoms peaking around 2 to 3 days later. This period is critical as the body begins to adjust to the absence of the substance.

Most people start to feel some relief from the acute symptoms within a week, although the intensity and duration can vary.

Substance abuse treatment professionals often recommend medication-assisted treatment to help manage the discomfort associated with detox and to reduce the risk of relapse. This approach is part of a comprehensive heroin addiction treatment plan that includes ongoing treatment to address the psychological aspects of addiction.

Detox is just the first step to recovery.

Effective treatment programs will provide a foundation for long-term recovery, including strategies to maintain a life free from heroin use. Detoxing in a controlled, medically supervised environment can help mitigate life-threatening risks associated with opioid withdrawal and ensure a safer transition.

Common Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Heroin withdrawal symptoms can vary widely among individuals, but there are common signs that many people experience during the withdrawal period.

Acute Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

During the initial phase of heroin detox, individuals often experience a range of physical and psychological symptoms, including:

  • Muscle aches: One of the first signs of withdrawal, these can range from mild to severe.

  • Intense cravings: The desire to use heroin again can be overwhelming and is a hallmark of the withdrawal process.

  • Mood disturbances: This can include feelings of anxiety and depression as the body adjusts to the absence of heroin.

  • Gastrointestinal distress: Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are common and particularly uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms

Some individuals may experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms that can persist for weeks or months. These may include:

  • Ongoing cravings: While not as intense as during the acute phase, cravings can persist and trigger relapse if not properly managed.

  • Mood swings: Emotional instability can continue, often requiring support and sometimes medication to manage.

  • Sleep disturbances: Insomnia or disturbed sleep patterns are common during this stage.

Typical Timeline for Heroin Withdrawals

If you want to know how to detox from heroin, first, you must understand the heroin withdrawal timeline to prepare yourself for the detox process. Here's a general outline of what to expect:

Initial 24 Hours

  • Mild symptoms begin, such as muscle aches and anxiety.

  • Individuals may start to experience withdrawal as the drug leaves the body.

Days 2-3

  • Symptoms peak, becoming more intense. This period can include severe muscle pains, nausea, and agitation.

Days 4-7

  • Symptoms gradually ease. Physical discomfort starts to diminish, but cravings may persist.

Beyond One Week

  • While acute physical symptoms may have subsided, psychological cravings and mild symptoms can continue.

Should I Seek a Medical Detox for Heroin Addiction?

Medical detox for heroin addiction is vital for those struggling with dependency.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) emphasizes the significance of medical supervision during detox due to the intense and potentially dangerous symptoms of heroin withdrawal.

These symptoms stem from the drug's profound impact on the body's opioid receptors which influences both physical and psychological functions.

A medical detox program provides an environment where health professionals monitor and manage withdrawal symptoms to ensure safety and comfort.

Can NUMA Help?

Yes, NUMA offers comprehensive addiction treatment programs designed to address heroin withdrawal through medical intervention and emotional support.

With medications approved for easing withdrawal symptoms, NUMA provides an approach that ensures each individual receives the care needed for a successful recovery. Contact NUMA to get started!

Start Recovery Here.
Call (323) 970-9379
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adam zagha of numa detox and rehab in los angeles
Adam Zagha
Adam Zagha is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles with over a decade of experience in addiction treatment and recovery. He holds a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology and is certified in EMDR therapy, CBT, DBT, and ACT. Prior to Numa Recovery Centers, Adam was CFO and the Director of Clinical Outreach at Transcend Recovery Community. Adam is committed to providing top-quality care to individuals seeking treatment for addiction and mental health issues. He also provides trainings and workshops on addiction, mental health, and mindfulness.
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About Numa
Numa Recovery Centers is a leading drug and alcohol detox and rehab company based in Los Angeles, providing evidence-based treatment for substance abuse and addiction. With a team of experienced professionals, Numa offers a comprehensive range of personalized services to help clients overcome addiction and achieve long-term recovery.
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    Numa Recovery Centers is a comprehensive drug and alcohol detox and rehab facility in Los Angeles, California dedicated to helping individuals overcome addiction and achieve lasting recovery. Our team of experienced professionals provides individualized care and support to address the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of those struggling with substance abuse.


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    California License Number: 191284AP

    Expiration Date: 01/31/2026

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