Detoxing from heroin is dangerous, and should never be attempted outside of a medical facility. Withdrawals can cause serious health risks, including death.
Heroin is a highly addictive drug that can cause significant health problems. If you’re addicted to heroin, you may be wondering if you can detox at home. While it’s possible to detox from heroin at home, it’s not recommended. Detoxing from heroin can be dangerous and uncomfortable, and there’s a risk of relapse if you try to detox on your own.
If you’re considering detoxing from heroin, it’s important to talk to a doctor or addiction specialist first. They can help you find a safe and effective detox program that will give you the best chance of success.
What Is Heroin?
The opioid drug heroin is highly addictive and illegal. It is derived from morphine, the natural seed-based substance that comes from the pod of certain poppy plants. Heroin may be a brown or white powder. It can also be a sticky black substance called “black tar heroin.”
The effects of heroin depend on how much is used and the method in which it is used. The effects also vary from person to person. Heroin is generally injected, sniffed, or smoked.
When heroin is injected, the effects are felt within seconds. The initial rush is followed by a feeling of euphoria and well-being. This is followed by drowsiness and nodding off.
Snorting or smoking heroin produces different effects. The high from snorting heroin is less intense but lasts longer than the high from injecting it. Smoking heroin also produces a less intense but longer-lasting high.
The effects of heroin typically last for three to five hours when taken orally, by injection, or by inhalation. However, the effects can last much longer if the person takes heroin regularly (i.e., daily). Regular users often report feeling “dope sick” when they try to quit.
In fact, the withdrawal symptoms from heroin are so severe that many users find it nearly impossible to quit without professional help.
Understanding Heroin Withdrawal
Withdrawal from heroin can be an extremely uncomfortable experience and can be very dangerous. Symptoms of withdrawal usually peak around 48 hours after the last dose of heroin.
The most common symptoms of heroin withdrawal include:
- Muscle aches and pains
- Runny nose
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal cramps
- Dilated pupils
- Rapid heart rate
- Chills or goosebumps
Most people who detox from heroin at home will not experience any life-threatening symptoms. However, some people may be at risk for more serious problems during withdrawal, such as:
Dehydration: Diarrhea, vomiting, and sweating can lead to dehydration, which can be dangerous if not treated.
Seizures: A very small percentage of people withdrawing from heroin may experience seizures. This is more likely to occur in people who have a history of seizures or who are withdrawing from high doses of heroin.
Delirium Tremens: This is a rare but potentially life-threatening condition that can occur during alcohol withdrawal. It is characterized by confusion, hallucinations, and seizures. People who have a history of delirium tremens during alcohol withdrawal are at risk for this condition during heroin withdrawal.
Due to the potential for these risks and the psychological symptoms that come with heroin withdrawal, one should not attempt to detox from the drug at home. There are much safer options available. Options that can provide the medication the body needs after abruptly stopping heroin use.
What Is the Heroin Withdrawal Timeline?
Withdrawal from heroin typically begins within 8-24 hours after the last dose. The early symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Muscle aches and pains
- High blood pressure
- Nausea and vomiting
These physical symptoms peak within 1-2 days and then gradually subside over the next week or so. However, some people may experience protracted withdrawal symptoms that can last for months.
Is It Dangerous to Detox From Heroin at Home?
The withdrawal symptoms associated with heroin detox can be extremely uncomfortable and, in some cases, dangerous. For this reason, it is generally not recommended to detox from heroin at home without professional medical supervision.
If you’re trying to help a loved one get off of heroin, it is strongly advised that you get in touch with a professional addiction treatment center that can create a customized detox and successful recovery plan.
What Is the Safest Way to Detox from Heroin?
There are a number of ways to detox from heroin, but some methods are safer than others. One of the safest ways to detox is through a medically-supervised detoxification program.
These programs provide close monitoring and support throughout the detox process, which can help to minimize the risk of dangerous complications. Other safe detox options include tapering off heroin use gradually or using medications such as buprenorphine or methadone to manage withdrawal symptoms.
However, it is important to note that there isn’t a universal approach to detoxing from heroin, and what works for one person may not work for another. It is always best to speak with a medical care professional before starting any type of detox program.
Due to the intense withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings associated with heroin detox, many people find it difficult to detox on their own. Without professional help, the risk of relapse is high.
If someone you love is struggling with heroin addiction, please seek professional help as soon as possible. There are a number of resources available to those who need help overcoming addiction.
Getting Help for Heroin Addiction
There are a number of ways to get help for heroin addiction, and the best method will vary depending on the individual. Some people may benefit from inpatient treatment, while others may do better in an outpatient setting.
It is important to work with a professional who can assess your needs and determine the best course of action. At NJ Rehabs, we help people with heroin addiction get the treatment they need to recover. We offer a variety of programs, including inpatient and outpatient treatment, and we will work with you to find the best option for your situation.
If you know someone with a substance use disorder, we encourage you to contact us today to learn more about our programs and how we can help them get their life back on track.