Wednesday, April 17, 2024

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Heroin Addiction

How To Get Heroin Out Of Your System


Heroin is metabolized quickly and is not detectable by most standard drug tests after about three days. The only way to get heroin out of your system is to stop using the drug and allow your body time to metabolize and eliminate it.

Stopping heroin cold turkey can often lead to severe withdrawal effects, however, so talk to your doctor about your treatment options. Staying healthy by getting regular exercise and drinking plenty of fluids may help you metabolize the substance more quickly.

How Do I Stay Sober From Heroin

A lot of heroin addicts dont have a problem quitting, they have a problem staying quit. This is where perseverance in a program of recovery pays dividends.

When sober, there are going to be highs and lows. Early recovery can seem like a rollercoaster, but I think its important to know that is does smooth out.

A solid program of recovery provides tools necessary to meet the good times with a level head and the bad times with a support system. Both skill sets will be critical to sustained sobriety.

In my two years of abstinence from heroin and other mind-altering substances, Ive found the following elements critical to staying sober and healthy.

  • Sponsorship

This is the most important aspect in a quality program of heroin recovery. I think its important to have someone who guides you through the recovery literature, someone who gives genuine feedback and someone who provides support when times get tough.

A good sponsor has one job take you through the steps as directed in the literature. Thats it. Even Dave Navarro of Janes Addiction says that sustained recovery isnt possible without a spiritual way of life.

More on characteristics of good sponsorship.

  • Meetings

12 step meetings offer a place for you to build new, healthy friendships based on sobriety. You can find candidates for sponsorship and opportunities for service work. You can also start to establish a network of peer support and learn effective methods people have practiced to maintain their own sobriety.

Why Do People Want To Know How Long Does Heroin Withdrawal Last

It might sound crazy that people wont seek help for heroin addiction because they dont know how long withdrawal lasts. However, its pretty common for people struggling with addiction to do that. The reason is that they know heroin withdrawal is extremely painful. As a result, they dont want to seek treatment and go through the pain. The symptoms of withdrawal may include:

  • Muscle aches and abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety and agitation

However, if they know how long that withdrawal lasts, they might reconsider getting help. Many of them assume that the symptoms last for weeks. While some effects can linger for weeks, the worst of it is usually over in a couple of days. On top of that, our womens treatment center can make the process more tolerable.

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What Are Common Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Many people with a heroin addiction want to recover and get better. They want to improve their quality of life in terms of health and social relationships. However, some will hesitate and take a long time before they finally detox. Most know that quitting heroin use is typically followed by a difficult period of having flu-like withdrawal symptoms that are uncomfortable and possibly life-threatening.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms can be different from patient to patient. Each person can have a varied intensity, frequency, and range of withdrawal symptoms. Here are some of the most typical heroin withdrawal symptoms that patients will feel:

  • Anxiety, depression, and irritability
  • Body chills and excessive sweating
  • Bone and muscle aches
  • Trouble concentrating, fatigue, and insomnia
  • Impaired breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate

Most medical detox providers will have counseling options and use prescribed medications. They will also have medical teams monitoring patients so they can focus on recovery and feel minimal symptoms only. Thats why most patients with heroin addiction will benefit from medical detox instead of going through detox by themselves at home.

The Dangers Of Heroin

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Most people know that Heroin is one of the most dangerous drugs because of its addictive potential. There are also short- and long-term effects of the drug, as well as indirect risks that can be life-threatening.

Intravenous Heroin users have a higher risk of being infected with viruses like HIV or hepatitis.

Blood-borne viruses pose a risk for people addicted to Heroin because they often inject the drug and share their needles. Risky sexual behavior can also contribute to higher rates of viruses among Heroin users. There is also a high risk of spontaneous abortion for pregnant women.

People who are addicted to Heroin have an increased risk of attempting suicide. Sometimes suicides are committed through intentional overdoses. Heroin abusers who are also suffering from underlying mental conditions, such as depression or bipolar disorder, have a compounded risk of suicide.

  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea and vomiting

The side effects of Heroin use get worse over time. The longer someone uses Heroin, the more destruction the drug can wreak on the immune system and internal organs. The risk for getting both communicable and noncommunicable diseases increases. Prolonged Heroin abuse can also lead to heart, lung and liver disease.

Heroin suppresses breathing and heart rates, so there is a high risk of fatal overdose. Even a nonfatal overdose can cause permanent brain damage or coma.

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What Causes Heroin Withdrawal

Withdrawal from heroin can occur after a few uses. The hangover from first-time heroin use can be so intense that people decide to seek the drug to relieve their symptoms. While people generally dont become addicted the first time they try heroin, the first try can trigger a dangerous pattern of use.

Most people become addicted to heroin over several days or weeks. Heroin affects parts of the brain that control pleasure and motivation. Repeated use causes changes in the body that make the brain rely on heroin to feel normal. This is called dependence, and its one reason why heroin is so addictive.

Heroin dependence occurs because opioids such as heroin are chemically similar to opiates that the brain produces naturally to control how we feel pain and pleasure. The difference between opioids and opiates is that opioids are man-made and opiates occur naturally.

The brain decreases the natural production of opiates when its exposed to heroin and other opioids. It starts to depend on heroin to feel normal. When a person who is dependent on heroin stops using the drug, the brain doesnt have enough man-made or natural opioids to feel normal. As a result, it goes into withdrawal.

The time that it takes to experience withdrawal depends on how long it takes for the brain to restore natural opiate production.

What Is A Heroin Addiction Rehab Center

Heroin rehab center provide treatment and support for people addicted to heroin. Comprehensive heroin rehab is offered in a number of treatment settings, including both inpatient and outpatient.

Many rehab facilities for heroin or other opioid drugs include a detox program at the start of treatment. Then the patient receives a combination of therapeutic interventions, such as individual therapy, group counseling, family therapy, peer support groups, and more, to help address drug-using behaviors and avoid relapse.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Heroin Addiction

The signs and symptoms of heroin addiction will vary among users based upon genetic makeup, amount of drug used, frequency of use, and dependency on the drug. The most common symptoms of heroin addiction include the following:

  • Depression
  • Scabs or bruises as the result of picking at the skin
  • Delusions
  • Possession of burned spoons, needles or syringes, missing shoelaces, glass pipes
  • Stashing drug in various places around the home, car, and work
  • Periods of hyperactivity followed by periods of exhaustion
  • Inability to fulfill responsibilities at work or school
  • Increased sleeping
  • Apathy and lack of motivation
  • Slurred speech
  • Wearing long pants and shirts, even in warm weather
  • Going on the nod during conversations
  • Forced, pressured speech
  • Track marks on arms and legs
  • Warm, flushed skin

How Quickly Does Heroin Affect The Body

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Heroin provides users one of the quickest highs but the feelings change throughout several stages. Typically, a person will feel nauseous for about 20 seconds before experiencing a high for about 10 to 20 minutes the higher their tolerance, the shorter amount of time a person will feel that high.

In the last stage, a user will typically feel dizzy and heavy for anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.

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What If I Take Too Much

It is important to take the right dose, according to your treatment plan and prescription.

If you take too much methadone you could be at risk of overdose. Too much methadone may make you very sleepy, and can slow down or stop your breathing. This can be life-threatening.

If you have been given naloxone and have taken too much methadone, or youre having serious side effects, take the naloxone immediately. Follow the instructions you have been given. Naloxone is a medicine that is sometimes used to reverse a methadone overdose.

Urgent advice: Contact your doctor or key worker now if:

  • you take too much methadone, even if you feel well

Immediate action required: Call 999 or go to A& E if:

You have taken too much methadone and:

  • you feel very drowsy or you’re finding it difficult to breathe

Its also important to tell your key worker or doctor that youve taken too much. This is because you will run out of methadone before you get your next supply.

They will help you make a new treatment plan.

Heroins Effects On The Body

More often than not, young adults who use drugs are doing so to experience the initial effects that substance has on their body they want to feel that initial high. However, when that persons drug of choice is heroin, the effects of that drug last far longer.

Whether you have a loved one struggling with addiction or you are recovering yourself, its important to understand how long heroin affects the body so you can be proactive in avoiding dangerous consequences.

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How To Get Treatment For Heroin

Heroin is an opiate drug . Other opioids include codeine, opium and morphine.

If you need treatment for addiction to heroin or another opioid you can either see a GP or contact your local drug treatment service.

At your first appointment the doctor or drugs worker will ask you lots of questions including:

  • how much heroin you take
  • whether you’re using any other drugs or alcohol
  • what your physical and mental health are like
  • what your personal circumstances are for example, where you live and who you’re living with
  • whether you’ve had treatment for drugs before

They’ll also ask you for a pee sample. This will be tested to confirm that you’re using heroin.

You’ll be given a key worker who will help you put together a personalised treatment plan. You’ll meet them regularly throughout your treatment.

Heroin And The Opioid System

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To better understand what heroin does in, and to, the brain, it is necessary to first look at the drug itself. Heroin is synthesized from a combination of the opium poppy and morphine. This makes heroin an opiate like any opiate, it targets the naturally occurring opioid receptors in the brain.

The opioid system in the human body is responsible for regulating pain, as well as controlling how a person experiences the sensation and anticipation of being rewarded. This makes opioids a double-edged sword whether found in nature or isolated and derived in a lab , opiates are very effective painkillers, but they can also be very addictive.

All opioids work the same way in the brain, but the chemistry behind heroin makes it act much faster than most kinds of similar drugs. If heroin is injected into a vein, it takes only 10 seconds for the bloodstream to carry heroin to the brain. When the opioid hits the receptors, the drug binds to specific molecules in the receptors, which are linked to how the brain processes the sensations of pain and pleasure.

The immediate effect of a powerful drug like heroin binding to those molecules is a surge of euphoria and pleasure, giving way to a feeling of supreme tranquility that can last for hours. Healthline describes it as a warm blanket on the brain. Pain, meanwhile, is dulled or completely forgotten.

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How Long Does Heroin Stay In The Body

Heroin is an illegal semisynthetic opiate derived from the opium poppy.

The drug is a fast-acting narcotic with notorious addictive potential, and users can swiftly find themselves taking it repeatedly to maintain its high, intense euphoric effects.

Heroin is extremely fast-acting and has a short half-life in the body before it breaks down into its metabolites. Due to this, heroin itself is sometimes not detectable in toxicology or drug screenings, but chemicals from its breakdown linger much longer in the body. Standard tests can generally detect metabolites for between one and four days after use.

Once heroin and its first metabolite, morphine, have been eliminated from the system, physically addicted users will go into withdrawal. Noticeable withdrawal effects start within twelve hours after the last dose and last for a few weeks. This stage of recovery is often grueling and is occasionally dangerous.

At Cirque Lodge, our inpatient heroin treatment program alleviates withdrawal symptoms to make this transition as comfortable and safe as possible. Withdrawal should not be an obstacle, and we are here to help you through this part of the recovery process.

Heroin Withdrawal Treatment & Medications

The American Society of Addiction Medicine estimates that 517,000 Americans battle heroin addiction. Heroin is classified as a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration , which means that it is considered to have a high rate of abuse and potential for addiction, and no medicinal uses in this country.

There are several medications approved to treat heroin dependency, some of which may be used during detox to control the more uncomfortable physical and emotional withdrawal side effects, as well as to keep cravings to a minimum. Ideally, this process is undertaken at a professional heroin detox center.

Heroin may be replaced with a longer-acting opioid to relieve withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings, and adjunct medications may also be used to treat specific symptoms. Anti-nausea medications, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants are some examples of symptom-specific medications.

During medical detox, mental health professionals are also on hand to offer support and assistance. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that about half of all drug abusers also suffer from mental illness, which can also affect duration and treatment methods during the stay at a heroin detox program as well as throughout substance abuse recovery.

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Wake Up Find Money Get High Repeat

I always had a fascination with drugs, even before I started using them. The science of pharmacology was always super interesting to me. In high school, experimentation with other substances led me to buy some Vicodin to try. Later, as a college student at the University of St. Thomas, I went from popping painkillers, to snorting OxyContin, morphine and Dilaudid. Eventually, I graduated to injecting heroin multiple times a day. I wish I could isolate a point in time when I knew I was addicted, but addiction is subtler than that. Drugs go from merely being a part of your life to becoming your life.

It was wonderful in the beginning. Opioids have the ability to induce a powerful feeling of well-being not attainable naturally or even with other drugs. Theres reduced anxiety, euphoria, pain relief, and a host of other good feelings, including the nods, where you feel like youre sleeping, but remain conscious. It was always easy to get pills and heroin. In 2009, Purdue Pharmaceuticals introduced a new form of OxyContin, which was supposed to have abuse-deterrent properties. This move cut the street price of the drug in half, making it easier to get. And it was still easy to abuse. At the same time, the Twin Cities started to see more high-quality, low-priced heroin on the market.

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The editorial staff of is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands of pages for accuracy and relevance. Our reviewers consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA, NIDA, and other reputable sources to provide our readers the most accurate content on the web.

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Continuing Care & Long Term Recovery

Substance abuse treatment is based on two important principles:

  • Maintaining long-term sobriety is challenging. While triggers may lessen over time, the urge to use substances remains for many people in recovery.
  • Relapse is a part of recovery. Though unfortunate, relapses happen in recovery, just as they do in other chronic conditions like hypertension, diabetes and asthma.
  • Part of maintaining long-term recovery requires a person to accept these aspects of addiction. A relapse is certainly a troubling event, but if the person gives up on their recovery when this happens, they will never succeed. Instead, people can benefit from using the relapse as a new opportunity to reevaluate and reinvestigate their treatment.

    A relapse may indicate the need for:

    • Increased involvement with professional treatment
    • More frequent appointments
    • A higher level of care
    • A medication change as recommended by a prescriber
    • Additional lifestyle changes to decrease stress and increase support

    Not only does long-term recovery need the assistance of professional treatment, but it always benefits from other recovery-focused activities, like support groups. Support groups lack the guidance of professional therapy, and instead, rely on the sense of community and fellowship they create. Attending a support group connects someone to an entire network of people in recovery who are willing to share their experience and expertise on the subject of sobriety.

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