You or someone you love has finally decided it’s time to seek treatment for heroin use. It’s a giant step. But you know that the first phase of getting clean is going to be hard as your body goes through withdrawal. There are many variables involved in withdrawal from all drugs, starting with the substance itself and how you use it. Doctors specializing in addiction medicine can give you an estimate, but this experience will be driven by you and your body. And that’s why it’s so important to have professional support during withdrawal. If you’re looking for a heroin detox center in Massachusetts, Clearhaven Recovery can help.
Understanding Heroin Withdrawal
What is heroin withdrawal? Withdrawal is a process your body goes through when you cut back, or eliminate, drugs or alcohol from your system after you’ve become dependent on the substance. In becoming addicted, your body has literally come to depend on whatever foreign substance you’ve chosen. It needs drugs or alcohol in order to function normally. You might say that in becoming addicted, you’ve reformulated your brain chemistry.
WIthdrawal often takes the form of unpleasant physical or emotional side effects. These are different for different drugs, but can include:
- Tightness in chest
- Sped-up heart rate
- Nausea, vomiting
- Muscle tension
How Long Does Heroin Withdrawal Last?
The unsatisfying answer is that the length of withdrawal can vary. Heroin in general is considered short-acting. Typically, withdrawal starts within eight to 24 hours of the last dose a person has taken. The symptoms can last anywhere from four to 10 days, according to estimates from the National Institutes of Health.
During the withdrawal period, while in treatment, your doctors will help you manage these symptoms for as long as they last. Often some of the major issues are vomiting and diarrhea, for instance, so your care team will help provide fluids and other nourishment to keep dehydration under control. In certain instances, you may also receive certain medications such as methadone to ease the severity of your withdrawal.
There is no single answer to the question of how long detox and withdrawal symptoms will last, but once they end, you’re on to the next stage of treatment.
What Comes After Heroin Detox?
It would be too easy if all you had to do was stop using heroin or drinking alcohol. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Substance use disorders are serious, recurring diseases. So the treatment will continue beyond withdrawal.
Once you are done with detox, expect a period of therapy. You will work with counselors on an individual and group basis to understand what brought you to this point. You’ll also work together to build coping skills to keep the substance abuse from happening again.
Following counseling, you will begin a period of aftercare. People who go through treatment tend to relapse at a high rate in the first year. Aftercare provides resources such as 12-step programs to help lower the risk.
The bottom line is, going through heroin detox is just the beginning. Treatment is a lifetime of work.
A Brighter Tomorrow at Clearhaven Recovery
“How long does heroin withdrawal last?” is just one of the key questions you’ll have during treatment. Treatment is a multi-stage process that calls on your inner strength. You’ll be asked to build a deeper understanding of who you are and how you can best cope. The doctors and therapists at Clearhaven are here to support you as you seek a way out of the substance abuse dead-end. From evaluation to detox to counseling and aftercare, our team is centered around your needs. Call Clearhaven Recovery today at 833.970.2054, or contact us online for an initial consultation and discuss your options.