Detox is the first step in heroin addiction recovery. Your journey to sobriety cannot begin while there are any remnants of the opiate in your system. Because there is no way to skip your physical withdrawal from the drug, the safest way to purge heroin from your body is in heroin detox treatment.
Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge (PAATC) offers professional, evidence-based treatment of heroin addiction. Our treatment starts with a medically managed detox treatment program. To learn more about what heroin detox entails and how medical supervision can help, reach out today by dialing 844.442.8673 or submitting our simple online form.
What Heroin Withdrawal Looks Like
Once you stop taking heroin, withdrawal begins quickly and becomes challenging within six to ten hours. Some of the symptoms most people experience include:
- Intense drug cravings
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle cramps and spasms
- Breathing complications
- Intense tremors
Relapse is common when people undergo withdrawal at home, even if they have family support. Without the support of those with medical expertise and medication to minimize withdrawal symptoms, the temptation to stop fighting can be too much. That’s why we recommend that you go through drug withdrawal in a licensed facility under the watchful eye of doctors and other medical professionals.
Medically Supervised Detox for Heroin Addiction
In a heroin detox program, our team will monitor you around the clock to ensure you are safe, comfortable, and supported. Medical detox has several benefits, some of which are listed below:
- Symptom mitigation – Doctors can administer medications that make the most challenging withdrawal symptoms, such as body aches, nausea, and even drug cravings, tolerable.
- Health management – Underlying medical issues that may never have been identified or diagnosed can make themselves known during detox. Under medical care, these can be handled safely.
- Mental health care – If you have a co-occurring mental health disorder, medical detox makes it possible to manage it safely with and in a coordinated approach.
- Suicide prevention – About a quarter of those who undergo withdrawal from heroin and other substances consider suicide. It is difficult, if not impossible, to attempt self-harm in a detox treatment program.
- Long-term outcomes – Recovery is more successful after medically managed detox than when a withdrawal is undertaken at home.
Timeline of Heroin Addiction Detox
The timeline for detox varies from person to person but follows the same essential steps. The most important thing to remember is that physical detox for heroin addiction is short-lived, though it is unpleasant. When it is over, recovery can begin in earnest.
Certain stages can be traced on the calendar of withdrawal, with the understanding that it is a physical process that cannot be scheduled or held to a specific timeline.
- Six to 24 hours – First symptoms, such as muscle aches, diarrhea, and poor concentration, appear. Drug cravings increase gradually from this point through the acute phase.
- One to three days – This is when symptoms peak. The early signs intensify, and new symptoms emerge, for example, mood swings, stomach pain and nausea, and extreme fatigue.
- Four days to one week – Typically, some of the worst physical symptoms diminish. Around a week into withdrawal, what is known as the acute phase, is over, though psychological challenges remain. These are addressed after medical detox when you step down into heroin addiction treatment.
- One week to several months –During the months after detox, rehab, and beyond, symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia may persist.
Medical heroin addiction detox usually lasts from seven to ten days to get you through the acute phase. We can then prepare you to move into the next stage of rehab, where you’ll engage with several evidence-based therapies.
Learn More at Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge
At PAATC, our medical staff oversees the detox process from start to finish, ensuring you are in good hands. Your safety and successful recovery are our highest priorities. We make sure you receive the best care possible from medical detox, through your rehab treatment, and beyond discharge in our after-care program.
You don’t have to take this journey alone. Reach out to PAATC today to learn more about detox and how we can help. Fill out our online form or call 844.442.8673 today.