How to Detox from Heroin

Last Updated: Feb 24th 2020

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

How to Detox from Heroin

Heroin is a highly addictive, illegal drug. Some people struggling with prescription painkiller abuse turn to heroin because it’s cheaper and easier to get. Once an individual is ready to quit, learning how to detox from heroin safely is imperative. Because of its potentially intense withdrawal symptoms, medically supervised detoxification is a good option.

What Makes Withdrawal so Difficult?

Since heroin is an opiate, it directly affects the brain’s pleasure center. There, its chemicals artificially release dopamine, which cause feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. As heroin leaves the body, its chemicals no longer trigger the dopamine release. For a long-time user, dopamine release often depends on the presence of heroin, as the body can no longer create dopamine on its own.

Can You Learn How to Detox from Heroin at Home?

Trying an at-home detox is possible. However, medical professionals don’t recommend it. During an at-home detox, there is nobody present to monitor your vitals and call in professionals if your body is in danger of shutting down. In a home setting, there isn’t support for the psychiatric side effects that can be even more worrisome than the physical ones.

Benefits of a Medically Supervised Detox Experience

There’s more to getting off heroin than just toughing out withdrawal symptoms. Experts typically associate diarrhea and vomiting with mid-level withdrawal that can cause severe dehydration. For an individual undergoing detox at a clinic, rehydration protocols and nutritional supplementation can help. However, there are additional benefits, too:

  • Physical wellbeing. Muscle spasms and pain, which those going through withdrawal often experience, can be uncomfortable. In a facility setting, massage therapists can assist in the most severe cases.
  • Psychiatric monitoring. The initial shortage of dopamine can lead some to experience suicidal thoughts. For the medical staff member who knows what to look for, the warning signs are clear.
  • Emotional help. Feelings of anxiety tend to crop up when a client undergoing detox is unable sleep or rest well. Helping the person to refocus can be an invaluable tool for calming a fearful mind.

Going Beyond Treatment of the Physical Dependence

After detox breaks the chains of physical dependence on heroin, you’re ready for rehab. Choose from an inpatient drug rehab or outpatient drug rehab program. Partial hospitalization is also an option. In this setting, you discover what triggers your craving for heroin and how to protect yourself from relapse.

Letting Go of the Drug Starts with Detox

Experience for yourself how to detox from heroin in a medically supervised setting. Isn’t it time to stop using a drug that robs you of life enjoyment? Imagine feeling vigorous and healthy again. Call (866) 319-6126 to connect with the friendly experts at 1st Step Behavioral Health today, and start your recovery.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.