How Long Does It Take to Overcome Heroin Addiction?

Detoxifying the body from heroin is an essential step towards breaking free from addiction. You might be wondering, “How much time does it take to detox from heroin?” The duration of heroin detox varies from person to person, depending on factors such as the duration of drug use and the dosage. Typically, the detox process and accompanying withdrawal symptoms can last a few weeks, extending to several months or even longer. At BoardPrep Recovery Center®, we provide comprehensive heroin detox programs in Florida. Call us today at 866.796.4720 to learn more.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Heroin detox is a medically supervised inpatient treatment that serves as the initial step towards ending heroin addiction. However, detox can be uncomfortable without proper support. During the withdrawal period, individuals may experience various symptoms, including:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle aches
  • Sweating
  • Cramping

Heroin withdrawal symptoms can manifest as early as six hours after discontinuing the drug. In severe cases, individuals may also experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS), which can persist for a year or more. PAWS symptoms may include hypersensitivity, mood swings, and restlessness.

The Timeline for Heroin Detox

The duration of heroin detox is subjective and can differ from person to person. However, there is a general timeline that most individuals follow after quitting heroin usage. Let’s take a closer look at each stage:

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Early Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms can appear within as little as six hours after the last dose. Initially, these symptoms may be mild, but they can intensify over time.

Severe Symptoms

Symptoms usually peak in severity on the second or third day and may last for a little over a week.

Symptoms Tapering Off

By the two-week mark, the worst symptoms should start to taper off, allowing individuals to regain normal functioning and energy levels. Mild symptoms may still persist at this stage.

Ongoing Cravings

Even after the withdrawal symptoms have subsided, individuals may experience cravings for heroin in the following weeks and months. These cravings can be intense and require the development of positive coping skills as part of the heroin detox treatment.


Depending on the dosage and duration of addiction, individuals may experience PAWS, which can last for a year or longer. These extended symptoms occur as the body adjusts to functioning without the drug. However, with time and persistence, these symptoms will eventually disappear.

What Does Heroin Detox Treatment Include?

Heroin detox treatment can be carried out in either outpatient or inpatient settings, depending on the patient’s preference and severity of the addiction. For severe cases, inpatient care offers 24/7 monitoring and support, providing the best chance for achieving sobriety.

Medication-assisted treatment is a common approach in heroin detox. This method involves the use of medications such as methadone to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and facilitate a smooth transition away from heroin usage. After the initial detox period, individuals continue with ongoing treatment and relapse prevention, which may include therapy, building support systems, engaging in healthy hobbies, and maintaining prescribed medications.

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Therapy plays a crucial role in helping individuals develop coping strategies and techniques necessary for long-term sobriety. Additionally, it is essential to communicate openly with healthcare professionals about past addiction to opioids to avoid receiving prescriptions that could potentially trigger a relapse.

Seek Treatment at BoardPrep Recovery Center®

If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin addiction, the BoardPrep Recovery Center® in Florida is here to help. Our comprehensive medical detox programs cater to various addiction types, including heroin, alcohol, cocaine, and stimulants. Following a successful detox, we provide additional programs and therapies to support long-term recovery, such as 12-step facilitation, behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, dual diagnosis treatment, and family services.

Begin your healing journey with BoardPrep Recovery Center®. Contact us at 866.796.4720 to discover how our programs can assist you or your loved one on the path to sobriety.

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