Can You Stop Shooting Heroin Without Detox? | Alcohol & Drug Rehabs

Can You Stop Shooting Heroin Without Detox?

Heroin addiction is, in all comparisons, the most difficult drug to quit through willpower. Addiction to heroin causes long term addiction that typically lasts for many years and at least one or two years. This drug completely changes a person’s day-to-day routine. Their interests drastically change, and there is a noticeable difference in their personality. Millions of heroin addicts will tell the same story of how once they became addicted to heroin, they began stealing, lying to friends and family, and lost their jobs and family relationships. Regardless of how they were introduced to heroin, they will all agree on how the drug turned them into a different person.

Can You Stop Shooting Heroin Without DetoxGoing Cold Turkey Detox With Heroin

The other thing heroin-addicted people discuss is how heroin causes debilitating withdrawals. They could not stop shooting heroin so they would not get sick. It is a well-known fact that heroin addiction requires medications to detox.

To assume that a person can stop shooting heroin without detox is simply not true. In most cases, almost no person addicted to heroin can stop using the drug permanently without medically supervised detox.

What Happens in a Heroin Detox Center?

The medications that are prescribed at a medically supervised heroin detox alleviate symptoms of opioid withdrawal. They will allow the person getting clean from heroin to rest and sleep while the drugs detox out of their system. The types of medications prescribed at a heroin detox are Suboxone, methadone, and other medicines to help the person relax, relieve their anxiety and depression, and medication to control nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other flu-like symptoms.

In some cases, a benzodiazepine such as Ativan or Klonopin may also be prescribed to help the person suffering emotionally and mentally.  Such symptoms can occur during the first week of detox, which is the most challenging period of heroin detoxification. After that, it gets better by the day as long as you continue on the path to lasting recovery and build out a support network along with attending twelve-step meetings and outpatient counseling.

What Are Heroin Detox Symptoms?

If you or a loved one has become addicted to shooting heroin, the amount of time it takes to detox from heroin ranges from ten days up to two or even three weeks. Heroin causes very severe physical withdrawal symptoms that are virtually impossible to tolerate without medications and professional help. The onset of the withdrawal symptoms can begin as soon as 4 to 6 hours from the last time the person used heroin. Withdrawal symptoms that heroin addiction causes include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bone and muscle aches
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Uncontrollable sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating,
  • Fever chills
  • Skin crawling,
  • Restless leg syndrome (kicking)
  • Unstable emotions
  • Severe insomnia

Medically supervised heroin detox is how to help someone end their struggle with shooting heroin for good. The encouraging news is that finding a quality heroin detox center is now easier than in the past, especially in the United States. The heroin epidemic has devasted our county. Advances in heroin addiction research and awareness of the opioid crisis, in general, have allowed for more professional detox centers to become established in the United States and throughout all major cities and their surrounding areas.

Medically Reviewed
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Michael Kulick

Medical Reviewer
M.S.W., MCAP, RCSWI

Michael was born and raised in South Florida, where he completed his undergraduate and graduate education at FAU and Barry University, culminating in a Master’s Degree in Social Work, with Honors. Since accomplishing his academic goals, Michael has held a variety of clinical and administrative positions ranging from Primary Clinical Therapist, Clinical Coordinator, Program Director, Clinical Director, Director of Operations and Chief Executive Officer.

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