Typical Timeline for a Heroin Detox
Most incoming clients and their loved ones already know that a detox is part of the recovery timeline. What fewer people know, however, is how long the detox will actually take. A heroin detox is very challenging, but it won’t last forever. For most people, the entire withdrawal process will be over in less than one week.
Heroin has a relatively short half life, which means that people may notice withdrawal symptoms just a few hours after the last dose. These early and initial symptoms are typically mild, but they get worse over time.
After 24 hours, most individuals begin to experience serious withdrawal symptoms. This is the peak stage of withdrawal, and it can last until the third day. After 72 hours, the discomfort begins to fade until it’s gone entirely.
While this timeline is a schedule that most people follow, withdrawal is unique for everyone. The amount of heroin that you use, and how long you’ve been using drugs, can impact the length of withdrawal. Detox programs can also take longer for those who use more than one dangerous substance at a time.
Beginning Detox With an Evaluation
At Silver Pines Treatment Center, detox begins with a thorough evaluation. This is when medical professionals assess the health, addiction, and stability of an incoming client. This evaluation is how medical professionals create the foundation for a customized and effective treatment plan for recovery.
An evaluation starts with a focus on physical health. Medical professionals observe clients, but they can also discuss any serious health concerns or medical history that runs in the family. They can also discuss their typical withdrawal symptoms and whether they’ve attempted a detox and relapsed in the past.
An evaluation is also the time for staff to gain insight into a person’s mental health. As many as half of all patients who struggle with addiction also struggle with mental health. Learning about any healthcare concerns as early as possible can be helpful on the road to recovery.
Finding Stability in Withdrawal
Once the evaluation is over, the primary goal is to get clients to a place of stability. That means identifying and addressing any withdrawal symptoms. During a heroin detox, withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant. Fortunately, pharmacological assistance can reduce discomfort significantly.
Some of the most common physical heroin withdrawal symptoms involve the digestive system. Nausea and diarrhea are likely, and many people lose their appetites. Dehydration is also a very real possibility.
Sweating, shaking and muscle spasms are also common. Many people suffer from anxiety, depression and even insomnia during this stage of the recovery process.