Heroin Detox

Heroin is an opioid drug that stems from morphine. It goes by many names and continues to be abused by thousands of people every single year. Heroin can be highly addictive and can cause many serious effects on the body and mind. If left untreated, heroin addiction can lead to permanent damage to the body and mind. In some cases, addiction can even lead to death. This is why reaching out for heroin detox is vital to recovering sooner than later.

Heroin usage has continued to rise in the past couple of years and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Many people who struggle with heroin use end up becoming dependent on it, which means they’ll experience heroin withdrawals if they stop using. This dependence usually grows into full-blown drug addiction.

Many people may not realize how dangerous and problematic heroin can be for someone’s life. If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin abuse, it is time to look into heroin detoxification and treatment from a trusted facility like Intrepid Detox Residential.

What is Heroin and How is it Used?

Heroin is considered an opioid drug that’s made primarily of morphine (a substance that’s taken from opium poppy plants). It comes in a brown or white powder and goes by many names. “Horse,” “smack,” and “big H” are some of the common street names for heroin.

Heroin is abused in several different ways and usually involves injecting, sniffing, smoking, or snorting. In some cases, people may mix heroin and other drugs like cocaine (also called speedball). Heroin can be dangerous when used alone, so mixing it with other drugs only increases the chances of overdose and death.

This substance works by binding opioid receptors on cells throughout the body. More specifically, these cells are responsible for pain, pleasure, sleeping, breathing, and heart rate. Heroin creates a euphoric “high” for the user (a rush of pleasure). Since heroin manipulates these parts of the body, it can be easy to build a dependence on it. The brain may be inclined to experience its effects again.

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Heroin Abuse

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Heroin has many short-term and long-term effects depending on how frequently it’s used.
Short-term effects:
  • Intense itching
  • Flushed skin
  • Dry mouth
  • Cloudy mental judgment
  • Shifting between consciousness and semi-consciousness
  • Nausea/vomiting
Long-term effects:
  • Collapsed veins (for those who inject it)
  • Infection in heart valves and linings
  • Kidney disease
  • Depression or other mental disorders
  • Abscesses
  • Constipation
  • Lung problems (pneumonia or other conditions)
  • Damaged tissue in the nose (those who snort or sniff heroin)

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Effects of Heroin Abuse

Heroin is a highly addictive substance and can ruin a person’s life after continuous use. Withdrawal can be uncomfortable and the effects are often compared to intense flu symptoms. These can appear within eight hours of last use. The severity of the symptoms depends on how long a person’s been using the drug, how frequently it was used, and the dosage of use.

Some common symptoms of heroin withdrawal may include the following:

  • Sweating
  • Agitation
  • Sleeping troubles
  • Muscle cramps/aches
  • Intense urges to use/craving
  • Goosebumps and chills
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety

These heroin withdrawal symptoms can last up to 10 days in many cases (the 48-hour mark featuring the worst symptoms). Those who are recovering from addiction and have been using the drug for a long time may experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWs). Some of the common symptoms of PAWs can last upwards of two years:

  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood swings
  • Memory loss
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Restlessness

It is important to note that, after ending opioid use, some effects may be psychological withdrawal symptoms. Others might be physical symptoms. But, in any case of opioid withdrawal, it is necessary to have medical oversight.

The withdrawal process is not easy. In many cases, the symptoms of withdrawal can lead individuals to resort back to substance use. Sometimes, the symptoms of heroin withdrawal can be extremely difficult to experience. Drug cravings, muscle aches, and other severe effects can set in.

This is why professional outpatient or inpatient detox programs are so important. With the help of medical supervision and emotional support, individuals can detox from heroin and safely go through the withdrawal symptoms that may occur.

The Dangers of Mixing Heroin with Other Drugs

Some people may mix heroin and other drugs to intensify the effects on their bodies. Mixing this drug with other substances is extremely dangerous and can cause unpredictable consequences.

Mixing heroin with alcohol and medication has been shown to skyrocket the chances of an overdose. An overdose occurs when a person takes too much of a certain substance and their body begins to react to it. Overdose can be fatal if medical attention is not received immediately.

Mixing heroin with other drugs can put intense stress on a person’s lungs and body in general. It’s crucial to look out for the signs of overdose. If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, dial 911 and get medical help immediately; time is of the essence:

  • Shallow breath
  • Extremely pale skin
  • Struggling to breathe
  • Weak pulse
  • Constipation
  • Seizures or spasms
  • Coma
  • Shrunken pupils
  • Delirium or disoriented mental state
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of color in the tongue
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Heroin Addiction Treatment

treatment for heroin addictsQuitting heroin use “cold turkey” should never be an option. Individuals who struggle with heroin use may find themselves suffering from muscle aches, insomnia, and other symptoms shortly after their last dose. Once the body is physically dependent on a substance, it can be difficult to function without it. This is why professional medical detox, treatment, and therapy are necessary.

Getting heroin addiction treatment is a must, especially if the individual has been abusing the drug for a long time. As with all cases of addiction, there are several treatment options that help to treat substance use disorders. Since this type of addiction is usually intense, it requires long-term treatment through a trustworthy and professional treatment facility like Intrepid Detox Residential.

Detoxification and Treatment

Heroin Addiction TreatmentDetox is the very first step of recovery for cases of heroin addiction. Detoxification is a process that helps alleviate some of the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting substance use. It also helps rid the body of toxic substances. Detoxification is a necessary step in the process and opens the gate for personalized therapy and rehab.

The detox process should be conducted by medical professionals at a treatment facility. Medical support should be available throughout the entire process. You should not attempt to detox alone at home.

This is because the withdrawal process can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous without professional guidance. It is best to turn to professionals for the safest and most effective level of treatment.

What to Expect While Detoxing From Heroin

There are multiple steps to the heroin detox process and it’s important to be aware of these before heading into treatment. Centers like Intrepid Detox Residential provide clear and honest support through the process – our goal is to make sure you are comfortable and supported the whole way through. The detoxification process includes the following steps:

  • Evaluation – The evaluation stage involves a physical and mental health screening. This is done through a series of blood tests to help determine what medication is needed. In this stage, medical history and other possible conditions will be examined.
  • Stabilization – This stage helps a person become stabilized with different methods of therapy. This is to make sure the process is safe and no harm is done to you. Medication may also be used during this stage as well.

Preparing for Treatment – After detox is time to proceed to more personalized treatment. Here, our professional staff will consult with you about the next steps in recovery. There are many different options available but each case is different.

What Comes After Heroin Detox?

The next step after detoxification is usually either residential or outpatient treatment. Detox is usually just the first step and allows for more effective treatment through therapy, guidance, and medication assistance (in some cases). Facilities like Intrepid offer quality residential treatment to fulfill all your needs. Let’s take a look at what comes next after detox:

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment (also known as residential treatment) usually offers the most complete and effective treatment for all cases of addiction after detox. The recovering addict typically stays in a safe and supportive inpatient facility. With round-the-clock support in a substance-free zone, inpatient treatment offers a good chance of recovery.

How long a person stays in residential treatment depends on the severity of the addiction — it could be a week or a few months. Inpatient treatment is almost always recommended after detox because it offers the necessary support for those who are new to the recovery journey.

Outpatient Treatment

Some facilities offer outpatient treatment as well. Outpatient treatment is different from residential because patients don’t live in a treatment center. Instead, individuals only attend weekly sessions at the rehab (three to five times a week).

Outpatient treatment can be more convenient for those who work, are studying, or have children. But, since round-the-clock support is not available in this type of rehab program, outpatient care is best for milder cases of drug abuse.


Therapy is a crucial part of the treatment process and can be seen in almost all cases of addiction. It is one thing treating the physical effects of addiction but avoiding relapse down the line requires therapy and understanding. After detoxification, different methods of therapy are used to ensure sobriety and relapse prevention for years to come.

Intrepid Detox Residential is Here to Help You

If you are struggling with drug abuse, there is hope for you. Through our detox program, we can help you begin your recovery process. With the help of medical detoxification, we can help to reduce cravings, ease withdrawal symptoms, and help you overcome addiction for good.

When looking at heroin detox and treatment in general, you want to find a rehab center you can trust. This is where our wonderful and experienced team at Intrepid comes in. With years of experience under our belts and as an accredited facility in South Florida, we are ready to help you.

Now is the time to end drug abuse. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, look no further than Intrepid Detox Residential. Allow us to help you work through heroin withdrawal symptoms and walk away from substance use disorder. Contact us today to start your journey to a healthier, addiction-free life. Our behavioral health treatment center is here to help you