Do I Need to Do an Inpatient Heroin Detox?

Published: 09/19/2015 | Author:

Whether you need to do an inpatient detox, or not depends on how much willpower you have and how bad the addiction is. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, heroin withdrawal is not deadly; it is because of this that not everyone needs an inpatient heroin detox. There are three main types of heroin detox, home, outpatient, and inpatient detox or rehab. Which is best for you depends on your situation.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Inpatient Detox

As with any detox program, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages of inpatient detox or rehab. One of the main advantages of inpatient detox is the level of care provided. The 24/7 care offers support and help with the symptoms. The advantages of inpatient heroin rehab are:

Inpatient Heroin Detox

Inpatient heroin detox takes you away from triggers and unsafe environments.

  • Readily available counseling and support
  • Peer support networks
  • Meals and snacks
  • Comfortable environment
  • Away from triggers and the environment that causes heroin use
  • Medication replacement therapy is available
  • Not much to worry about other than getting clean

There are also disadvantages to going to an inpatient heroin rehab. These disadvantages are:

  • You miss school or work
  • It is sometimes not very confidential
  • You are isolated from your friends and family
  • It is a restrictive environment
  • It is extremely expensive

Technically, you do not need an inpatient rehab to get of heroin. It is however a lot more comfortable to do when you have the medical support that you need. It is also easier when everything is provided for you, without having to think about making sure that you have meals and such covered.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Home Detox

With proper planning, it is possible to detox from heroin at home. In order to do so you need:

  • Medications to help abate the symptoms of withdrawal
  • A friend or family member or members to help you and support you when things get bad
  • A private place to be sick and get through it
  • Comfortable blankets and fans for the temperature changes
  • Healthy food and vitamins to help your body heal

Although this sounds like a good way to detox from heroin there are advantages and disadvantages to it. Some of the advantages of heroin detox at home are:

  • It is private
  • It is confidential
  • You are in the comfort of your own home
  • You can take your time and possibly work or go to school through it
  • The cost of detoxing at home is not even close to that of an inpatient or outpatient rehab. It is much less expensive.

Just as there are advantages, there are disadvantages too. A few of these disadvantages are:

  • It is difficult to remain at home around your triggers.
  • Home detox is easier to relapse from because drugs are easily accessible.
  • You lack the medications that a doctor would give you for detoxing.
  • You go through most of the withdrawal symptoms without help or support from professionals.
  • It does not work as well if you are a hardcore addict or if you use frequently.

Despite these disadvantages, it is possible to detox at home on your own. In this type of detox preparation is the key. It works only if you’re resolve is very strong and you have the willpower to quit without professional help. Many people who try a home detox fail because of the triggers and lack of support.

Advantages and Disadvantages of an Outpatient Detox

Outpatient detox programs offer a variety of services on an outpatient basis. There are many advantages to each of these services and to outpatient treatment as well.

  • Medication for the withdrawal symptoms as well medication replacement for the heroin addiction itself
  • Counseling on an outpatient basis
  • Group therapy and peer supported counseling
  • You can remain home with friend and family
  • You can still work or go to school while receiving treatment

Easily find local outpatient detox centers by calling us today!

Who Answers?

As with any treatment, there are also disadvantages to outpatient rehab. These disadvantages are:

  • Like home withdrawal treatment you are near your triggers, this can encourage relapse
  • You have to go to the doctors and counseling appointments
  • It is more expensive than home treatment but still less expensive than inpatient treatment
  • There is only a little more privacy than inpatient rehab
  • It is not as confidential as you might think
  • It might not be suitable if you use a large amount of heroin or use frequently

Outpatient rehab takes place at a doctor’s office or clinic. You visit the clinic daily, weekly, or monthly. The doctor gives you the medication or you attend counseling sessions for support. The medication management is usually why a person chooses inpatient or outpatient detox.

According to the National Library of Medicine, it is easier to detox from heroin with a combination of supportive medications and therapy. Long term heroin addicts or those who binge on large dosages of it may not be able to detox without inpatient rehab. It is important to remember that the symptoms of heroin withdrawal are extreme. They might not seem so when you read through them but most people who have go through heroin detox will say that it is no picnic. The longer you use the drug and the more you have taken, the more likely you will relapse without an inpatient heroin detox program. It is entirely possible to detox without inpatient care, but it is much easier to go inpatient.

For help choosing between inpatient and outpatient heroin detox, call 866-351-3840(Who Answers?) to speak with a treatment specialist. 


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). What is the Scope of Heroin Use in the United States?
  2. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2016). Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal. 
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