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How to Detox from Heroin: a 5-Step Solution to Addiction

Heroin detox is the first stage of nearly every addiction treatment. Detox is the process of removing heroin from your body so you can overcome physical dependence on the drug and successfully defeat addiction. Since heroin detox can cause severe and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, undergoing medically supervised detox at a detox center is your best chance at becoming healthier, happier, and addiction-free.

If you are struggling with heroin addiction, understand you’re not alone in your fight to get clean.

Here’s your five-step solution to successfully overcoming heroin addiction with heroin detox treatment.

Call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-996-6135(Who Answers?) to speak with an experienced drug abuse counselor about local heroin detox centers devoted to helping you overcome addiction.

1. Choose a Heroin Detox Center

Most addiction treatment centers view detox as an essential part of heroin addiction treatment. Going through detox in a controlled medical environment allows you to safely withdraw from heroin without putting your life at risk. Heroin detox often involves the use of medications that reduce or eliminate cravings and withdrawal symptoms — making your recovery more comfortable.

2. Choose a Detox Treatment

How to Detox from Heroin

Discuss heroin detox options with your doctor to find the best fit for your needs.

Many heroin detox centers will customize detox treatments just for you based on your unique treatment preferences and history with addiction. Methadone maintenance therapy, buprenorphine, and suboxone are common heroin detox treatments available at rehab. Ask your physician for their professional recommendation on the type of heroin detox treatment that will benefit you most based on your personal struggle with addiction.

Some heroin detox centers integrate exercise and nutrition therapy into treatment so you can boost your immune system and overcome addiction even sooner. If your goal is to avoid using medications to overcome heroin addiction, choose a detox center that uses natural, holistic therapies such as massage, yoga, and acupuncture.

3. Go Through Detox and Withdrawal

Heroin withdrawal usually lasts an average of seven days, depending on the severity of your addiction. Withdrawal symptoms begin within 12 hours of quitting heroin, and peak for the first three days of detox treatment. Most detox centers treat heroin withdrawal using medications that reduce or eliminate these unpleasant symptoms.

If you’ve been using small amounts of heroin for a short period of time, heroin withdrawal may last fewer than seven days. On the other hand, if you’ve been using large amounts of heroin for an extended period of time, withdrawal may last between seven and 10 days, or longer.

4. Receive Counseling

Heroin detox is only the first stage of addiction treatment. After you successfully complete detox, you’ll participate in individual and group counseling sessions that address underlying psychological causes of your addiction. For example, if you started using heroin due to work-related stress, counseling teaches you new, healthy ways to cope with stress that don’t involve drugs or alcohol.

5. Participate in Aftercare

Aftercare programs are usually offered as part of heroin addiction treatment to help you avoid relapse and stay sober in the weeks, months, and years following treatment. Aftercare may involve support groups, 12-step programs like Narcotics Anonymous, and ongoing education aimed at promoting long-term sobriety. Recovering from heroin addiction can be a lifelong journey, which is why aftercare programs are vital to keeping you on track with staying clean.

Going through heroin detox is your best chance at recovering from heroin addiction. To find a heroin detox center near you, call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-996-6135(Who Answers?) to discuss available heroin addiction treatments with an experienced drug abuse counselor.


  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2016). Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal.
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)- 12-Step Facilitation Therapy (Alcohol, Stimulants, Opiates). 
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