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What Does a Typical Heroin Detox Timeline Look Like?

When you’re ready to overcome heroin addiction, it’s normal to be curious about the length and timeline associated with heroin detox treatment. Heroin detox typically lasts seven days, but can be shorter or longer depending on factors such as age and the amount of time you’ve been using. Understanding more about the heroin detox timeline can help you better prepare for treatment so you can successfully overcome addiction once and for all.

If you’re struggling with heroin addiction, understand that help is available and nearby. Call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-996-6135(Who Answers?) to speak with a drug abuse counselor about heroin detox centers that can help you stop using and get clean.

The Heroin Detox Timeline is Different for Each Patient

Before seeking heroin detox treatment, it’s important to understand that the heroin detox timeline and experience is different for each patient. Those who used heroin in small doses over a short period of time may only experience mild withdrawal symptoms, while those who used heroin in large doses for several months or years may experience more severe symptoms. Heroin detox treatments are often customized and tailored to each individual patient to ensure the best recovery outcome.

Common factors that affect the length of heroin detox are:

heroin detox timeline

Your age can affect how long heroin detox symptoms last.

  • Age
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Metabolism
  • Amount of heroin used
  • Quality / purity of heroin used
  • Length of heroin addiction
  • Detox method

First 12 Hours of Heroin Detox

Most heroin withdrawal symptoms begin after between six and 12 hours of quitting the drug. Symptoms may start out relatively mild, and become progressively more severe a few days into detox.

These symptoms include:

  • Sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Tearing
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Insomnia
  • Yawning

Days 1 to 3 of Heroin Detox

Heroin withdrawal symptoms are often flu-like and at their worst between days one and three of detox treatment. Medical supervision is crucial during this phase, since certain symptoms increase the risk for dehydration, malnutrition, and relapse.

The best way to avoid relapse is to undergo detox in a treatment center. Call today for more information.

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Common symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Muscle spasms
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate

Days 4 to 10 of Heroin Detox

Heroin withdrawal symptoms normally start to subside by days four or five of detox treatment. By this time, your body may have fully eliminated heroin or needs a few more days to overcome insomnia and mild physical symptoms. Anxiety and depression are common side effects of heroin withdrawal that require counseling and additional treatment following detox.

Seeking treatment that addresses both the addiction and mental health disorders reduces your risk of relapse.

Those heavily addiction to heroin often recover fully from detox and withdrawal by day 10 of treatment. When detox is completed, you can start receiving counseling to overcome psychological aspects of addiction such as anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions that co-exist with heroin addiction. Many heroin detox centers offer support groups and aftercare programs designed to help you stay sober for life in the years following treatment.

Heroin detox centers offer many safe, effective treatments that help you comfortably overcome physical dependence and addiction to heroin. Call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-996-6135(Who Answers?) to speak with one of our caring drug abuse counselors about local heroin detox centers devoted to helping you achieve lifelong sobriety.


  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2016). Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal.
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Dual Diagnosis. 
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