Heroin Detox

Various effective treatments and heroin detox are available for heroin use disorder, including both behavioral therapies and medications.  Both approaches help recover a degree of normalcy to brain function and behavior, resulting in heightened contracting rates and a lower risk of HIV and other diseases and criminal behavior.  Although behavioral and pharmacologic treatments can be helpful when utilized alone, research shows that blending both treatments is the most effective approach for many people. [1]

Long-Term Effects of Heroin Addiction

Heroin Detox
We Level Up New Jersey offers a comprehensive and personalized heroin detox & treatment.

People who use heroin over the long term may develop the following health complications:

  • Insomnia
  • Collapsed veins for people who inject the drug
  • Damaged tissue inside the nose for people who sniff or snort it
  • Infection of the heart lining and valves
  • Abscesses (swollen tissue filled with pus)
  • Constipation and stomach cramping
  • Liver and kidney disease
  • Lung complications, including pneumonia
  • Mental disorders such as depression and antisocial personality disorder
  • Sexual dysfunction for men
  • Irregular menstrual cycles for women

Heroin Addiction Diagnosis for Heroin Detox

Heroin addiction is opioid addiction and diagnosing any substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder, is done by a careful examination and assessment by a psychiatrist or psychologist.  In some states, a licensed drug and alcohol counselor may make the diagnosis.

Generally, a variety of tests are used.  These include lab tests like blood or urine tests and a clinical interview.

If you speculate that you or someone you care about has a heroin addiction, speak with a professional.  This can include a mental health professional like a licensed drug or alcohol counselor, social worker, physician, or psychiatrist.

We Make Heroin Detox Easier on You

Individuals who use these opiate substances, such as heroin, undergo chemical changes in their brains and often avoid the truth about their addiction.  Unfortunately, this means it is often family and friends who eventually discover signs of heroin use.  It is not easy getting a loved one to realize they have a heroin addiction and find a heroin detox program, but it could save their lives.

The most obvious way for a user to recognize that they have a heroin dependency, and probably an addiction, is when a powerful withdrawal symptom is experienced:  cravings.  Unfortunately, a user who encounters this symptom may already be in late-stage addiction and facing a challenging rehabilitation process.

One of the most common forms of heroin use is via intravenous injections.  When injected, the drug effects are fast-acting.  Injections direct the substance right into the bloodstream, triggering a rush of euphoria.  Other effects that are quick to present including dry mouth, pale, flushed skin, constricted pupils, slowed respiration, and a lack of consciousness.  Thoughts and memories become hard to form or hold on to because the chemicals in the brain are being affected.  As a result, the ability to make judgments and maintain self-control is significantly impaired.  Heroin use also takes a significant toll on the user’s immune system, making them sensitive to common colds and infections.

Heroin Overdose

Getting treatment to stop using heroin is so vital because of the high risk of overdose.  Although drugs such as naloxone is available to prevent death from overdose, overdose rates from heroin use are still enormous in counts.  In addition, a heroin overdose causes hypoxia:  a sharp decline in breathing, which prevents the flow of oxygen to the brain. In some cases, an overdose can lead to coma, brain damage, and possibly death.

Heroin addiction is a fatal, life-threatening disease that can cause irreversible effects on one’s health and relationships.  Without help, this addiction will more than likely turn destructive.  Immediate professional help and heroin detox is the only way to avoid injuring yourself or a loved one.

Opioid use disorder is a severe condition, but it’s treatable.  Addiction doesn’t have to be continual or even long-term.  There’s help out there, and there’s always a potential to recover for anyone who will seek help.

Treatment for Heroin Overdose

Naloxone is a medicine that can treat an opioid overdose when given right away.  It works by rapidly binding to opioid receptors and blocking the effects of heroin and other opioid drugs.  However, sometimes more than one dose may be needed to help a person start breathing again, which is why it’s essential to get the person to an emergency department or a doctor to receive additional support if needed.

Naloxone is an injectable solution and nasal sprays (NARCAN® Nasal Spray and KLOXXADO®).  Friends, family, and others in the community can use the nasal spray versions of naloxone to save someone who is overdosing.

In fact, the rising number of opioid overdose deaths has led to increased public health efforts to make naloxone available to at-risk persons and their families, first responders, and others in the community.  In addition, some states have passed laws that allow pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a prescription from a person’s doctor.  [2]

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Nausea
  • Sweats and Chills
  • Soreness and Aching in Muscles and Bones
  • Sinus Issues
  • Fatigue and Loss of Energy
  • Agitation and Restlessness
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea

Symptoms for Severe Cases of Heroin Addiction

  • Strong Cravings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Anxiety or Paranoia
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Respiration Issues
  • Psychological Stress
  • High Blood Pressure

What to Expect During Heroin Detox?

The heroin detox process may look unusual for someone who has only used heroin a few times than it would for someone who has used heroin habitually over several weeks, months, or years.  The longer and incredible amounts an individual uses, the more stringent the process will be and the longer it will take to detox fully.  In addition, the way the drug is taken may also influence the brain and body’s addiction to the drug and the overall detox process.

Basically, for some individuals, the detox period is over within 5-7 days.  However, more high-level heroin addiction could mean a detox period several days longer.  Therapy, counseling, and medical treatment are all parts of a medically assisted detox program.  This structured and administered detox program helps create a more peaceful drug transition and reduces the risk of complications.

Common Health Risks

  • Heart Damage
  • Dysfunctional Cognitive Abilities
  • Kidney Disease and Kidney Failure
  • Conditions due to needle sharing (HIV, Hepatitis)
  • Collapsed Veins
  • Skin Infections and Abscesses
  • Liver Disease
  • Lung Complications
  • Pneumonia

Heroin Addiction Treatment

There are multiple ways to treat heroin addiction with heroin detox.  Medication such as Methadone, Subutex, and Suboxone allows an individual to be weaned off of heroin without the full withdrawal effects.  However, medication-assisted treatment is debatable as these medications are addictive in themselves.  In fact, the ideal treatment option is abstinence.  This is a challenging route, as heroin detox can be very uncomfortable and triggers severe cravings.  However, getting clean is the ultimate goal, and this is the favored route for many.

We Level Up New Jersey Treatment team specializes in creating an ideal environment and providing effective therapies to help heroin addicts recover.  Most importantly, we will develop a personalized treatment plan and lead you to recovery.  So, get started today!

If you think you or a loved one has developed an addiction to heroin, communicate with us today, and we will help you reclaim your life.  We can help you with an assessment and provide further resources for help and recovery.


[1] What Are the Treatments for Heroin Use Disorder? – National Institute on Drug Abuse
[2] Heroin DrugFacts – National Institute on Drug Abuse