It is no secret that withdrawal is a necessary evil of ending a heroin addiction. However, heroin withdrawal can be an overwhelming and confusing subject. Patients with a better understanding of the withdrawal process, what to expect, how long it takes and what comes next will be better prepared for recovery.
Average Duration of Heroin Withdrawal
When prospective patients prepare for withdrawal, the most common question is how long it will last. Ultimately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Patients’ histories differ in a number of ways.
However, heroin is a unique drug, and withdrawal follows a set pattern. Typically, a withdrawal from heroin takes somewhere between five and nine days. Don’t forget that withdrawal and detox are just the first steps in achieving lasting sobriety. Further treatment and heroin addiction programs will be necessary for complete recovery.
Progression and Timeline for a Withdrawal From Heroin
Withdrawal from heroin often follows a basic timeline, progressing from one stage to the next. The first stage begins when patients decide to begin recovery. The second stage begins around 10 hours after the last dose of heroin. During the second stage, withdrawal symptoms often begin.
The third stage of withdrawal, around 24 hours into the detox process, can bring more severe symptoms. Patients may start to feel uncomfortable around this time. Thankfully, medical resources are available to mitigate discomfort and ensure both health and safety.
The fourth stage of withdrawal is where symptoms peak. Many patients report this to be the least comfortable. However, this stage signals the decline in symptoms overall. It’s the beginning of the end of withdrawal.
Finally, the fifth stage is ongoing maintenance. Patients won’t be entirely free from symptoms. PAWS, or post-acute withdrawal syndrome, is a possibility. It takes therapy and effort to prevent relapse moving forward.
Factors Impacting Withdrawal Duration
The withdrawal process is different for everyone. Countless factors contribute to the average duration. Addiction longevity and severity is important, as is patient health and age.
Withdrawal typically takes longer for patients who have been using heroin for longer. The same applies to those who use particularly large doses of heroin or who use the drug multiple times a day.
Patients who are healthy and fit aside from their addiction may find withdrawal to be less unpleasant. Healthy, young patients might also have a shorter withdrawal overall.
Planning Ahead: What Comes Next After Withdrawal
Withdrawal doesn’t mark the end of recovery. Instead, it means that patients will be mentally and physically ready to begin ongoing therapy and addiction treatment. Extended care programs are often the best choice and can last 90 days. Top therapies and treatments following withdrawal include:
- Dual diagnosis therapy
- Individual behavioral therapy
- Trauma therapy
- 12-step recovery programs
- Holistic therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
Deciding to complete a heroin withdrawal is a bold and important step. At Crestview Recovery in Portland, Oregon, you can begin your journey to lasting sobriety. Overcome addiction and work toward recovery through one of our addiction programs by calling 866.262.0531 today.