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How Long Does Heroin Last in Your System?

Heroin use and abuse are dangerous to the body. Individuals who experiment or regularly use are in jeopardy of developing a heroin use disorder. Addiction does not discriminate and can cause mental and physical trauma.

At the Robert Alexander Center, we work with clients to address each of their concerns around heroin use disorders. Through this process, we develop individual treatment programs that combine traditional and alternative therapies to promote sobriety.

What is Heroin?

Heroin is a narcotic used to block pain. This opioid pain reliever depresses the ability of the opioid receptor to receive pain and causes a euphoric high. Heroin is most often found white, off-white, or pale brown. It can also be found in a sticky solid substance. Heroin can be injected, rubbed on the gums, smoked, or snorted.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, heroin use can stem from prescription opioid abuse. Medications like Oxycontin, Vicodin, and Demerol are addictive, and individuals often turn to heroin if they are cut off by their doctor. 

Because of how heroin impacts the body and brain, treatment for a heroin use disorder can be administered through behavioral and pharmacological means. Behavior therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy and contingency management are especially effective in treating heroin use disorders. Additionally, individuals addicted to heroin can use medication like methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone to help treat the side effects of stopping heroin use. 

What are the Signs of Heroin Use?

An individual using heroin may be able to hide it for a time, but there are signs and symptoms of use that can signify they are using heroin. When a person gets high on heroin, they may experience:

  • Falling unconscious
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heavy feeling in arms and legs
  • Inability to concentrate

These symptoms, together with the euphoric high, can indicate that an individual is high on heroin. 

Using heroin frequently can lead to increased tolerance, dependence, and addiction. Those who use heroin frequently will find that over time they need to increase the dose to achieve the same high; this is tolerance. Individuals who continue to increase the drug and start to feel cravings for the drug between use are developing a dependence on the drug. The body’s need for the drug combined with withdrawal symptoms when not using, are both indicators of addiction.

Heroin addiction can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the signs and symptoms related to use.

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System?

Person‘s addicted to short-acting opioids like heroin typically begin to experience withdrawal symptoms between eight and 24 hours after last use. However, withdrawal symptoms can last between four and ten days. Individuals withdrawing from opioids can expect to experience nausea and vomiting, anxiety, insomnia, muscle cramps, watery discharge from eyes and nose, and diarrhea. And while these symptoms are not life-threatening, they are very uncomfortable and have the ability to be medically managed with her medication and peer support.

Heroin has a relatively short time frame to be detectable in drug tests. Heroin is often undetectable in blood and Saliva in under 24 hours. Heroin remains detectable in urine for 1 to 4 days and in hair follicle tests for up to 90 days.

How to Find a Heroin Detox Program

Locally, you want to choose a heroin detox program that meets all your addiction needs, and we believe that the Robert Alexander Center can meet those needs. Our campus provides comprehensive treatment from detoxification through outpatient aftercare and every step in between.  

Through combined traditional and alternative therapy methods, our heroin addiction treatment center can support your individual needs and help you achieve your goals of sobriety and change. 
Contact the Robert Alexander Center to speak with an admissions counselor today about getting help with your heroin addiction.

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