How To Detox From Heroin: Ultimate Guide! 

If you've reached that point where it's time to detox from heroin addiction, then pat yourself on the back because you came to the right place!

Fear of withdrawal often holds opiate addicts back from taking this courageous step, but the truth is that the addiction uses this excuse to beat you before you beat it. 

In this article, I will guide you through the steps in order for you to safely detox from heroin or any other opiate addiction as well.

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I will tell you the truth about what you should expect during the detox process. I will also help to get you through it as painlessly as possible. 

This article should serve as motivation for you to finally kick this nasty habit. You are going to beat this addiction. It is going to be a fight, but look at it as the best fight of your life, and this time, you're going to win! 

Are you ready to save your own life?

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and do not claim to be, therefore make sure to check with your primary care physician or a healthcare professional before doing anything recommended within this article. This article is not meant to be taken as medical advice and is based off of research found to help addicts going through a similar experience.

How to Detox From Heroin - Article Overview:

This is your last stop and ultimate guide to help you detox from heroin - from start to finish. The topics we are going to cover include:

Part 1 - Overview of the detox process.

Part 2 - Withdrawal symptoms and the cold turkey cures.

Part 3 - How to prepare for your detox, mentally and physically. 

Part 4 - Heroin detox timeline:

  • Days 1 and 2: I am dying!
  • Days 3 - 5: The worst is over.
  • Days 6 - 8: You're on the right track!

Part 5 - Don't drop your guard after detox. The work has just begun.

Part 1 - Overview Of The Detox Process

Finding a good inpatient rehab program, even without a job,  money, or health insurance is not difficult. There are many great resources available if you're serious about getting clean.

Offering you all of the necessary medical supervision, appropriate drug-replacement therapy, and professional care, a good drug rehab center will oversee your detox in a safe, private setting.

Usually lasting seven days, the typical detox process (even cold turkey) is rarely worse than a bad case of the flu. Try to remember the last time you had the flu - aches and pain, fever and chills, vomiting and diarrhea, tossing and turning instead of sleeping, miserable from your head to toes.

The truth is, there's nothing new here. The suffering lasts about a week and you've been through all of this before, even when you were a helpless little kid in the third grade.

That's not to say it's easy. It's not. Starting from about 6-12 hours after your last and final bad decision to use heroin, you're going to catch a really bad flu. 

Detox is the first and best decision of your new life and we are going to help you get through it. After all, you're not a helpless little third-grader anymore. You've handled worse things than the flu and you damn sure shouldn't be scared of your detox. 

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Part 2 - Withdrawal Symptoms and The Cold Turkey Cures.

In this section, I am going to give you a full rundown of heroin (and other opioids) withdrawal symptoms. Although inpatient detox is the better way to go, I  am providing some good at-home treatments for these symptoms. Just in case you are exploring the cold turkey option.

The severity of your heroin withdrawal symptoms will depend on the number of times you have been through detox in the past. Withdrawals tend to get worse over time, so if you have tried to detox from heroin in the past, it might be harder this time around. This is something that is known as "Kindling" and it is well understood with alcohol withdrawal and other addictions as well. 

Just remember, what has a beginning has an end. Beginning with anxiety and cravings for heroin, your worst-ever case of the flu will reach its peak somewhere between days 1 and 3. 

After this, your acute withdrawal symptoms will decline and your detox period will end by day 7 or 8.

The following are typical symptoms of heroin withdrawal and some good cold turkey cures from over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and herbs:

1.) Cravings to use again: 
Go look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are tougher than a third-grader.

2.) Diarrhea and abdominal cramping: 
Heroin and opioids are constipating, so the onset of diarrhea is no surprise. Drink lots of water to prevent dehydration while your body clears this toxic waste for the first 24 hours. Take Imodium or Pepto-Bismol regularly, starting on day 2. Take some tylenol to help relieve any pain.

3.) Nausea and vomiting:
Toxic waste has poisoned your whole body, and poison makes people throw up. Take Benadryl (Dramamine), which treats sea-sickness, as directed on the label.

4.) Sweating:
Consider sweating as just one more way to squeeze the toxic waste out of your body. Keep a supply of clean towels available and try rubbing baby powder all over your body. Drink lots of watered-down Gatorade to stay hydrated and maintain your electrolytes.

5.) Runny nose and watering eyes:
Benadryl can be helpful here since it is actually an anti-allergy medicine.

6.) Insomnia and sleeplessness:
Try maintaining a sleep schedule and supplement with melatonin prior to going to sleep. Valerian root capsules can help as well.

7.) Anxiety:
NyQuil and Valerian root taken together can help to reduce withdrawal-related anxiety. Also, you can try to meditate for this.

8.) Lack of energy, emotional sadness, and depression:
Two common OTC remedies include St. John's Wort capsules and DHEA. Funny movies and TV sitcoms are helpful to take your mind off of everything. They also help to kill the time. Listening to great motivational recovery songs is also very helpful to keep your spirits up.

9.) Body cramps, leg pains, and restless legs:
Massage can be helpful, as well as walking up and down stairs (take frequent breaks). Work up to walking, running, and exercise. Hyland's Restful Legs is a safe, all-natural OTC that can help to relieve restless, uncontrollable urges to move your legs.

10.) Cold chills and goose bumps:
Wear warm clothes in layers. Take long, hot baths as often as possible. They will warm you while also rehydrating your body, helping you to relax and get a restful sleep. Throw in some epsom salt, this will ease your body aches.

11.) Loss of appetite:
Drink as much watered-down Gatorade as possible. Try chicken-noodle soup, peanut butter on toast, bananas, hard-boiled eggs, potato chips, mixed nuts, trail mix, beef jerky, etc.

12.) Fast pulse and/or low blood pressure:
Stand up slowly to avoid dizziness and eat bananas to increase heart-healthy potassium levels.


Part 3 - How to Prepare for Detox.

It's not only your physical body that needs cleansing from toxic waste. Your state of mind needs a complete overhaul too. Here are some great ways to prepare your mind and body for a successful heroin detox. 

Mental Preparations:

1.) Write yourself a pump-up letter to read back to yourself during your detox.
2.) Tell a drug-free friend or loved one about your plans to detox.
3.) Don't have any cash on hand and carefully hide your ATM card.
4.) Destroy all of your drug paraphernalia - Absolutely everything!
5.) Get a new cellphone, or at least change your phone number. Also, delete all of your drug-related contacts.
6.) Take a selfie with your new cellphone so that you'll remember the awesome moment when you saved your own life!

Physical Preparations:

Here is your shopping list. Have all of these things on hand before you begin your heroin detox to help relieve any stress and discomfort.

1.) Enough drinking water for 8 days.
2.) Gatorade, Sprite, and Ginger Ale.
3.) Chicken noodle soup and Ramen noodles.
4.) Bread, peanut butter, jelly, yogurt, and bananas.
5.) Baby powder, epsom salts, and clean towels.
6.) Tylenol for pain relief.
7.) NyQuil, Benedryl, and Immodium (or Pepto-Bismol).
8.) Valerian root capsules and melatonin.
9.) St. John's Wort capsules for depression or sadness.
10.) Wide-spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement.
11.) Magazines and books to read.
12.) Comedies and other enjoyable DVDs to watch.
13.) A large calendar with big boxes for the days to countdown.

Check out some great Youtube videos to help keep your mind busy and entertained . Here are the 10 funniest movie scenes from 1997-2007, Enjoy!

Part 4 - Heroin Detox Timeline

Remember, when you detox from heroin or opiates, it is a lot like a horrible flu. If your neighbors third-grade kid can handle the flu, you can handle this detox. Start by hanging up your new large calendar and "X" out the days as they pass. 

Days 1 - 2: I Am Dying!

The most severe symptoms of detoxing from heroin and other opioids occur within the first two days. 

Anxiety attacks are common and you must learn some relaxation techniques. Muscle pain, cold chills, and shivering will be strong, and diarrhea will start to kick in. 

Add more layers of clothes, take Nyquil and Tylenol, drink plenty of water, eat chicken noodle soup, and try to tolerate the diarrhea for the first 24 hours. Put healthy food in which will help kick the toxic waste out. 

On the second day, take Imodium (or Pepto-Bismol) as directed to control the diarrhea. Continue the same good eating and drinking habits, and try to stay warm with frequent long, hot baths. 

Continue the Tylenol and NyQuil for pain and sleep. Try to walk up and down stairs or even walking in place to channel anxiety and restlessness.

Days 3 - 5: The Worst is Over!

While the worst discomfort is usually over by Day 3, the next few days are marked by alternating hot sweats and cold chills, stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting.

Take Benadryl (at the first sign of nausea) as directed to avoid throwing up. Try to eat lightly and frequently from your favorite foods to increase your appetite and boost your health. Add the multi-vitamin and the St. John's Wart to boost your immune system and relieve stress and/or depression.

Continue with the long hot baths and increase your walking. Add jumping jacks and dedicate a set time for your exercise routine. Set an acceptable bedtime and stick to it. Schedules can help keep you motivated and encourage you to do whatever is next on your list.

List your favorite TV show times on your schedule, too. By Day 5, you'll recognize your progress as the withdrawal symptoms decrease. Stick to your healthy eating and sleeping schedule, as well as your schedule of Tylenol, NyQuil, Benadryl, Imodium, etc.

Listen to some great motivational recovery songs and celebrate your progress with bubbles in your long hot bath. A little shampoo will make bubbles if you don't have any bubble bath. Channel your inner third-grader and play with the bubbles.

Days 6 - 8: You're On the Right Track!

Now, you are really seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. You know you're on the right track, and, if you keep following your daily eating, sleeping, and med routines, you'll be out of the woods in no time.

Hold your hot bath schedule steady, too, because chills will still be a regular withdrawal symptom - although they will be noticeably less frequent. Eating may still need some encouragement, too. 

Add more favorite foods to motivate your appetite, and this is a good time to start playing more in the kitchen. At the very least you can read the recipes in the magazines you bought before entering detox. Add more exercise to your schedule, too, to help channel increasing energy levels as your health improves.

Part 5 - Don't Drop Your Guard After Detoxing.

Now that the worst is over, don't drop your guard. Keep your calendar up, and stick to your daily routines. You can even try these 7 proven ways to keep busy. These new healthy habits are the foundation for your new healthy life.

Some post-acute withdrawal symptoms (called PAWS) persist for many weeks after detox, because brain circuits don't begin healing until the toxic waste is gone. Be understanding that your emotions and behaviors are still raw and these need more time to heal and stabilize.

Take the next step in the right direction by seeking support through counseling opportunities, joining a 12-step program, exploring various hobbies or job skills, and getting more exercise.

Your Life Is The Best Friend That You Can Fight For!

Your new life is your new best friend. Take a new selfie with your cell phone and celebrate your best friend's progress! Now it's up to you to help your new best friend stand and survive the daily grind of normal, non-perfect, everyday life. 

This will take compassion and understanding that freedom from addiction is only accomplished one day at a time. Sometimes it will take courage to fight your old bad habits.

Completing a detox from heroin is proof that you have the courage that it takes. You can save your best friend's life, and the life of your best friend is the best thing worth fighting for. 

Keep up your good work! 


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Marco Sterling

I am a former mid-level advertising executive who had the unfortunate experience with drug and alcohol abuse. My experience nearly ruined my life, but in going through that I realized how precious life really is. My aim is to help many people that are going through what I went through and I hope you find the value in the resources provided through this site.