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Medically Reviewed

Can I Detox From Heroin at Home?

- 7 sections

Medically Reviewed: October 27, 2021

Medical Reviewer

Sahil Talwar, PA-C, MBA


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

In recent years, countries across the world have found themselves facing a heroin epidemic. Heroin abuse is growing in popularity in the United States, with 669,000 Americans admitting to heroin use in 2012.[1] As heroin abuse becomes more prevalent, America is seeing a rise in heroin addiction.

Heroin is one of the most addictive and dangerous substances in the world. Individuals who are addicted to heroin face intense symptoms of withdrawal when they attempt to stop their heroin abuse. While some people may want to avoid attending a professional detox program, attempting to detox from heroin at home is dangerous.

Individuals who try to detox from heroin at home are likely to relapse as an attempt to soothe their withdrawal symptoms. This can lead to a worsened addiction and life-threatening consequences like fatal overdoses.


The Signs of Heroin Addiction

The signs and symptoms of heroin addiction will vary from person to person, however, there are some telltale signs to be aware of.

The common signs of heroin addiction include:

  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Hostility towards others
  • Lying about drug use and avoiding loved ones
  • Weight loss
  • Scabs or bruises from picking
  • Delusions or hallucinations
  • Decreased attention to personal hygiene
  • Apathy and lack of motivation
  • Decreased interest in work, school, hobbies, and socializing

Heroin addiction is extremely difficult to quit without medical intervention. Many heroin users report becoming addicted to the drug after just one use, making this substance highly addictive.
Once a person becomes addicted to heroin, their life will revolve around obtaining and using the substance regardless of the consequences they may face as a result. As a result, it is extremely difficult for individuals to successfully detox from heroin at home.

Why is Detoxing from Heroin at Home a Bad Idea?

When an individual tries to detox from heroin without a taper or medical assistance, it is referred to as “quitting cold turkey.” In other words, the individual will abruptly quit using heroin and experience withdrawal symptoms at full force. Oftentimes, the physical symptoms of heroin withdrawal are too much for an individual to handle on their own and without medical attention. As a result, they will likely resume their heroin use to soothe their symptoms of withdrawal.

There are many reasons why trying to detox from heroin at home is a bad idea, such as:

Heroin Cravings

Typically, heroin withdrawal is accompanied by a strong desire to use heroin. This “desire” is commonly referred to as cravings, which are extremely difficult to resist. Cravings are driven by two forces: the desire to experience the high of heroin and the desire to reduce withdrawal symptoms. When an individual is dealing with these cravings at home, it is difficult not to give in to temptation.

Symptoms of Heroin Withdrawal

Heroin is well-known for its uncomfortable and dangerous withdrawal symptoms. While a medical detox center can mitigate the symptoms of heroin withdrawal through medications and treatments, individuals who attempt to detox at home do not have this luxury. Some people may be tempted to rough it out, however, studies have shown that individuals who attend professional detox have higher long-term success rates for recovery.[2]

The common symptoms of heroin withdrawal include:

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Migraines
  • Weight loss
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia

The Risk of Dehydration

Detoxing from heroin may result in a significant amount of fluid loss in the body. When individuals detox from heroin, they may experience an overproduction of bodily fluids. For example, this includes excess sweating, tears, and a runny nose. While this is the body’s attempt at restoring balance, it produces a real risk of dehydration. This is especially true with the symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting. Because of this, individuals detoxing from heroin must drink 2-3 liters of water a day.

Medication-assisted heroin detox programs make managing fluid intake much easier, as patients are supervised throughout the entire process. In addition, medications may be used to ease the symptoms of heroin withdrawal, reducing the risks of health issues like dehydration.

High Fevers Can Cause Serious Health Risks

One of the most common symptoms of heroin withdrawal is a fever. While most people have experienced a fever within their lifetime, the fevers caused by heroin withdrawal can be especially dangerous. Fevers are meant to fight off infections in the body, however, there is no point in fever during heroin withdrawal as there is no infection to fight. In other words, the fevers experienced during heroin withdrawal cause more harm than good.

By attending a professional detox center like Charlotte Detox, individuals can rest assured that the symptoms of heroin withdrawal will be lessened and treated promptly. This prevents patients from dealing with any unnecessary health risks associated with heroin withdrawal.

Recover from Heroin Addiction at Charlotte Detox Center

Detoxing from home is never a good idea, as it poses more risks than benefits. While some people may like the idea of being in the comfort of their own homes, they will not have access to vital medical attention. Because of this, it is of the utmost importance for individuals to attend a professional detox program like Charlotte Detox Center when detoxing from heroin.

For more information on heroin detox in Charlotte, North Carolina, contact Charlotte Detox Center today.