How Long Does It Take to Get Off Heroin?

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At Florida Springs in Panama City, the organization behind this blog and one of the best drug and alcohol rehabs in Florida, a completely natural question we get from people all the time is “How long does it take to get off heroin”? We also see searches for our website involving questions like “How can I get off heroin?” or “How can I get off pills?”. For this article, let’s discuss opioids and try to answer some of the questions people may be thinking about when they search for these terms on Google and elsewhere. Last year at Florida Springs, the best drug and alcohol rehab in Florida, we wrote an article called “how long does it take to sober up”. That article was meant for people using alcohol for the most part. In addition to the change of substance, there are serious differences between the two inquiries. Many people who are using alcohol might be interested in how long it will take them to feel sober again after drinking too much in a single night. Many of those same people may have no interest in getting sober for good, and many of those people may not have drinking problems at all. Heroin, and other opioids, on the other hand, are usually not something the user wants to keep doing. Many people with addiction to heroin, oxycontin, Vicodin, or fentanyl, are only continuing to use the drug to keep from getting deathly sick from withdrawal and are constantly looking for a way out. Heroin and other opioids, unlike a drug like marijuana, tend to cause unmanageability in the lives of users in very short order. Unmanageability is a common theme in 12-step programs for treating addiction. It is a short-hand description for the constant disasters and life-ruining occurrences that build on each other over time and happen in the lives of people with substance use disorder. There are softer drugs that are less likely to cause unmanageability, and even alcohol can be used in a healthy way by non-alcoholics, but opioids are a fast track for pain and misery.

Rather than explaining more about unmanageability or talking more about the many problems caused by heroin, we should get down to the business of discussing sobriety from heroin and other opioids. Before we start, it is very important for people to know that as much as 95% of heroin on the streets of America today is laced with some amount of fentanyl, a drug that is many, many times more dangerous than heroin. If you or a loved one is seeking help with finding drug or alcohol rehab in Florida, you should be aware of the day-to-day dangers of continued heroin use, because of this massive change-over to fentanyl that is taking place. Overdoses and deaths are up over 500% in just the last few years, and it is more important than ever to find a way to get sober from heroin.

How Do You Get Off Heroin, and Does it Take Long?

So how long does it take to get off heroin? Let’s take that question in steps. It takes around 7 days on average to get passed most of the worst withdrawal sickness that begins after 20 hours without your drug of choice. These numbers are variable, but if you are using heroin every day and you quit suddenly, withdrawal is likely to be substantial, uncomfortable, and medical help with discontinuing use is always best for safety reasons. It has also been shown that people who get professional medical help to get off of heroin are many times more likely to stay sober for longer, and more likely to be alive years down the line. That is because of the overdose/fentanyl problem, another year out on the street using heroin is another year where overdose and death is hanging over your head every hour of every day. After withdrawal sickness is fading away after 7 days or so, we get to the question of getting off of heroin for the longer term. This is where treatment and rehab facilities like Florida Springs in Panama City can be incredibly helpful. After a person has gotten past the worst of the physical sickness with medical help and supervision, the goal becomes not relapsing back into heroin and opioid use. 12-step programs like Narcotics Anonymous, and 30-day rehab programs like Florida Springs, are designed to teach a person about the disease of addiction, give them an outlet for better understanding the ways that drugs and alcohol may have been ruining their life, and arm a person with all the tools and abilities that have been developed to keep a person off of hard drugs like heroin. Talking to trusted friends and family members,  talking to other people who understand the disease of addiction from personal experience, and talking to professional therapists and counselors about the journey of recovery has been proven to be a hugely beneficial step for getting off of heroin for good.

12 Step Programs and Rehab

The best scientific data shows us that 12-step programs are very good, and medical science-based programs on top of therapy and 12-step meetings are the very best option for getting off of heroin and staying away from opioids. Some people do not find 12-step programs helpful, and some people are not comfortable with one-on-one therapy settings, but science tells us that some form of talking to others about recovery is hugely beneficial, on top of the professional medical help that is very much necessary for successful recovery in my opinion. Florida Springs, and some of the other best drug and alcohol rehabs in Florida offer that professional medical help, but so do places like the Salvation Army, some faith-based organizations, many hospitals, and other organizations that can be found through your doctor or a local Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous group. If you are trying to get off of heroin for good, doing it along has been proven unsuccessful in almost all cases by millions of people, but asking for help, from people who have been there, has been proven to be hugely beneficial to millions of people in the difficult situation of facing an addiction or substance abuse problem. For more information on Florida Springs Wellness and Recovery Center rehab and treatment in Panama City, call us today.

By T.A. Cannon