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How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System?

It is important to know how long heroin stays in the body for a number of reasons. If you are worried about a drug test or about how long withdrawal will last, it is important to know how quickly detoxification, withdrawal, and detectability based on heroin use will last.

At Starbridge Recovery, we work with our clients to develop a recovery plan that works to meet their needs. By redefining addiction therapy, we can support clients through residential inpatient treatment, dual diagnosis treatment, and thorough aftercare programming around their personalized needs. Our clients have access to comprehensive detox, therapy, and programming to help them achieve a holistic balance before graduating from our treatment facility. 

Contact us today to see how we can help you find a personalized treatment solution today.

What is Heroin?

Heroin is a drug derived from morphine. It is an opioid that blocks the opioid receptors in the body and stops and prevents pain. It is illegal now because of how addictive it is, but it was previously used as a prescription pain reliever. 

Heroin can be found in white or brown powder form or as a sticky tar-like substance. It can be injected, ingested, snorted, or smoked. The different ways it enters the body impact how quickly the individual achieves the high and how long it keeps the body “high.” 

Why is Heroin Dangerous?

Heroin is dangerous because of the short and long-term effects of use. After the “rush,” regular heroin use can cause

  • Heavy feeling in the arms and legs
  • Stomach problems
  • Itchy skin
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Going “on the nod,” a back-and-forth state of being conscious and unconsciousness

The long-term effects of heroin use include:

  • Insomnia
  • Collapsed veins for users that inject the drug into their veins
  • Damaged skin tissue
  • Damaged nasal passages if the drug is snorted
  • Infection of the heart valves
  • Abscesses
  • Stomach pains and cramping
  • Liver and kidney disease
  • Lung disease
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Antisocial personality disorder

This leaves out the increased risk of Hepatitis C and HIV from needle sharing and the long-term effects the additives can have on the lungs, kidneys, brain, and liver.

Signs of Heroin Withdrawal

Heroin withdrawal typically sets in within 8-24 hours of last use. It can last between 4 and 10 days. The length of withdrawal typically depends on how much is in the system and how long an individual has used the drug. 

Withdrawal symptoms for heroin are often not life-threatening. However, withdrawal should be monitored by a medical professional as drugs can damage your body and the side effects of withdrawal can vary based on the person, type of drug, and if the drug was used in combination with other substances.

Typical heroin withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Stomach issues, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Hot and cold flashes
  • Sweating
  • Muscle cramps and joint pain

Withdrawing from heroin can also include cravings for the drug as a side effect of addiction. This makes withdrawal without support dangerous. A lapse or relapse can be deadly. 

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System?

Heroin begins to be undetectable in the body after 5-6 hours. According to the FDA, heroin is typically undetectable in urine samples after two days, but newer, more advanced tests can show positive results seven or more days later. The most accurate test that can detect heroin use is a hair follicle test which can detect heroin use up to three months later.

Heroin Addiction Treatment Options

Heroin addiction treatment options depend on the severity of the addiction, but all begin with detoxification and the process of withdrawing. This process can be done in a comprehensive detox and addiction treatment center like Starbridge Recovery. Our state-of-the-art addiction treatment center is designed to support clients through treatment in a safe and supportive environment.

Clients at Starbridge Recovery work through specialized treatment programs designed around their specifications and needs. This provides clients with a more intensive and personal addiction treatment plan and can lead to higher success rates and long-term sobriety. 
Speak with an admissions counselor today to see how we can support you on your personal journey of recovery.

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