How to Detox from Heroin at Home

Heroin detox at home requires some forethought around whether it is possible or even safe to do. Learn more about the process to know if it is something that can be done safely without adverse risks or side effects.


Every case of addiction includes dependence and detox. The toxins in the drug leave the body and withdrawal symptoms will begin. When detoxing, the symptoms can be pretty uncomfortable. Heroin detox symptoms are treatable. While medication-based therapies constitute an essential part of the whole process, behavioral therapy is not to be disregarded. During this time, people may continue taking medication prescribed by a doctor. Behavioral therapies may include individual and group counseling, contingency, cognitive-behavioral and other similar modalities to support learning the underlying causes of addiction.


Detox from heroin includes opiate substitution medications. When this is used during heroin detox the opioids interact with receptors like heroin but are less harmful. The purpose is to ease cravings for the drug and delay withdrawal. Medications can be used during heroin detox to address specific symptoms as they occur. One medication that helps reduce the intensity of withdrawal includes clonidine. Antidepressants may also be prescribed during or after detox.

Heroin Detox

Cleansing the body from heroin happens quickly. Cold turkey symptoms tend to peak around 72 hours after last dose and resolve within 7-10 days. It may take longer for the body to process what is happening where this goes into prolonged withdrawal symptoms (PAWS). Detox can be completed within hours if the individual is administered an opioid receptor antagonist such as naltrexone. This is more expensive and may be dangerous. Some of the following are symptoms of a heroin detox:

  • Anxiety
  • Bone and muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Constipation
  • Cravings
  • Diarrhea
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Fast pulse
  • High blood temp
  • Insomnia
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Tearing
  • Vomiting

An individual may experience dehydration or an electrolyte imbalance. It is advisable to consume fluids as much as possible or use IV therapy. Cardiovascular diseases may get worse during heroin detox, especially if the individual experiences high blood pressure or sweating. Anxious people should be wary of panic attacks.

Detox at Home

It is possible to detox at home but it is not advisable. The success rates to stay clean are lower than medically assisted detox. The possibility of relapse is high and requires medical approval before attempting to detox from heroin on one’s own. Some pre-existing medical conditions may require clinical detox under medical supervision. If detoxing at home, gradually cut doses down rather than entirely and decrease the chances of relapse in doing so. It is recommended detox be done under medical supervision to avoid major health crises and achieve lasting results.


The Villa is supportive of individuals who are seeking information of resources about treatment options for addiction. Call us if you need help finding options for yourself or a loved one to seek recovery.