Heroin Addiction Treatment

Heroin is one of the most addictive, potent drugs you can take. Even if you want to stop, the idea of quitting may feel emotionally or physically impossible. If you are struggling with heroin use, it’s important that you reach out for support. Professional treatment can help you get your life back.

How Do I Know I’m Addicted to Heroin?

If you’re using heroin frequently, you are most likely addicted to it. You have a diagnosable opioid use disorder once you begin to use heroin frequently and develop tolerance or physical dependence. This means when you can’t get heroin, your body suffers the physical effects of withdrawal, like:

  • Severe pain
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Cravings

There are many health problems associated with heroin abuse. Some physical effects of heroin include:

  • Finding you need more heroin to get the effects you once felt with smaller doses
  • Experiencing the early stages of heroin withdrawal when you stop taking the drug: headaches, shakiness, irritability, and achiness
  • Frequent runny noses or nosebleeds
  • Respiratory issues – People who smoke heroin often have more chronic respiratory problems.
  • Teary eyes and pinpoint pupils
  • Needle marks or track marks where the drug is injected
  • Skin abscesses at the injection sites

A heroin addiction affects more than just your body. You might also:

  • Have problems controlling your drug use
  • Continue to use heroin even though it causes you significant problems
  • Experience declining performance at school or work
  • Experience financial difficulty due to spending large amounts of money on heroin
  • Neglect your personal hygiene and responsibilities
  • Notice your relationships are affected by anger and abuse, trust issues, secrecy, and codependency.

If you want to break free from your drug addiction but feel like you can’t, it’s time to seek help. Recovery takes work, but it is possible. At Footprints to Recovery, we are ready to support you.

How Do I Recover from a Heroin Addiction?

First, it’s important to remember that addiction is a disease. It’s not a choice or a moral failing. Addiction often results from dramatic changes in brain chemistry. Researchers, doctors, and therapists generally agree that addiction is a mental illness.

There are several components to your treatment and road to recovery. These components include evaluations, medical detox, withdrawal management, long-term therapies, and aftercare. 

What Path of Treatment Is Right for Me?

You first must consider whether you need inpatient or outpatient treatment. Treatment professionals can help you make this choice during the initial assessment.

Inpatient treatment, also known as residential treatment, is required for medical detox. It allows you to get necessary medical treatment and isolate yourself from potential temptations to use heroin.

If you have a long history of heroin abuse with several attempts to quit, you will probably benefit from inpatient treatment. This includes residential treatment and 24/7 medical support and care. Residential treatment clients follow a structured routine each day. They also receive full access to all amenities. The length of treatment ranges from 28 to 90 days, depending on the severity of the addiction.

Outpatient treatment allows you more freedom, but you need a safe home environment and a strong support system in place. If you don’t have these things, you can stay in a sober living home while undergoing outpatient treatment.

This treatment is ideal for people with serious obligations outside of treatment, such as taking care of a child. You’ll travel to a Footprints to Recovery treatment facility for your programming and return home each day. Depending on your needs, scheduled sessions can range from once a week to five times a week.

Do I Need to Detox from Heroin?

Yes, detox is the first step to treating heroin addiction. At the beginning of detox, your body works hard to cleanse itself of toxins accumulated through heroin use. Throughout detox, the body processes substances in your system, clearing those toxins out.

While you can detox from heroin on your own, it’s not recommended. At Footprints to Recovery, we offer medical detox, which puts you under the care of medical professionals who support and monitor you throughout withdrawal. They may prescribe medication to help you wean off heroin safely. It’s generally a three-step process:

  1. Evaluation
  2. Stabilization
  3. Preparation for future treatment

What Happens When I Get to a Footprints to Recovery Facility with a Heroin Addiction?

Rehab typically begins with a thorough evaluation by a clinician to determine the intensity of heroin abuse. They will evaluate its effects on your:

  • Emotions
  • Physical functioning
  • Social functioning
  • Thinking abilities

You will generally be screened for any other substance abuse issues or co-occurring mental health disorders. This evaluation will help the clinician develop a treatment plan for your unique needs. That plan is based on the principles of effective treatment.

Treatment begins with medical detox and withdrawal management. Heroin withdrawal may require medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Medications like Suboxone or methadone can help effectively manage heroin withdrawal symptoms.

What Is Recovering from a Heroin Addiction Like with Footprints to Recovery?

Therapy represents a key component of any addiction treatment. At Footprints to Recovery, we use various forms of behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and other complementary therapies.

These therapies give you the opportunity to reflect on yourself and change your negative thought patterns. You’ll get to address the roots of your drug addiction through evidence-based methods and techniques with a team that’s experienced and compassionate.

How Long Does Recovery from a Heroin Addiction Take?


The length of recovery is different for everyone! The timeline of heroin withdrawal depends on multiple factors, including: 

  • The length of time you used heroin
  • The amount of heroin you took each time
  • How frequently you used
  • The method by which you took heroin
  • The presence of underlying medical or mental health issues

Most professionals recommend long-term outpatient treatment for heroin addiction. The length of treatment will vary, but many people benefit from receiving clinical services for several months. Some people continue on with therapy or peer-led support groups for several years. Even after you leave treatment, your sobriety will benefit from aftercare. Peer support and continuing to learn will help you maintain a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your Blood?

Heroin remains in the blood for up to six days.

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your Urine?

Heroin remains in urine for about three days.

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your Hair? 

Heroin remains in the hair for up to 90 days. 

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your Saliva? 

Heroin can be found in saliva for up to 24 hours.

Does Footprints to Recovery Accept My Insurance?

We accept most insurance plans, and we’ll work with your insurance to ensure the best coverage possible. You can get started on verifying your insurance here.

What If I Don’t Have Insurance?

Our trained admissions coordinators work with you and our financial team to come up with the best financial plan for your situation. You can pay out-of-pocket or apply for financing.

What Happens When I Leave Footprints to Recovery?

Once you complete the structured treatment program for heroin addiction, it’s important to remember that you are not finished. Aftercare focuses on your recovery and will help you avoid relapse by developing the skills you need to live a drug-free life.

To prevent relapse, you must maintain your sobriety. We encourage you to see sobriety as a fulfilling journey! And we’re always here to help, even after you’re finished Footprints to Recovery programming. You can increase your chances of successful addiction recovery by participating in sober and supportive activities, such as support groups, step-down programs, and sober living.

Are you ready to get help for your heroin addiction? We are here for you. Contact Footprints to Recovery today to speak to one of our admissions coordinators and begin your journey to health and recovery.


  1. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin/what-are-long-term-effects-heroin-use
  2. https://footprintstorecovery.com/addiction-therapies/cognitive-behavioral-therapy/
  3. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/medications-to-treat-opioid-addiction/overview
  4. https://footprintstorecovery.com/addiction-treatment-admissions/payment-options/

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