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For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the helpline is a private and convenient solution. Caring advisors are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options.
Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit (IP: 2600:1002:b112:d21f:dc56:35c3:d4d1:d6d3) will be answered by American Addiction Centers (AAC) or a paid sponsor.
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Heroin rehabilitation: How long?

Sobriety = Long Term Dedication

Addiction programs vary in length from 30, 60 to 90 days and more.

However, doctors consider early recovery as a fragile time, when people are extremely vulnerable to relapse. A longer period spent in treatment will protect you from the pressures and temptations of the outside world. So, what treatment duration is right for you? And what happens during treatment in the first place?

We examine these questions here. Then, we invite your feedback or comments in the section at the end. Keep in mind that we try to respond to all real-life questions personally. So, if you have an issue…reach out! You are not alone.

Recovery is not a race.
Sobriety comes with hard work and professional help.
Call 1-877-978-3010 to speak to a recovery specialist.
We’re here 24-7.

Heroin Rehabilitation: How Long Does It Take?

Heroin is a an extremely addictive opiate drug. It causes an initial rush followed by a feeling of extreme well-being. It is usually injected, but can also be snorted or smoked. The effects of heroin come on very quickly, which is one of the reasons that it is so addictive.

Treating a heroin addiction almost always requires rehab for heroin. How long it takes typically depends on a number of factors, though, including how long a person has used the drug and just how addicted they are. After months or years of using, developing the skills necessary for long-term recovery does not happen overnight. Recovery takes time. Not only to balance out your physical chemistry, but to get to the deeper issues around use.

Medical practice has shown that the longer a person stays in treatment, the higher the chances of recovery. Of course, the treatment length is not the only determinant of a successful treatment, but it is a huge contributing factor. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) a rehab stay less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness. The more time you spend in a drug free environment and the more effort you put in treatment each day, the higher your chances are to maintain your sobriety after discharge.

Heroin Rehabilitation Duration

Heroin rehabilitation and duration of treatment is different for everyone. Individuals with severe addictions, for instance, will need to spend a much longer time in treatment. One factor that has a big influence on heroin rehabilitation duration, though, is the type of treatment program that an addict is in.

Short-term inpatient heroin rehabilitation = 1 to 3 months.

A short-term inpatient heroin rehabilitation program typically requires an addict to reside in a treatment facility for one to three months.

Long-term inpatient heroin rehabilitation = 3 months or more.

Many recovering heroin addicts will need to spend a much longer time in treatment, and stays in long-term inpatient heroin rehabilitation can range from three months to two years.

Outpatient heroin rehabilitation = 4 months to one year.

An outpatient heroin rehabilitation program is usually used only after an addict has completed an inpatient program and can last a few weeks to several years.

Heroin Rehabilitation: Short-Term Vs. Long-Term

So how do you know what treatment length is right for you? Basically, you need some professional insight. Before starting heroin addiction rehabilitation, short-term vs long-term treatment decisions will usually be made by an addiction specialist. The length of treatment is typically based on an addict’s wants and needs. Factors that a specialist assess will include:

  • The level of heroin dependence.
  • The amount of heroin you typically use and how often.
  • The total amount of time you’ve been using.
  • Your physical health, medical, and family histories.
  • Your personal preference.

Although some people won’t necessarily want to spend a long time in treatment, they often need it. Addicts with moderate to severe addictions will typically need the intense treatment in long-term heroin rehabilitation. Short-term heroin rehabilitation, on the other hand, is usually only used to treat mild addictions and casual users who need help getting away from the drug.

Heroin Rehabilitation Average Time

The average amount of time for heroin rehab = 28 days to 6 months.

When a person thinks of heroin rehabilitation average time, 28 days often comes to mind. This is the shortest amount of time that a recovering addict will spend in an inpatient rehab program. Long-term treatment of 3-6 months, however, greatly increase the chances of a successful recovery. Inpatient rehabilitation settings can also greatly increase the chances of a successful recovery. In fact, many times it is imperative for recovering addicts to get away from drugs and volatile environments that make their situations worse. This helps them focus 100% on recovery without having to worry about the temptation of drugs.

Heroin Rehabilitation Timeline

What happens in rehab? Heroin rehabilitation is a very individual experience, and no there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Most recovering addicts, however, will follow the same basic heroin rehabilitation timeline, which is listed below.

STAGE 1: Drug Screening and Assessment

A thorough evaluation is typically the first stage of heroin rehabilitation. This usually includes a drug screening as well as a physical and mental assessment, and is used to determine the best course of treatment. You can expect the following assessments to take about 1-3 hours when you’re first enrolling into a treatment program:

  • A physical exam
  • A medical history
  • A family history
  • Drug testing
  • Interview questions

STAGE 2: Medical Detox

Withdrawal from heroin is typically very uncomfortable and may even be dangerous. To help ensure a safe and more comfortable withdrawal, medical detox from heroin is usually recommended. Detox can take from 3-7 days, or a little longer. However, most acute detoxification episodes resolve within a week of enrollment.

STAGE 3: Pharmacological Treatments

A few medications may be used to help treat heroin addiction. Two of the most common medications include methadone and buprenorphine. This medication(s) may be prescribed for 6 months, or longer. Some people stay on opiate replacement therapies for years. Each case is different.

STAGE 4: Psychological Treatments

Individual behavior therapy, group therapy, and family counseling are the most common types of treatments used during heroin rehabilitation. These psychological treatments help recovering addicts learn methods and techniques to resist using heroin and cope with stress without having to turn to the drug. Counseling usually lasts for at least a year during and after rehab. Some people stay in counseling for two years, or return to counseling when needed.

STAGE 5: Supportive Services & Aftercare

Addiction aftercare typically begins as soon as a person finishes a heroin rehabilitation program. This usually involves attendance at outpatient therapy and counseling sessions, which can last several months or years. Aftercare may also include recommendations for sober living/housing and support group facilitation.

Recovering addicts that complete heroin addiction programs should know that they are not alone. Supportive services can help recovering addicts remain drug-free by helping them with numerous problems, including emotional support, transportation, child care, and even housing.

Small progress is still progress.
Don’t rush things that need time to grow.
Take one step at a time. Start by calling 1-877-978-3010.

Heroin Rehabilitation Time Questions

Are you or a loved one considering heroin rehabilitation? Time to reach out for a little help. If you have any additional questions about heroin rehabilitation time, feel free to leave them in the comment section below. We strive to help all of our readers better understand the recovery process and start their journey toward recovery.

Reference Sources: Drug Abuse: How long does drug addiction treatment usually last?
NIH: Heroin
Drug Abuse: Heroin
Leave a reply

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Fantastic information. Tough process. Working with a young man who is traveling this path.....slow and steady.. Kelly
Thursday, August 24th, 2017

It has been a challenge for my wife and I we have made it to day 6 I am very excited all I can say is it can only get easier thank u God
Friday, September 8th, 2017

How long is recovery? The rest of your life. Believe it no matter what the clinicians tell you. Be ready for it The disease/alter ego/voice in your head never stops forever. Why some and not others is what we should be asking. My first fix was magical where a friend tried and didn't like it and never went back.why???
Lydia @ Addiction Blog
Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

Hi PA. Recovery is a way of living. A lifestyle. Keep in mind that each individual has different experience to everything that happens around us. That's why your friend didn't like using heroin, while you liked it.