How Long Does It Take for Heroin to Leave the Body?
America's opioid epidemic involves both prescription medications and street drugs. Heroin, in particular, is one of the most popular. The use of this drug has increased drastically, and nearly 75% of all heroin users started after using prescription opioids. Heroin use has one of the highest overdose rates among all opioids and has several devastating effects on the body while it remains in the system.
If you or someone you know is abusing heroin, it is vital to recognize the signs of substance abuse, the amount of time it stays in the body, and when to get help. Call us at 208.274.8609 today for more information or enroll in a recovery program.
How Long Does a Heroin High Last?
The time it takes the body to use a drug is measured in a half-life. A half-life can demonstrate how long an expert can expect a substance to stay in someone's body.
For example, when heroin enters the bloodstream, its half-life is about three minutes. After three minutes, the body will break down about 50% of the substance.
Heroin users typically feel the peak of the high about two hours after taking the dose and usually do not have any of the substance active in their body after eight hours.
As the body uses heroin, it breaks down into smaller particles called metabolites, which is how it will eventually leave the body. Metabolites caused by heroin use can usually be found on a drug test even days later.
Some factors that influence the time it takes for a person's body to break down heroin include:
Dose of heroin
Liver and kidney health
How Long Can Drug Tests Find Heroin?
Even though the body breaks down the drug efficiently, heroin use can still be detected by drug tests after the user is no longer high. Different drug tests can have various applications for finding evidence of heroin use.
Urine tests can detect heroin for about four days after use. As the body breaks down the drug, the metabolites pass through the urine for several days after use.
Saliva tests can usually detect smoked heroin for up to a day, but injected heroin is very hard to find using a saliva test. If heroin is injected, this method may not be accurate.
Hair tests use newly grown hair to check for heroin use. As hair grows, metabolites are also pushed out of the follicles. Hair testing can commonly detect heroin as far back as three months.
While these tests can be fairly accurate, heroin screenings can often provide false positives. As the drug breaks down, it splits into new chemicals that are common in different medicines. Additionally, eating poppy seeds can register a false positive for heroin.
What Happens During a Heroin High?
A heroin high can feel like a roller coaster. There is a range of physical and emotional feelings a user can experience in just a few hours.
During the initial half-hour, known as the rush, users typically feel euphoric.
The user is generally sedated for the next two to four hours and may float in and out of consciousness.
After about six to 12 hours, users generally begin to withdraw and may feel sick and irritable.
How is Heroin Used?
The method a person uses heroin will affect the length of time they will stay high and even how effective drug tests will be.
Heroin is commonly used by:
Longer-acting methods of delivery can prolong the high and stave off withdrawal symptoms. However, as withdrawal symptoms set in, they may be more severe.
Withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, severe, and even fatal. Many users will retake heroin to get rid of withdrawal symptoms, which can increase their tolerance. As they rely on heroin more, they often become dependent. Dependence is a sure sign of addiction.
Signs of a Heroin Addiction
Addiction is a vicious cycle to break. Early recognition of the symptoms of addiction can be a critical stage to a successful recovery.
Some common signs of heroin addiction include:
Neglecting work or school
Even though withdrawal is intimidating, it is the first step to recovery. Choosing a professional detoxification center can help manage the symptoms of withdrawal safely and comfortably.
Heroin Rehabilitation at Ashwood Recovery
After you detox from heroin, it is crucial to begin a rehab program to learn the skills to succeed in sobriety. Our flexible outpatient recovery plans allow you to live at home while attending therapy a few times a week.
Your recovery is the priority of our professional recovery staff. You will receive a personalized treatment plan, dedicated support, and the tools you need to meet your recovery goals.
Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.