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Cold Turkey Vs. Heroin Detox: What to Know

Cold Turkey Vs. Heroin Detox What to Know

Help Is Available for Heroin Detox

Going cold turkey with heroin addiction is one of the hardest aspects of recovery because of the physically addictive properties present with opioids. Going cold turkey is a term used to describe stopping the use of a drug such as heroin abruptly, which in the case of opioids such as heroin, results in intense withdrawal symptoms that often prevent people from following through with their sobriety goals. Stopping heroin cold turkey also means that a person likely isn’t being supported by the FDA-approved medications that are designed to help manage withdrawal symptoms. Keep reading to learn the difference between cold turkey vs heroin detox.

At The Detox Center Los Angeles, we provide you with accredited heroin detox programs that will help you with the crucial withdrawal symptoms management to help you effectively break the physical reliance that has formed on the opioid. Our heroin detox program provides you with prescription medication to help reduce cravings and various withdrawal symptoms, along with over-the-counter medication to help improve your recovery process naturally and help you deal with milder symptoms.

The Detox Center Los Angeles can help you with your heroin detox; you don’t have to go cold turkey alone. We not only provide you with crucial withdrawal symptoms management through our medical detox program but we can also provide you with the behavioral therapies and treatments to help you overcome and heal from the causes of your substance use disorder (addiction) sustainably.

Contact The Detox Center of Los Angeles today at (888) 346-4350 to learn how to access our addiction treatment programs.

What to Expect From Medically-Assisted Heroin Detox

Heroin is an opioid that is highly addictive. People often turn to heroin after no longer being able to acquire prescription opioid pain relievers which they become dependent on through misuse and abuse of opioids. Once an opioid or heroin dependence has formed, intense withdrawal symptoms are expected to happen as soon as the person tries to stop using the drug.

In a medical detox program for heroin addiction at The Detox Center Los Angeles, you can expect to start your medical detox as soon as you begin your recovery because your symptoms are expected to start within hours or the first day of stopping heroin use. The cravings and intense withdrawal symptoms


You can expect to receive round-the-clock medical care to manage your withdrawal symptoms safely. Whether day or night, our medical support staff will provide you with medications and assistance should you need it. Medical support also ensures that any unforeseen medical complication can be addressed immediately.

You can expect to receive prescription medication approved by the FDA for treating opioid withdrawal symptoms. These medications include clonidine, buprenorphine, and methadone among others. They will manage your symptoms safely, helping to keep you as comfortable as possible as your body goes through the week-long withdrawal process. These medications are often combined with OTC medications to help with milder symptoms and vitamins and mineral supplements to help your body’s healing process

In our medical detox for heroin, you can expect to experience some withdrawal symptoms although they may be mild since they will be managed through medication. Some of the common symptoms that are expected during opioid withdrawal during the early stages of recovery include:

  • Anxiety
  • Yawning
  • Runny nose
  • Tearing
  • Muscle aches
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia

 As your symptoms develop into the later stages of detox, you can expect to experience symptoms that may include the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goosebumps
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea

Along with cravings for heroin, these symptoms would normally be overwhelming. Heroin withdrawal symptoms can be described as intense flu-like symptoms but thankfully through our detox program, your symptoms can be managed so that you are more comfortable during the detox process.

By the end of your heroin detox program, you will be encouraged to participate in residential rehab programs or outpatient rehab programs. The underlying causes of your addiction will still be present because the detox helps to treat the physical dependence that has formed. Further behavioral therapy and holistic treatments are needed to help you heal from and overcome the true causes of your addiction. Addiction causes lie in a person’s development, environment, and biology. For example, a person may be using opioids as a way to self-medicate symptoms of an anxiety disorder. Sustainable recovery can be achieved by treating addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders.

Cold Turkey Vs. Heroin Detox: What to Know


8 Advantages of Medically-Assisted Heroin Detox

Quitting an addictive drug such as heroin is not just as easy as deciding to quit; intense withdrawal symptoms and untreated causes of addiction can quickly lead to relapse when trying to stop alone or unassisted. At The Detox Center Los Angeles, we provide you with an effective treatment plan to help you through these withdrawal symptoms during detox and then provide you with the programs and therapies needed to achieve long-term sobriety. Opioid use disorder (heroin addiction) is classified as a mental health disorder and as with other chronic, relapsing diseases, may need professional help to overcome.

When it comes to cold turkey vs heroin detox, seeking professional help for your heroin detox instead of going it alone cold turkey offers several important advantages that can help improve recovery results and even prevent serious and potentially fatal outcomes. Some of the most notable advantages of medically-assisted detox include the following:

1. Being in a drug-free environment: Heroin relapse can be fatal since a person’s tolerance has lowered and combined with the presence of fentanyl (a powerful opioid 50 times stronger than heroin), the risk of a drug overdose can be significant. With no drugs available during your heroin detox in an inpatient setting, the risk of overdose from relapse is eliminated.

2. Having readily available medical help: While the withdrawal symptoms of heroin dependence can be intense, they are not considered life-threatening. However, prior medical conditions may result in unforeseen medical complications that can be effectively managed and treated in a medical detox program.

3. Round-the-clock care: At The Detox Center Los Angeles, we provide you with 24/7 care during your detox to help ensure that all of your recovery needs are met no matter when they occur.

4. Access to behavioral therapy post detox: At accredited rehab centers such as The Detox Center Los Angeles, you can take advantage of a comprehensive therapy and treatment program right after your detox program. Since a detox only treats the physical reliance on heroin, therapy and holistic treatment help to overcome the underlying causes of substance abuse.

5. Higher rate of detoxification success: The intense withdrawal symptoms and cravings make it difficult to stop heroin abuse alone but in a medical detox program, the detox process success rate is greatly increased.

6. Supported by staff members and peers: Our medical support staff and the people you’ll meet during your detox will provide you with valuable support during the detox process, helping you to achieve your recovery goals.

7. Complete focus on recovery: In a medical detox program where you stay in an inpatient facility can help you to put all of your focus and energy into your recovery and not be distracted by other drug-abusing friends or people that may trigger your substance abuse, giving yourself a chance to properly recover.

8. The right start to your long-term recovery: With a comprehensive addiction treatment program at The Detox Center Los Angeles, you will be able to start your recovery the right way through professional help with your detox and be able to follow your comprehensive heroin addiction treatment plan step by step until you can overcome your heroin addiction sustainably.

The advantages of seeking professional help for your heroin detox are many and it can put you on the right foot for the rest of your recovery process. Start your detox program today at The Detox Center Los Angeles and reclaim your life from the grips of addiction.

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5 Drawbacks of Heroin Detox Cold Turkey

The intense physical addiction that forms with repeated heroin or other opioid abuse can quickly become a far-reaching problem. One of the characteristics of addiction is that the person is often aware of the negative health consequences and other negative consequences that drug abuse is causing but it doesn’t cause them to stop not because they don’t want to but because it can feel impossible to ignore the cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It can lead to relapse just because the person is trying to find some relief from their symptoms and cravings.

Attempts to stop cold turkey may be the first choice when met with the realities of heroin addiction and its effect on one’s life but what are some of the common drawbacks or shortcomings of stopping heroin cold turkey? The following looks at some of the main drawbacks of heroin detox cold turkey:

1. No access to immediate medical support: Should prior medical conditions or potentially undiagnosed conditions become a serious problem during a detox due to the body’s stress, there will be no immediate medical support available.

2. High risk of relapse: Relapse rates are exceptionally high when a person isn’t in a controlled, drug-free environment. Having access to your drug dealers and other sources of heroin such as friends can lead to relapse and may even result in drug overdose due to lowered tolerance levels.

3. You’ll experience the full brunt of withdrawal symptoms: Withdrawal symptoms are intense and described as the “worst flu-like symptoms.” You won’t have access to the prescribed medication that is available at accredited detox centers which means that you’ll feel the full brunt of your symptoms which can be overwhelming.

4. You won’t have medical support: In a medical detox program, not only FDA-approved heroin detox medications are used but also various OTC medications together with minerals, vitamins, and supplement that your body needs to recover. You will be monitored are given various supplements based on your physical and mental needs.

5. You may lash out at those closest to you: Some of the expected symptoms include agitation. Quitting cold turkey at home may lead to you lashing out at people who care about you whereas in a detox center, staff members are prepared and medications can be given to help stabilize your mood.

Dangers of Detoxing from Heroin Cold Turkey

One of the biggest dangers of stopping an opioid cold turkey is relapse. While it may not sound dangerous, people are often surprised by how quickly their heroin tolerance levels lower. The same amount of heroin that a person took before may be too much with a lowered tolerance and the risk of overdose increases. Furthermore, unscrupulous drug dealers and manufacturers will often lace their drugs with fentanyl because it is a cheap way to increase the potency of their products. Fentanyl is 50 times more powerful than heroin; even a minuscule amount can lead to an overdose. Coupled with the lowered tolerance, laced drugs can be fatal.

How Long Does a Medical Detox for Heroin Last?

A medical detox for heroin gives you the best chance to overcome withdrawal symptoms and no longer be physically compelled to abuse drugs. The process requires that your body readjust because up till now, it has started to change and adapt to the constant presence of heroin in your system. When the use of the substance stops, your body and chemistry are essentially stuck in this imbalance caused by drug abuse and your body needs time to readjust. This process generally takes about 5 to 10 days to complete.

The roughly week-long detox process can go by fairly quickly in a medical detox program because you aren’t feeling the full force of symptoms and are helped with all of your recoveries needs throughout the process. Symptoms can start as soon as 6 to 12 hours from the last dose of heroin and tend to reach their peak after about 2 to 3 days. After the peak, you’ll start feeling better by the day until around day 7 when all of your symptoms will mostly be gone.

If post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) occurs, then you will likely be provided with further medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help you to deal with the persistent symptoms and cravings that may still be present after your detox.

Get Help with Heroin Detox Today at The Detox Center of L.A.

The Detox Center Los Angeles is a leading detox center for drugs and alcohol including heroin. We can provide our clients with all of the medical support they need during detox to effectively overcome their reliance on heroin. After detox, it’s important to further your recovery by addressing the underlying causes of your addiction through behavioral therapy and other whole-patient treatment programs.

Our rehab center provides both outpatient and inpatient rehab programs. We can help you from the early stages of detox through to inpatient rehab programs and followed by outpatient rehab programs to make your transition back into mainstream life easier and smoother. Our comprehensive heroin addiction treatment programs are personalized to the recovery needs of each person, helping to improve their long-term recovery from opioid use disorder

The Detox Center of L.A. is a fully licensed drug and alcohol rehab. Let us help you through the difficulties and struggles of drug addiction so that you can take your life back from the grips of addiction. Call The Detox Center of L.A. today at (888) 346-4350 to learn more about cold turkey vs heroin detox and start your recovery journey or to get more information about our heroin detox and addiction treatment programs.


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Will my insurance cover treatment for addiction?

The Detox Center of L.A. accepts most major insurance providers and private healthcare policies. We offer free insurance verification as well as eligibility and benefits for both behavioral and mental health treatment services. Please fill out our insurance verification form here to verify your insurance.

What happens in addiction

Effective addiction treatment programs are tailored to each individual. Because of this, it will be a different experience for everyone. However, it generally involves a combination of detoxification, group and individual therapy, educational presentations, and aftercare planning in order to ensure long-term recovery. Upon arrival at The Detox Center of L.A., you can expect our professionally trained staff to create an individualized treatment plan based on your needs and treatment goals.