Harbor Detox


Discover why Harbor Detox is your best choice for addiction treatment in Orange County.


Heroin Detox in
Southern California

Heroin is central to the devastation of the opioid epidemic across America. This illegal opioid has powerful effects on the brain and physical health. It can lead to overdose and death, but it’s possible to overcome an addiction to heroin. At Harbor Detox, a heroin detox in Southern California, we focus on helping you clear drugs from your system and then begin inpatient addiction treatment, giving you the tools for a life in recovery.

Heroin Facts

Heroin is a very addictive substance that comes from poppy plants. The opioid drug is made from morphine, and it’s typically injected with a needle, although it can be smoked or snorted. When someone uses heroin, it enters their brain quickly, binding to opioid receptor sites. It’s especially prone to bind to receptors that play a role in pain and pleasure, as well as the ones in the central nervous system that control essential functions like breathing, heart rate, and sleep.

A person can become addicted to heroin after using it only a few times, and regular use can also quickly lead to tolerance. If someone develops a tolerance to heroin, they need more and more of the drug to get the same high or desired effects they once did.

Anyone who takes opioids can become addicted because these drugs activate powerful brain reward centers. Opioids trigger endorphin release, which are brain chemicals that make you feel good, and along with creating feelings of pleasure, these chemicals can also temporarily dampen your feelings of pain and improve your sense of well-being. Once an opioid dose wears off, you might want to get those feelings back, setting the stage for addiction. 

As you continue to use opioids, your body slows down its own production of endorphins. You no longer get the same flood of pleasure you once did, even when using opioids, and this is tolerance.

There are a lot of factors that can raise the risk of addiction to heroin, including:

  • Drug use starts at a young age.
  • A family history of substance abuse.
  • Having co-occurring mental health disorders.
  • Stressful circumstances.
  • Poverty or unemployment.

Harbor Detox is a Southern California heroin detox and rehab center. Contact us to learn more about our programs to help you or a loved one overcome opioid addiction, beginning with heroin withdrawal treatment.


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The Effects of Heroin

Over the short-term, heroin effects can include:

  • Flushed skin
  • Heaviness of the arms and legs
  • Itchiness
  • Impaired mental function
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Nodding in and out of being conscious and semi-conscious

The longer you use heroin, the more likely you are to develop effects like:

  • Collapsed veins if injecting the drug
  • Damaged nose tissue if it’s snorted
  • Infections in the heart valves and lining
  • Abscesses which are tissue that’s filled with pus
  • Constipation and stomach problems
  • Kidney and liver disease
  • Mental health disorders
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Sexual dysfunction

The signs that someone is abusing heroin can include:

  • Having drug paraphernalia like syringes
  • Constantly scratching
  • Social withdrawal
  • Deception
  • Not participating in activities
  • Scabs, sores, or skin problems
  • Lethargy
  • Dry mouth
  • Lack of judgment
  • Mood swings
  • Isolation
  • Anxiety

People who inject drugs, including heroin, are at an increased risk of contracting diseases like hepatitis and HIV, which are contagious.

It’s also possible to overdose on heroin. Heroin overdoses have soared in the past decade. If someone takes a dose of heroin that’s too much for their system to handle, it can slow or stop their breathing. This reduces how much oxygen can reach the brain, which is hypoxia. Hypoxia leads to short- and long-term effects on the brain and nervous system and causes permanent brain damage.

Heroin overdose signs can include the following:

  • Slow or shallow breathing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Slow pulse
  • Pinpoint or very small pupils
  • Lips and fingernails with a bluish color

If you’d like to learn more about heroin detox in Southern California and inpatient addiction treatment programs, contact Harbor Detox.

Stories of Recovery

Experience, Strength & Hope

I'd recommend this place to anyone trying to better themselves, this place truly saved my life..I have the upmost respect for each and every TECH and COUNSELOR here..The program Director's are always looking out for you and your concerns..The program likes to actually take you out for walks, the beach, to other fun outings and breathing exercises on the beach..TY to everyone....
Thomas C. Alumni
Harbor Detox was truly a God send! After countless tries at other facilities, I finally found the treatment program that worked best for me. I am coming up on one year sober and I wouldn't be where I am today without the help of Harbor Detox!
John Doe Alumni

The Signs of Addiction

The Signs of Heroin Addiction

Heroin addiction is a chronic brain disease. Addiction is considered a disease by researchers and clinicians because it causes both functional and structural changes in the brain. It’s a complex disease requiring appropriate individualized treatment.

The defining feature of heroin addiction is being unable to stop, even if you want to or you’ve tried unsuccessfully in the past. Addiction means your brain is compelling you to continue using a substance, and your use is no longer within your control. Other signs of heroin addiction include:

  • Continuing to use it even though it’s causing bad effects or outcomes.
  • Being preoccupied with getting and using heroin.
  • Giving up other responsibilities or interests.
  • Having withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop or cut back.

A heroin detox in Southern California, Harbor Detox, we also offer residential rehab programs for anyone who’s struggling with an addiction to opioids.

Heroin Detox and Withdrawal

When someone has a heroin addiction, they are probably dependent on it. Dependence means that your brain and body have adjusted to the continued presence of heroin and can no longer function normally without it. If you stop using heroin and you’re dependent, your body will struggle to return to a sense of balance. During that transitional time, withdrawal symptoms can occur.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Rapid pulse
  • Increased body temperature, breathing rate, and blood pressure.  
  • Sweating
  • Goosebumps
  • Watery eyes and nose
  • Muscle cramps, pain, or spasms
  • Bone pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sleep disturbances

Some people may experience protracted withdrawal, particularly if they don’t get professional help to detox from heroin. Protracted withdrawal symptoms keep going after acute withdrawal ends and can include the following:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Dysphoria, meaning you feel down or emotionally dull
  • Loss of pleasure
  • Irritability
  • Decreased attention
  • Heroin cravings

The withdrawal symptoms can be hard to manage, raising the risk of relapse. During medical detox, your treatment team monitors the signs of heroin withdrawal you’re experiencing, providing medications and interventions as needed. Medical detox programs such as what is available at Harbor Detox, a heroin detox in Southern California, improve your safety and comfort.

You might expect withdrawal symptoms to begin 6-12 hours after you take your last dose of heroin. The most significant symptoms and discomfort usually last around a week, and symptoms peak during the second or third day for most people.

Some medicines commonly prescribed to treat withdrawal from heroin include buprenorphine and methadone.


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Habor Detox Offers Heroin Addiction Treatment in Southern California

Once you’ve fully detoxed from heroin, you can begin a treatment program. Medical detox is a necessary first step to overcoming an addiction to opioids, but it’s not a standalone treatment. Addiction is complex and effective treatment relies on getting to the root issues contributing to this disease.

Harbor Detox is not only a heroin detox in Southern California but also an inpatient rehab center. We offer customized heroin addiction treatment programs, so reach out for more information or to take the next step.

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