How Long Does A Heroin High Last?

Heroin has an intense high that can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, after which withdrawal may set in. It is a highly addictive substance that can quickly lead to drug abuse and addiction.

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Dr. Langdon M.D.

Medically Reviewed By: Kimberly Langdon M.D.


Heroin is an opiate, so when you take it, it quickly attaches to opioid receptors in your nervous system. This causes a euphoric feeling, called a rush or high, that is followed by drowsiness.

This process can last as long as a few hours, or it can be gone as quickly as 15 minutes.

During this time the short-term effects of heroin use can be:

  • dry mouth
  • sleepiness
  • lower heart rate
  • itching
  • constipation

Because of the intense euphoria involved in the first stages of the high, many users feel their mental health affected by feelings of depression when coming down off the drug.

What Factors Affect The Length Of A Heroin High?

If a heroin user has been addicted to the drug for a long time, the high will typically be shorter and the person will need to take more of the drug to achieve an intensity equal to when the drug was first taken.

But the manner in which the drug is taken can also affect the high. Snorting heroin typically takes longer for the high to set in (about 10 minutes) and results in a less intense high for a shorter period (about half an hour).

Combining heroin with other drugs can also intensify heroin’s effects. Heroin is commonly combined with cocaine, for example, or alcohol. However, this can increase the risk of overdose.

Heroin dealers may also combine the drug with fentanyl in order to sell more of the drug cheaply. But this combination can be deadly.

How Long Does Heroin Last In The Body?

Heroin withdrawal begins within a few hours of the last time the drug was used for someone who has developed a heroin dependency.

That means that as soon as the high wears off in two to three hours, you may experience withdrawal symptoms.

People who use heroin often seek more of the drug right away to get the high back. This is why it is very difficult to combat heroin addiction.

If you stop using heroin, you could experience:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • muscle pain
  • chills
  • sleeplessness
  • cravings

Find Treatment Options For Heroin Abuse

Heroin is addictive, but it is not impossible to quit. There are treatment programs available at Bedrock Recovery Center that can help you.

Detox and medication-assisted treatment with medications such as buprenorphine, methadone, or naloxone can help you manage withdrawal symptoms.

If you or your loved one need addiction treatment, call our treatment center helpline today.

  1. U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  2. U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  3. U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  4. U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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