Heroin Addiction Treatment and Rehab in Toronto, Ontario

The Canadian Centre for Addictions offers compassionate treatment and rehab programs for heroin addiction. You don’t have to face this struggle alone, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Embrace a life of sobriety and renewal!

Heroin Addiction Treatment and Rehab in Toronto, Ontario

Heroin is one of the most addictive and dangerous drugs in the world. This drug is synthesized from the flower of the opium plant and usually comes as a white or brown powder that is smoked, snorted, or directly injected into the veins. It may also come as a black sticky substance (black tar heroin) or mixed with other substances like starch, sugars, or quinine. Heroin is controlled under Schedule I of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. So, the drug’s sale, possession, and production are illegal unless authorized for medical, scientific, or industrial purposes. 

Heroin gets to the brain quickly, no matter the route of administration, producing a rush of pleasant sensations and happiness. This effect lasts a few minutes and brings on a calm that lasts for a few hours. The world seems to slow down, and some heroin users describe the feeling as being in a dream state. Using heroin a few times is enough to make a person become addicted, and users may need to take heroin every six to 12 hours to avoid the usually unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. 

Heroin abuse is increasing partly due to Canada’s opioid crisis. The growing abuse of prescription painkillers often causes dependent individuals to seek out stronger substances like heroin. There have been over 9,000 apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada since 2016. Heroin addiction is extremely difficult to break because of the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. However, several treatments, including drugs and therapy, have been effective in helping people break free of heroin addiction. The Canadian Centre for Addiction explains the heroin addiction treatment process and what to expect when you go for heroin rehab. 

Getting Help for Heroin Addiction

The Canadian Centre for Addiction offers treatment, counselling, and support for people dealing with heroin addiction. No matter the situation or the severity of your addiction, we are available to offer help through our different treatment programs. 

Call 1-855-499-9446 if you or a loved one needs treatment for heroin addiction. We offer the most sophisticated treatment in an environment that inspires lasting change. At the Canadian Centre for Addiction, we help people understand their addictions and the healthier coping strategies available to them by engaging them in one-on-one counselling with certified counselors, psychiatrists, and mental health professionals. 

How We Treat Heroin Addiction and What to Expect

At the Canadian Centre for Addiction, we offer multiple heroin addiction treatment options depending on symptoms and the severity of withdrawal at our heroin rehab and treatment centres in Ontario and Toronto. Our visitors can expect a full range of quality services that provide flexible therapy and counselling for addiction. We understand that your heroin addiction can negatively impact every aspect of your life, so our addiction specialists will assess you and provide an individualized, client-centered approach to treatment.  

Our heroin addiction services include inpatient rehab, outpatient treatment, individual and group counselling, intervention counselling, and lifetime aftercare, all designed to give the patient the best chance at recovery. 

When to Seek Help for Heroin Addiction

Heroin is highly addictive, and most users develop a use disorder. Prolonged heroin use will almost always lead to health problems and challenges at home, work, or school. You know it’s time to get help for heroin addiction when you start to observe the following:

  • You can’t stop using heroin despite its harmful effects
  • You are unable to quit even though you really want to
  • You are developing tolerance – need more heroin to get the same high
  • You think and obsess over heroin use
  • Your heroin use is starting to strain your relationships
  • You are experiencing financial difficulties due to heroin use
  • You are losing interest in activities you previously enjoyed due to heroin
  • You are finding it more difficult to take care of yourself

The more of these signs you see, the more serious your addiction and the greater your need to seek help. Heroin users tend to conceal their addiction and will most likely deny using if confronted. If you think a loved one is using heroin, do not hesitate to help them find help. 

Why Should You Choose the Canadian Centre for Addictions?

Recovering from heroin addiction is tough, so finding the right addiction recovery centre is crucial. The Canadian Centre for Addictions offers a patient-centric approach that keeps you connected to your life and responsibilities outside so your transition to regular life is as smooth as possible. 

At the Canadian Centre for Addictions, we take our work seriously because we understand that our clients are at a vulnerable point in their life. We are open, honest, and communicative about what we deliver and take the first step towards building the trust needed to form strong bonds with those who need our help.

We also understand that addiction affects not only the individual but others close to them. That’s why our therapists and staff extend their care to helping families cope with addiction while treating their loved ones. We not only help people overcome their addictions, but we also help them navigate the hurdles that addiction creates for those who care about them. 

Treatment at the Canadian Centre for Addiction doesn’t end but evolves when you leave. We offer a place where people can return to if things get hard. Our combination of quality inpatient care and the sense of community from our aftercare services provide a balance you can rely on year after year. 

The Canadian Centre for Addictions Success Stories

At the Canadian Centre for Addiction, we have achieved great success in helping people deal with their addictions. Here are some of our inspiring success stories: 

“The highly competent staff is able to provide emotional and physical support as well as effective addiction therapy. With an open mind, I found I was able to draw healing from each of the well-balanced and skillfully presented meetings and activities. During my stay at CCFA, I learned how to regain control of my life. I left with skills I require to keep moving forward in my recovery. The facility is spacious, comfortable and clean, and the community is exceptional. The fitness and activities, as well as the delicious meals, are outstanding. By far, this was the most productive 30 days of my life. A gift from me to me!”

Elliot Hester 

I came in with a broken soul, full of self-pity, not liking who I was, full of fear and low self-esteem. During my stay, I learned so many valuable lifelong lessons. The counselors challenged me to feel again; to think and understand those feelings, to express my feelings and thoughts. They have taught me the strategies and tools that I must apply to my new life going forward. For the first time in my life, I feel calm, relaxed, strong with the new me, and most importantly, HAPPY. Thank You.”

Edmund Rudd 

My involvement with CCFA has been an absolute lifesaver for me. The entire program and one-on-one sessions have given me the look and strategies to leave with and have a clean and sober life going forward. A very warm, welcoming, home-like environment.”

Martha Esquivel 

“The CCFA has shown me a new way of life. The counselors here are amazing, love working with all of them. I had a great stay and can’t wait to continue my road to recovery with the tools I have learned. Thank you.”

Kiaan Ochoa 

Types of Treatment for Heroin Addiction

Several treatment programs are available at Canadian Centre for Addictions for people battling heroin addiction. Heroin addicts have unique circumstances, and the ideal type of treatment will be one tailored to the individual’s specific needs.

Canadian Centre for Addictions offers the following treatment options for heroin addiction


Detox is a medical process that helps to get every trace of the addictive substance out of the individual’s system. Heroin has extremely uncomfortable and potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Medically supervised detox helps to manage withdrawal symptoms safely. For heroin detox, the doctor may administer drugs like methadone or buprenorphine to minimize the effects of heroin withdrawal.

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab allows heroin addicts to recover from their addiction in a sober and secure environment. It is an intensive form of residential treatment for severe cases of drug addiction. Inpatient rehab requires living at the facility while receiving treatment, so you don’t give to the intense cravings you’ll experience after detox. Canadian Centre for Addictions inpatient rehab and patient-centric protocols are designed to set you on the path to sobriety and wellness. Our inpatient rehab program combines medical intervention with other relevant treatment options for a holistic approach. 

Outpatient Treatment

The intensity of outpatient treatment for heroin addiction depends on the severity of the addiction and the patient’s motivation to get better. An individual undergoing outpatient treatment lives at home but regularly attends meetings and appointments at a facility. Outpatient treatment is ideal for addicts with tolerable withdrawal symptoms who do not need round-the-clock care. People receiving outpatient treatment also need a reliable support network of friends and family.


Understanding the root of addiction is fundamental to completely staying drug-free. Addiction counselling involves individual or group sessions designed to help participants identify and change problematic thought patterns and behaviors. It also helps to spot and resolve past trauma that may be fueling addictive behavior. Canadian Centre for Addictions counselling and intervention programs help addicts develop positive attitudes and skills which they’ll use as they begin their journey to sobriety.   


Aftercare and relapse prevention are one of the critical aspects of heroin addiction treatment. Relapse prevention programs equip patients with tools and coping mechanisms to remain sober when they encounter triggers instead of turning to heroin. An aftercare treatment plan depends on an individual’s situation and may include outpatient treatment, counselling, and 12-step programs. Canadian Centre for Addictions offers supportive aftercare services to help individuals maintain their sobriety after completing their treatment program.

What to Expect in Heroin Addiction Treatment 

When you visit Canadian Centre for Addictions for the heroin addiction treatment program, our addiction specialist will assess you to enable them to design a treatment plan that gives you the best chance at recovery. The assessment process will involve questions about your feelings and experiences with heroin. You may have to answer questions about how you began to use heroin and how it has since impacted your life.

They will also want to know whether you have any co-occurring disorder so they can include its treatment in your plan. You will also need to undergo blood and urine tests to determine the amount of heroin in your system. 

Detox to get all traces of the heroin out of your system is the next step after your evaluation. It’s important to undergo heroin detox with medical supervision because heroin has unpleasant and potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. For severe cases, drugs like methadone and buprenorphine may be administered to help manage painful withdrawal symptoms. 

Whether you’re admitted to the facility or allowed to be treated as an outpatient depends on the severity of your symptoms. After detox, you’ll participate in several individual or group therapy sessions to determine the root of your addiction and why you’re so dependent on heroin. 

You may also need to join a support group that connects you with other recovering heroin addicts so you can share experiences and find the motivation to stay on the path to sobriety. Recreational activities like mindfulness, yoga, and meditation may also be included in your treatment plan so you can learn to enjoy other activities that don’t involve drugs. 

Aftercare and relapse prevention treatment are especially critical for heroin addiction recovery. Your addiction specialists will identify your triggers and devise systems for avoiding them. Your aftercare plan may also involve members of your support network you can turn to when you feel like you want to relapse. Canadian Centre for Addictions offers in-person aftercare visits twice weekly and teleconferencing options to ensure your long-term recovery. 

Heroin Addiction Treatment Stages

The stages general stages in heroin addiction treatment are:

  • Detox
  • Inpatient/Outpatient treatment
  • Counselling/therapy
  • Aftercare 

Understanding Heroin Addiction

Heroin is an addictive opioid made from processed morphine. This drug is highly addictive as it binds to specific receptors in the brain, relieving pain and evoking feelings of happiness and satisfaction. The human brain produces natural opioids (endorphins) in response to pain or injury. 

However, these natural pain-relievers do not provide enough relief in serious conditions, and doctors will prescribe opioid painkillers for severe pain or end-of-life care. These drugs work by stimulating the release of dopamine and other neurotransmitters that regulate pleasure and pain. The brain can become dependent on these drugs with continued use.  

After taking heroin, the individual experiences an intense euphoria and alertness that lasts for a few hours. A user is unlikely to become addicted after a single use, but the intense euphoria often motivates people to try it again, resulting in a cycle of repeated abuse. Prescription opioids are also quite expensive, and heroin comes as a relatively cheaper alternative.  

The human brain is programmed to crave pleasurable experiences, and multiple uses of heroin conditions a person to want to use the drug repeatedly. With continued use, the brain will adapt to the drug, and the individual will start to develop tolerance – needing higher amounts of heroin to experience the same high. With time the individual becomes dependent on heroin and will experience severe withdrawal symptoms if they stop or reduce their heroin use. It’s possible to become addicted to heroin within a week, depending on the purity of the drug and frequency of use.

Withdrawal Symptoms of Heroin

Heroin withdrawal symptoms may be short or long-term and begin a few hours after the last dose. Short-term withdrawal symptoms of heroin include:

  • Intense cravings for heroin
  • Increased heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle pain or spasms
  • Dilated pupils
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Cramps 
  • Excessive sweating 
  • Piloerection (goosebumps)

Long-term withdrawal symptoms of heroin addiction include:

  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances 
  • Impaired memory
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Dysphoria (a state of unease or general dissatisfaction)
  • Anhedonia (loss of interest in once pleasurable activities)

Acute heroin withdrawal symptoms last from a few days to two weeks, depending on the frequency of use, duration and the dose of heroin use. Genetic factors and co-occurring mental health conditions can also influence the appearance and duration of symptoms. Individuals suffering from withdrawal symptoms due to long-term heroin use are at risk of severe complications and need medical supervision to quit heroin. 

Heroin Addiction Symptoms

An individual may exhibit varying symptoms of heroin addiction depending on the amount and frequency of use. Genetic factors may also affect the manifestation of addiction symptoms. Common heroin addiction symptoms include: 

  • Mood swings
  • Aggression and irritability
  • Extreme itching 
  • Lying about drug use or whereabouts
  • Decreased motivation and productivity at home, work, or school
  • Spending an excessive amount of time thinking about getting heroin
  • Periods of hyperactivity quickly followed by periods of exhaustion
  • Social isolation or spending time alone to use heroin
  • Stealing or doing something illegal to get money for heroin
  • Stashing heroin in various places around the home, car, or work
  • Hoarding heroin use paraphernalia (needles, spoons, foil, and lighter)
  • Lack of personal hygiene
  • Track marks at the point of injection (hands, feet, legs, and crease of the elbow)
  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts or pants to hide track marks even in warm weather 
  • Worsening mental health conditions
  • Shifting between consciousness and sleep during conversations 

What are the Causes of Heroin Addiction?

There is no single cause of heroin addiction, but several risk factors combine to increase an individual’s chances of becoming addicted to heroin.

Genetic factors

Genes alone are not enough to cause heroin addiction but can increase a person’s chances of becoming addicted once they start using heroin. A person with a family history of opioid addiction will likely form an addiction if they start taking heroin. 

Pre-existing physical or mental health condition

Individuals dealing with acute or chronic pain may turn to heroin as a cheaper and readily available alternative to prescription opioids. People with mental health conditions may also self-medicate with heroin increasing their addiction risk. 

History of Substance Abuse

Individuals with a history of abusing opioid medications or gateway drugs like marijuana or alcohol are likelier to abuse and become addicted to heroin. 

Environmental and social factors

Environmental and social factors like peer pressure or exposure to substances early in life can lead to heroin abuse and potential addiction. 

Long-term Effects of Heroin Addiction

Heroin addiction can have several long-term effects on users, including: 

  • Male sexual dysfunction
  • Insomnia 
  • Abscesses in association with non-sterile use
  • Kidney, liver, or lung complications
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Constipation, cramping, and other digestive issues
  • Infections of the heart lining and valves
  • Respiratory issues
  • Local tissue infection and widespread vascular inflammation in individuals who inject heroin
  • Co-occurring mental health issues 

Frequently Asked Questions

How does methadone work for heroin addicts?

Methadone works for heroin addicts by blocking or blunting the effects of opioid receptors, thus reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings for the drug. It changes how the brain and nervous system respond to pain, blocking the effects of heroin and making withdrawal symptoms more manageable.

What is the duration of action of heroin?

The duration of action of heroin is about three to five hours. Heroin has a quick onset of action (within minutes), bringing on an intense pleasure lasting a few minutes. This rush is followed by analgesia lasting three to four hours and sedation that lasts for about an hour.

What is the mechanism of the toxicity of heroin?

Heroin toxicity occurs when an individual overdoses on the drug. The drug mimics the body’s natural endorphins by activating opioid receptors in the brain. Heroin’s toxicity results from its effects on the central nervous system. It leads to pulmonary edema and life-threatening respiratory depression in overdose cases.

What is the generic name of heroin?

The generic name of heroin is diamorphine or diacetylmorphine. It is not approved for use in medical practice.

What is the blood gas of a heroin addict?

Blood gas is a measure of the quantity of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. It also determines the acidity or alkalinity of the blood. The blood gas of a heroin addict will reveal acidosis, i.e,. high concentration of acid and low levels of oxygen in the blood. For severe overdose cases, blood gas will indicate severe tissue hypoxia leading to mixed respiratory and metabolic acidosis.

How does heroin cause strokes?

Injecting heroin into the bloodstream puts the user at risk of infections like endocarditis that can lead to a stroke. Endocarditis allows bacteria to enter the blood and grow over heart valves and vessels. A clump of bacteria can leave the heart and travel to the brain, where it can obstruct a blood vessel and lead to a stroke.

Does heroin lower oxygen levels?

Yes. Heroin and other opioids can cause respiratory depression by invoking a centrally mediated decrease in involuntary respiratory rate, lowering blood oxygen levels.

How does heroin affect the blood-brain barrier?

Heroin crosses the blood-brain barrier quickly. It is a lipid-soluble prodrug metabolized into an active form within the body. After crossing the blood-brain barrier, heroin is transformed into morphine, which binds to opioid receptors producing euphoric effects.

Can heroin cause a brain aneurysm?

Yes. This study reveals that heroin could play a role in the aneurysm rupture, especially in individuals with unruptured intracranial aneurysms.

Does heroin increase or decrease stress?

A single dose of heroin will trigger euphoric sensations that reduce stress temporarily, but continued use or withdrawal will lead to increased stress levels.

Start Getting
Better Now

Get access to personalized treatment and lifetime support.
We’re here to help you embrace a new beginning. Your path to recovery starts here!

Get help now

Call Us To Recover
Your Life

Get help now

Getting sober is easier with support.

By checking yourself into rehab, you can get the help you need to make it through those dark days as you regain a normal life. At the Canadian Centre for Addictions, we offer a variety of services including drug and alcohol rehab, behavioral therapy, and detoxification. We offer both inpatient and outpatient services, and with both, you can expect medical and psychological support to help you recover. We’ll help you through withdrawal, and everything that comes after that, from managing the cravings to rebuilding relationships.

Contact Us

Start Getting Better Now

Fill out the below form and get in touch with
a treatment specialist who can help