Heroin Addiction Detox and Withdrawal

Heroin is an illegal drug that is made from morphine. This comes from the seed pot of an opium poppy plant, which is why this drug is considered an opioid. There has been a large increase in the use of heroin because more and more people have been getting addicted to opioid drugs. Heroin is also known as horse, h, smack, and junk. This drug can be a white or brown powder or a black sticky substance known as tar. Heroin is highly addictive, but it also does significant damage to your body as you use it.
Detox describes the process of ridding the body of a certain drug like heroin. However, if the body has used a particular drug for a period of time, detox can be long and difficult. When a body is used to having heroin in its system, and it does not get the heroin it expects, the body will start to show withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms make it extremely hard to break the addiction and get sober. You can learn more about withdrawal from heroin below including heroin withdrawal symptoms, a heroin withdrawal timeline, and heroin detox.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Heroin withdrawal is the state that your body goes into without heroin after a long period of heroin use. There are a lot of withdrawal symptoms for heroin, and these symptoms can range from mild to severe. Heroin (opioid) withdrawal symptoms can start anywhere from 4 to 24 hours of the last dose of heroin. Check out some of the symptoms of withdrawal below.

  • AnxietyHow to tell if you have an addiction
  • Mood Swings
  • Twitching
  • Shaking
  • Sneezing and Runny Nose
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramping
  • Depression
  • Insomnia

The heroin withdrawal symptoms will not be the same for everyone, and they will vary based on how long the person had been using heroin. They will also depend on how large of heroin doses had been consumed in the past. Heroin should not be stopped without consulting a medical professional for help with the withdrawal symptoms.

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline

The exact timeline of heroin withdrawal will also depend on the person. Someone who has abused or been addicted to heroin for longer will have a longer withdrawal period. However, there is a general timeline for how long heroin withdrawal can last and what symptoms are prevalent. Learn more about this below.

  • 1-2 Days After Use– Heroin withdrawal symptoms can start as soon as 4 or 6 hours after use. Symptoms like shakes, aches, insomnia, and anxiety can occur during this time period.
  • 3-5 Days After Use– This time period is when withdrawal symptoms are usually at their worst. These symptoms usually include shivers, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, and more.
  • 6-10 Days After Use– When you get to six days without heroin use, you are nearing the point where acute withdrawal is ending. That means much of the nausea and muscle pain will be wearing off at this point. You may start to feel physically better, but you will still feel fatigue and probably cravings for heroin.

Those first 10 days are usually the worst part of the heroin withdrawal for most people, but if someone has been using heroin for a long period of time, the withdrawal symptoms may last longer than 10 days.
After the first couple weeks of withdrawal, many of the major symptoms should be gone. However, long heroin users may go through post-acute withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are usually slightly less severe, but they can include poor sleep, depression, fatigue, and mood swings. Post-acute withdrawal symptoms can last for several months, but the symptoms will get less severe over time.

How is Heroin Addiction Withdrawal Treated?

If you attend a heroin addiction detox at a rehab facility, they will help you by making the symptoms of withdrawal easier to handle. They can help you treat heroin addiction withdrawal with specific medications that are used to help you taper off the drug and minimize cravings and heroin withdrawal symptoms. For example, methadone is a slow-acting, low-strength opiate that can be used to taper people off of heroin. Buprenorphine is another drug that is commonly prescribed to help with reducing physical symptoms of heroin withdrawal.
At a rehab center, you will also treat heroin withdrawal with healthy habits, therapies, and more. These processes will help you replace your heroin habit with other positive activities and learn more about why you got addicted in the first place. Then, you will be able to beat your heroin cravings in the future. Learn more about heroin addiction detox and treatment below.
Heroin Addiction Detox and Treatment with Rehab
Above, we discussed heroin withdrawal, the symptoms associated with heroin withdrawal, and the general timeline for withdrawal. However, withdrawal is almost impossible to go through alone. You should go find help at a treatment center or rehab. Learn more about this right here.

  • Medical Detox– The first step to beating your heroin addiction is to safely detox. As discussed above, heroin withdrawal can be hard and painful. That is why it is a great idea to detox at a rehab facility so that you have medical supervision. Medical detox can help you get clean and sober and avoid the worst of the withdrawal symptoms because you can be given some kinds of medication to help with the symptoms of withdrawal. Also, if you attend a rehab center to go through detox, you are much more likely to make it through without relapsing.
  • Treatment with Rehab– After you have finished your detox and got clean, you can get the treatment you need through rehab with therapies. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and group therapies can help you understand what trigger your addiction in the first place so that you can cope with those triggers in the future. Understanding your addiction and going through the process of treatment and rehab will ensure that you can live a better life. Heroin rehab will give you the tools you need to avoid a relapse in the future.

There are a lot of different drug rehab options out there, but at United Recovery Project, we offer a rehab that is customized to the individual. Each individual that comes to our program goes through a pre-assessment to determine where they are and what treatments will most benefit them. We then create a custom program to help each person get the most out of their treatment. Click here if you would like to learn more about United Recovery Project and our program options.


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