Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Types of Heroin

Heroin can come in a variety of forms, as well as a variety of different opiate drugs including prescription painkillers. Traditionally speaking, heroin comes in a white or brown powder that can be ingested by smoking, snorting or with a needle, and can also come in the form of black tar heroin.

Other opiate drugs in the heroin family include prescription painkillers like oxycontin, codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, and fentanyl. These drugs can be illegally obtained, or initially prescribed by doctors to cure pain. These drugs are highly addictive substances that, if abused, can cause a physical dependence that results in a variety of short-term and long-term effects.

What Do Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms Look Like?

There is a wide range of factors that affect what a user’s withdrawal from opioids will look and feel like. The longer a user has taken heroin, the amount ingested, the way it was ingested, a user’s mental and physical health, and the other drugs a user may have been on at the time will all affect the withdrawal from heroin. A user’s body and mind during detox and the withdrawal process will be greatly affected. Withdrawal is a challenging, and if your body is dependent on the drug, it can be even more challenging to detox. Fortunately, the right treatment program will help opiate users find peace.

What Are the Short-Term Effects of Withdrawal from Heroin?

As soon as a user has made the decision to detox from heroin, the symptoms begin to occur just a few hours after they have taken their last hit of heroin. Detox is the process by which the body rids itself of heroin. The way the body goes through detox differs depending on the user’s relationship with heroin. If a user has been dependent on heroin for a long time, the withdrawal symptoms may be more severe and last longer. Overall, the withdrawal symptoms associated with detox will affect the body and mind in a variety of ways, including:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Heavy sweating
  • Chills and sweating
  • Cramping
  • Anxiousness
  • Concentration issues
  • Tremors
  • Runny nose
  • Drug cravings

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Withdrawal from Heroin?

When the initial phases of withdrawal symptoms start to de-escalate, stronger and more serious symptoms may begin to emerge. Long-term withdrawal effects may include:

  • Depression
  • Relapse
  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety

By entering the detox phase, users are allowing their body to adjust to life without heroin, and be free from the bonds of addiction.

How Long Does Heroin Withdrawal Last?

Initially, the comedown from heroin or opioid use will last a few days to over a week, depending on the user’s severity level of addiction. The symptoms are intense, and it is advised for all users who want to quit to find a detox treatment center that will help you kick the habit properly. Those who try to quit cold turkey on their own will have increased difficulty staying safe and staying off of the drug for good.

There is also a risk that users will spend weeks or months experiencing withdrawal symptoms. This is called post-acute withdrawal syndrome or PAWS. This syndrome is largely psychological, and those who experience it run the risk of relapsing.

Medications Used During Withdrawal from Heroin

When a user is withdrawing from heroin, a treatment center and doctor may prescribe certain medications like methadone, buprenorphine, and that can assist in helping a user kick the addiction. These medications help calm some of the discomforts felt during detox and help cleanse the body and mind. There are certain medications that are approved to help fight addiction. These medications should be administered by a professional during treatment. Withdrawal medications can include:

Methadone: Methadone is a medication that helps users wean off of heroin, and it is can be used in a type of treatment called “replacement therapy.” Methadone is widely considered an effective treatment for heroin users during detox as it helps reduce withdrawal symptoms and decreases cravings.

Buprenorphine: This medication, which can also be referred to as Suboxone, is similar to methadone in that it helps decrease withdrawal symptoms and cravings of heroin during detox. Buprenorphine is known to help heroin addicts stay in treatment and off of the drug.

Heroin Detox Treatment

Quitting heroin addiction is incredibly difficult to do, but it is possible. There are a variety of treatment options for users to consider. For the majority of people struggling with drug addiction, the right medical detox treatment will be residential treatment.

Residential treatment: The first step in recovering from a heroin addiction is detox. Users should detox in a controlled environment with 24 hour clinical care, like a residential treatment center. At NuLife Recovery, our residential drug rehab program is broken up into 3 treatment phases focused on assisting with detox, preventing relapse and ensuring long-term recovery success. Our treatment isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, it’s personalized to ensure that we provide the best course of substance abuse treatment for every individual’s needs.

There Is Hope

There is hope. If you or a loved one is suffering from heroin addiction or opioid addiction, call now and take back control of your life.

NuLife Phone Number: 1 (877) 764-1620

National Phone Number: 1-800-662-4357