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7 Symptoms of Heroin Withdrawal

Person lying down and feeling the symptoms of heroin withdrawal

Overcoming any addiction can be challenging, but with opioids, like heroin, it can be particularly complicated. Because of its highly addictive properties, heroin use can quickly spiral out of control and overtake a person’s life.

A professional heroin addiction treatment program is the best way to safely break the cycle of heroin addiction once and for all. At Ashwood Recovery, we understand the complexities of heroin addiction and treatment. Our outpatient programs provide comprehensive treatment in a safe, supportive environment. If you or a loved one is using heroin, it is essential to seek professional help as soon as possible. Contact us online or call 888.341.3607 to learn how we can help.

Are Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms Dangerous?

Heroin withdrawal symptoms begin when someone who is addicted to it cuts back on their usual dosage or stops using it altogether. Heroin use disrupts the normal functioning of neurotransmitters in the brain, making it reliant on the presence of heroin to function. Withdrawal symptoms are the result of the body’s systems adjusting to function without the drug.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on:

  • The duration and intensity of use
  • The dosage and frequency of use
  • The method of use (injecting, snorting, smoking)
  • Underlying health conditions
  • Environmental factors
  • Psychological factors
  • Prior withdrawal or relapse experiences
  • Poly-substance abuse
  • Withdrawal management interventions

While heroin withdrawal is typically less dangerous than withdrawal from alcohol or benzos, it is not without risks. Specific symptoms can lead to dehydration, which can cause kidney, liver, heart, and brain failure. The presence of other substances in the system can complicate withdrawal. Further, relapsing during withdrawal increases the risk of fatal overdose significantly.

7 Symptoms and Signs of Heroin Withdrawal

Most people who struggle with heroin addiction have tried, often multiple times, to quit on their own with little lasting success. Typically, once withdrawal symptoms begin, individuals quickly return to use to prevent them. Other times, the fear of withdrawal symptoms prevents individuals from trying to stop using heroin.

Heroin withdrawal is likened to having flu-like symptoms, which can be severe. Psychological symptoms occur in addition to the physical ones. Withdrawal symptoms can begin as soon as six hours after the last dose and last for up to two weeks, with peak symptoms occurring between 48 to 72 hours.

While they can vary in intensity and duration from person to person, the seven most common symptoms of heroin withdrawal are:

  1. Nausea and vomiting
  2. Muscle aches and pains
  3. Diarrhea and abdominal cramping
  4. Sweating and chills
  5. Irritability and mood swings
  6. Insomnia and sleep disturbances
  7. Drug cravings

Other symptoms can include restlessness, anxiety, depression, shortness of breath, high blood pressure, and rapid heartbeat. The fact is that heroin withdrawal is uncomfortable, can be intense, and is challenging to do alone. The good news is that heroin withdrawal can be safe, effective, and as comfortable as possible with professional guidance and care.

Coping with Heroin Withdrawal

The most important thing to know about heroin withdrawal is that you do not have to go through it alone. At Ashwood Recovery, we understand the challenges of heroin withdrawal, including the fears most people have, and can provide the care and support needed to get through it.

Through professional heroin detox, you receive personalized care that includes:

  • Medical assessment and treatment to address any underlying conditions
  • Psychological support, including individual counseling
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT), when indicated
  • Guidance and support to transition into a recovery program

Our treatment team will ensure that you stay hydrated, eat healthy foods, and have access to evidence-based and holistic therapies to help heal your mind, body, and spirit.

Call Ashwood Recovery Today to Get Started on Heroin Addiction Treatment

Recovery from heroin addiction takes time and dedication and begins with recognizing the need for help.  At Ashwood Recovery, you or your loved one will receive the highest level of professional care and find support from a strong community of peers who can relate to your experiences and challenges. Contact us online or call today at 888.341.3607 for more information about heroin withdrawal signs and symptoms and how to safely manage them.