Heroin Withdrawal Effects

When it comes to heroin addiction, there’s a staggering gap between people who need treatment and people who actually seek it. One of the reasons for this treatment gap is the potential for harsh withdrawal symptoms. However, a period of discomfort pales in comparison to a lifetime of addiction. Qualified detox facilities can help combat heroin withdrawal effects.

Common Heroin Withdrawal Effects

Those who cease using or cut-back drastically may experience varying heroin withdrawal effects within 24–48 hours. The severity depends largely upon duration and frequency of use. Withdrawal symptoms can be physical or psychological in nature.

Physical and Psychological Heroin Withdrawal Effects

Physical withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Disorientation
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Cold flashes
  • Respiratory issues
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea/vomiting

Psychological withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Hallucinations
  • Restlessness

During the onset of withdrawal symptoms, attempting self-detox can be especially dangerous. You may discover underlying mental health disorders. Also, should life-threatening difficulties arise, you most likely won’t be equipped to handle them. Perhaps most importantly, if you’re not under medical supervision, nothing’s stopping you from using again to cope with the pain. Relapse following an attempted detox is extremely dangerous.

For all of these reasons, a qualified medically supervised detox is the best way to combat heroin withdrawal symptoms.

Physical and Psychological Heroin Withdrawal Effects

During a medically monitored detox at a licensed facility, clinical staff monitors your health, nutrition and stability while ridding your body of harmful substances. If needed, they’ll be able to prescribe medication to minimize any discomfort.

Detox timelines vary depending upon the facility, but most programs last about two weeks. After completing a heroin detox, you’ll be ready to begin a continuing care program.

Why Detox Alone Isn’t Enough

Many mistakenly believe the road to recovery ends when the heroin leaves their system. Statistics indicate otherwise. According to a 2012 Johns Hopkins’ study, an estimated 65–80% of patients relapse post detox, mainly because they don’t seek additional treatment. Getting heroin out of your system won’t change addictive behaviors.

Rehabilitation facilities offer those addicted to heroin many treatment options, mostly centered around individual and group counseling using proven therapies. Residential treatment involves staying at a facility for up to 90 days under 24/7 supervision. Partial hospitalization offers added stabilization following detox. Intensive outpatient programs are more flexible, allowing individuals to tend to their daily lives while still receiving comprehensive treatment.

Even though the majority of quality facilities base their programs around evidence-based treatment methods, experiential and non-traditional therapies have shown to facilitate lasting recovery.

If you’re struggling with a heroin addiction and the prospect of withdrawal symptoms frightens you, consider the alternative. Withdrawal symptoms are temporary—death by overdose is permanent. A medically supervised detox transitioning into a comprehensive heroin overdose treatment program can provide you with the quality life you deserve. We have the resources to team you up with qualified professionals. Reach out for help today!