Heroin Detox: What to Expect

Heroin is an opiate drug that is made from morphine. Users inject, smoke, sniff or snort heroin to get high. Heroin enters the body very quickly and the effects are almost immediate, delivering a surge of pleasing, euphoric calm. If you have been using heroin with some regularity or in binges, or if your body and mind have become dependent on opiate use, you might consider getting help with detoxification.

The symptoms of withdrawal are so significant, most heroin users who attempt self-detoxification return to opiate use in order to curb symptoms. The comedown from heroin withdrawal varies in intensity. Symptoms of withdrawal are usually noticed within twelve hours of the last dose. Symptoms are at their worse within a couple days and subside after five to seven days. Some users experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome for weeks or months following regular opiate use.

Symptoms of heroin withdrawal can include:

  • Cravings for heroin or other opiates
  • Depression, anxiety, or flat mood
  • Intense desire for relief
  • Extreme body pain
  • Sweating, crying, runny nose
  • Fever and flu-like symptoms
  • Diarrhea and stomach pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Restlessness and insomnia

It’s important to acknowledge that withdrawal from any addictive substance is psychological as well as physical. Depression, anxiety, and extreme emotional distress exacerbate the physical symptoms and can contribute to relapse. It is understandable why so many heroin users return to substance use out of desperation to stop the physical and mental anguish. Additionally, heroin detox can be more complicated, even life-threatening, if certain other recreational drugs, alcohol, or prescription medications are also in use, or if you have chronic medical conditions. If you have been consuming heroin, other opiates, and other substances, the process of detox will be a very rough one.

Heroin detox looks very different when experienced in a detox facility or treatment center. A fully-equipped, structured detox and treatment environment offers you the comforts of home. Compassionate support staff watch over and support you. Physicians and other medical team members help keep you safe and comfortable. Once you’re feeling better, your attention can turn to early recovery and feeling like yourself again.

Detox is scary. It’s all-consuming and, often, dangerous. You don’t have to approach heroin detox alone. Call us today – we can help.

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