Heroin Withdrawal Timeline And Symptoms

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If you have developed an addiction to heroin the fear of the withdrawal process is normally what keeps you continuing to abuse opiates. Opiate addiction causes intense physical dependency and the withdrawal process is extremely uncomfortable if it occurs without the correct medical intervention. When people are addicted to opiates they find themselves needing more of the drug more often in order to avoid going into withdrawal, which leads to a vicious cycle. The more an individual becomes addicted to opiates, the worse the withdrawal symptoms become. Understanding the heroin withdrawal timeline and symptoms can help ease your fears surrounding the process and give you a better chance of recovery. This article will help you to understand what to expect before you begin the detoxing process and where to find the help you need if you are suffering from an opiate addiction.

Symptoms Of Heroin Withdrawal

Heroin withdrawal happens when an individual who is physically dependent on the drug stops using it or cuts down their normal dose. Heroin withdrawal symptoms are similar to any other opiate withdrawal symptoms and follow the same timeline. Symptoms of heroin withdrawal include:

  • Muscle aches, camps, and pains
  • Restless legs
  • Insomnia or poor sleep patterns
  • Increased nerve sensitivity 
  • Dysphoria
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Dilated pupils 
  • Chills and goosebumps
  • Excessive yawning
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Nasua 
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe and constant psychological cravings

Heroin withdrawal is extremely difficult to cope with on your own  and it is suggest to enter into a medical detox in order to safely and comfortably go through the withdrawal process. Detoxes  provide medications that ease the symptoms listed above and offer the therapeutic support you need to remain drug free and begin the recovery process. Detoxes also set up long-term treatment plans in order to give you the best chance of success after you leave.

What is The Heroin Withdrawal Timeline?

Heroin withdrawal can begin anywhere from 6-12 hours after the last dose. The withdrawal symptoms normally peak on within 72 hours and then proceed to subside over the course of a week. Post acute withdrawal symptoms may persist for weeks to months after the initial withdrawal phase. Post acute withdrawal symptoms include trouble:

  • sleeping
  • anxiety
  • dysphoria
  • digestive issues
  • depression
  • sleep problems and/or insomnia
  • mood swings

How To Cope With Heroin Withdrawal

Heroin withdrawal is an extremely uncomfortable process and can even be debilitating for some individuals. Avoiding the discomfort of withdrawal is normally what keeps people in active addiction. Once heroin withdrawal symptoms begin they quickly become worse until they peak. Without professional help the risk for those withdrawing from Heroin for relapse and overdose is extremely high. When someone stops using the drug their tolerance level goes down and they have a much higher risk for overdose if they try to use their normal dose to end the withdrawal symptoms. It is paramount that individuals seeking to come off of heroin or any other opiate seek help from certified and licensed treatment centers. Treatment centers, like The Healing Center, can offer individuals suffering from withdrawal symptoms medications to ease their symptoms, psychological therapy to help with the trauma of addiction, and the proper aftercare planning to increase their chances of long-term recovery. Seeking help from a licensed treatment center is the cornerstone for beginning the long-term recovery process. 

Medical Detox From Heroin

It is very important to detox from opiates in a medical and supervised environment. A medically assisted detox process refers to the use of medication and therapeutic services in order to ease withdrawal symptoms in a licensed treatment facility. Medical detox facilities offer many beneficial services to those suffering from opiate addiction including:

  • Reducing the discomfort of withdrawal with medications
  • 24/7 supervision
  • Decreasing psychological cravings
  • Reduces the risk of relapse
  • Behavioral therapeutic services 

Medically assisted detoxes can be in both an inpatient and outpatient setting and normally involves specific medications that can help ease the discomfort and shorten the heroin withdrawal timeline. There are a number of different medications that are available for opioid detoxes and the type of medication used will be dependent on the protocols of the facility, as well as the patient’s particular needs. Commonly opioid agonists are used, such as suboxone and methadone. These medications are given as a taper, meaning that the client begins at a higher dose and is slowly weaned off the medication over time. Other medications can also be used in conjunction with suboxone and methadone to treat any remaining symptoms of withdrawal that the client is suffering from. Psychological services, such as holistic and behavioral therapies, are also offered to clients in order to help improve the chances of long-term recovery. 

Medical detoxes not only help individuals safely detox in a supervised environment, but they also help them take the next steps in their recovery process. This could mean placing them into an inpatient facility or referring them to an outpatient program and sober living. The aftercare plan will depend on the patient’s individual history and needs. Detox alone is normally not enough to fully treat addiction, but it does provide people with a starting point as they begin their new journey into recovery.

Medical Detox and Treatment At The Healing Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Here at The Healing Center, located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, we believe that detox is the first step in the recovery process. We understand that detoxing from opiates is an extraordinarily difficult process, which is why we offer medications and behavioral therapy in order to make it as comfortable as possible. Once you have completed the detox process we will help you come up with the right aftercare program. The Healing Center offers partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient programs in order to support you through the early recovery process. There is no need for you to suffer from withdrawal without help. If you or a loved one is suffering with an addiction, call our admissions team today to get the help you need to begin the recovery process.