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Heroin Withdrawal

When does heroin withdrawal start?

Opiates like heroin change how the nervous system works. When these opiates are removed, your body needs time to recover. But why does heroin withdrawal occur? And what are its characteristic symptoms?

When you use heroin, your central nervous system gradually adapts to its presence. Over time, your brain and body become reliant on the drug to feel ‘normal’ and you become physically dependent to heroin. At this point, when you stop using heroin (or significantly reduce your doses), your nervous system elicits uncomfortable symptoms as it adjusts to the absence of the opiate.

The appearance of heroin withdrawal symptoms starts within 12 hours of last usage. Early symptoms of heroin withdrawal can manifest as agitation or muscle aches and then progress to stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Symptoms of heroin withdrawal vary in intensity, severity, and duration depending on individual use.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms

You can expect to experience withdrawal symptoms after a regular period of heroin abuse lasting a few weeks or more. Heroin withdrawal symptoms are typically described as extremely unpleasant. The most common signs and symptoms of heroin withdrawal  include:

  • Agitation, anxiety, and mood disorders
  • Crying, sweating and goose bumps
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle pains, abdominal cramping
  • Nausea and vomiting

Duration of heroin withdrawal symptoms

The duration of heroin withdrawal symptoms varies by individual and often depends on the severity of addiction . However, medicines used during detox from such as methadone and buprenorphine can reduce length of time and magnitude of heroin withdrawal symptoms.

For example, the length of withdrawal symptoms without using any heroin antagonist can last more or less 7 days. Using antagonists can cut length of heroin withdrawal symptoms by up to a few days. However, antagonists must be only used with doctor’s supervision and must be taken only as directed.

Tips regarding withdrawal from heroin

The most important tip to follow when experiencing heroin withdrawal symptoms is to always seek the help of a medical professional. No amount of willpower is a good substitute for professional help. Experiencing heroin withdrawal symptoms alone can easily make you turn back to drug use, which only lengthens the cycle of addiction. Doctors are very knowledgeable in the management of heroin addiction and can help reduce intensity of withdrawal symptoms, including craving.

Relapse to heroin is a common outcome, but this should not stop you from getting treatment for heroin addiction. Cravings to use heroin can occur at any point of time during or after detox from heroin. If it happens, take quick action by going to your doctor, speaking with a psychologist, seeking out a support group, or nearest addiction center for proper intervention. Despite its difficulty, heroin addiction remains a treatable condition  and one that you can overcome.

Heroin Withdrawal

Help for Heroin Withdrawal

Help for Heroin Withdrawal

August 20th, 2018

Heroin detox requires medical supervision. Symptoms are uncomfortable and medications make the process more humane and successful, especially over the long-term.

13 The Heroin Withdrawal Timeline Chart

The Heroin Withdrawal Timeline Chart

March 22nd, 2017

The GUIDE TO HEROIN WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS. More on duration of symptoms and what to expect, when. A visual guide here.

23 How does a heroin craving feel?

How does a heroin craving feel?

February 18th, 2015

A drug craving is somewhat similar to a deep yearning. But the craving for an addictive substance such as heroin, is sharper, stronger and much more intense. 5 tips for coping with a craving for heroin here.

4 What is rapid opiate detox? Does it work and is it safe?

What is rapid opiate detox? Does it work and is it safe?

February 17th, 2015

An interview with practitioners of The Waismann Method® about how rapid opiate detox works, its safety, and what to expect during the procedure.

20 Heroin detox symptoms

Heroin detox symptoms

September 20th, 2014

Symptoms of heroin detox include body and muscle aches, vomiting, and mood disorders such as anxiety or depression. More on what to expect during detox and how to treat heroin detox symptoms here.

31 How to Stop Taking Heroin

How to Stop Taking Heroin

September 2nd, 2014

The best way to stop taking heroin is with medical supervision. More on the side effects when you quit heroin here and a list of who you can ask for help.

160 Detoxing from heroin at home

Detoxing from heroin at home

August 19th, 2014

Detoxing from heroin does not need to be severe or uncomfortable. But you increase your risk of relapse when you detox from heroin on your own. More on the protocols used during clinical heroin detox, as well as time, symptoms, and their treatment here.

19 Dependence on heroin

Dependence on heroin

June 17th, 2014

People who use heroin regularly can develop dependence on heroin quickly. More on how the body adapts to the presence of heroin in the system here.

488 Heroin detox timeline: How long to detox from heroin?

Heroin detox timeline: How long to detox from heroin?

June 12th, 2014

Heroin detox usually peaks at about 72 hours after loast dose and resolves within a week. However, some symptoms can linger for weeks or months afterwards. A complete heroin detox timeline here.

13 Heroin withdrawal side effects

Heroin withdrawal side effects

July 4th, 2013

Expected withdrawal side effects from heroin can include diarrhea, cramps, sweating, and restlessness. However, heroin can also provoke serious adverse side effects in those with overall poor health. More heroin withdrawal side effects here.

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7 Responses to “Heroin Withdrawal
11:54 am September 26th, 2016

Please help me after some yrs of recovery i was relapse for 3months and i was taking treatment for sort term that is 15 days and came out and clean for 5days only and again i use heroin for 10 days continuesly i was strat using only half bag twice a day for a week after that i am using 3or 4 bag per day for 4days coninuesly how can i stop using without taking treatment in rehab please help me

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
4:42 pm October 14th, 2016

Hi Champ. Why don’t you call the hotline displayed on our website to get in touch with a trusted treatment consultant.

8:46 pm September 28th, 2016

Trying to quit use going for shoot of vivitrol will that work tired of useing need help anyone out they with opinon

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
5:15 pm October 14th, 2016

Hi Kevin. I suggest that you call the helpline on the website to speak with a trusted treatment consultant.

1:52 pm March 10th, 2017

If u start givin an heroin addict methodones arn’t u just gettin them addicted to those as a substitution. My girlfriend had been doin heroin behind my back and was tryin to get off of it before i found out and then i catch her goin to methodone clinic. Well long story short she started gettin addicted to those as well and when they started to wing her off she just went back to heroin. She tried doin it on her own but failed miserably. Im just worried she will never get off of it.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
7:34 pm March 23rd, 2017

Hi Rocky. You may become methadone addict if you abuse them. I suggest that you call a toll-free Heroin Helpline on 1-888-988-7934 to get in touch with trusted and confidential helpline professionals available 24/7.

8:30 pm September 7th, 2017

It’s good to learn about heroin withdrawal. My oldest son is finally working at overcoming his addiction, so I want to keep an eye out on him. I’ll tell him that some medicines can help reduce the withdrawal symptoms! That’s good to know.

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