Heroin medication is used during withdrawal from the drug to help alleviate symptoms and make it easier to make it through detox. Learn more about the medications used and how it helps an individual through withdrawal from heroin.


Buprenorphine was approved by the FDA in October, 2002 as a new treatment for heroin and those with opioid addiction. It may cause dependence and withdrawal symptoms when stopped. It is the first narcotic approved for addictions prescribed by physicians in offices. Some advantages include effectiveness at reducing cravings and is only needed every other day which lowers risk of overdose. Subutex is used in the first few days of treatment and Suboxone helps block effects of opioids and is used for people on maintenance drug therapy. Some side effects may include:

  • Headaches
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Upset stomach
  • Sleep issues


Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist medication which binds to opioid receptors but does not activate them. It is most helpful for highly motivating individuals in detox who want total abstinence including those who experiment with opioids and are in early stages of addiction. The drug blocks part of the brain that feels pleasure when taking narcotics. It blocks receptors and prevents the body from responding to opiates. Some side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Dizziness


Methadone is a strong acting medicine which reduces opiate cravings and blocks opiates. It blocks receptors in the brain affected by opiates such as heroin, enabling people who use it to gradually detoxify from opiates without experiencing painful withdrawal symptoms. Methadone occupies the receptors in the brain that opiates use, blocking the high feeling opiates provide. Cravings are reduced along with symptoms of withdrawal. Side effects may include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite


Desipramine is a tricyclic antidepressant which may be useful in facilitation of opioid abstinence in opioid maintenance individuals. Long-term use of heroin suppresses the production of neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine which help regulate mood and are involved in development of depression. Heroin users are likely to experience post-withdrawal depression which can be treated with an antidepressant that counteracts suppression. Side effects may include:

  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Nightmares
  • Sweating

Hired Power believes people with addiction need tools and resources to support recovery. Call us if you would like to find out how we can support your journey with our programs, tools and information to aid your journey to recovery.

Most Recent Blog Posts

5 Ways To Forgive Yourself In Recovery

    Sometimes, in active addiction, we do things we aren’t proud of. We may have hurt the ones we love, do things we are ashamed of, and caused harm to ourselves. We may feel guilty, embarrassed, and angry. Although you may have gotten substance abuse treatment and are...

    Read More

    Recognizing A Problem With Alcohol

      It can be fun and relaxing to go out for drinks with your friends on Friday nights after a long work week or have a cocktail before bed. Many people drink alcohol and do so regularly, but how do you know when your drinking has become a problem? When many of us think...

      Read More

      Which 12-Step Program Is Right For Me?

        12-Step programs are a common part of addiction recovery. Many treatment programs utilize a 12-Step approach, and many of those recovering choose to attend meetings after they complete their treatment. Attending meetings can help individuals maintain their recovery...

        Read More


        21062 Brookhurst St. #201, Huntington Beach, CA 92646

        ©2021 All Rights Reserved. Design & Development by Goldman Marketing Group | Sitemap | Privacy Policy The information available on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace a medical consultation where a physician's judgment may advise you about specific disorders, conditions and or treatment options. We hope the information will be useful for you to become more educated about your health care decisions. If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact us at