Detoxification or withdrawal from heroin can be an extremely uncomfortable experience with strong physical and psychological reactions. Withdrawal symptoms can factor into a person’s chances of staying clean from heroin as relapse is higher during this period of time. Many options exist to support individuals who are looking to quit heroin and need help with the symptoms of withdrawal.
Heroin withdrawal can begin minutes or hours after the last dose. Due to the highly addictive nature, the body can become dependent on heroin within a few weeks of daily use. Depending on the length of time a person used heroin, the individual may experience less of a high and a faster withdrawal than someone who is using for the first time or only uses on occasion. Heroin withdrawal usually peaks around 42-72 hours after last dose and can last for up to a week. Symptoms of heroin withdrawal will begin to dissipate within a few weeks. Heroin alters and damages opiate receptors in the brain to the point of people not experiencing pleasurable feelings. The body needs a long period of time to heal after withdrawal as it takes a toll physically and mentally.
How to Withdraw from Heroin
An individual may choose to experience withdrawal from heroin alone. Medical supervision is recommended to prevent complications and increase chances of quitting heroin for good. Withdrawal symptoms may be severe enough to tempt a person to use again to feel relief from the physical and psychological side effects. Under medical supervision, it is possible to come through heroin withdrawal successfully and be on the road to recovery.
Side Effects of Heroin Withdrawal
When coming down from heroin and experiencing withdrawal, feelings of depression and anxiety may be triggered. A person may feel jittery and unable to relax. Some of the symptoms a person can expect to experience during heroin withdrawal include:
- Cold sweats or chills
- Pain or cramps in the body
Heroin Withdrawal Treatment
Medications are available to assist with withdrawal including buprenorphine, clonidine, naloxone and methadone. Each medication has been used clinically to help the process of withdrawal and management of symptoms. Remedies exist around home which can help including hot water baths or showers and massage for acute symptoms. A counselor and support group are great ways to help an individual go through withdrawal. Detox clinics or rehabilitation facilities can help a person focus on withdrawal and provide support through the process. Acupuncture has also proven effective in the the 4-10 days after withdrawal begins to aid in decreased levels of stress, anxiety and cravings.
Heroin Withdrawal Safety
The safety of an individual is of utmost importance when experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Medical supervision is always the safest way to go. An inpatient stay at a detox clinic helps an individual manage withdrawal symptoms, alleviate complications and receive emotional support from staff and other individuals in treatment. Detox clinics recommend follow up psychological treatment to identify root causes behind the addiction.
Quitting heroin is challenging but Hired Power has resources to help you or a loved one quit for good. Call today at 800-910-9299 for more information on how we can help.