Everything You Need to Know About Heroin Withdrawal
Heroin use has been a concern for Americans struggling with addiction for years. However, in the last 5 years, the number of individuals succumbing to their heroin addiction has rapidly increased. With street drugs having an alarming amount of fentanyl with heroin and other illicit substances, we have seen a dramatic increase in the amount of overdose-related deaths. The need to enter into a heroin detox has never been so prominent among users.
Before entering into heroin detox and rehab, it is helpful to have an understanding of what to expect as you withdraw from heroin and begin your road to recovery. The first step to removing your heroin addiction is to go through a heroin detox program. During this time, you will experience different heroin withdrawal symptoms. While most withdrawal side effects are not life-threatening, there is the potential for serious or severe symptoms that should be monitored by a medical professional to ensure your physical, emotional, and mental safety and wellbeing.
The Stages of Heroin Withdrawal
Heroin withdrawal will look different for each person experiencing it as it will vary depending on your rate of use and length of time that you have been engaging in heroin use. Your withdrawal process will be unique to you and will look different from others that are going through heroin detox. Typically, patients will experience heroin withdrawal symptoms for approximately 7 days. After that, symptoms will subside and you will begin to feel healthy and able to participate in a heroin rehab program.
The first stage of your heroin withdrawal will begin within 6-12 hours after you last used heroin. Typical symptoms you will see during this stage are:
- Muscle aches
- Difficulty sleeping
- Excessive sweating
- Hot and cold flashes
Within 72 hours after you last used heroin, you will begin to feel the peak of your withdrawal symptoms. This is often the time when you will experience the most severe of your symptoms. This stage typically lasts until day 7 for most patients. Withdrawal side effects that can appear are:
- Vomiting or nausea
- Increased heart rate
- Impaired respiratory functioning
- Muscle spasms
- Intense drug cravings
After 7 days, patients will begin to feel more like themselves again with the worst of the symptoms behind them. Usually, at this time, patients will enter into a heroin rehab program where they will be able to address the root causes of their addiction and heal from the emotional and mental addiction.
Medical Detox for Heroin Addiction
It is no secret that heroin withdrawal will have some unpleasant or uncomfortable stages but there are ways to mitigate these symptoms to help you get through your heroin withdrawal safely and comfortably. Patients are often recommended to enter into a medically supervised detox program where they will be able to safely remove the toxins of heroin from their bodies while being closely monitored by nurses and physicians. As you detox, the medical team, which specializes in keeping patients safe and comfortable during your heroin detox, will be checking in with you throughout the day and your stay to ensure that your detox program is being adjusted to meet your current needs and progress. As symptoms occur, the levels of severity will be measured and appropriate methods of interventions will be applied to help keep you relaxed and at bay.
As you experience withdrawal symptoms, you may be offered medications that will help to ease the severity of your symptoms while keeping you feeling relaxed and comfortable. Medications offered will work to block the opioid receptors in the brain that are responsible for drug cravings and the ability to feel effects from opioids. This often helps keep patients on track for their recovery and detox program. Patients may also experience uncomfortable symptoms and an efficient detox program will be able to offer you holistically, natural ways to maintain any levels of discomfort and keep you feeling relaxed and stress-free.
If you or someone you love is struggling with drug addiction, now is the time to get help. The Healing Place is dedicated to helping individuals maintain long-term sobriety. For more information on the heroin withdrawal process or how The Healing Place can help you or a loved one, call today at (844) 762-3755.