Heroin withdrawal can be very severe and even fatal. Dehydration due to persistent vomiting and diarrhea can lead to elevated blood sodium levels, which can cause heart failure. This is not a common occurrence, but it is a possibility if you attempt to detox on your own without proper medical supervision. When done under the care of medical professionals in a medication-assisted detox program, the risk of doing lasting damage to yourself is much lower. If you are struggling with a heroin addiction, contacting a heroin detox center is advisable.
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
Various symptoms occur when someone goes through drug withdrawal. Some are unique to each drug, such as delirium tremens (DTs) during alcohol withdrawal, and others are universal. The severity of the symptoms depends on the patient’s overall health and family history of addiction. How stressful an environment they live or work in and the extent and duration of their drug use can also factor into the equation. The following are symptoms of heroin withdrawal:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Fever and chills
- Accelerated heart rate
- Muscle aches and pains
These factors can also influence the heroin withdrawal timeline.
Heroin Withdrawal Timeline
Heroin withdrawal typically lasts between four and ten days. For some people, it will be slightly shorter in duration, and for others, it can last for a month or more. Withdrawal symptoms begin between eight and 30 hours after you stop using and peak by day three or four. Within the first 24 hours, the individual’s withdrawal from heroin will begin. The symptoms the individual experiences may include:
- Drug cravings
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle pain and headaches
Within 48 hours after the last dose, withdrawal symptoms can progress and intensify. In addition to other symptoms, the individual may begin to experience stomach issues and panic attacks.
On the third day, withdrawal from heroin will peak, causing diarrhea, increased nausea, and vomiting. On the fourth day, clients may experience symptoms such as shivering, enlarged pupils, cramping, fatigue, and more gastrointestinal issues. In less than a week, withdrawal from heroin will continue and begin to taper off. Finally, on the seventh day, withdrawal symptoms begin to abate. Depression, irritability, fatigue, and insomnia are common at this point. However, post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) can linger for months.
What Affects the Heroin Withdrawal Timeline?
Many factors affect the heroin withdrawal timeline. These include the following:
- The severity of the addiction
- How long you have been using
- What type of opiates you are using
- How many opiates are in your system
- Overall mental and physical health
- Family history of addiction
The withdrawal timeline is different for everyone, but it is not the time that it takes but the healing effects that are most important.
Reach Out to Ethan Crossing Recovery Today
As a highly addictive opioid drug, heroin’s impact goes beyond the bounds of the individual user. The social and medical aftereffects of drug use have a destructive and long-lasting societal impact on the community. There has been an increase in heroin use partly because prescription painkillers are more costly and less effective. There are medications available to treat heroin addiction and reduce the drug cravings and symptoms of withdrawal.
At Ethan Crossing Recovery, we have a medication-assisted detox program that will prepare you for the next stages of your recovery, addiction treatment, and therapy. We believe in providing individual, group, and family therapy working in tandem to bring you back to full health. Anyone can get help at any point. Ethan Crossing Recovery serves the Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Ohio area. Contact us today.