Heroin Detox and Withdrawal

Heroin is a powerfully addictive drug. With consistent use, a person is likely to develop physical dependence and drug addiction. This can make it very difficult to stop using heroin because when someone tries to quit heroin cold turkey, they develop heroin withdrawal symptoms. 

Overcoming heroin addiction requires drug addiction help from a drug rehab in Woodland Hills, which usually begins with a medication-assisted treatment opioid detox. Heroin targets the brain’s reward system, like other drug addictions, and increases tolerance over time. Often, people will continue heroin use to avoid heroin withdrawal symptoms, which can have more intense physical symptoms than painkiller opioid withdrawals.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

The withdrawal timeline will start between 6 to 12 hours after they stop using heroin, which comes on more quickly than most opioid withdrawal timelines. Heroin withdrawals often feel like bad flu, with opioid detox symptoms lasting about a week. Some common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Fatigue
  • Intense cravings
  • Cold sweats
  • Runny nose
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Extreme sweating
  • Severe muscle aches and pains
  • Extreme pain in muscles in bones
  • Death (when other medical conditions are present)

The Stages of Heroin Withdrawals

With opioid addiction, once the brain recognizes heroin is no longer present in the body, the body will start reacting to the change. Symptoms of detox from heroin can start within a few hours of the last dose and can last several weeks, or even months. This can depend on how long the person was addicted to heroin.

Typically, the heroin detox stages may look like this:

  • Day 1 to 2 – Opioid withdrawal symptoms may start as soon as 6 hours after they stop using heroin. Muscle aches will start to develop and intensify over 48 hours. Other symptoms in this opioid detox stage are insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, shaking, and diarrhea
  • Days 3 to 5 – Heroin withdrawals are at their peak. Symptoms of heroin withdrawal at this stage include sweating, shivers, abdominal cramping, and nausea/vomiting.
  • Days 6 to 7 – Acute symptoms of heroin detox typically end about after a week. Muscle aches and nausea will taper off during this time. Physically, you will start to feel more normal.
  • Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) – Heroin withdrawals may continue inconsistently for months after a person stops using heroin. This heroin withdrawal timeline includes anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, depression, and irritability, which are caused by the neurological changes from heroin use.

How Medical Detox Helps Manage Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Medication-assisted drug detox treatment can provide a safe space to manage symptoms during the withdrawal timeline. It is possible for complications to arise during heroin detox and fatally injure someone without medication-assisted treatment. Those suffering from substance abuse can become severely dehydrated during heroin detox as well. Even when the person’s life is not at risk, opioid withdrawals are often uncomfortable, and many relapse in an attempt to offset withdrawal symptoms.

With medication-assisted opioid detox treatment, medical detox staff will supervise and monitor your vitals. They can give you substance abuse medications like methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine to help with cravings, physical symptoms, and opioid withdrawals. They can also provide Suboxone treatment and Vivitrol treatment. They are also well trained for any type of medical emergency that may arise during the detox timeline.

A caring, supportive staff can also increase your chances of successfully completing a heroin detox, in comparison to trying quitting heroin cold turkey on your own. You are also not likely to relapse early on in your drug addiction treatment. You will have your meals prepared for you and have the around-the-clock therapy program for getting through this difficult part of your addiction treatment program.

Heroin Detox and Rehab at Sylvan Detox

Sylvan Detox offers a Woodland Hills medication-assisted detox treatment that can ease your fears and pain during heroin withdrawals. Our luxury drug rehab lets you complete drug detox in comfort with around-the-clock monitoring and security. Our certified medical detox staff can administer FDA-approved medications to help ease your symptoms. Once drug detox is complete, you can easily transition into inpatient treatment for substance use disorder or an outpatient treatment program at another location in our network of treatment centers. We also offer sober living programs to help provide stability and accountability.

All our programs include evidence-based treatments including interpersonal psychotherapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, creative healing, nutrition, health and wellness groups, relapse prevention, and denial management. If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin addiction and would like help, please give Sylvan Detox a call today at (818) 308-3099. One of our addiction specialists can assist you in starting your recovery journey.