Josh Chandler | April 13, 2017

Spot These Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Beating addiction is a big mountain to climb, and you don’t want withdrawal to erase all of your progress. Here’s how to spot the heroin withdrawal symptoms.

Keyword(s): heroin withdrawal symptoms

Overcoming a drug addiction is incredibly difficult, and it requires a lot of support and self-awareness. Being clear about what’s happening in your body and mind as you move through recovery can help you avoid relapses.

Over 8,000 people died from heroin overdoses in 2013, and the number has only increased since then. Don’t allow yourself or your loved one to become a statistic. Learn to spot heroin withdrawal symptoms so you can move forward with sobriety.

Intense Craving for Heroin

The first thing you’ll notice when withdrawing from heroin is an intense craving for the drug. Your body becomes physically dependent on heroin and will begin to crave it as soon as you stop using.

To avoid giving in to this temptation, choose an inpatient rehab facility that will keep you away from the drug and give you the support you need to move past this initial stage of sobriety. Heroin withdrawal symptoms don’t have to derail you.

Physical Pain and Illness

As you continue to remain sober, you will face physical heroin withdrawal symptoms as well, which can include:

  • Extreme sweating
  • Severe muscle cramps
  • Acute pain in muscles and bones
  • Feeling of heaviness throughout your body
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea

Many heroin users avoid sobriety because they fear these physical consequences. However, with the help of heroin withdrawal specialists, you can overcome this hurdle and move toward a better life.

Mental Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Aside from the cravings and physical effects, stopping the use of heroin impacts your mind as well. You may experience anxiety or nervousness as the drug leaves your system. You may be afraid of what’s happening to you. You’ll be tempted to use again.

You may also experience depression as your mind adjusts to not having opiates in your system. Feeling sad, losing interest in normal activities, and withdrawing from others are signs of depression.

Keep in mind these feelings are temporary. Once you get through your detox, you’ll feel calmer and happier and able to move forward with life.

How Long Do Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

You’ll experience symptoms of heroin withdrawal for a week or so. That sounds like an eternity to someone who is in extreme physical pain and discomfort. However, when you compare it to a lifetime of addiction, it’s a very short time.

Sometimes, medication can be used to help reduce the impact of stopping heroin.

Medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, naloxone, suboxone, and clonidine can help to reduce anxiety and agitation as well as the physical effects of going sober. These drugs should only be used under the supervision of a qualified medical professional.

Remember that even though heroin withdrawal is extremely difficult, your body is getting better every day that you go without the drug. Your immune system and your health are improving on every level.

Sobriety Treatment After Detox

If you want to stay healthy and sober after your heroin detox, the next step is to go through an intensive rehabilitation treatment program.

Why go through the pain and struggle of detox if you’re not going to stay clean?

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

Heroin treatment specialists can help you move through a program where you handle underlying issues and create new habits. These changes help you build and maintain a sober lifestyle after you leave treatment.

There are a variety of therapy options, including both inpatient and outpatient treatment.

Many times inpatient treatment is more effective because it removes you from your old environment and helps you make changes without access to drugs.

Therapy and Psychological Help

Therapy is an important part of tackling the underlying reasons you started using heroin. Looking for symptoms of a co-existing problem like depression, PTSD, or bipolar disorder can shed some light on the issue.

Mental health and wellness are critical to a successful recovery from drug addiction.

Many people who abuse drugs have a mental illness that they’ve tried to hide through substance abuse. Quality, effective therapy in a rehab facility can help you overcome your difficulties and get the treatment you’ve always needed.

Alternative Therapies

There are a variety of alternative, holistic therapies that can be extremely helpful as you create a new, drug-free life. Experimenting with yoga, exercise, art therapy, massage, and meditation can help you shift mindsets about your life and drug use.

Combining these approaches along with traditional medical and mental health care can be the difference between relapse and a healthy sober life.

Success After Treatment

To succeed after your treatment program, it’s important to know that heroin withdrawal symptoms may flare up again occasionally. This is called Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, and you can have irregular attacks for months or years.

Post-acute symptoms are not as severe as the initial detox timeframe and are sometimes managed with medication. However, you may still experience anxiety, depression, fatigue, irritability, and insomnia.

Don’t let these attacks derail your sobriety! Instead, recognize them as temporary annoyances and continue to move forward.

To avoid relapse after completing a rehab program, be sure you get help transitioning out of treatment safely. You’ll need support as you face old friends, return to your neighborhood, and have temptations once again.

Creating a plan is essential. A sober living program can be a great intermediate step between inpatient treatment and a return to your old neighborhood. You can gain the support you need to move forward in your new habits and live a different kind of life.

If you do have to return home, identify what triggers you will face and determine how to deal with them. Then, identify your new priorities and set goals.

Setting short-term, medium-term, and long-term SMART goals can give you something to focus on other than your old way of life.

Look for meetings and choose a sponsor or mentor to be accountable to. Staying connected with others who are on the path of sobriety is a vital part of staying encouraged. You’ll need to build new relationships based on your new priorities.

Overcoming heroin withdrawal symptoms and staying sober is a lifelong journey, and no one does it without help. Let us be there for you. For information about Muse Treatment’s detox and treatment programs, contact us today!


Addiction,Detox,Drug Addiction,Heroin Addiction,Heroin Rehab,Recovery,Rehab,Treatment,
Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.

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