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Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

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Further Information
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
Updated on 17/09/2021
Medically reviewed by
Dr Alexander Lapa (Psychiatrist)

A highly addictive illegal Class A Drug, heroin is consumed by adults across the United Kingdom. Though often administered recreationally, heroin use and abuse commonly lead to heroin addictions and dependencies.

When an individual becomes addicted to heroin, quitting heroin independently can be extremely difficult, especially as many unpleasant heroin withdrawal symptoms arise.

Unable to cope with the withdrawal symptoms experienced, the number of people that relapse upon attempting to withdraw from heroin is significantly high.

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Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Experienced as the effects and euphoric sensations that heroin provides wear off, heroin withdrawal symptoms are often encountered six hours after the last dose of heroin was administered. Meanwhile, symptoms typically peak two days after heroin was last consumed.

Though heroin withdrawal symptoms greatly vary, it is not uncommon for physical, psychological and behavioural withdrawal symptoms to surface.

Below, we have outlined the withdrawal symptoms experienced when an individual withdraws from heroin.

 

Physical Withdrawal Symptoms

Often compared to having flu-like symptoms, physical heroin withdrawal symptoms leave many individuals feeling extremely unwell.

Although the physical symptoms associated with heroin withdrawal vary from person to person, it is not uncommon for the following symptoms to be encountered:

  • Increased appetite
  • Reduced appetite
  • Muscle pains and aches
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Irregular heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Diarrhoea
  • Seizures

Most individuals will only experience one or two of the physical withdrawal symptoms associated with heroin withdrawal. However, it is not uncommon for many of the withdrawal symptoms noted above to be encountered.

 

Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms

Though many believe that the physical heroin withdrawal symptoms are often the worst withdrawal symptoms experienced, psychological withdrawal symptoms significantly impact those struggling.

While not apparent to the naked eye, the psychological heroin withdrawal symptoms commonly experienced include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Intense cravings
  • Depression
  • Low mood
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium

Psychological heroin withdrawal symptoms also often give way to suicidal thoughts.

 

Behavioural Withdrawal Symptoms

As the physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms take their toll on an individual’s every waking moment, they will ultimately change how they act and behave.

Addicts are known to participate in behaviours, such as theft, to fund their heroin addiction when withdrawal symptoms become unbearable. Many will also spend an excessive amount of money on heroin and will encounter financial difficulty as a result.

Other behavioural symptoms associated with heroin withdrawal include:

  • Secretiveness
  • Suspicious behaviour
  • Isolation from others
  • Lying to others
  • Mood swings

Behavioural heroin withdrawal symptoms can additionally cause relationships to break down. They also impact the wider community.

Managing A Heroin Withdrawal

While managing a heroin withdrawal independently is virtually impossible due to the symptoms experienced, when detoxification treatment is administered and overseen by medical professionals within a rehab, withdrawing from heroin safely as possible. Xanax Addiction Treatment & Rehab

Ensuring that the body and brain withdraw from heroin, medically induced detoxifications remain the most effective and beneficial heroin withdrawal treatment.

Although medically induced detoxifications do come hand-in-hand with some withdrawal symptoms, they can be effectively managed within a rehabilitation setting.

For example, therapies, including cognitive behavioural therapy, ensure that the individual progressing through treatment has an outlet to discuss how they feel. In doing so, therapists and counsellors can support them in managing any pessimistic and suicidal feelings experienced.

Though therapy is extremely beneficial, some individuals sustain severe withdrawal symptoms. In this instance, medication can be prescribed to alleviate them and reduce the detoxification’s overall effect.

Withdrawing from heroin in rehab often takes up to seven days. However, just as the severity of an individual’s addiction will influence the withdrawal symptoms encountered, the seriousness of heroin addiction will determine how long treatment is required.

Treatment For Heroin Withdrawals and Addictions

Detoxification is an effective form of treatment for heroin addictions. However, to ensure that long-term recovery can be achieved, other treatments must be completed.

Provided by inpatient and outpatient rehabs, other treatments for heroin addictions include one-to-one therapy, group therapy, psychological therapy, well-being therapy and holistic therapy.

Dual diagnosis treatment is also available if a heroin addiction and mental health disorder coexist.

Combined, these treatments ensure that those in recovery can maintain their recovery and successfully withdraw from heroin.

Contact Us Today

Upon experiencing heroin withdrawal symptoms, you must seek immediate help.

Here at Addiction Advocates, we can support you by guiding you on managing your heroin withdrawal. We can also refer you for immediate treatment at a suitable rehab.

If a loved one experiences heroin withdrawal symptoms, we recommend contacting us to refer them for treatment.

To take advantage of our support and safe heroin addiction treatment, call us now on 0800 012 6088.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Treatment Options Are Available for Heroin Addictions?
npatient and outpatient rehabs provide effective treatment options for heroin addictions. Though the treatment required will depend on many factors, treatment options commonly include detoxification, rehabilitation, individual therapy, group therapy and aftercare support. When an inpatient rehab is attended, these treatments are administered on a residential basis. In contrast, when outpatient treatment is secured, treatments are provided for a few hours a day.
What Treatment Will I Be Recommended?
As you enter either an inpatient or outpatient rehab, you will be required to complete a clinical assessment. This assessment will review the severity of your withdrawal symptoms and the impact your addiction has had on your life. Understanding how your addiction has come to impair your life, a tailored treatment programme will be provided. The rehab you attend will also determine what treatment you are recommended. Should you attend an outpatient NHS rehab, talking therapies will likely be recommended. In contrast, if you attend a private inpatient rehab, you will have the opportunity to access a wide range of treatments.
How Long Does The Withdrawal Process Take?
The withdrawal process spans various time frames. However, when a medically induced detoxification is completed, it is not uncommon for the withdrawal process to take seven days.
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Seth is an author, addiction recovery expert and fully accredited member of the national counselling society. He has experience working with a wide range of addictions and mental illnesses using a number of evidence-based therapies and programmes such as the SMART models of addiction recovery.

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