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Heroin Withdrawal: 4 Facts You Should Know

There is no doubt that heroin is one of the most damaging drugs around, and that it destroys lives easily and swiftly. The side effects of heroin use are well-known, and can include instant death as well as profound long-term suffering in the form of both psychological and physical pain and discomfort. 

But the fact is that overcoming a heroin addiction can also be very tough on the body and mind. Now, it is obviously absolutely worth doing, but you do want to be aware of the potential issues that can occur when you are coming off heroin.

Let’s take a look at some of the things you should know about when it comes to heroin withdrawal. As long as you are aware of the following, you should find that you are much more likely to appreciate what is likely to happen, which can help you to prepare more effectively and fully for the experience of overcoming a heroin addiction.

Physical Symptoms Can Show Quickly

One of the first things you’ll want to know is that the physical symptoms of heroin withdrawal can often show very quickly. It’s best to be aware of that, so that you are much more capable of managing it when it happens for you. There is a huge list of potential physical symptoms that you might experience when you are withdrawing from heroin, and many of those things can come on a mere four hours or so after your last hit.

That’s because your body has come to depend on the high that heroin brings, so the absence of it will quickly cause a lot of physical discomfort and pain. If you are not prepared for that, however, you might be surprised at the speed with which these symptoms show up, which could put you off if you are trying to overcome the addiction. 

If you do have severe physical withdrawal, you should not ignore it – you should seek help. Ideally, try to come off heroin in the setting of a rehab facility, where you will get the care you need.

Support Makes All The Difference

Whatever kind of withdrawal you do experience, you will find that it makes a huge and surprising difference to have some kind of support in place. Having people in your corner is huge, and it really can’t be overstated how important it can be in helping you to get through your addiction recovery process and out the other side. 

With withdrawal from heroin, your emotions will be affected as well as your physical body, so a support system suddenly becomes very useful if you start to feel unloved or worthless.

That support team will preferably include medical professionals, addiction recovery experts, mental health professionals, and your own friends and family. Again, a proper rehab clinic ensures all of this is in place much more effectively.

Withdrawal Lasts Roughly One Week

The withdrawal from heroin generally lasts around one week, sometimes a little more. It is obviously very helpful to have a good sense of how much you can expect, so it’s good to know that you have about a week of withdrawal to go through. 

However, it won’t all be as bad as the rest. The first three days are typically the most intense, but of course this can all vary from person to person too, so there is no knowing for sure.

There are a range of factors that will affect how long recovery from withdrawal can take. That includes how much heroin you were taking, how long you have been taking it for, if there are any other psychological or medical conditions getting in the way of recovery, what method you used to take the drug, and your general health. However, the typical duration is 5-7 days.

Continuing To Use Heroin Is Worse Than Withdrawal

Even though withdrawal can be extremely challenging, uncomfortable and even painful, it is always far preferable when compared to the effects of continuing to use heroin in the long-term. With withdrawal you will have about a week of those symptoms we mentioned above. But if you continue to use heroin, you can expect far worse than that.

With more heroin usage, you will be more likely to experience major damage to the organs, loss of your close relationships, decreased mental and physical health in all possible ways, cognitive changes that make thinking clearly difficult, and even death.


If you would like help with overcoming your heroin addiction, be sure to get in touch with the rehab center as soon as possible.

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