Heroin Withdrawal & Detox

Colorado is one of many states in the U.S. that has been hit hard with the opioid epidemic. Along with prescription drugs, areas like Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder and also smaller towns and rural areas have seen the damage of heroin.

Heroin withdrawal is one of the many reasons it’s so difficult to beat an addiction to this drug, but it is possible to detox from heroin and move on to a full recovery.

The following provides an overview of the heroin withdrawal timeline, heroin withdrawal symptoms, and information about heroin detox.

Heroin Withdrawal

Heroin is a drug that you can become physically dependent on relatively quickly. For some people, the cycle of dependence and addiction begins after taking heroin just once. If you are dependent on heroin and you stop taking it, you will go through a period of withdrawal as the drug moves out of your blood stream and your system.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms can be severe, and uncomfortable and it’s a difficult period of recovery for people. In fact, heroin withdrawal is often one of the biggest obstacles to recovery for addicts, which is one of the reasons it’s important to find a professional heroin detox treatment center.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from a few days up to 10 days, and some psychological heroin withdrawal symptoms can last even longer, although the heroin withdrawal timeline does vary based on the person and the extent of their use.

There are some heroin withdrawal medication options available that can help patients during this time, which will be covered below.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms usually begin within around 24 hours after the last dose of the drug is taken, and these symptoms are both physical and psychological. Sometimes heroin withdrawal symptoms may begin before this, as soon as 6 to 12 hours after the last dose.

Heroin Withdrawal & Heroin Detox

Withdrawal From Heroin

The following are some of the most common signs of withdrawal from heroin, which start around one day after the last dose of the drug.

  • Runny nose
  • Teary eyes
  • Insomnia
  • Yawning
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Muscle spasms
  • Irritability and aggression
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Concentration problems

Other symptoms that can occur during heroin withdrawal treatment after the initial symptoms include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dilated pupils
  • Stomach cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Paranoia

As was touched on above, during professional heroin withdrawal treatment several different medications can be given. These drugs can help manage both the physical and psychological symptoms of heroin withdrawal.

Heroin Detox

Heroin detox is arguably one of the most important steps of your recovery. During heroin detox, you may be given heroin detox drugs, and you are medically supervised while your body works to remove the toxins of the drugs. The longer you used heroin and the more heavily, the longer your heroin detox is likely to be.

Heroin detox centers are the best place to go through this difficult time, for safety and comfort. Doing a heroin detox at home tends to be not only potentially dangerous but can also be a tremendous obstacle to a successful recovery.

Different heroin detox settings are available. One option is inpatient detox, which is offered at The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake. During an inpatient heroin detox, there is around-the-clock medical care. Other Colorado heroin detox options include outpatient detox, and some people may opt for a holistic, natural detox regimen.

Heroin Detox Timeline

While every scenario might be unique, the following provides a general outline for the heroin detox timeline and the heroin detox symptoms you can expect during the phases of heroin detox.

In general, heroin detox symptoms can start within about fours after taking the last dose of the drug, or it may take up to 24 hours. If you’ve been using heroin for a long time, it may take longer for heroin detox symptoms to occur, because you may have more heroin built up in your system. The general heroin detox timeline can last for up to three or four weeks in heavy, chronic users of the drug.

During phase one, which usually includes the first three days of heroin detox, the symptoms can include:

  • Headaches
  • Irritation and aggression
  • Pain
  • Sweating
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Appetite loss
  • Panic attacks

After the first phase of heroin detox, the second phase usually lasts from days three to five. This phase includes less severe symptoms such as muscle aches and cramping, fatigue and chills.

Around the end of the last week, the person may experience some lingering symptoms, particularly when it comes to eating and sleeping, as well as emotional disturbances and anxiety, but most of the more severe symptoms have subsided at this point.

Because of the impact heroin has on the brain of the user, anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia, and depression may last for several months following detox.

Heroin Detox Medication

Heroin detox medications can help with both physical and mental symptoms. The three heroin detox medication options frequently used include methadone, which can help as part of a tapering off schedule for heroin addicts, as well as buprenorphine. Naltrexone is also approved by the FDA as a heroin detox medication.

Naltrexone is becoming more favored than Suboxone and buprenorphine because it’s not habit-forming, and it can help avoid relapse since it reduces heroin cravings and prevents people from getting high if they do use the drug. Despite the benefits of naltrexone, it can’t be used by someone unless they have the heroin out of their system fully.

In some cases, other heroin detox medication options may include anti-anxiety medicines or antidepressants that can help alleviate the psychological symptoms of detox, as well as potential mental disorders a person may have.

Is There a Heroin Detox Center Near Me?

Many possible complications can come from withdrawal from heroin, which is why a professional, medically-supervised detox program is advisable. The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake is a Colorado heroin detox center and treatment facility serving the needs of people from Colorado Springs, Denver, Boulder and all of Colorado.

For patients who want an out-of-state heroin detox program, The Recovery Village also operates national programs in locations such as Florida.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.