More than a few heroin addicts have laid claim to the notion that quitting heroin is the worst part about ever starting to use heroin. While that is clearly an overstatement, it does serve as a testimony of how difficult heroin withdrawal symptoms can be. Just how bad can it be? In some extreme cases, going through withdrawal can be life-threatening, and that is not an overstatement. As a point of reference, here is a shortlist of the worst of the potential heroin withdrawal symptoms:
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Struggles with depression and anxiety
- Profuse sweating
- Dangerously high heart rate and blood pressure
- Breathing issues
- Hallucinations and nightmares
- Tremors and convulsions throughut the body
- Severe cramping in the stomach region
From this list, it’s easy to see why heroin addicts would be reluctant to stop using. The good news is help is available to get people safely through their withdrawal symptoms. In a detox program, medical professionals are charged with monitoring the progress of clien6s as they work through withdrawal. As soon as a client shows any sign of instability, a doctor can intervene with prescription medication. The top concern you might have is how long it’s going to take you to detox. Before we get into the details about a standard heroin withdrawal, you should know it varies from one person to the next. Some of the factors that contribute to the length and harshness of the process include:
- The amount of time the addict has been abusing heroin
- The amount of the drug they use each time
- The frequency of the drug abuse
- The triggers that create within the desire to keep abusing heroin
Based on these criteria, it becomes a little easier to predict how long the detox process is going to take.
How Long Does Heroin Withdrawal Last?
For beginners, the actual withdrawal process will kick in at about 8 hours after the addict’s last dose. Again, that will depend on the frequency of their heroin use. At first, the individual will start experiencing a little agitation, sweating, and the bombardment of cravings. That will last through the rest of the first day. By the start of the second day, things will start to get uncomfortable. That is when the blood pressure and heart rate will start rising and breathing issues will become apparent. Nausea, vomiting, cramping, and sweating will also start to become issues. Heading into days three through five, it’s make or break time. This is the time when the worst symptoms should come to the surface. That could include the onset of hallucinations and nightmares, difficulty with concentration, and the loss of ability to control body coorniation. At some point, body convulsions and tremors in the extremities (arms and less) will get thrown into the mix. If the addict can get through the first five days of withdrawal intact, they should start feeling a little better. However, there will be intermittent issues with cravings, feeling queazy, and concentration issues.
After about a week, the addict should start feeling like they are out of the woods. It’s at this point that they start to feel good enough to start therapy. It’s really important that each client gets to the point they can focus before starting therapy. Why? They will need mental and emotional strength to manage their feelings as they start looking at the root causes of their addiction. It needs to be said that clients with a severe heroin addiction issue will likely need to go through a tapering program. Going through a standard detox process could be too dangerous. As part of a tapering program, the severe heroin addict would likely be given a tapering drug like suboxone.
Suboxone is actually an opiate, but one that is not as nearly addictive as heroin. Slowly, a doctor would regulate the decrease in suboxone use until the client could safely get through the rest of the detox process. Knowing now what you will be facing, it should be clear why you want help with withdrawal and therapy. Those are things that we can provide for you if you will give us the opportunity. Here is what we would like for you to do. Please give us a call at 833-497-3812. Let us tell you about our services and facility before we invite you in for treatment.