Treating Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

a man sits on a couch as he considers heroin withdrawal symptoms and quitting heroin addiction

Heroin is one of the many substances made from chemicals found in the opium poppy plant. Like all opiates or opioids, the drug is addictive. If you seek heroin addiction treatment, you can expect to go through withdrawal on your journey to sobriety. Heroin withdrawal can be a profoundly uncomfortable experience. But with help from a supervised detox program, you can make it through this process. Successful heroin detox sets you up to continue your recovery in a follow-up rehab program.

Early- and Late-Stage Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

No matter the type of opiate in your system, withdrawal occurs in two basic stages or phases. As heroin levels in your body begin to drop, you will enter early-stage withdrawal. Common heroin withdrawal symptoms during this phase include:

  • Achy muscles
  • Various forms of insomnia
  • Teary eyes
  • Excessive sweating
  • A frequent or constant runny nose
  • Unusual feelings of irritability or agitation
  • Anxiousness
  • Repeated yawning
  • An urge to start using the drug again

After two to three days, most people enter late-stage withdrawal. At this stage, your existing symptoms may grow noticeably worse, and you may be more aware of their effects. For example, you may feel constipated or develop diarrhea. Your body may feel strangely hot or cold. You may also experience bouts of nausea and vomiting. In addition, other common issues include abdominal cramps, pupil dilation, and an accelerated heartbeat. Some people feel like they have an especially bad case of the flu.

Supervised Detox as a Setting for Quitting Heroin

You may have heard of people who try quitting heroin on their own. But be aware that addiction specialists universally advise against trying this approach. Why? When you try to quit without professional help, your chances of succeeding drop sharply.

One of the main reasons for this reality is the impact of heroin withdrawal symptoms on your mind and body. You may struggle to cope with even minor forms of these symptoms. Moderate or severe symptoms only make the situation worse.

The recommended alternative to quitting heroin on your own is supervised detox. A detox program provides treatment services that lessen the effects of heroin withdrawal. It also provides essential protection against potential withdrawal complications.

Treatments for Withdrawal in Heroin Detox

Reduction of your withdrawal symptoms is a key focus of heroin detox. Two methods are used to achieve this goal – medication and supportive care.

Medication can help temper withdrawal symptoms. The goal here is not to recreate a drug high. Instead, you will receive the relief that allows you to withdraw gradually and with less intense symptoms. The two options used for this purpose are methadone and buprenorphine.

Supportive care helps your body tolerate the process of withdrawal. Monitoring of your vital signs is standard. You may also need other forms of support. For example, some people need IV fluids to combat dehydration. Nutritional supplements can help you recover from any serious vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Other forms of care may be used as needed.

Seek Help for Your Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms at Northpoint Colorado

Are you or your loved one affected by heroin addiction? Turn to the experts at Northpoint Colorado. We specialize in customized recovery options for anyone wanting to quit using this powerful drug. We also provide the same high standard of care for other forms of opiate addiction.

Northpoint’s recovery process begins with a comprehensive drug detox program. This program allows you to complete heroin withdrawal in as comfortable a manner as possible. You can transition into our top-quality heroin treatment program at the end of the detox. To get started, call us today at 888.231.1281 or fill out our online information form.