Heroin Withdrawal and Detox

Withdrawal symptoms like muscle aches and anxiety make quitting heroin difficult. Doctors are available to help treat these side effects.

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Blue Ridge Mountain Recovery Center

Ball Ground, GA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-498-9407

Northeast Addiction Treatment Center

Quincy, MA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-831-4406

Amethyst Recovery

Port St. Lucie, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

888-965-6726

The Haven Detox

West Palm Beach, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

855-409-5866

The Camp Recovery Center

Scotts Valley, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-282-5771

New England Recovery & Wellness

Concord, NH

Multiple Levels of Care

844-408-1433

Denver Recovery Center

Denver, CO

Multiple Levels of Care

855-729-4891

Wish Recovery

Northridge, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-933-2789

Moonlight Mountain Recovery

Pocatello, ID

Multiple Levels of Care

866-831-4706

Acadiana Treatment Center

Sunset, LA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-548-6273

Boca Recovery Center – New Jersey

Galloway, NJ

Full Spectrum of Care

855-628-9076

Recovery Unplugged – Austin Detox

Austin, TX

Detox

855-958-1650

Timberline Knolls Treatment Center for Women

Lemont, IL

Multiple Levels of Care

855-200-8406

Harbor Oaks Hospital

New Balitmore, MI

Inpatient

866-468-6148

Wilmington Treatment Center

Wilmington, NC

Multiple Levels of Care

877-257-1203

Azure Acres Recovery

Sebastopol, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-872-7360

Riverwalk Ranch

Mansfield, TX

Multiple Levels of Care

866-634-7479

Twelve Oaks Recovery Center

Navarre, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

844-885-1218

Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems

Lafayette, LA

Multiple Levels of Care

888-494-6620

Steps Recovery Center

Payson, UT

Full Spectrum of Care

877-696-0054

Ambrosia Treatment Center – Northeast

Philadelphia, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-970-0918

Cove Forge Behavioral Health Center

Williamsburg, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-225-6578

1st Step Behavioral Health

Pompano Beach, FL

Full Spectrum of Care

844-334-8400

Life Healing Center

Santa Fe, NM

Multiple Levels of Care

844-285-2916

Annie’s House – A Steps Recovery Center

Draper, UT

Full Spectrum of Care

866-922-0448

Recovery Unplugged – Harrison House of Northern Virginia

Annandale, VA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-734-4364

Northlake Behavioral Health System

Baton Rouge, LA

Full Spectrum of Care

855-402-5289

Burkwood Treatment Center

Hudson, WI

Residential

844-251-2961

Sunflower Wellness Retreat

Osawatomie, KS

Multiple Levels of Care

888-411-9183

Northbound Treatment Services

Irvine, CA

Full Spectrum of Care

877-918-9085

Newport Institute for Young Adults – Southern California

Santa Ana, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-604-7184

Moonlight Mountain Recovery – Nampa

Nampa, ID

Multiple Levels of Care

855-248-2193

Boca Recovery Center – Florida

Boca Raton, FL

Full Spectrum of Care

888-608-4977

White Deer Run

Allenwood, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-638-3697

Pocono Mountain Recovery Center

Henryville, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-589-1547

Steps Recovery Center – St. George

St. George, UT

Full Spectrum of Care

844-919-0017

United Recovery Project

Hollywood, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

877-586-7043

Bedrock Recovery Center

Canton, MA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-401-1084

Silver Lining Recovery

Huntington Beach, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-940-0031

Sober Life San Diego

San Diego, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-667-8629

Life Center of Galax

Galax, VA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-428-7940

North Tampa Behavioral Health

Tampa, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

844-870-8069

Asana Recovery

Costa Mesa, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-899-6056

AION Recovery

Lantana, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

844-222-8954

Wellness Counseling & Residential Detox

Stuart, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

855-937-0191

Rebound Behavioral Health Hospital

Lancaster, SC

Multiple Levels of Care

855-336-7623

TruVida Recovery

Lake Forest, CA

Full Spectrum of Care

888-717-0038

Recovery Unplugged Austin Rehab Center

Austin, TX

Multiple Levels of Care

844-817-9493

Lakeview Behavioral Health Hospital

Norcross, GA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-337-9509

Park Royal Hospital

Fort Myers, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

844-763-3294

Bradford Recovery Center

Millerton, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-769-9928

Ambrosia Treatment Center

West Palm Beach, FL

Inpatient

866-970-0918

Mount Regis Center

Salem, VA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-539-2026

Cornerstone Healing Center

Scottsdale, AZ

Multiple Levels of Care

844-931-1105

Indiana Center for Recovery

Bloomington, IN

Full Spectrum of Care

866-657-4490

Southwest Wellness Group

Phoenix, AZ

Multiple Levels of Care

855-518-1067

The Refuge, A Healing Place

Ocklawaha, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

855-990-1029

Dana Point Rehab Campus

Dana Point, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-944-2609

CNV Detox

Los Angeles, CA

Full Spectrum of Care

310-592-0139

MeadowWood Behavioral Health

New Castle, DE

Multiple Levels of Care

855-609-4051

Oceanside Malibu

Malibu, CA

Full Spectrum of Care

866-275-3956

America’s Rehab Campuses

Tucson, AZ

Multiple Levels of Care

877-484-7367

Huntington Creek Recovery Center

Shickshinny, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-892-1288

Ambrosia Treatment Center – Westcoast

Beverly Hills, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-970-0918

JourneyPure – Florida

Melbourne, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

(844) 899-9541

Recovery Unplugged Lake Worth Detox, Rehab, and Treatment Center

Lake Worth, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

888-283-0199

Bayside Marin Treatment Center

San Rafael, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-886-6071

Bowling Green Brandywine

Kennett Square, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-797-7507

Delta Med Center

Memphis, TN

Outpatient

877-235-0382

Pinnacle Peak Recovery

Scottsdale, AZ

Multiple Levels of Care

844-225-8937

The Poseidon Method

Mykonos, Greece

Full Spectrum of Care

202-370-7462

Pacific Grove Hospital

Riverside, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-801-1534

Oasis Behavioral Health Hospital

Chandler, AZ

Multiple Levels of Care

855-338-0838

Colorado Medicated Assisted Recovery

Thornton, CO

Intensive Outpatient

877-757-0618

SOBA New Jersey

New Brunswick, NJ

Multiple Levels of Care

888-341-1174

Duffy’s Napa Valley Rehab

Calistoga, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-766-4576

Newport Academy – Teen Rehab Center

Bethlehem, CT

Multiple Levels of Care

866-604-7184

Clear Life Recovery

Costa Mesa, CA

Full Spectrum of Care

888-638-7182

Sierra Tucson

Tucson, AZ

Full Spectrum of Care

855-889-6553

Bluff Plantation

Augusta, GA

Inpatient

855-331-2490

Newport Institute for Young Adults – Northern California

Sunol, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-604-7184

Recovery Unplugged Fort Lauderdale

Fourt Lauderdale, FL

Full Spectrum of Care

855-900-6613

Southeast Addiction Center

Atlanta, GA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-614-6174

The Recovery Team

Lake Park, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

844-999-2545

Starlite Recovery Center

Center Point, TX

Multiple Levels of Care

855-349-1116

Beachside Rehab

Fort Pierce, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

888-452-3049

Asheville Recovery Center

Asheville, NC

Multiple Levels of Care

877-542-1138

JourneyPure – Tennessee

Knoxville, TN

Multiple Levels of Care

(844) 899-9541

Riverwoods Behavioral Health System

Riverdale, GA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-246-8017

What Is Heroin Withdrawal?

Withdrawal causes many flu-like symptoms.

Heroin impacts the brain reward system, increasing the user’s tolerance to the drug’s effects over time.

The user eventually needs higher doses to reach the same “high” as before. When someone addicted to heroin stops using, withdrawal symptoms set in.

People battling heroin addiction often keep using to avoid painful symptoms of withdrawal. Abusing heroin produces effects similar to painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone, only stronger.

Withdrawal from heroin is often more intense than those of prescription painkillers.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Users begin experiencing withdrawal between 6 and 12 hours after their last heroin dose. Withdrawal from heroin may resemble those of prescription opioids. Because heroin leaves the user’s system faster than painkillers do, withdrawal comes about more quickly.

Withdrawal often feels like a horrible case of the flu. The worst pain and discomfort lasts a week — about as long as a bad flu — with withdrawal symptoms peaking during the second or third day.

Common symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Muscle aches

Duration of Withdrawal

The length of withdrawal from heroin depends on several factors. Some of the most important include:

  • The length of time the user abused heroin
  • The amount of heroin they took each time
  • How frequently they used heroin
  • The method by which they took heroin
  • The presence of underlying medical or mental health issues

Depending on the level and length of use, recovering heroin addicts are likely to suffer post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS), including poor sleep, poor concentration, increased anxiety, depression, panic attacks, fatigue, hypersensitivity, irritability, mood swings, restlessness, and memory loss. PAWS can last anywhere from 18-24 months. The effects on mood and behavior can last months after other withdrawal symptoms pass. However, as time goes by and the user remains drug free, the symptoms will slowly begin to diminish.

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline

Days 1-2 Symptoms may begin as soon as 6 hours after the last dose. Pain will start to develop in the first day, typically muscle aches. These will intensify over the first 48 hours. Other symptoms during this period include anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, shaking and diarrhea.
Days 3-5 By the third or fourth day, withdrawal is in full swing. Symptoms during this time often include abdominal cramping, sweating, shivers and nausea/vomiting.
Days 6-7 A week is typically the end of what’s known as acute withdrawal. During this time, the common muscle aches and nausea will taper off. Physically, former users will start to feel more normal though still worn down and tired.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) Symptoms of withdrawal may continue inconsistently for months after acute withdrawal. These are caused by the neurological changes from heroin use. Common long-lasting symptoms include anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia and irritability.

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Heroin Detox

Heroin detox provides a safe space to manage withdrawal symptoms.

Complications from withdrawal from heroin can arise and fatally injure someone detoxing without medical supervision. Those suffering from withdrawal can become severely dehydrated. They can even inhale stomach contents after vomiting and asphyxiate. Even when the patient’s life is not at risk, withdrawal symptoms are often so uncomfortable that the patient relapses and avoids attempting to quit in the future

Supervised medical detox is always recommended to overcome heroin addiction.

Doctors in inpatient programs watch for psychological withdrawal symptoms like anxiety and depression. Self-harm and relapse are possible during withdrawal. Heroin detox reduces risk of either complication occurring.

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Medications Used in Detox

Inpatient and outpatient drug rehab clinicians can prescribe drugs to ease withdrawal symptoms. These medications help with the recovery process by minimizing withdrawals and cravings.

  • Methadone

    This medication is a slow-acting, low-strength opiate used to taper patients off heroin and prevent withdrawal symptoms.

  • Buprenorphine

    This is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for heroin withdrawal. It reduces cravings and physical symptoms like vomiting and muscle aches.

  • Naltrexone

    This drug blocks receptors in the brain that react to opioids like heroin. It is neither addictive nor sedating. Over time, it may reduce cravings. Naltrexone works best in patients who have already completed detox.

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Treatment for Heroin Addiction

Withdrawal makes heroin addiction a difficult cycle to break. But beating your heroin addiction is more than possible. Drug rehab centers offer inpatient and outpatient recovery programs for heroin detox.

Inpatient detox involves 24-hour attention from medical professionals at an addiction treatment center, increasing the odds of recovery from moderate-to-severe heroin addiction.

Outpatient recovery programs require patients to meet regularly with doctors for checkups and mental health counseling. Recovering addicts in outpatient programs can stay at home and maintain their daily routines, but the odds of maintaining sobriety aren’t as high.

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Whether you’ve chosen an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab, tackling your heroin addiction is a great first step forward. Addiction treatment providers are available to treat withdrawals and help you avoid relapse. Get help finding treatment near you.

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