Heroin Withdrawal Timeline

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline – Here’s What You Can Expect

Opioid abuse is a nationwide problem in the United States. The abuse of opioids has been raised to the level of a national emergency to help end the many lives lost each day due to the abuse of substances such as fentanyl and heroin. Every day, an average of 115 people suffers from a fatal overdose involving opioids, including heroin. Stopping opioid abuse once dependence has formed becomes increasingly difficult as withdrawal symptoms increase in severity the longer that the abuse carries on for. Withdrawal symptoms are one of the main reasons why people fear stopping. By looking at the heroin withdrawal timeline in a medical detox, you can see what to expect during your detox.

Factors That Affects the Heroin Withdrawal Timeline

Withdrawal symptoms are a result of your body trying to readjust after stopping opioid abuse. While the abuse takes place, the body slows down some processes and speeds up others to try and counteract the presence of heroin. The amount of heroin a person uses on average, the duration that the heroin abuse carried on for and the person’s health are factors that decide the heroin withdrawal timeline.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms to Expect

Heroin withdrawal symptoms are usually very similar in opioid addicts. The symptoms are generally spread over the course of the detox, meaning that there are early withdrawal symptoms and then more severe symptoms that take longer to manifest.

The symptoms of withdrawal from heroin include the following list:

  • Runny nose and excessive tearing
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Pain in the muscles
  • Anxiety
  • Yawning excessively
  • Heavy sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Constant goose bumps on the skin
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

Heroin withdrawal death is not likely since the symptoms are not life-threatening. Heroin withdrawal death would only occur if the person had a medical issue which is complicated by the symptoms of withdrawal.

The Heroin Withdrawal Timeline

Heroin is a fast-acting opioid which means that the symptoms of withdrawal come on as quickly as 6 hours from the last time the person had a dose, unlike a slower acting opioid such as methadone that can take up to 30 hours before showing signs of withdrawal.

24-48 hours – The first 48 hours of detox are usually some of the hardest to get through. During this time, the craving for heroin can be intense and a person going through detox usually also experiences a mild discomfort at first which then turns into much more noticeable signs. The symptoms that are mostly experienced during this time include muscle aches and pain through the whole body due to an increased sensitivity to pain. Diarrhea, insomnia and mental disturbances are common during this time.

Day 3 to 5 – Most of the symptoms will still be present during this time such as vomiting, muscle aches, headaches and abdominal pain. It also marks an important time to boost one’s immune system through proper nutrition as the body can be very weak and prone to illness.

Day 6 – Most people detoxing from heroin start to feel markedly better around the sixth day of detox. This is not to say that all the symptoms are gone but that the symptoms are much more manageable. The symptoms that often persist include anxiety, insomnia and feelings of nausea.

With the help of a medical detox, the symptoms can be properly managed and even the length and intensity can be greatly reduced by using medication. Get in touch with Better Addiction Care today to discover rehabs near you.