Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms-Timeline
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms- Heroin Hell
Many people have a hard time understanding the fear associated with imminent withdrawal after the abuse of heroin. Making matters worse, Hollywood rarely portrays heroin withdrawal symptoms accurately.
I am sure this is not intentional. Even if actors portrayed the physical heroin withdrawal symptoms accurately, there is no way to show the actual length of time these symptoms persist. It is simply impossible to fit even the first 3 days, of the seemingly endless first month of withdrawal, into a 2-hour movie. Plus, heroin withdrawal is far from glamorous!
In Neil Armfield’s film Candy, starring Heath Ledger (Dan) (RIP :() and Abbie Cornish (Candy), you see one of the most accurate portrayals of heroin withdrawal ever filmed.
The Irony of Ledger’s Portrayal
Tragically, Heath Ledger died, two years after the release of Candy, from a prescription drug overdose. The toxicology report, obtained during autopsy, confirmed the presence of hydrocodone, oxycodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam, and doxylamine, in Ledger’s blood.
(Mixing opiates and benzodiazepines is often a death sentence and most doctors will not prescribe these medications in tandem. It is one of the most dangerous drug combinations possible, as both drugs suppress your breathing.)
I wonder whether Ledger’s opiate addiction made him the perfect actor for this part, allowing him to recreate the actual symptoms he had during his own withdrawals. Maybe personal experience gave Ledger the edge needed to play the role of a heroin addict so realistically.
Without further ado, here is the clip:
If you have personal experience with heroin or opiate withdrawal symptoms, I would like to hear your feedback on this video clip. Do you think they have left anything out as far as symptoms go? If you were directing this film, what else would you add to this scene? Leave your answers in the comments below.
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline
The symptoms described in this article apply to withdrawal from heroin, as well as OxyContin, Percocet, and other oxycodone, hydrocodone, and opiate-based pain pills. (Every person responds differently, but a physical addiction can develop in as little as ten days of opiate use.)
For those of you with no experience on the subject, here is a non-exhaustive list of symptoms experienced during the first 1-5 days of heroin withdrawal:
Stage 1: Physical Withdrawal Symptoms (Days 1-4 or 5)
- sweating profusely
- vomiting uncontrollably, mostly stomach acid and bile
- constant yawning
- extreme watery eyes
- constant runny nose
- muscle and full-body aches
- (Note: Females seem to experience this symptom with much greater intensity. It has something to do with hormones, but the body aches, experienced by females in opiate withdrawal, are equated to the pain felt by late-stage bone cancer patients.)
- restless legs
- extreme drowsiness
- (As a user passes the 24-hour mark of withdrawal, extreme drowsiness kicks in. This is not a blessing, however, as it is accompanied by extreme insomnia. The other symptoms a user is experiencing during this time make it hard to get any rest.)
Without 8 hours of sleep per night, 3-4 days of tossing and turning in bed with these symptoms, feels like an eternity.
Stage 2: Emotional Withdrawal Symptoms
After the initial 3-5-day period of extreme physical withdrawal symptoms, the battle continues. Stage 2 starts between days 3 and 5 and lasts anywhere from 6 months to 3 years, depending on the person.
A Glimmer of Hope
Between days 3 and 5 of heroin withdrawal, loved ones start to recognize a change in a user’s eyes, as if a light switch suddenly switched back on. This gives loved ones hope because they have lived in constant fear that this light had been extinguished forever. This change is especially jarring and hope-provoking when witnessed in the eyes of a long-term heroin user.
I remember, on a few occasions, being told how much better I looked around Day 5. My parents would start to smile and tell me how much they had missed the ‘real’ me. This was hard to hear at this stage because, even though I may have started to look like my old sober self, I felt worse than ever inside. I remember thinking, if this is what sober feels like, I don’t want any part of it!
During the first week of Stage 2, a user starts to develop an appetite for healthy meals again. It is extremely important to eat healthily when this happens because most users have failed to take good care of themselves while using, leaving their bodies under- and malnourished.
Don’t be a Fool!
Do not mistake a glimmer in the eye and a return of appetite for the end of withdrawal. It will take many healthy meals to replenish all the vitamins and minerals a user has been lacking. Replenishing nutrients, while the user’s body detoxifies, helps heal the body and mind, so the user has the best chance of giving his all to recovery.
Days 4-6 are the most dangerous, delicate time of withdrawal. It is nearly impossible for a user, on days 4-6 of withdrawal, to abstain from looking for a fix. I know, from personal experience, a user will do almost anything to get ‘one last high.’ The extreme guilt of letting his family down coupled with, what the user perceives as, unavoidable failure, causes the brain to ‘double down’ to find relief from the physical and emotional pain. Chemicals in the brain go haywire, intensifying urges until a user gives in and does what users in pain do best, get their fix.
As discussed in “What is the Cause of Drug Addiction,” this urge is triggered in the brain. Constant use carves deep neuropathways into a user’s brain and after a few days of feeling sick, the brain resorts to what it has grown accustomed to, using heroin to feel better. This urge is completely chemical and will not go away until new neuropathways are formed over time. This can only happen if the user forces himself to make healthy choices, and new habits, for a lengthy period.
Feeling the Feels
Muscle aches can continue during this stage, most commonly in the back or shoulder area. A user will find it difficult to sleep for more than a few hours at a time. For many, regular sleep patterns do not start to return for years.
Although the user seems coherent and clear-headed, he is not out of the woods yet. Emotional symptoms peak during this stage of withdrawal. These emotional symptoms are present deep inside the user’s psyche. They are difficult to identify through physical observation. A user experiences extreme emotion, from anger to depression, to anxiety, in quick succession. Extreme anxiety is followed by extreme depression followed by extreme emptiness and so on.
A skilled mental health professional can help the user identify these symptoms (emotional trauma, depression disorder, insomnia, general anxiety disorder, and so on) and develop healthy ways to cope with them. Without proper symptom management, a relapse becomes much more likely.
Factors influencing how long a person remains in Stage 2 include, length of time on heroin, the quantity of heroin used (tolerance), whether heroin was used as a way to self-medicate, what type of treatment program attended, how much effort is put into recovery and whether the user has a support system to help get his life back together.
Recovery: A Family Affair
Often overlooked, yet incredibly significant to preventing relapse is the recovery of a user’s loved ones. It is less common for family members and friends to seek psychological help during a loved one’s recovery process. However, it is extremely important. Although unintentionally, loved ones may be enabling the user or triggering urges. An experienced professional can identify and stop any enabling behavior while addressing family dynamic issues that increase the recovering user’s risk of relapse if not dealt with.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome
After intense physical withdrawals, Stage 2 is accompanied by the seemingly never-ending symptoms of Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome. (PAWS) PAWS is defined by the lingering symptoms experienced after getting off drugs.
For a heroin user, symptoms include insomnia, nausea, fatigue, depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, and more. Then there are the less painful, but sure to drive a person nuts, symptoms of PAWS, including excessive yawning, watery eyes, and sneezing.
The latter is the symptom I remember the most. I completed a three-day suboxone taper at a detox center. Upon discharge, I was given Seroquel to help with my insomnia, but other than that, I was on my own. Two weeks out of detox, I started having sneezing fits. Literally, I would sneeze 9 times in a row. This would happen up to 4 times a day! I know, it does not even sound possible, but trust me it is. Another month or so and the fits decreased to six sneezes in a row. A few more weeks and a decrease to four sneezes, and so on, and so on for the next six months! I almost considered seeing a doctor until I was reassured by others in recovery that this was to be expected.
Anyway, enough about me. Reader, I hope you are starting to understand how scary it is for a user to go into cold-turkey withdrawal. Even considering medical detox, where symptoms can be managed, is frightening. If we genuinely want to help stop the opioid epidemic in its tracks, we need to start understanding the fear of withdrawal. We must focus on making the experience as comfortable as possible for the user.
I recently read an article about the kindling effect. The study proposing the Kindling theory was based on alcohol withdrawal, but many have theorized it also applies to drug withdrawal. The kindling theory purports that withdrawal symptoms get worse with each relapse. Relapse serves as kindling and withdrawal is the fire. The intensity of heroin withdrawal symptoms increases with each relapse, as a fire grows more intense with added kindling. If interested in reading more about this theory, I suggest this article: The Kindling Effect
Can You Die from Heroin Withdrawal?
Many believe it is not possible to die from heroin withdrawal. Nurses, especially those in jail, frequently told me I could not die from heroin withdrawal. Somewhere along the line, the medical community was led to believe that a user can only die during withdrawal from alcohol and benzodiazepines (Xanax, lorazepam, etc.) When a user gets arrested and tells a nurse he is a heroin user, the nurse does not prescribe any medication. Therefore, the user is left to suffer cold turkey withdrawal in a cold, dirty jail. However, when an alcoholic or benzo user gets arrested, they are given medication to ease the side effects of withdrawal, prevent insomnia, and avoid seizures.
I used to say that detoxing off alcohol and benzos may be the only life-threatening withdrawal, but detoxing off heroin is the only withdrawal that makes you feel like you wish you were dead. This was not an exaggeration. However, it was based on incorrect information.
Recently, I discovered it is VERY possible to die from heroin withdrawal. Heroin withdrawal symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea. Untreated, these symptoms lead to dehydration, hypernatremia (elevated blood sodium level), and resultant heart failure. Someone attempting detox on their own needs to be aware of this possibility. Without awareness, we will continue to lose loved ones. Hopefully, people will stop belittling the dangers associated with heroin withdrawal so more lives can be saved. Detox should be a time to give extra love. It is wholly unproductive to let resentment toward substance abusers affect treatment during heroin withdrawal.
If you have any questions about heroin withdrawal or need any advice, please feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you for reading and remember to hug your loved ones.
42 comments on “Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms-Timeline”
I know it sounds stupid but two questions, do you think that something like mushrooms could possibly help someone quit cold turkey? I’ve always been a “mind over matter” person until i wrestled this demon. I don’t have any family but i want to get off of this so badly. I am scared to go to rehab because I don’t want to lose custody of my sister. My boyfriend also is scared of the same thing as before this vice entered our life he was working to get custody of his son. Its a dark secret and no one knows. I am going to be 23 this year. I am trying so hard to get over this shit. This is not a proud boast, I had taken so many drugs in my youth notorious for being “addictive” and never really had the urge to do it again. Except cigarettes. As my boyfriend reintroduced Percs into my life I didn’t see the claws sinking in, I like to think he didn’t either. His was to suppress pain, I subconsciously was too but consciously I just liked to snort stuff sometimes. To spare details one bad choice lead to another now here I am a year addicted to heroin trying to remain functional but slowly losing ambition for everything. Now I am really trying to make myself “sober” and of course all research you find on the internet points to “Get a medical professionals help, go to rehab, get medicine to get off medicine. ” I wonder if I were to go get on suboxones would I just be trading one for another, forced to live the rest of my life to get a pill or shot to stop “addiction”? Because that just sounds like addiction to me but one that fills that pharma’s pockets instead of the dealers… Acid and mushrooms changed my whole perspective of life once upon a time but I haven’t done either in years. I don’t see myself using acid to get off… To much analytical thinking I’d probably think myself into a heart attack…. Shrooms however seem to have less control and still seem to achieve the goal of “rewiring” the brain… So my question is do you think shrooms could work to rewire the brain and basically help me kick the habit? Also, I know my boyfriend wants off of it too. Sometimes I feel like he’s the reason I go out and get money and go and grab the stuff. (It’s not just him it is me too, but sometimes I feel like if I was alone and didn’t have someone enabling me and coercing me to get money that maybe it would be easier to kick the habit) My second question is, did you and your boyfriend work together to quit? Or did you have to part ways and meet again on the other side of the fence? I know everyone is different. I just have that guilty feeling if I leave him behind to fend for himself that he will end up dead, in jail, or on the streets..
First of all, I want you to know that you are incredibly brave to be so honest about your issues and how you are working to overcome them. That very honesty will be the reason you SUCCEED in having the future you have envisioned for yourself. I hope to be just as honest and transparent in my response to your question, so here goes.
With regard to mushrooms…oddly enough, I have only tried mushrooms twice in my life and both times I did not trip because I took such an insignificant amount. The reason I never got that into shrooms was simply because I was a wimp. I felt as though tripping would take me out of control of my high and that was the last thing I wanted. (Control issues, anyone? ha)
However, I am not against the idea of using drugs that cause introspection and reflection to help kick a habit. (Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and I am never suggesting you do this without medical supervision…sorry, I don’t need to get into legal trouble for any of this!)
Your post actually got me thinking about some studies I have read about Ibogaine, a psychedelic drug, being used to treat opiate addiction. It seems scientist were hopeful at the beginning but that the positive results in patients were ultimately short-lived. However, the size and number of these studies has been pathetic, to say the least, so, hopefully, in the future, we hear more about the potential correlation between psychedelics and helping people heal from opiate use disorder. For now, check out this article
Another thing that came to mind as I read your comment was Ayahuasca treatment for different substance use disorders. Unfortunately, a study, notably with a very small sample size of participants, found that ayahuasca had no effect on opiate use, although it was very effective in treating other substance abuse disorders, like cocaine and tobacco. Ayahuasca is a psychotropic and causes severe hallucinations, incase readers are not familiar. This article talks about the reasons that this treatment has been effective.
The author lists the following reasons:
1. It doesn’t require “talking.”
For people who don’t like “talk therapy” or who aren’t strong in expressing their thoughts and feelings verbally, then ayahuasca offers a non-verbal experience that draws on your other senses to facilitate psychological and spiritual.
2. It can improve mental health.
Not only has ayahuasca therapy been linked to a reduction in symptoms related to depression and anxiety, but it may also induce a biological effect on specific brain areas that impact these conditions (like the insula and amygdala).
3. It has healing powers.
People who have participated in ayahuasca ceremonies sometimes report psychological healing from childhood trauma and unconscious psychological distress, through increased insight and reflective capacity on past experiences. It can open people up to engage in traditional psychotherapies with greater success.
4. It can help to provide a different mindset.
A commonly reported side-effect of ayahuasca treatment (and hallucinogenic experiences broadly) is a change in mindset. It can induce a sense of hope, confidence, and feelings of empowerment. It can also make you more mindful and connected to self, other people and the environment.
5. It can help regulate biology.
Ayahuasca therapy can improve serotonin activity, which regulates mood and is a critical player in the pleasure-seeking urges related to substance addictions.
In particular, alcohol and cocaine addictions have been treated with Ayahuasca, while in the case of opiate addictions, people are advised to first use Ibogaine under close expert supervision.
I found this analysis especially useful with regard to your question, because some of these reasons may be relatable to you. Unfortunately, this treatment is not available in the states, but I do believe you can still find practicing centers in Canada.
Unfortunately, because I have not tried shrooms I cannot provide insight into whether they would help you, but I do know many people who have had tremendous success using marijuana to get over heroin abuse issues and my mind is open to any new therapies out there.
With regard to replacing one drug for another, I want you to ignore that criticism. Have you ever noticed it is people who have never touched a Percocet or heroin in their entire lives who are critiquing others for replacing one drug for another? Ugh it drives me nuts.
I am on methadone maintenance and it saved my damn life. I am able to function like a normal person again and I am not in prison, which is where I would be had I not ignored those who told me I would be replacing one drug with another. I also feel very confident that I could taper down off my methadone slowly at any point I feel I would like to.
Everyone is different. All that matters is that you do something to get to a point in your life where you feel happy. For some that is methadone, for others it is complete abstinence, and for a few it is using in moderation. I have seen all done successfully. The trick is finding what works best for you.
I will try to keep the answer to your second question short. If you have any further questions please feel free to reply.
My boyfriend and I have difference recovery styles, although we are both on methadone maintenance at the current time. It is important to keep in mind that what is good for you, may not be good for him, and vice versa. Most importantly, be supportive of each other, do not discourage positive decisions, and be understanding that recovery is a learning process. You will learn new things about each other, about yourselves, and ultimately about whether or not you want to be with each other. If you find out you are not the right fit anymore, you separate with love and understanding. If you figure out you want to be together, you stay together with love and understanding.
I hope this helps!!
Hey there, thank you so much for this touching article, i felt it differently because I know a friend that has been struggling with drugs, he fell into depression, became a drug addict and is now trying to withdraw, this article was perfect as it explained the stages very correctly, seeing your loved one go through these things can be very emotional
Yes it can. I am sorry your friend is dealing with this. How to get off Drugs- The Power of Imagination may be a good read for your buddy. How to Help an Addict: “You did this to yourself!” is a great one for you and your friend to read and Help for Families of Drug Addicts-My Mother’s Perspective would be a post to send to your friends immediate family members. Keep in supporting him. He loves you and appreciates it. I promise.
Hello again! This article is actually an eye opener and I’m going to share it to friends and family around me. It would expose them to these things and would push them to stop some acts they get involved in. I have witnessed a lot of cases where heroine addicts die from withdrawal process. Its not really an easy process because their system is already very used to it and these people need real help to overcome it, I pray they get all the help they need. Thank you.
The abuse of any substance is really a bad idea and heroine is certainly not one that is easy to just drop and get on with your daily life like it never happened to you. I feel happy learning some vital things here and the emotional withdrawal from to be very difficult because it’s not just something to touch and all. You’ll be dealing with the mind. Thanks for the knowledge
Well! I am particular about the heroin withdrawal and the various issues that might actually ho wrong if the proper steps us not taken to mitigate the withdrawal effects. I am writing a final year thesis on a topic related to this and the things you have shared here are really enlightening and also very elaborating. Surely a good post here. Thank you for this
Oh very interesting topic for a thesis! If you need any information from someone who has been through it personally, feel free to reach out! email@example.com
What an incredible read. What you have gone through is unimaginable. Thanks again for one of the most real, down-to-earth, eye-opening and helpful articles I’ve ever read! I’ve also checked your ‘About’ section which put everything even in a bigger context. I think anyone who reads your posts will be saved from even wanting to come near heroin. The withdrawals sound utterly hellish, like the worst kind of physical and mental torture one can imagine. (And I used to think that I was experiencing hell when going through ordinary panic attacks…! Ha…ha…)
I’ve recently read Paulo Coelho’s recent book called ‘Hippie’, where he describes his beginnings on his spiritual journey in the ’60s. He went from Brazil to Amsterdam, searching for enlightenment. He was mainly interested in Sufism, but he was open-minded to try anything, drugs included. There is a part in the book where he visits a squat inhabited by heroin users, and they tell him about states of mind that resemble the highest states of spiritual union with all there is – utter ecstasy, a sense of their meaning of life fulfilled, no need to search any further in life. (He somehow he manages not to succumb to the temptation to try it.) But I have known many people, some very dear to me, that had found their enlightenment through the drug, and most of them are not here anymore.
You have my absolutely huge respect and admiration for setting this utterly unique website and blog which will (or possibly has already) help many people to get their lives back.
I am no expert at all in this, but I have read many times about a psychedelic drug called Ibogaine which is said to help with the cure from heroin addiction (but of course with risks, like any other drug. A certain percentage of people have died after using the drug). It’s derived from a plant ‘iboga’, used in central Africa for healing ceremonies ad shamanic rituals It is said to have an impact on the neurotransmitters in the brain, and block receptors that are associated with the addiction. There haven’t been any official clinical trials conducted, ad it’s illegal in the US, so I cannot genuinely recommend it, but it might be worth researching.
Other possible, and much less risky way, could be Tapping. (EFT = Emotional Freedom Techniques). As I’m writing this, I’ve done a quick Google search and found an article, where they are mentioning the two points (point 3 and 4 in that article) drugabuse(com)/17-ways-get-sober-probably-didnt-know/
Perhaps it may be worth searching for an EFT practitioner, to at least try a few session in tapping.
Good luck with all your great work and thanks again for one of the most real, down-to-earth, and helpful articles I’ve ever read!
Lucie, thank you so much for taking the time to read my article. I have done some research on ibogaine and was willing to try it at one point. I ended up being forced into a treatment center at the time and went through the usual hell of withdrawal, but I think it is a great option for people who are willing. I have heard it can be a very unpleasant experience, however, and now that I am thinking about it, I remember reading a study concluding that it is most useful for kicking cocaine addiction, not so much for heroin. I am not as familiar with EFT but you have peaked my interest! I may have to try it and write a piece about it. Thank you so much for all the great information. I appreciate it and I am sure many readers will too. You have a wonderful day!
Wow, I had no idea you could actually die from withdrawal. I never really considered the effects of the symptoms itself.
Electrolyte imbalance can kill you in many ways also. It can damage your heart, brain, and other vital functions depending on the actual electrolyte that is deficient. You can even get a respiratory failure from a compensatory mechanism!
This is why It is always good to do research. Thanks for the eye-opener.
Second time visiting your Website and finding something new again. Keep the info coming!
Crystal, thank you! That is very valuable information about electrolytes. All of this is dangerous, but unfortunately, many people are dealing with the effects of withdrawal from heroin. In the Maricopa County Jail, (I am sure many other jails around the country as well) they barely medicate incoming inmates for heroin withdrawal. I wish they would open their eyes! It is so ridiculous in this day and age that our country still refuses to see addiction as a disorder and the withdrawal a symptom of such disorder,..a potentially deadly symptom. 🙁
There is much to be learnt from this article. and i must say that this is a very well researched article. i have come across more than 3 cases where heroine addicts die from withdrawal process. it actually is not an easy process like people make it and these people need real help to overcome it.
Kirkman, thank you. Unfortunately, most of the ‘research’ done for this article was self-study. It is a horrible thing to go through and I believe most people would be shocked how many people they encounter throughout their daily lives that are struggling to get off these drugs, or stay well with a fix. Doctors, lawyers, dentists, pilots, construction workers, waiters, the bum at the bus stop. it is truly the great equalizer and we must start to show compassion..Thank you for reading.
Thanks for sharing this highly informative post. I personally don’t have any experience with heroin. I ones heard that Heroine is one of the most addictive substances. I can only imagine how hard it must be to become sober. How long will it take before you feel like ‘your old self again’? Do you know of there are many previous heroines user who falls back of months or years of being sober?
Great article, thanks for this detailed information.
Best wishes, Jude
Great question and you are fortunate to not have had any experience with the substance.
It could take years to feel 100 percent normal, depending on how long the person was using heroin or other opiates. Sometimes method of administration has an effect on time your body and brain may take to recover as well.
The worst of the physical symptoms end in a week or so, sometimes more. However, symptoms associated with PAWS(discussed above) may persist for months. Personally, I was not able to get a full nights sleep for over a year and a half after getting off of heroin.
Everyone will have a different experience, but I assure you no one has a positive one.
Yes, people relapse after years of being clean and sober. Sometimes, I worry more about these people because their tolerance has dropped so low, and when they relapse they are much more likely to OD from a substance as powerful as heroin.
However, overdose is a risk for anyone. I like to remind people, in the event of relapse, even after a year of being sober, that they never lose/forget the lessons they learned about themselves in that year. Even one day in recovery has the power to change someone. Getting discouraged will not be helpful.
It is not the relapse that defines a person, it is what they do the day after the relapse. I hope we, as a society, can start accepting that relapse happened, and start encouraging people to pick themselves back up and carry on with their own personal recovery journey.
No more shame!
Thanks for reading and for some great questions.
I had no idea there was so much suffering involved in heroin withdrawal, and this article should be read by all so that it stops them from even trying the drug in the first place. I always thought it took a week or so and then you just had to resist those cravings that you got afterward.
It must be extremely difficult to go cold turkey like that, and I am sure there must be some good medications that one could take to make the withdrawal a little easier on the body.
Absolutely. I suggest Medicated Maintenance Programs if possible. Other options, if you do not have access to a medication-assisted treatment program, are listed in Medication for Heroin Withdrawal and Top 15 Natural Remedies for Heroin Withdrawal -All Needles to Au Naturel.
This article would definitely be a good read if you are trying to discourage someone from using heroin.
As to “resisting cravings” after the physical withdrawals are over. I hate to get graphic, but in order to make my point, I would like to share. The first time I did heroin, I felt like I was having ten orgasms at the same time. For years, I flooded my brain with these feel-good chemicals. After getting clean, there was NOTHING that ever came close to comparing to that high I could get from one hit of heroin. I tell people this so they can understand the difficulty in resisting. When you have found something like that, it is hard to ‘unfind’ it, if that makes any sense.
Thank you so much for stopping by!
Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful article with us.
I never thought anyone could die from heroin withdrawal. I read your post, got to know the heroin symbol and the obvious about heroin withdrawal. My brother is drug addict, my family is worried about him. I will share this post with my brother. I hope it will benefit.
I will share this post on social connection. Your post is for one informative. I hope this post will benefit others.
Tasmia, thank you and I wish you and your brother luck!
I do not agree with you about the signs that heroin withdrawal is possible. One of my friends used to take heroin for a long time, he got sick at one time, then he was slowly healed after being treated for a long time. My friend had been hospitalized for three months for a long time and after being treated for a long time, he was ill and is now in good health. Your blog is very informative and I will share this website with you on my social media so that my social media friends can benefit from this information and so I can bring myself back from heroin. Having personally received this information, I personally have been careful about heroin.
Thank you. I believe you were trying to say you do agree? After reading the rest of your comment, that made most sense. Thank you for talking the time to read and share!
I honestly admit use to cast judgment on users going through withdrawals thinking they are faking to get more drugs in their systems. This is not true, after witnessing firsthand from family members and still have family abusing the drugs taking anything, they can get their hands on. How do you provide comfort at home to someone going through withdrawals? Do you recommend anyone going through withdrawals to be in therapy under constant surveillance?
Yes, yes, and yes. Methadone clinic is a great place to start, even if the patient does not want to try the medicine round, the clinic had great resources for Suboxone detox, inpatient detox, outpatient programs, or individual counseling. Many of these are covered by state insurance now a days. Please check out Heroin Addiction Treatment Programs – What are my Options? for further info. Cold turkey, at home withdrawal is dangerous and extremely hard. If it must be done, these articles may provide some guidance:
Over the Counter Medications for Heroin (Opiate) Withdrawal
Top 15 Natural Remedies for Heroin Withdrawal -All Needles to Au Naturel
hope this helps!
Thanks a lot for sharing with us this amazing article and all the explanation given about for the people who facing heroin withdrawal’s. My best friend had a very difficult times because he was heroin addicted. Being around him I always tried to advice him and make him to give up on this drugs. I saw your clip and i can say that is really an amazing lesson for everyone and i would like to share it on my social media account. Good luck!
Thank you nimrodngy! Good luck to you and your friend and thank you for sharing.
This is a very informative article for those facing heroin withdrawal’s. I can’t imagine going through anything like this but it’s good to know there are sources, such as your website that people can reach out too when facing hard times such as this.
I would’ve never even thought that one could die from having heroin withdrawals. That’s awful! I’m so glad you are reaching out and trying to help people in need. It’s bad enough for someone to have an addiction, but when they are trying to quit using and having to face these withdrawals, they need to know how to cope with it.
Congratulations on conquering such a horrible addiction! You must be one very strong person to get through it!
I have a lot of respect for you, sharing what you’ve been through and providing helpful information for other’s.
Keep up the good work. I’m sure you are making a difference in so many lives!
Thank you for reading and commenting Devara. You are fortunate to have not had personal experience with heroin addiction. I think it is important for everyone, personally effected or not, to at least understand what a user is up against. Hopefully more people will have more compassion for those suffering. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of the dangers associated with heroin withdrawal, and the tendency to minimize the suffering of heroin users is still very present.
A friend of mine is currently trying to recover; however, it is not always easy to find the right way to help her. I feel very ignorant, so I am trying to read as much as possible about the subject.
Your article is very informative -thank you!!
I am soooo happy to hear my experiences are helping you help your friend. PLEASE do not hesitate to contact me with ANY questions, no matter how silly you think they may be. I will do my best to help and, if for some reason I do not have an answer for you, I will reach out to someone else who will. Remember, the best thing you can do fro your friend is show compassion. The majority of users who ‘recover’ have slipped up on more than one occasion.. This is okay, as long as your friend learns from her mistakes and does her best to make a better decision the next time.
Again, let me know if you need anything.
Wow this was a really good read and hit close to home as I had a cousin who was addicted to heroin managed to beat it and for a significant amount oftime was doing really well. However a couple years ago out of the blue passed to an overdose.
Thankyou for such an insightful read.
I am very sorry to hear about your cousin. It is never easy when someone is taken from us, especially when it may have been prevented.
I always tell newly sober heroin users to remember one thing: When a person gets clean. their tolerance drastically drops. Relapse is a part of recovery, for some more than others, so it is important to take tolerance levels into account when relapse if imminent. Some users think, after being clean for a while, they can handle the same amount of heroin they were doing right before they got clean. This is how people overdose and it could have been prevented very easily.
I used to go to NA and AA meetings and tell this to the newcomers who made conversation with me. Most of the other group members looked at me like I was nuts for even talking about relapsing, but I did not care. It is reality and I believe we have a duty to help users stay safe.
Thank you for sharing something so personal Michael.
Have a great weekend
I have been through opiate withdrawal. The film was very mild compared to the reality of it. I mean VERY mild. I was also bothered by the fact that they showed a pregnant woman going cold turkey on her own. That is not safe for the baby!
Just reading about this has brought back horrible memories of withdrawal. Those days were with a doubt the worst days of my life. I done cold turkey withdrawal and medically supervised withdrawal. I would never recommend cold turkey but even medically supervised really can’t help the emotional part completely.
Completely agree with you Shiloh. Cold turkey withdrawal is a different kind of hell of Earth. I would not wish it upon my worst enemy. Also, very good point about withdrawing during pregnancy. Thank you for reminding me to address this VERY IMPORTANT issue. If any readers are pregnant, SEE A DOCTOR before trying to quit using opiates. It is very common for pregnant women to lose the baby if they attempt detox. Usually, a doctor will put a pregnant women on methadone during pregnancy and throughout the time she is breastfeeding. This allows the baby, through the mothers breast milk, to slowly wean off the methadone. The last thing you want is to lose your baby or watch a baby suffer through the pain of detox.
I do agree with you, from looking at the symptoms that it is possible to die from a heroin withdrawal. I will continue to pray a special blessing over your life and also that this website will continue to bless others. I pray that God will open financial doors so that you will have money to continue writing and fulfilling your purpose for which you were created. Be blessed.
Thanks so much for the well wishes Josephine! As long as this site helps at least one person who is struggling, I have fulfilled my purpose. 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful week!
Wow. Just wow. This is a very powerful post with great, detailed information of actual withdrawal symptoms. I haven’t seen that movie but the clip itself is such an eye-opener! Thanks for this post.
The movie barely scratches the surface, but it is the most accurate clip I have been able to find so I hope it helps gets my message out there. Thanks for commenting!
This blog is very informative . I can now discuss about this with others in a conversation .
..and please do! This discussion needs to be had! Our country is in crisis and the only way to fix it is to take an active role in discussions, while implementing potential solutions. Thanks!
Thanks for writing such a thorough and unbiased article. I haven’t had any personal experience with heroin withdrawal but it sounds like a really horrible experience. I have to ask why do they offer medications to help with withdrawal from alcohol or benzo users but not for heroin users? That seems very unfair.
Benzos are basically alcohol in pill form. If you have ever taken a Xanax and not remembered what happened while you were on it, you were basically experiencing the same thing a black out drunk experiences when he can not remember what happened after his 6th beer the previous evening.
Supposedly, it is easier to die from alcohol and benzo withdrawal because a user can have life-threatening seizures as the substances leave their body. Although it is not as likely to die from heroin withdrawal, it is just as painful as alcohol and benzo withdrawal…and, as discussed above, more and more people are dying from the complications related to excessive vomiting and diarrhea while coming off opiates.
In jail, they are not concerned about how crappy one feels, because they have a ‘consequences of your actions’ mentality. They hand out meds to those coming off benzos and alcohol only to cover their asses becuase if an inmate dies, under their supervision, during withdrawal, they can expect a lawsuit. Unfortunately, in the jails it is all about liability and spending as little money as possible.
Great question Helen!