Heroin Withdrawal


Causes of Heroin Withdrawal

Heroin is an extremely dangerous drug that can quickly trap individuals in a devastating cycle of abuse. As an opioid substance, heroin is highly potent and can cause individuals to develop an addiction after even just a single use. The use of this substance elicits pleasurable feelings of relaxation and a sense of euphoria, which are powerful enough to continuously draw individuals into using over and over again. The longer that an individual continues to abuse heroin, the more likely it is that he or she will develop a tolerance to the substance, meaning that his or her heroin consumption must occur more frequently or in higher dosages in order to achieve the high that he or she desires.

As this tolerance becomes more profound, an individual’s body can become dependent on the presence of heroin. This dependence causes individuals to struggle to function when they do not have heroin in their systems. When people have developed a physical dependence on heroin, overcoming their addiction can be increasingly difficult to achieve. Furthermore, the presence of a dependency on heroin can cause individuals to suffer through extremely uncomfortable, and sometimes life-threatening symptoms of withdrawal should they try to put an end to their use of this substance.

The process of withdrawal ensues when a person ceases his or her use of heroin. For individuals who have become physically dependent on heroin, their bodies no longer know how to function without the substance being present in their systems. When their bodies are suddenly denied the substance, they go into somewhat of a state of shock as their systems try to readjust to functioning without heroin. This causes the onset of withdrawal symptoms.

Signs & Symptoms

Signs of Heroin Withdrawal

When an individual is withdrawing from heroin, there are many different symptoms that may be displayed. Such symptoms will vary from person to person, but may include some, or all, of the following:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Powerful cravings for heroin
  • Nausea
  • Muscle cramping
  • Muscle pain
  • Runny nose
  • Vomiting
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Changes in mood
  • Bone pain
  • Fever
  • Lapsing into a coma
  • Seizures
  • Hyperthermia (drastically decreased body temperature)
  • Slowed or shallowed breathing

The presence of any of these symptoms could indicate that someone is withdrawing from heroin and is in need of medical attention.

Due to the fact that reintroducing heroin into one’s system will immediately alleviate the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, many individuals find themselves turning back to the use of this substance simply to find relief from their distress. For this reason, among others, it is imperative that treatment is sought.

Seeking Treatment

Why Seek Treatment for Heroin Addiction

Abusing heroin can lead to monumental destruction in all areas of an individual’s life. Relationships can be tainted, careers can be destroyed, and one’s health can be placed at risk as the consumption of heroin begins to take priority over everything else in one’s life. Furthermore, as a heroin addiction is allowed to persist, the more at risk individuals are for experiencing an overdose, which has the potential to be fatal.

If someone has been using heroin and experiences symptoms of withdrawal when attempting to stop using this substance, he or she is likely suffering from an addiction and is in need of treatment. There are many options for substance abuse treatment, but when individuals are withdrawing from a substance like heroin, inpatient or residential care is often the best place to begin. In these settings, detoxification services are typically available, which can help individuals make it through the withdrawal process in a safe manner, experiencing as little discomfort as possible.

At Mirror Lake Recovery Center, we recognize how incredibly brave individuals must be to seek out treatment for heroin addiction, and we applaud that bravery. We view individuals with the utmost respect and dignity as they begin their recovery journeys. Here, at Mirror Lake, individuals are afforded individualized treatment plans that are customized to meet their unique needs. In the safety of a residential setting, those who are battling an addiction to heroin can take part in our medically monitored detoxification program that includes specialized opioid detoxification services. Individuals will receive the comprehensive care they need as heroin is safely removed from their bodies, after which they can begin engaging in various therapeutic interventions that are designed to help them successfully overcome their addiction and prevent relapse. At Mirror Lake Recovery Center, we want to help you discover the person that you want to be, free from the grips of heroin.