5 Common Symptoms of Heroin Withdrawal (and How Long They Last)

5 Common Symptoms of Heroin Withdrawal (and How Long They Last)

Drug addict looking at drugs with desire

About 1 million people in America use Heroin at least once per year. Many of those uses lead to long-term dependency issues.

After struggling with addiction and its destructive effects, some aim to kick their habits by ending their relationship with heroin. This, unfortunately, presents serious physical challenges known as withdrawal symptoms.

Heroin withdrawal can be among the most difficult withdrawals to manage. Believe us what we say though that the pain that stems from withdrawal pales in comparison to the long-term pain heroin use can wreak on your life.

Are you curious to know what common symptoms of heroin withdrawal are and how long they’re likely to affect you? If you are, keep reading to get informed.

1. Drug Cravings

As heroin withdrawal symptoms set in, the first thing users notice is a severe craving to use. This is the body warning users that more serious physical effects are coming and can be avoided by partaking in their usual habits.

This stage is critical so plan on being supervised so you don’t tap out of your healing process prematurely.

2. Chills and Sweating

As drug cravings start to apex, chills, sweating, and other symptoms associated with fevers arrive. These symptoms are a byproduct of chemical imbalances in your brain being interpreted by your body as an illness.

As your body responds to that illness by heating up and expelling fluid through your sweat glands, you may feel like you’re “dying”. Again, being supervised at this stage is helpful as is doing everything you can to stay comfortable.

3. Fatigue

Between your cravings, discomfort, fever-like symptoms, and inability to sleep, fatigue is going to be a serious problem as you navigate heroin withdrawal and the detox process which you can learn more here about. Some people report feeling so physically exhausted that they can’t move.

Stay in a comfortable area, stay hydrated, and try to relax. You’ll likely be able to obtain sporadic naps which can help abate fatigue, in part.

4. Vomiting

While not the case with every heroin withdrawal, your body may be prone to vomiting as it adjusts to not using. To make vomiting less likely and more manageable, try to stick to foods you would consume while managing the flu in the early stages of your withdrawal.

Chicken soup, Gatorade, and toast are all helpful staples.

5. Irritability

In case it isn’t obvious, a final common symptom that will manifest as a result of all the discomfort withdrawal victims experience is severe irritability. Limiting contact with others can be a great strategy to avoid rubbing sensitive people the wrong way during this period.

A little bit of empathy on the part of onlookers can also go a long way.

Moving on With Your Life

The worst symptoms of heroin withdrawal will last for a week after you quit using. After that, your body’s unique chemistry, how you used heroin, and how long you used will impact lingering symptoms.

As you move on post-managing the most serious signs of heroin withdrawal, we recommend doing so with a support group at your side. This support can be found informally through family and friends or formally through outpatient rehab.

Former users that have people around them holding them accountable are much less likely to relapse than those that isolate themselves.

Get the help you need and if required, continue seeking helpful tips on drug use in our lifestyle blog.

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