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According to the Centers for Disease Control, around 467,000 people use heroin regularly in the United States alone. In 2016, heroin was responsible for 15,446 overdose deaths. It’s safe to say that this highly addictive drug is a serious problem.

It’s hard to stop using this substance because of the euphoric high it produces. It makes you crave for more. But despite the difficulty, quitting is possible. You will have to deal with withdrawal before you can become sober again. And in this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about heroin withdrawal, so you are better prepared.

What Causes Heroin Withdrawal?

If you take heroin continuously, your body will develop dependence. This means it will no longer function normally without heroin. It means you have taken so much heroin that your body has adapted to its presence. Heroin withdrawal symptoms will kick in within 6 to 12 hours of the last use. It will typically peak after 2 to 3 days. However, it can last up to 10 days for most people.

Some withdrawal symptoms are life-threatening. This is why you shouldn’t try to quit heroin on your own. Quitting abruptly may cause severe withdrawal.

So how can you get sober if you are not allowed to quit heroin? The answer is in medical detox. But first, let’s talk about the withdrawal symptoms you may face.

Effects and Symptoms of Heroin Withdrawal

Withdrawal is undoubtedly the most difficult stage in the recovery process, and it’s something you will go through inevitably if you are addicted to heroin. The good news is that medical professionals can help you deal with these effects properly.

Short-term effects of withdrawal include dehydration, insomnia, restlessness, runny nose, excessive sweating, muscle spasms, aggression, mood swings, irritability, and inability to concentrate.

Long-term effects may include depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, paranoia, and hyperactivity. The addicted individual will also crave the drug, and may eventually relapse.

Do keep in mind that everyone goes through withdrawal differently. The severity and duration of these adverse health effects may vary from one person to another. It depends on a number of factors such as health condition, age, drug habits, body weight, etc.

Other common symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, tremors, hypertension, vomiting, diarrhea, agitation, fatigue, and personality changes.

How Long Does the Withdrawal Last?

Heroin withdrawal lasts at least one week for most people. However, those who have been taking heroin for a long time may experience withdrawal for up to one month. It can begin as soon as four hours after someone takes their last dose of the substance.

How Does Medical Detox Work?

Medical detox is the safest way to deal with this problem. Detoxing should be done at a drug rehab facility so that the patient’s condition can be monitored by professionals. It makes withdrawal easier to deal with, and it also lessens the risk of severe withdrawal.

It is done by gradually lowering the person’s heroin intake and then managing the withdrawal symptoms through medications or therapy, etc. It has a high success rate, especially when coupled with behavioral therapy.

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Medical detox is only one component of a comprehensive drug treatment program. A combination of medical detox and counseling may be necessary to help a person get sober again. It can be done as an inpatient or outpatient program.

Don’t get discouraged by the horror stories associated with withdrawal. If done right, you can breeze through this stage and get started on rebuilding your life. There is a life after addiction, and it is a much better one. Look for an addiction treatment facility near you today.

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