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Heroin Detox Symptoms: Knowing What To Look For

Heroin is one of the strongest and most addictive substances out there. If you’ve found yourself addicted to heroin and are trying to get clean, knowing what to look for in terms of detoxing is crucial to getting completely sober. Heroin detox symptoms can be quite severe, it is always a good idea to get professional help before detoxing from an addictive substance. To help you get the help you may need, we will break down just what heroin is and the symptoms you may encounter if you begin to detox from heroin as well as where to seek treatment. 

Heroin Explained

At its most basic level, heroin is an opioid drug made from the morphine family of poppy plants. It is an illegal substance that relieves pain by attaching to the opioid receptors of the body’s cells. It also produces a euphoric type effect that most people feel like a “high”. 

Heroin is extremely addictive due to the way it reacts with the body’s cells and the high it produces, which many users find enjoyable. Heroin can be smoked, injected, or snorted and has a wide range of side effects, many of which can be deadly. 

One thing to note about heroin is that, because it is in the opioid family of drugs, many people addicted to opioids may gravitate towards heroin as prescription opioids become more difficult to obtain. 

The side effects of heroin range from short-term minor effects such as itching, flushness, and loss of consciousness, to long-term effects such as heart infections, lung damage, and insomnia. 

Heroin Detox Symptoms 

Detox is the process of removing a substance from the body. This can be done naturally or with medical assistance and is usually accompanied by symptoms of withdrawal. The severity of the withdrawal is determined by the length of use and the amount that is normally used. Withdrawal is caused by the body’s physical reaction to the absence of the drug. 

Withdrawal can begin hours to days after the last use of heroin and the symptoms can be wide-ranging from mild to severe. Typically, withdrawal symptoms increase in length and severity in accordance with how long a person has used the drug and how dependent they have become. 

A person who has only just started using heroin may experience symptoms like nausea, abdominal cramps, sweating, tearing, and muscle and bone aches. The average length of withdrawal when detoxing from heroin is about a week. This can run longer if the person has been a heavy user for many years. 

Severe symptoms often manifest as anxiety, depression, hypertension, rapid heart rate, impaired respiration, and drug cravings, as well as other minor or moderate symptoms. 

While detox from heroin by itself is not considered life-threatening, the medical and psychological complications that accompany detox can be life-threatening or have long-term health consequences if not managed properly. There is a particular danger of heroin-induced depression, which may lead to suicide. 

Why You Shouldn’t Detox From Heroin Alone

As we’ve talked about, several heroin detox symptoms can be very serious if not managed properly. Detoxing from heroin alone is never a good idea. 

An inpatient treatment facility is an ideal place to properly detox from heroin and manage the symptoms and avoid severe medical consequences. There are many different treatment options to effectively detox the body of heroin and minimize the side effects. 

The first way that a treatment facility helps is by having medical staff on standby to help with any complications. It is also helpful to detox in a calm and comfortable environment away from stressors that may intensify cravings. 

Second, a treatment facility can provide a plan for dealing with withdrawal which may include therapy, medication supplementation, and other treatments to counteract the symptoms of withdrawal. 

A treatment facility can also make sure that detox is done effectively so that treatment can begin afterward. Not completing the detoxification process can lead to relapsing and prolonged addiction. 

Trust Hillside Mission Recovery to Help You Detox From Heroin Safely 

If you are looking to detox from heroin and want to do it safely, then consider giving Hillside Mission Recovery a call. We have an expert medical staff combined with luxurious private accommodations and numerous amenities to make the detox and recovery process much more manageable and more importantly, more successful. 

Hillside Mission Recovery is dedicated to helping our clients get on the path to recovery in a safe and comfortable environment. When it’s time to get sober, trust Hillside Mission Recovery to be there for you.