Heroin is one of the most addictive street drugs that have been causing quite a lot of trouble. Whenever someone uses heroin, there is a 50-60% chance of developing an addiction. If that person is a young adult between 18 and 25, those chances go even higher.
This means that all of those people would have to go through withdrawal. Knowing how to recognize the signs of withdrawal should trigger the individuals into contacting help when they were supposed to.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is a highly addictive drug made from the opium poppy, a flower that grows in Mexico, Asia, and South America. The same flower stands at the base of opiate medications such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and even morphine.
Pure heroin looks like a white powder. However, you may also find it in a brown powder, or a black sticky type called black tar heroin. Unlike other prescription opiates that are often given for pain relief, heroin is illegal due to its addiction potential and the variety of side effects.
Heroin withdrawal is the process where the addictive substance is getting out of your system. It can take up to 7 days of medical detox and sheer willpower until heroin completely exits your system, during which time you may experience a series of highly unpleasant symptoms.
Heroin withdrawal often appears after the person has consumed heroin at least twice, developing an addiction. As the body became accustomed to the substance, it began to demand it even more. Heroin addiction also occurs when patients abuse opiate medicine, such as Vicodin and OxyContin.
When these people can no longer get their hands on their prescription medicine, they turn towards heroin as a replacement. With no control over the substance or the quality of the substance, there is a very good chance that the withdrawal symptoms will be more severe, leading to overdoses.
Signs & Symptoms of Heroin Withdrawals
Heroin withdrawal comes with a series of symptoms that the patient may experience. Usually, these symptoms start a couple of hours after they have taken their last “fix,” and their severity will depend on how long the person has been using the substance.
Not every person will experience withdrawal in the same way. If you are going through heroin withdrawal, here are the most common symptoms you will deal with:
Pains and Body Aches
When going through withdrawal, one common side effect is body pain. Heroin withdrawal has a type of rebound effect, which will make you ache in places you didn’t know you could.
That being said, the most common pains are around your legs and your back, the pain radiating throughout the rest of your body as well. You’ll also be more sensitive to pain during your withdrawal period.
Excessive Bodily Fluids
When you are going through heroin withdrawal, you’ll be oozing bodily fluids from likely everywhere. This means that you may end up sweating a lot, struggling with a runny nose, and even your eyes may begin to tear. Because moisture is excessively going out of your body, you’ll lose fluids fast – which means you are prone to dehydration as well, unless you drink a lot of water.
Diarrhea and Stomach Pain
During heroin withdrawal, most individuals will end up dealing with a very embarrassing symptom: diarrhea. These loose and frequent bowel movements may keep you close to the toilet, which means it might be difficult for you to go about your daily routine. The frequent bowel movements may lead to muscle spasms as well, which can result in stomach pain.
Insomnia and Restlessness
During the first few days of withdrawals, the cravings can be pretty strong. Your mood swings can be in full bloom, and the anxiety may prevent you from staying still for one moment. This restlessness can follow you to your sleep – or lack thereof. The cravings and anxiety will keep you up at night, along with the body pain, which means it might be difficult for you to get a good night’s sleep.
Nausea and Vomiting
Heroin withdrawal may also lead to nausea, and it is quite a common side effect. The fact that you won’t be able to hold the food down will also cut down your appetite – something that may also be added by the constant taste of vomit in your mouth. Most people going through heroin withdrawal will experience weight loss during these first few days.
Short & Long-Term Effects of Heroin Use
Heroin withdrawal can have a series of short-term and long-term effects. In the short term, it may lead to strong cravings, gastrointestinal problems, pain all over your body, and dehydration due to excessive bodily fluids. To that, one may add psychical symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and mood swings.
However, some symptoms may last in the long term as well. After the first phase of heroin withdrawal finishes (usually after 7 days have passed), patients will go through a proactive period – one that typically lasts somewhere around 6 months.
For patients with a long-standing addiction, the proactive withdrawal may last for an even longer time. Most heroin relapses occur during the first 6 months of sobriety, which means that professional help is necessary. Finding a long term addiction treatment center is imperative for long term recovery.
Getting Help With Real Deal Therapy & Wellness
Real Deal Therapy and Wellness has all the means necessary to ensure that you comfortably go through all stages of withdrawal. Whether you need inpatient therapy for short-term effects or outpatient therapy for long-term effects, here at Real Deal we can help you through recovery.
We offer individual therapy for those who benefit more from one-on-one treatments, but we can also connect you to group therapy if you feel better talking to your peers. Regardless of your needs, we can arrange a program that will benefit your needs so that you can get clean.
Life becomes easier once you get over the addiction. Tackle your addiction and get through the withdrawal process. Once you get past that stage, it will become increasingly easier. At Real Deal, we can help you, so contact us!