What’s the Typical Heroin Withdrawal Timeline?

man sitting on steps worried about the Heroin Withdrawal Timeline

When addiction strikes an individual, they often feel like they are isolated, alone in their struggle. But, if you or a loved one is suffering from heroin addiction, you’re not alone. Perhaps you’ve decided you would like to overcome your addiction, but you’re nervous about what the heroin withdrawal timeline is like.

The good news is that, while the withdrawal process is challenging, it’s not impossible. Summit Detox is here to support you on the path to recovery and to find the right drug detox program for you.

Signs of Heroin Addiction

Before we go any further, we want to discuss what it is that makes heroin so addictive in the first place. By understanding what heroin does to your body, you’ll be in a better position to overcome your reliance on the drug.

Heroin belongs to the opioid family of drugs. These highly addictive substances cause an initial rush that makes the user feel good, followed by intense cravings and discomfort if the drug isn’t taken again within a short period. Your body craves more and more until you have to use it to feel “normal.” As soon as you stop using or go too long without a fix, cravings kick in.

Those who are addicted to heroin often experience intense anxiety, as well as a single-minded focus on how they’ll get their next fix. They may neglect work, friends, and family in favor of satisfying their addiction.

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline

Withdrawal is a necessary step in the process of overcoming your heroin addiction. It happens as part of the heroin detoxification process, which is when the last traces of the drug exit your body. Heroin withdrawal is a challenging process because of the severity of the symptoms. These symptoms can include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • High blood pressure and other heart problems
  • Extreme pain and cramps
  • Loss of motor function
  • Hallucinations and nightmares
  • Convulsions, vomiting, and tremors

The exact heroin withdrawal timeline and symptoms will vary from person to person, but the process usually lasts one to two weeks. The withdrawal follows this general timeline:

  • 6 to 12 hours after the last dose: you will typically feel the first symptoms begin
  • Within 1 to 3 days: this is the peak when symptoms are most severe
  • Within 4 to 7 days: symptoms will decrease, although they won’t go away entirely
  • By the 2nd week: the majority of the physical symptoms will have subsided
  • After 3 to 6 months: insomnia and depression occasionally occur (known as Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome)

How Summit Detox Can Help Guide Your Recovery

No one should attempt to detox from heroin on their own at home. For one thing, going through detoxification alone can be highly dangerous. The withdrawal symptoms are extremely uncomfortable and even life-threatening without medical supervision. For another thing, people who detox on their own are more likely to relapse later on, often contributing to a cycle of repeated attempts without any lasting results.

That said, long-lasting sobriety is much more promising if you undergo detox in a medically supervised setting. Residential facilities like Summit Detox oversee the entire process and ensure your treatment plan is right for you.

If your discomfort is severe, one of our medical staff may prescribe you pain-relief medications so you can get through the detox process a little more easily. Even more importantly, they supervise your vitals to ensure your health is never in any danger.

The sooner you call, the sooner you’ll be past the difficult stages of the heroin withdrawal timeline and on your way to recovery. Don’t wait; reach out to Summit Detox at 866.341.0638 and set up an evaluation with our trained staff. A life without addiction is within your reach.

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