Heroin Withdrawal Treatment

Heroin Withdrawal Treatment

Both deadly and dangerous, heroin is a street-level opioid that has become increasingly more popular and widely used, nationwide. Heroin, an opioid made from morphine, is a naturally found substance retrieved from the “seed pod” of opium plants.

It’s a very powerful and potent drug. It creates powerful, feel-well effects for users and is highly addictive. As such, those dependent on heroin usually struggle with tapering their dosage amounts when wanting to quit. Withdrawals from the sudden cessation of heroin use can be rather severe and, in some cases, life-threatening.

Taking the cold-turkey approach to stopping abuse ad dependence is unsafe and is never an advisable route (due to the complications that could arise). Those wanting a treatment solution usually begin by researching heroin withdrawal treatment to discover options available to them.

Prior to discussing the Heroin treatment options and recovery programs available to you at our facility, we want to congratulate you on making the best life-decision you could make. Choosing to attend a Heroin rehab in Florida will ensure you receive treatment at a center local to you for quick access to treatment.

Heroin Withdrawal Treatment – A Complex Addiction

Heroin addiction is complex in nature. First-time users of this street-level drug can experience an array of adverse effects and long-term users will unavoidably experience symptoms amplified by the addiction. When a heroin user takes a hit of heroin, dopamine quickly floods the brain. This gives the user an instant euphoria of pleasure.

Compared to other types of drugs, such as: marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, and meth, heroin is a bit different and tends to attract a different type of pleasure-seeking user base. When it comes to heroin, those using the drug tend to do so for self-medication purposes, not recreational use.

This euphoric rush is the epitome of desires for those not feeling well and feeling sick (it’s their go-to fix). Even though the adversary effects of heroin-use can worsen the undesirable feelings the user is trying to mask in the first place, the feel-good high for most is too irresistible for both short- and long-term users.

What is Heroin Withdrawal?

One of the many reasons heroin is as addictive as it is due to how it impacts the brain’s reward system. Just as with most other drugs, as an individual’s usage of heroin increases, so does their tolerance level.

Eventually, the heroin user will begin to raise their doses each time in order to achieve the same level of “high” as their previous use. When someone dependent on heroin stops using, symptoms of withdrawal soon set in.

Many of the clients we treat at Rehab South Florida were continuing to use heroin for the sole reason of avoiding the withdrawals (which can be pretty intense). Those abusing heroin will experience similar effects to those using painkillers (such as oxycodone). However, the effects will be considerably stronger.

In general, the withdrawals that heroin can cause are increasingly more intense than the withdrawals a user might experience when quitting painkillers.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawals from heroin are quick to emerge when the body doesn’t receive the dose it expects. For many, these withdrawals initiate within as little as 6-12 hours following their last dose. Heroin withdrawals in many ways will mimic the withdrawals of prescription opioids. Although, since heroin stays in the system for less time than painkillers do, withdrawals set in much, much more quickly.

A lot of those going through heroin withdrawals feel as if they have the flu. Feelings of weakness and agitation are common. Pain and discomfort can linger for weeks while withdrawal symptoms typically peak at around 2/3 days.

There are many heroin withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Muscle aches

How long do heroin withdrawals last?

There are a number of variables that determine the length in which withdrawals last, including the:

  • Duration of time that heroin was abused
  • Dosage amount(s) taken per day
  • Frequency of use
  • Method in which heroin was taken
  • Underlying presence of a co-occurring mental health disorder

Dependent on the length of use and the amount taken per current run, it’s likely for heroin dependents to struggle with post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS). One of the multiple reasons Rehab South Florida offers post-treatment aftercare support (which helps out clients to avoid a relapse).

Post-acute withdrawal symptoms stemming from a heroin addiction can include symptoms such as poor concentration, poor decision-making skills, insomnia, heightened anxiety levels, panic attacks, depression, hypersensitivity, irritability, fatigue, restlessness, memory loss, and unusual changes in behavior (mood swings).

Consequential to heroin abuse is the fact that changes in mood and behavior can in some cases last for months after withdrawals are treated. However, with the aftercare support of Rehab South Florida, and as time passes and you remain drug-free, symptoms will slowly but surely begin to diminish.

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline

Just as with other drugs, heroin, generally speaking, has a course of actions when usage stops.

Day 1-2:

You may begin to experience symptoms within as little as 6 hours following your last dose. It’s likely that you’ll experience pain on the first day usually causing muscle aches. These symptoms of heroin withdrawal will intensify throughout the first 2 days. Other common symptoms during this time include panic attacks, insomnia, hand tremors, diarrhea, and anxiety.

Day 3-5:

Withdrawal symptoms are in full effect by the third and fourth day. Sweating, shivers, nausea/vomiting, and cramps are to be experienced.

Day 6-7:

Acute withdrawals usually end at the 7-day mark. During these days, muscle aches, nausea, and the other symptoms shared above will begin to diminish. While the former addict will begin to feel more normalized, he/she will still feel tired, worn out, and groggy overall.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS):

The coming and going of symptoms for months after treatment is known as “Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome”. These ongoing symptoms, which can last up to a year, emerge due to neurological changes made to the brain from the heroin use. Long-lasting symptoms experienced by those with PAWS can include high levels of irritability/agitation, insomnia, depression, fatigue, and anxiety/anxiety attacks.

Ready to get help with Heroin Rehab?

Rehab South Florida’s heroin Rehab program offers struggling users a safe place to manage withdrawal symptoms. Our cutting-edge facility makes use of proven-to-work treatment practices to effectively aid patients through a successful recovery experience.
Without medical supervision, complications stemming from withdrawal can be fatal. For example, a heroin user experiencing withdrawal could become dehydrated. They can also inhale contents from the stomach from vomiting and die due to asphyxiation.

Even in instances where symptoms don’t impose life-threatening risks, the withdrawals could become so uncomfortable that the individual relapses (to alleviate symptoms) and may not attempt to quit again in the future.

“Supervised medical detox is ideal for overcoming heroin addiction.”

At Rehab South Florida, our clients receive the therapy, treatments, and the round-the-clock supervision and support needed to ensure a safe, secure, and successful recovery. As part of our effort to ensure client comfort, we also provide medication-assisted therapy and other evidence-based treatment protocols to address and treat the heroin addiction from all possible angles.

In our inpatient program, on-site doctors will keep an eye on psychological withdrawal symptoms (such as depression and anxiety). During withdrawal, relapsing and self-harm actions are possible and may be encouraged due to withdrawal severity. As an RSF heroin rehab client, you’ll reduce the chance of either of these occurring as your well-being, comfort, and symptom-relief support are at the top of priorities for all RSF staff members.

What kinds of medications are used during Heroin detox?

Rehab centers prescribe medications to alleviate withdrawal symptoms to patients in both an inpatient and outpatient setting. These symptom-fighting medications ease the transition to recovery by considerably reducing cravings and withdrawals.
There are a few different medications used during heroin detox, including:


As one of the most popular drugs prescribed to fight heroin withdrawal symptoms, it’s effective in reducing urges/cravings and helps to reduce physical symptoms, such as muscle aches and vomiting.
Methadone: Used in a taper-down treatment model, Methadone is a slow-acting and low-strength opiate that helps to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay.


This is a drug designed to block the receptors in the brain interact with opioids (such as heroin). Naltrexone is not addictive, nor does it cause sedative effects. Its purpose is to reduce cravings, over time. It’s an ideal medication for detox graduates that want to reduce cravings to avoid a relapse.

Heroin Addiction Treatment with Rehab South Florida

Withdrawals make addiction to heroin an incredibly difficult cycle to break free from. However, overcoming your addiction is not only possible but easily achievable. Our individualized treatment programs are designed with the client in mind to address the unique recovery needs of their addiction.

We offer inpatient and outpatient programs and work with client schedules to accommodate their recovery goals without their daily responsibilities being affected.

In our outpatient program, clients will be required to meet on a scheduled basis with an on-site doctor that will conduct health checkups and mental health evaluations (followed by counseling). In the outpatient program, recovering heroin addicts can reside at home and tend to their day-to-day responsibilities, such as work. While an outpatient setting has worked for many, the odds of remaining abstinent long-term aren’t as good as if inpatient was chosen.

Addressing your heroin dependency is a great first step, whether you choose the inpatient or outpatient program. As always, if you’re unsure which of the two programs you should attend, feel free to consult our admission experts and specialists, cost-free, at 561-933-5522 and we’d be more than happy to help pave your pathway to sobriety.


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Lynne.walsh. “Buprenorphine.” SAMHSA, 27 Sept. 2019, https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/treatment/buprenorphine.

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