Heroin withdrawal symptoms range from mild craving, anxiety, drug-seeking behavior, yawning, perspiration, runny eyes and nose, restless and broken sleep, and irritability.
The eyes may not respond properly to light (i.e., pupils will remain dilated in the presence of bright light).
More severe symptoms are muscular twitches, gooseflesh, hot and cold flashes, abdominal cramps, rapid breathing, fast pulse, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and lack of energy.
Not everybody suffers all the symptoms or the most severe ones; the severity of symptoms usually depends on the length and frequency of heroin abuse.
Another factor is whether or not heroin contains fentanyl or carfentanil.
Medication-Assisted Detox for Heroin
In detox/rehab, relief during the five to ten days of these symptoms can be provided through various medications including:
- Buprenorphine (Subutex or “subs”)
- Buprenorphine with naloxone (Suboxone or “subs”)
These detox medicines aim to ease the physical discomfort and help the user get some sleep.
Warm baths, mild exercise, electro-chemically balanced nutrition, and the compassionate support of recovery-sensitive physicians, nurse, and counselors help ease a person through withdrawal.
The last item is not the least important because your counselor will facilitate your entry in the most import part of detox, recovery-sensitive therapy, the moment you are able to participate.
Heroin detox medicine such as buprenorphine should be discontinued as soon as possible because buprenorphine maintenance has also changed into buprenorphine addiction.
How do we know?
In the 1960s, methadone was used to detox heroin addicts, just like buprenorphine has been used since about 2004.
Back in the 60s most heroin addicts graduated therapy-impoverished-heroin-detox with methadone addiction labeled “methadone maintenance,” which underscores the hazards of getting buprenorphine from an outpatient buprenorphine licensed physician that is not part of a comprehensive recovery-sensitive therapy treatment program (subs have continue to be popular street drugs and prison drugs).
Methadone maintenance programs became popular as a means of detoxifying heroin users, and of helping them through withdrawal.
Methadone (meth) is also addicting, but like oxycodone (oxy) it doesn’t cause as much sedation (meth & oxy yield more opioid-receptor-derived dopamine than heroin).
In addition, since its longer acting than heroin, meth relieves addicts of the need for a “fix” every few hours.
Therefore, switching to methadone can allow a heroin addict to lead a relatively normal life.
Over time, the methadone dosage is reduce to nothing, thus weaning the addict from all drug use.
However, methadone dependence is notoriously hard to kick.
Long-term recovery for heroin users is often made difficult by malnutrition, sexual infections, and diseases associated with intravenous drug use.
These diseases include acquired immune deficiency (AIDS) and hepatitis. In fact, intravenous drug users in many areas of the country are the group with the highest risk of developing AIDS.
“Denial” is one less thing to have to focus-on during heroin recovery-sensitive therapy.
That’s because the marijuana addict struggling with the idea that: “I’m not at all like a heroin addict.”
While the alcoholic struggles with the idea that: “I’m not at all like a heroin addict.”
Heroin addicts rarely if ever say: “I’m not aa bad as other heroin addicts.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse problem, please reach out to our addiction specialists for guidance and support, at (877)-RECOVERY or (877)-732-6837. Our addiction specialists make themselves available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because We Care.