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Heroin Withdrawal Timelines

Heroin is a highly addictive illicit opioid substance that can be difficult to stop using the drug. Many people fall prey to the drug’s euphoric and pleasurable effects. Once they are hooked, using heroin can become all that matters to them.

People will withdraw from family, friends, and their Christian values and faith. Understanding heroin addiction and withdrawal is difficult because many people cannot make it through the heroin withdrawal timeline without professional help.  

An Overview of Heroin Withdrawal Timelines

Heroin withdrawal timelines proceed through different stages. People often experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to cut back or quit the drug on their own. These can be so intense they relapse and continue using the drug. Fortunately, heroin withdrawal can be managed with medically supervised detox to help people overcome their addiction. 

Proverbs 3: 5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your path. 

How Long Does Heroin Withdrawal Last?

The heroin withdrawal timeline depends on the frequency and duration of use and dosage taken. Other factors that impact how long heroin withdrawal lasts such as the severity of addiction and whether there are co-occurring mental health disorders, also play a role in how long heroin withdrawal symptoms will last.

Usually, the physical withdrawal symptoms are fully resolved within a few weeks, while psychological withdrawal symptoms can last for several months, sometimes longer.

Stage 1 of Heroin Withdrawal Timelines: Initial Withdrawal Symptoms

The initial heroin withdrawal symptoms begin within the first 24 hours after quitting the drug. These can include muscle aches and pain, chills, cramping, runny nose, and flu-like symptoms. People can also experience heroin cravings, irritability, anxiety, and depression.

Over the next several days, the withdrawal symptoms will continue to increase in frequency and intensity. Other symptoms possible symptoms include sleep disturbances, sweating, aggression, and restlessness.   

Stage 2 of Heroin Withdrawal Timelines: Peak Symptoms

Sometime between days 4 and 10 of detox, the heroin withdrawal symptoms will peak. This means they will reach their highest point of intensity and discomfort.

Once they peak, they gradually start subsiding. People can still experience nausea, sleep disturbances, cravings, irritability, anxiety, and depression even after the symptoms peak. 

Stage 3 of Heroin Withdrawal Timelines: Final and Subsiding  Symptoms

Usually, people near the end of the heroin withdrawal timeline sometime between days 10 and 14. They will notice all of their physical heroin withdrawal symptoms have subsided and are no longer causing them discomfort. However, the psychological withdrawal symptoms can still persist for several more weeks or months. 

When psychological withdrawal symptoms from heroin persist, the condition is referred to as PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome). Common symptoms include cravings, irritability, mood swings, sleep disturbances, anxiety, and depression.

Eventually, these withdrawal symptoms gradually decline until they subsided completely. The reason they persist longer than physical withdrawal is that the brain is still healing and recovering from heroin abuse. 

Risk of Withdrawing from Heroin Unsupervised

Attempting to withdraw from heroin use unsupervised can be extremely dangerous and life-threatening. The withdrawal symptoms from heroin can become very intense and severe. Without medical supervision, most people end up relapsing just to make the symptoms stop. 

Another risk of unsupervised heroin withdrawal is dehydration from diarrhea and vomiting. Dehydration can lead to life-threatening conditions that require immediate medical treatment. Additionally, there is a choking risk when vomiting that could also result in accidental death. 

Furthermore, the psychological withdrawal symptoms, such as depression and anxiety, can become very overwhelming. Some people do not know how to deal with these intense feelings and emotions. As a result, they can start contemplating self-harm and suicide just to make them stop. 

Heroin Withdrawal Timelines: How Supervised Treatment Helps

Medically supervised treatment for heroin withdrawal provides a safe, caring, and supportive environment with constant supervision and monitoring. Some of the many ways supervised treatment helps include:

  • 24/7 medical access: People have access to medical professionals day and night to help them manage their withdrawal symptoms from heroin. They also receive plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
  • Medication-assisted treatment: People can access medication-assisted treatment (MAT) using FDA-approved medications. These drugs help alleviate cravings and withdrawal symptoms. This makes it easier for people to complete detox successfully. 
  • Individual and group counseling: People attend individual and group counseling sessions to help them develop coping skills. They also learn how to identify negative behaviors and transform them into positive ones. Group sessions provide peer support so people do not feel alone and isolated.
  • Restores faith: Faith-based heroin detox programs provide people access to bible studies, fellowship, and prayer. These group sessions help them renew their faith and commitment to God and Jesus. 
  • Addiction treatment preparation: Detoxing from heroin is just the first step to achieving long-term freedom from this addictive drug. Detox helps prepare people to take the next step in their recovery by transitioning to a heroin addiction treatment program.  

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 

Find Compassionate Heroin Detox and Addiction Treatment in Nashville

When you are ready to take the first steps to overcoming your heroin addiction, you are not alone. Spring2Life Recovery in Nashville offers comprehensive, medically supervised detox and addiction treatment programs. Our heroin withdrawal treatment program incorporates biblical knowledge to help people restore their faith in Christ.

Contact us now to find your path to freedom from heroin through empowerment in faith. 


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