Heroin Dependency and Withdrawal


Heroin is one of the most difficult drugs to detox from. The withdrawal is severe and includes both physical and psychological effects. Heroin is said by some to be the most dangerous drug known to man. It rips up families across all social and economic backgrounds and is indiscriminate of religion, race or gender. It is absolutely vital that someone who has a heroin addiction receives help, and that the help is given by a team of professionals. At Creative Care, we are there to help you detox from the drug and regain control over your life. Furthermore, we specialize in dual diagnosis, as we understand that many people who struggle with a heroin addiction also have an underlying mental health issue. This could have led to the addiction in the first place, or it could have been caused by the drug use. Either way, we will support you throughout that process.

Symptoms of Heroin Dependency and Withdrawal

Unfortunately, heroin withdrawal is one of the most difficult of all to cope with. The drug takes control of both the mind and the body and becoming free of this hold is incredibly difficult and painful. Some of the commonly experienced symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Problems with eyes – dilated pupils, watery eyes
  • Skin problems – good bumps
  • Physical problems – yawning, runny nose, cramps, shaking
  • Psychological problems – panic attacks, insomnia, irritability
  • Flu-like symptoms – chills, profuse sweating, muscle pain
  • Stomach problems – nausea, cramping, vomiting, diarrhea

The majority of heroin users will experience these effects not just when they fully stop taking the drug, but also when they lower their dosage. This is why it is so difficult to quit, as it has to be cold turkey or nothing. The withdrawal symptoms tend to start about seven hours after the last hit, and they tend to peak on day three. The withdrawal symptoms usually last for a week. However, these are only the physical symptoms and the psychological withdrawal can take far longer.

Heroin Withdrawal Treatment

There are two main methods to treat people who have a heroin addiction. The first is to prescribe methadone. This has long been the most popular drug substitute, and it has help thousands of people come off the drug. However, it requires a rigorous program of treatment, as every dose has to be administered by a professional. Furthermore, people can remain in methadone for a very long period of time, which some want to avoid as they want to get clean quicker.

The second option, which is a newer treatment method, is suboxone. Suboxone can be administered without the patient having to attend a medical facility every day. People are simply provided with a prescription and medicate themselves. Although this is a fantastic option for those who have barriers that prevent them from attending medical facilities, there are many drawbacks as well. Just as with methadone, the treatment can take a very long time. Furthermore, it often doesn’t address the psychological issues that are also present, because patients do not have to check in to a rehab facility.

At Creative Care, we believe that it is very important to address all the issues that are linked to the heroin addiction. We also understand that every addiction is different and hence create a program that is suited to your specific needs, rather than offering any kind of one size fits all solution. Furthermore, we address not just the physical symptoms of withdrawal, but support you through the psychological symptoms as well. This is achieved through counseling and therapy with others in the same situation as well as your family and loved ones. It is very important to rebuild a support network of people who can help you to prevent relapse.

Unfortunately, relapse is very common with drugs like heroin. The biggest danger is that during drug use, the body builds up a resistance to it, meaning addicts have to increase their dosages. If they return to that dosage when they relapse, they have a far greater chance of overdosing, with potentially fatal consequences.

If you are currently dealing with a heroin addiction, please contact Creative Care to discuss the possibilities of withdrawing from the substance. We understand how difficult this process will be, but we are there to support you at every step of the way. Contact us to get started on your road to recovery.

Our Locations

Choose your preferred location