Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline

Finding Out About the Severity of Heroin Withdrawals

Heroin is an extremely addictive analgesic drug that is derived from morphine, it is often used illicitly as a narcotic producing euphoria. It is extracted from seed pods of varieties of various poppy plants. The purest form of heroin is a white powder that originates in South America. Extremely pure heroin is snorted or smoked. Heroin withdrawal symptoms can be severe, which makes heroin one of the hardest drugs to quit.

Numerous medications can be used to help with the withdrawal symptoms of heroin. These drugs assist in suppressing Heroin withdrawal symptoms. Detox within itself is not treatment. But just a first step in the long ongoing process. When addicts do not get further treatment beyond detox the addict will usually resume with e abuse of heroin. A study that was done on treatment centers found that the use of medications was used in over eighty percent of detox treatments for heroin withdrawal. Drug addiction is treatable but in no way simple to do

Treatment for addiction must help the addict with the following:

  • Stop the use of drugs
  • Remain drug free
  • Become productive with family, work and society as a whole

Successful treatment has numerous steps:

  • Detox
  • Counseling for behavioral issues
  • Medication
  • Evaluation
  • Treatment for dual diagnosis, mental health issues like depression and anxiety
  • Long-term follow-ups to prevent relapses

Heroin withdrawal symptoms can be risky and severe at best. Addiction to heroin can be likened to a rollercoaster ride. While on the drugs you can feel like you’re on top of the world. But as soon as the drug starts wearing off, you begin a rapid descent to the lowest of low feelings. This speedy decline is all due to heroin withdrawal. Physical symptoms at this time are almost too hard to bear.

Addicts that have a tolerance for the heroin are highly vulnerable to what is called the withdrawal syndrome. The alterations in chemistry from the heroin abuse are the culprit. The more you use heroin the more your body builds a tolerance for the heroin. This causes the brain to make subtle changes in order to assist you in staying alive and coherent while taking the drug. This happens over time slowly, through the abuse of usage. The brain cells need time to be able to reverse the damage caused by the heroin abuse. It is not easy going from needing the heroin to not needing the drug. Brain cells need to make slow changes in reverse, during which the cells may not function like they should.

These are just a few of the withdrawal symptoms of heroin, that can begin within the first day of detox.

  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Cold flashes
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain in the bones
  • Kicking movements involuntarily
  • Runny nose
  • Tearing
  • Anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Inability to concentrate

After the initial symptoms start to fade, these are longer lasting  heroin withdrawal symptoms that may occur:

  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • High Blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Paranoia
  • Hyperactivity

Withdrawal is the hardest phase in winning the battle with heroin addiction. But it can be done, if you just stay the course. It is of the utmost importance to know what to expect from heroin withdrawal. There is no set time for a withdrawal timeline, for this varies from addict to addict according to numerous factors not excluding the extent of the severity of the heroin abuse. But, it is in the best interest of the addict to detox while in a rehab inpatient facility where they can monitor and care for you, in your time of need. Seek help today, for your heroin addiction. Begin your life over today, don’t let your past define you.


If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.