How Long Does Heroin Withdrawal Last?

A recent survey on drug use uncovered several alarming facts about heroin use. The findings included that nearly five million people have used heroin in their lifetime, almost one million have used heroin in the past year, and overdose deaths tripled from 2010 to 2013. One factor driving this disturbing trend is the cost of prescription opioids. Ninety-four percent of people turned to heroin from opioids because of its lower cost and easy obtainment. Although it is difficult to recover from highly addictive heroin, it is possible with help and support.

Myrtle Beach Recovery offers a safe, sober living house that provides the support essential to successful recovery from addiction. Contact us to learn more about how our caring, professional staff can help you or a loved one.

What is Heroin?

Heroin is an opioid drug made from the powerful Schedule II pain medication, morphine. Heroin, however, has been classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. The difference between these two classifications is that heroin has no use in medicine and is dangerously addictive. It is typically found as a white or brown powder that is either snorted, smoked, or injected. Heroin addiction typically results in a predictable cycle of craving, using, and wanting to quit heroin. The severe withdrawal symptoms drive these events, which can lead to death.

Effects of Heroin Addiction

Heroin abuse affects all areas of a person’s life. The devastating effects of heroin addiction can cause:

  • Depression
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Emotional instability
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Heart problems
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • Pregnancy problems
  • Pneumonia and tuberculosis
  • Circulatory problems
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Respiratory infections
  • Irritability
  • Hostility
  • Isolation from others
  • Weight loss

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Severe withdrawal symptoms stand between the addict and sobriety. Heroin’s powerful physical addiction affects the addict within hours without the substance. The withdrawal symptom’s severity often leads to hospitalization. Additionally, addiction withdrawal can cause mental and emotional problems. Heroin withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Body pain and weakness
  • Chills
  • Joint aches
  • Extreme sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Agitation
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Stomach issues
  • Tremors
  • Intense cravings
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mental health issues
  • Coma
  • Death

How Long Does Heroin Withdrawal Last?

Although getting sober is daunting, continuing to use heroin is a worse choice for the addict. The addict experiences the worst withdrawal symptoms in the first couple of days. This is the most critical time when addicts are most vulnerable to relapse. However, enduring these and the next day or two typically pays off after five days without heroin. After about five days, the symptoms decrease and become less intense. 

After one week, most addicts’ physical symptoms considerably decrease—however, mental and emotional problems, such as depression and mood swings, can linger for months. 

Although the average time for heroin withdrawal is one week, several factors can affect this time frame, such as:

  • How much heroin has been used.
  • How often heroin was used.
  • The way heroin was taken—snorted, injected, or smoked.
  • Underlying medical conditions.

Consider Myrtle Beach Recovery

Consider taking your next step in recovery at Myrtle Beach Recovery. We provide the extra guidance, support, and tools you need to remain sober and avoid relapse. You gradually return to a responsible, productive, and fulfilling life as you gain essential life skills. Contact us and discover more about our successful residential rehab programs.