heroin withdrawal symptoms

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Heroin Overview

Heroin is an opioid drug that is derived from morphine, which is a natural substance taken from the poppy plant. The substance in heroin is specifically taken from the seed pod in the poppy plan and forms morphine. It is typically found most often in Mexico, Columbia, or Southeast or Southwest Asia.

“Other common names for heroin include Big HHorseHell Dust, and Smack.”

Heroin works by entering the brain very quickly and binding to a person’s opioid receptors. These receptors are in many parts of the brain and can affect the feelings of pleasure and pain as well as control sleeping, breathing and heart rate.

How do People Use Heroin?

Heroin can be snorted, injected, smoked, or sniffed. A process called speedballing is when a person mixes or combines two different types of drugs. This is usually done with heroin and crack cocaine. When you take heroin and cocaine together a person may experience:

Symptoms of Heroin Use

The symptoms and immediate effects of heroin will depend on the amount of heroin the person takes and how it enters the brain to bind to the opioid receptors. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Flushing of the skin
  • Immediate rush or “high” feeling
  • Dry mouth
  • Heavy feelings in your extremities
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Severe itching
  • Loss of mental functioning
  • Drowsiness
  • Slowed breathing
  • Heart function is slowed
  • Severe cases can cause someone to go into a coma or have serious brain damage

How Heroin Looks

Heroin can be in many forms including a powder, crystal-like formation, or liquid. When it is white it is usually a powder or crystal-like substance. Pure heroin is typically in a powder form and has a bitter taste to it, coming from South America. Heroin that is highly pure can be snorted or smoked and is usually more appealing to new users because it lacks the stigma of injecting the drug.

Addiction to Heroin

Addiction to heroin can happen rather quickly after using, due to the intense effects it causes on the body. It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of addiction so that you can get the proper help you need at Inland Detox.

Signs of Addiction to Heroin

Many people find it a challenge to quit using heroin, due to the painful and uncomfortable withdrawals that occur when you stop. Someone that withdraws from heroin experiences the symptoms such as aches, pains (especially in the legs), extreme flu-like symptoms, stomach cramps, extreme craving to use heroin, sweating, excessive mucous production (runny nose), depression, diarrhea, low blood pressure and irritability. 

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Heroin treatment needs to address each individual person and their own personal needs. Inland Detox focuses on every person and addresses their situation by evaluating them upon arrival and determining the best treatment option for them. Addiction to heroin is not only a physical problem, but also a complex social and psychological problem.

Due to the intensity of the heroin withdrawal symptoms, it’s important to reach out to a heroin detox center immediately to get the necessary help to treat the addiction. Someone specializing in heroin addiction and detox will be able to provide a more comfortable experience for the person and manage their withdrawal symptoms.

The Risk of Quitting Heroin “Cold-Turkey”

It can be extremely uncomfortable and possibly dangerous to go through heroin withdrawal symptoms without a professional or expert to help you through the process. It is not likely for a withdrawal from heroin to be life-threatening but if someone has other underlying health conditions or pre-existing health conditions it could cause their withdrawal to be much worse.

Some of the symptoms of withdrawal can include:

  • Seizures
  • Delirium tremens
  • Hallucinations
  • High-blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Severe depression

Before you decide to quit using heroin on your own or “cold-turkey” contact a medical professional at Inland Detox for immediate help. Although, you may not have severe withdrawal symptoms, it will likely be more comfortable to detox in a heroin treatment center than in your own home.

Types of Treatment for Heroin Use

There are many types of treatment for heroin addiction, the most common and successful being residential treatment, medications and/or behavioral therapies.

Residential Treatment

Also referred to as inpatient rehabilitation or residential rehab. As is implied by the name, clients will live on site in a sober, home-like environment. While outpatient treatment options are also available, inpatient or residential programs are preferred for those who are new to recovery.

Behavioral Therapies

Behavioral therapies have been proven to treat heroin addiction disorder and people are often more successful in remaining sober. “Approaches such as contingency management and cognitive-behavioral therapy have been shown to effectively treat heroin use disorder, especially when applied in concert with medications” Contingency management refers to a method that uses a voucher system in which patients earn a certain number of points, based on clean drug tests, that they can exchange for items that help encourage a healthy lifestyle. Cognitive-behavior therapy is used to help change a person’s expectations and behaviors that may be related to their drug use and increase the skills they have to cope with those stressors.


During the detoxification stage of treatment, many people experience withdrawals. Medications can help ease the discomfort that are associated with these withdrawals, making it more comfortable for a person to detox.

“Medications developed to treat opioid use disorders work through the same opioid receptors as the addictive drug, but are safer and less likely to produce the harmful behaviors that characterize a substance use disorder.” Medications can be very helpful in treating a heroin addiction problem to ensure an easy transition from detox to treatment.

Inland Detox

Inland Detox helps individuals who are suffering from Heroin addiction by providing following a detox protocol of stabilization, diminishing existing withdrawal symptoms and thoughtful counseling that leads to a long-term treatment plan after the detox process is complete.

Some of the amazing amenities provided by Inland Detox include:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Family counseling
  • Addiction education
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Participation in local AA and NA meetings
  • Follow-up and aftercare services
  • Coping skills training
  • Nutrition
  • Life skills education
  • Medical support
  • Yoga, mindfulness, and meditation training

If you or someone you know needs help overcoming heroin addiction, Inland Detox is a premiere heroin detox program. Please call Inland Detox at (844) 225-6453. Our approach to each client is unique. We offer not only a luxurious environment for our clients to feel comfortable in, but we also focus tremendously on aftercare planning. We want our heroin treatment clients to be successful in the recovery process long-term.