Heroin Withdrawal Signs, Symptoms and Florida Drug Rehab Options

heroin withdrawl symptoms

Written By: Lighthouse Editorial Team

Our editorial team includes content experts that contribute to Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s blog. Editors and medical experts review our blogs for accuracy and relevance. We consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA and NIDA to provide you with the most comprehensive addiction-related content.

Published on Jun 7, 2019 | Rehab Treatment Options

Heroin use in America has reach epidemic numbers. When you combine the incredible addictiveness of the drug and the severity of the withdrawal symptoms, it takes great courage to commit to a drug and alcohol rehab program for heroin addiction treatment. It’s not just because we are a heroin treatment facility that we highly recommend enrolling in one to safely detox from heroin, it’s that a person needs to be monitored and encouraged throughout the process. There’s no shame in reaching out for help as an estimated 20.7 million people aged 12 or older needed substance abuse treatment from 2016-2017.

There are many factors that show the dependency on the body and brain from this illicit drug. Some of the most common factors that determine the length of the withdrawal experience are how long the person has been using heroin and the quantity they have been taking. This is the main reason the severity and duration of heroin withdrawal symptoms vary by person.

A person with mental health issues and a family history of addiction might become dependent on heroin or other opiates quicker as compared to another individual without those factors. It has been found that heroin addiction is referred to as an epidemic in this day and age. There are many individuals that are suffering from opioid addiction, whether it be fentanyl, tramadol, or another common opioid, and struggle to rid themselves of this dependency.

Before seeking drug rehab in Florida, it is important that you understand everything about the heroin addiction, signs and symptoms of withdrawal and treatment options that are available.

heroin withdrawl symptoms
Heroin and Heroin Addiction

Heroin is an opiate drug that will obstruct some of the important functions of the central nervous system. It is a fast-acting drug and can dissipate in the body rather quickly. Depending on how heavy a user is, it can take anywhere between five to 10 days to rid it from a person’s system. It will reduce the heart rate, can cause liver and kidney disease, lung complications, cause mental disorders such as depression, men may develop sexual dysfunction and women may develop irregular menstrual cycles. Those are just a few of the long-term effects. It will also bind to the opioid receptors in the brain. It will increase the production of chemicals in the brain that is responsible for the feeling of happiness. A rush of pleasure occurs when heroin is abused and when it is removed, it will have the opposite effects.

Some of the common signs of addiction are generally broken down into physical and behavioral warning signs.

Top 5 Physical Signs of Addiction are:

  1. Insomnia
  2. Bloodshot eyes
  3. Enlarged or small pupils
  4. Sudden weight gain or weight loss
  5. Poor physical coordination

Top 5 Behavioral Signs of Addiction are:

  1. Socially withdrawing from friends and family
  2. Irrational thoughts and behavior
  3. Significant performance changes in work, school or other aspects of daily life
  4. Legal or financial issues
  5. Changes in health

Heroin Detox Symptoms

The withdrawal — or heroin detox — symptoms can vary according to the dependency of the body on the drug. If a person has been utilizing the substance for a long time and they have been taking heavy doses for months or years, they might find withdrawal difficult. Therefore, seeking appropriate medical care to monitor the detox is crucial during this time. This will prevent a retreat into using the drug and this is so important. There are different types of withdrawal symptoms ranging from mild to severe.

Mild Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms:

  1. Abdominal cramps
  2. Nausea
  3. Runny nose
  4. Tearing
  5. Chills
  6. Sweats
  7. Ache in muscles and bones
  8. Yawning

Moderate Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

  1. Diarrhea
  2. Vomiting
  3. Restlessness
  4. Agitation
  5. Trouble concentrating
  6. Tremors
  7. Fatigue
  8. Goosebumps

Severe Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

  1. Insomnia
  2. Anxiety
  3. Hypertension
  4. Depression
  5. Muscle spasms
  6. Rapid heart rate
  7. No feeling of happiness or pleasure
  8. Drug cravings
  9. Impaired respiration

On its own, the withdrawal of heroin is not considered life-threatening. However, there are some psychological and medical complications that are considered life-threatening.

If medical health professionals are not supporting the person who is going through withdrawal symptoms, then the possible condition of depression and anxiety develops. Furthermore, other acute medical issues could develop for the patient as they go through the detox process depending on the age and other factors. This is the reason for the necessary proper medical supervision during this process.

Heroin Addiction Drug Treatment

There are a variety of methods that are used to treat heroin addiction. In a Florida drug rehab treatment center, most of the specialists select the most appropriate level of care for the patient after consulting with the patient and conducting intense assessments.

Heroin Detox

Heroin is a short-acting drug that will rapidly take effect in the user. It has been found that heroin withdrawal symptoms will start to show after 6 to 12 hours after the last dose. The symptoms will reach peak levels in the individual’s system within 2 to 3 days. After approximately 5 to 10 days, the person will traditionally be getting rid of the symptoms.

The detox method for heroin treatment is commonly used in alcohol rehab centers as well. It is the process in which medication is used to subside the ill effects as heroin is leaving the body. We know that the symptoms of the drugs will reach a peak level within the first few days. This is the reason medical personnel will use the most comfortable method for the detox to assure that the body will not deal with withdrawal symptoms and chances of relapse will be reduced.

Medical detox for heroin will start before the drug leaves the system and it will take 5 to 7 days. In case a person is heavily dependent on the drug it might take 10 or even more days for the treatment. To help the brain and body recover from the effects of heroin, there are chances that medication and therapy will be used for the patient. All the vital signs like heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and breathing of the person are being monitored. Throughout the entire treatment, it is assured that the person feels safe and secure.

Behavioral Therapies in Heroin Addiction Treatment

It has been found that there are different types of behavioral treatments that are effective against heroin addiction. The sessions are available in residential settings as well as outpatient. The two most effective types of therapies used for treating addiction tend to be:

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  2. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

In Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), the patient begins to realize that much of their behavioral patterns and thoughts are connected. This modality is not only effective in treating patients with a co-occurring disorder such as borderline personality disorder, but also anxiety disorders, eating disorders, depressive disorders, substance use disorders, bipolar disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder.

Pharmacological Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has become more popular over the last several years due to the landscape of the epidemic. Many insurance companies even require that some form of MAT be integrated into the treatment episode for them to approve coverage.

There are three types of medications that are most commonly prescribed. These are an “agonist” that will cause the activation of opioid receptors, an “antagonist” that will block opioid receptors and their rewarding effects and a “partial agonist” that will activate the receptors with a lower response.

Some of the effective medications are:

  1. Methadone: agonist
  2. Buprenorphine: partial agonist
  3. Naltrexone: antagonist

Methadone is the drug name that the substance goes by, but Subutex is the common brand name of buprenorphine and Suboxone is the brand name for a drug that combines buprenorphine & naloxone.

Make sure that you select the Florida inpatient drug and alcohol rehab treatment center that will best meet your needs. Consult with our specialist to learn more about our heroin addiction rehab center.

Our heroin addiction treatment center has professionals who have helped countless individuals get through the difficulties of heroin addiction withdrawal. Constant monitoring is necessary and it’s extremely helpful to be in an inpatient heroin treatment center that has helped other addicts in the past. Our addiction professionals are available to help and can be reached today at (866) 336-4694.

Written By: Lighthouse Editorial Team

Our editorial team includes content experts that contribute to Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s blog. Editors and medical experts review our blogs for accuracy and relevance. We consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA and NIDA to provide you with the most comprehensive addiction-related content.
Cite This Article
Lighthouse Editorial Team. "Heroin Withdrawal Signs, Symptoms and Florida Drug Rehab Options." Lighthouse Recovery Institute., Published on Jun 7, 2019, https://lighthouserecoveryinstitute.com/heroin-withdrawal-signs-symptoms-florida-drug-rehab-options/.


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