You’re ready to kick a heroin habit. But you’re ambivalent about dealing with withdrawal symptoms. When does heroin withdrawal start in the first place? And how can you make it through that period of time without relapsing?
Causes of Withdrawal Symptoms
Heroin’s a nervous system depressant. Therefore, it affects the way your body communicates with the brain. Most importantly, it interrupts pain impulses. Then you stop using.
Almost immediately, your nervous system reestablishes communication with the brain. However, this isn’t a seamless, straightforward process. There’s some sputtering and readjusting that takes place. For you, this translates into unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
When Does Heroin Withdrawal Start?
About six hours after your last dose, you start to feel the first pangs. You might feel a little anxious. Your muscles start aching. You’re yawning a lot.
At the eight to ten-hour mark, you’re sweating. Your nose is running. Besides that, you have a difficult time settling down. You’re tired, but you can’t sleep.
Acute Withdrawal Brings Pain
At this point in the heroin withdrawal timeline, you’re pretty sure you can handle this. When does heroin withdrawal start to get painful? For most people, it’s after a full day without the drug. You’re feeling nauseated and have loose bowels.
Your muscles cramp. Because you’re vomiting a lot, you’re at risk for dehydration. Agitation and psychological symptoms worsen as well. At this point, most people who’re quitting cold turkey will use again and relapse.
Working with a Detox Facility Prevents Early Relapse
At a heroin detox facility, you work with specialists who anticipate what you’ll go through in the first days of withdrawal. They’ll customize a treatment protocol for you. Examples of therapeutic interventions include:
- Physical examination and baseline readings
- Medical monitoring that allows medication management to stabilize you
- Cravings control assistance with medical support
- One-on-one and group therapy sessions that affirm your decision to quit using and provide goal-setting opportunities
- Dual diagnosis testing and management of underlying psychiatric conditions such as anxiety or depression
While you stay at the facility, you benefit from around-the-clock care. You don’t have to worry that the pain will get so strong that you’ll relapse. In fact, you don’t have to worry about pain at all. Instead, you experience a supportive environment that encourages you to break the physiological hold the drug has on you.
What is Post-Acute Withdrawal?
After about a week to ten days, the acute withdrawal symptoms subside. Because your body no longer believes that it needs heroin to survive, you can now focus on living sober. You have the power to exercise control over your actions. That said, you might still experience cravings for heroin.
Many will seek out rehab or 12 step recovery programs for assistance. Of course, before you can get to this point, you first need to quit using. When does heroin withdrawal start to get painful and uncomfortable? After a few hours, so reach out to Serenity House Detox by calling 866-294-5306 to get immediate help.