Heroin and opioid-based painkillers have a few things in common. However, the most dangerous is that they can both trigger the reward center of the brain, which makes them highly addictive. Even a one-time “trial” of heroin can result in addiction. Those suffering from a dependence on this drug may smoke it, inject it, or snort it. No matter which delivery method those addicted choose, each comes with eventual heroin withdrawal when the user quits.

No Longer a Back Alley Addiction

man with his head in his hands going through heroin withdrawalWhat makes addiction to heroin so devastating is the fact that it’s not that always easy to tell if someone suffers from it. The fashion industry has glorified the so-called “heroin look.” Because injection isn’t the only delivery method, the drug can now hook even those squeamish about needles.

The Foundation for a Drug-Free World calls it a “slippery slope” and rightfully so. With some developing addictions as young as 12 years of age, the face of the disease has changed.

Is Heroin Withdrawal Like They Show in the Movies?

No matter how young or old you are, there’s no doubt that heroin withdrawal is unpleasant. That said, it doesn’t reach the dramatic highs (or lows) that television and the movies love to portray. The availability of treatments is what sets today’s gradual medically supervised detox apart from the actor-portrayed methods of white knuckling it in a run-down apartment alone.

In reality, a few of the possible withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps
  • Shaking, muscle spasms, and periods of extreme sweating
  • Depression and anxiety

Remember that the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms depends on your overall health, the length of time that you’ve taken the drug, and the dose that you usually take. A medical detox program is your best choice. It provides stability and the availability of graduated medication assistance when you need it.

Moreover, the staff that supports you during withdrawal ensures that secondary symptoms don’t become dangerous. In short, the availability of a skilled support system frequently makes the actors’ portrayals an over-the-top performance.

Beyond the Detox

Suboxone medication therapy is a proven method for helping a person addicted to heroin lessen the drug’s control. Since detox is only the first step on the road to recovery, it’s crucial that you pave the way for success by enrolling in a rehab program that continues this therapy and assists you with the formation of strategies for sober living. When you combine your detox with rehab, you increase your odds of only going through heroin withdrawal once.

Getting Help Has Never Been Easier!

Reaching out to 1st Step Behavioral Health puts you in touch with friendly, skilled professionals who want to help you take the first step on the road to healing. Our talented staff understands your fears, doesn’t judge, and wants to see you succeed in the long term. Why struggle with a heroin addiction for another day when help is so close at hand? Call (855) 425-4846 to learn more.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.