What Does Heroin Detox Feel Like?

If you have become addicted to heroin, you will most likely experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it. However, withdrawal symptoms can also appear following heavy use when lowering the use even by a little. Physically, heroin withdrawal may feel like having the flu. People often experience nausea, diarrhea, runny nose, achiness, tremors, fatigue, chills, and sweats. Move severe symptoms can also occur such as difficulty breathing, depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

Maybe you are trying to quit “cold turkey” or have no means to use at the moment, but the detox off heroin is different for everybody but for everybody, it is a nightmare.

What Does Heroin Detox Feel Like?

It’s Not Easy to Quit Heroin

You may try to sleep it off or watch television to keep your mind occupied, but that is usually impossible with your mind going a million miles per hour. The obsession is what haunts you initially; the non-stop thinking about it; how you can get it, every possible way goes through your mind. You may even have other drugs to make it easier on you such as marijuana, Xanax or a lesser painkiller. This does no good because you will run out of that substitute sooner or later than its heroin on the brain again.

Stopping heroin “cold-turkey” brings about a rapid onset of withdrawal symptoms, which are very difficult to endure. The risk of experiencing a relapse during withdrawal is high as the craving to use and stop the symptoms can be overwhelming. When people try to self-taper their heroin use on their own they are seldom successful. A relapse during withdrawal sometimes leads to overdose.

If you are lucky enough to have the means to get into detox that helps you through your withdrawal symptoms with medicine, your symptoms are lessened and can be easier to endure. Nevertheless, you will still experience some level of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.


These usually start within 6-12 hours for short-acting opiates, and they start within 30 hours for longer-acting ones:

  • Tearing up
  • Muscle aches
  • Agitation
  • Trouble falling and staying asleep
  • Excessive yawning
  • Anxiety
  • Nose running
  • Sweats
  • Racing heart
  • Hypertension
  • Fever


These heroin withdrawal symptoms peak within 72 hours and usually last a week or so:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Goosebumps
  • Stomach cramps
  • Depression
  • Drug cravings

While heroin withdrawal can be intense and uncomfortable, the worst of the symptoms usually pass within a week. Depending on the level and length of use, recovering heroin addicts are likely to suffer post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS), including poor sleep, poor concentration, increased anxiety, depression, panic attacks, fatigue, hypersensitivity, irritability, mood swings, restlessness, and memory loss. PAWS can last anywhere from 18-24 months. The effects on mood and behavior can last months after other withdrawal symptoms pass. However, as time goes by and the user remains drug-free, the symptoms will slowly begin to diminish.

Heroin and Going Cold Turkey

Quitting cold-turkey is not recommended as it is the most difficult and dangerous way to attempt to address addiction. Medically supervised detox with withdrawal medications, counseling support, and symptom management make the experience much easier, safer and more likely to result in a successful recovery.

There are many ways of treating heroin withdrawal. Two of the most commonly used approaches are behavioral and pharmacological (medications). The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) states that although behavioral and pharmacologic treatments can be extremely useful when utilized alone, research shows that for many people, integrating both types of treatments is the best approach.

Allure Detox is Here to Help with Heroin Addiction

We At Allure Detox can help you get through these difficult times. Heroin withdrawal is painful if you’re trying to detox on your own. With the help of Allure Detox, we can make the process smooth and manageable through a medically assisted detoxification process. We understand the mental, emotional and physical suffering that heroin withdrawal brings.

One of the most significant advances in the detox field has been the use of something called Medication Assisted Treatment or MAT. MAT is the use of prescription drugs to treat addiction. This form of treatment is one of the chief weapons in Allure’s heroin detox arsenal.