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Heroin Withdrawal

As with all other drugs or alcohol, those who use heroin, and quit, whether you are a habitual user, only done it a couple times, have binges, or whether you have become addicted and dependent on heroin, knowing what heroin withdrawal symptoms to expect, and the duration in time you will experience these heroin withdrawal symptoms, might help individuals cope with them. No matter what amount of use, heroin is an extremely addictive drug; therefore, if you have become addicted, you are going to experience certain heroin withdrawal symptoms when you do quit. Initially, the heroin withdrawal symptoms one is going to experience tend to vary in time and intensity for each individual. The symptoms can begin anywhere from 6 to 12 hours after the last dose of heroin is used, and the most intense heroin withdrawal symptoms are likely to take place between 1 to 4 days after the final dose, and will gradually get better from day 5 to 7 and onwards. There are of course those individuals (especially those who had become dependent and addicted to heroin) who may experience the heroin withdrawal symptoms for weeks (post acute withdrawal syndrome - PAWS).

All users of heroin will experience different heroin withdrawal symptoms, some will experience very little difficult, while others are going to experience certain symptoms for longer periods of time. No matter how long you have used heroin, or at what degrees you used the drug, these are some of the most common heroin withdrawal symptoms, and those which are likely to be experienced in some form or another, and in different intensity levels, by all users who have used heroin, and are not quitting.

Withdrawal & Cravings -
Most who withdrawal are going to experience a strong desire and craving for the drug. These cravings are common in individuals who are quitting any type of drug or alcohol addiction they have. Due to the fact that the body became dependant on the heroin, cravings are one of the most common heroin withdrawal symptoms which will be experienced. Some of the cravings will be driven by the desire to want to do the drug, while others will be from the body trying to kick it out of the system after longer periods of time of use.

Mood Changes -
From being happy, to going to a depressed state, or feeling anxious or irritable from minute to minute, and with no reason for the change in behavior or mood, are also common heroin withdrawal symptoms which might be experienced by individuals who are quitting. These feelings and mood changes tend to be fairly intense early on, but as the days pass, and as the need to take the drug wears off, the continual mood changes are also going to die down in ex- users. Once the withdrawal stage ends (no matter how long it takes), the individual is likely to go back to their normal mood, without the constant mood swings.

Aches & Pains -
Another common heroin withdrawal condition or symptom is feeling aches and pains in the body. Since heroin blocks off the body's pain pathways, once you take the drug away, the body is going to feel pain again. And, since you were used to not feeling any pain at all, the aches and pains you will feel during the heroin withdrawal period, are going to seem extremely intense, and might feel as if they are far worse than they really are. Pain and aches can occur in the back of the legs, and arms, and the body is going to feel more sensitive to pain than it otherwise might have, due to the body regulating itself.

Excessive Body Fluids -
The body is going to experience overproduction of body fluids during the heroin withdrawal period. From excessive sweating, production of tears, or a runny nose, all of these are common during the early portion of the heroin withdrawal period, due to the body regulating the temperature, and bringing things to where they should be.

Diarrhea, Nausea, & Vomiting during heroin withdrawal -
Another common symptom during the initial heroin withdrawal phase might be diarrhea, and frequent bowel movements. The accompaniment of stomach pains might also occur in some individuals who are undergoing the early days of their heroin withdrawal period. Along with these pains, the potential for nausea and vomiting might also come along with the symptoms some individuals are going to experience. Although it does not happen with all individuals, in those who tend to undergo these heroin withdrawal symptoms, these are generally strong, and will last for the first couple of days during the withdrawal.

Fever -
An increase in body temperature might also accompany the many heroin withdrawal symptoms one experiences. The fever will generally be around 99 to 100 degrees, but in some cases can be higher. If the individual experiences a temperature of 103 or higher, for more than a few hours and it does not go down with some type of treatment (pain medication or tylenol), then the individual who is experiencing the extremely high fever should seek out medical attention.

Restlessness and Sleep Problems -
You may also experience restlessness as one of the heroin withdrawal symptoms, which may be accompanied by anxiety or insomnia, and will keep you up during the evening. Individuals will have difficulty falling and staying asleep early on, but this should get easier as the days go by, and as the body grows accustomed to living without the drugs in its system.

These are some of the main heroin withdrawal symptoms; not all will be present, and some individuals (especially those who only used the drug once or twice) might not experience any. But, if you are undergoing a detox, and completely eliminating heroin from your life, making sure you are aware of these heroin withdrawal symptoms, and have someone around you during the early days, in order to help you get past the most difficult periods, is something that one should consider when they are going through the detox, and trying to get clean after extended use periods with heroin.