Substantial Facts on Heroin Withdrawal

Heroin and other opioids are drugs that have a very profound effect on the central nervous system. They are also drugs that have become more common here in the UK. Organisations like ours have seen a steady increase in the number of clients looking for help in overcoming heroin after reaching the conclusion that using is destroying their lives. We are glad to help. From heroin withdrawal to long-term psychotherapeutic treatment, we have the answers addicts are looking for.

Our primary goal as an expert referral organisation is to help everyone who calls us to access treatment for whatever drugs they or their loved ones are dealing with. We understand how difficult it is to stop using, especially when the person has been using long enough to become genuinely addicted. We also know that heroin is one of the toughest drugs to quit. That’s why we have established our 24-hour helpline. Our trained and knowledgeable counsellors are standing by around-the-clock to help those in need.

Assuming you are reading this post because you’re concerned about yourself or someone else you love, please understand that you are dealing with a dangerous drug that requires withdrawal to overcome. There are three things you need to know about heroin withdrawal explained below.

1. Heroin Withdrawal Can Be Dangerous

A person addicted to heroin will begin demonstrating withdrawal symptoms between doses. We will explain what those symptoms are in the next section. What we want to address here is the reason those symptoms occur and the danger these pose to the user.

Withdrawal symptoms occur because the user’s body has become so used to having the drug in the system that it does not know what to do without it. Think of it in terms of fighting a fire. As flames are devouring a burning building, firefighters pour incredible volumes of water on them. Most of that water evaporates as the flames are being doused. But as the flames die down less water evaporates, collecting on the ground instead. Firefighters continuing to douse the structure after the fire is extinguished would end up flooding the site.

Heroin withdrawal works the same way. The body has to compensate for heroin in the system in order to continue functioning properly. As the effects of the drug wear off, withdrawal symptoms are a sign that the body is still trying to compensate even though the volume of the drug within is decreasing.

This overcompensation can be fatal – especially in long-term addicts who are also in poor health for other reasons. And even in cases where withdrawal is not life-threatening, serious injuries can result from dehydration, severe tremors, and other problems.

2. Withdrawal Symptoms Can Be Managed

Although heroin withdrawal can be fatal, deaths and injuries related to heroin treatment are rare. Medical science now understands enough about withdrawal and treatment to properly manage symptoms in a way that reduces both injuries and discomfort. Anyone planning to go through withdrawal on the way to kicking a heroin habit should definitely seek out professional treatment at a private clinic. That way, symptoms can be managed and monitored by a doctor or registered nurse.

Withdrawal symptoms are divided into early and late stage categories. Early stage withdrawal symptoms include:

  • agitation and anxiety
  • muscle aches
  • runny nose
  • increased tearing and sweating
  • insomnia, yawning.

Late stage withdrawal symptoms include:

  • abdominal cramping
  • dilated pupils
  • chills, goosebumps
  • muscle spasms, tremors
  • nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
  • urinary incontinence.

Almost all rehab clinics in the UK now use some form of prescription medication to ease the withdrawal process. Methadone is the most commonly used drug. Please understand that methadone was never intended to be a substitute drug that users take in place of achieving abstinence. If you were to continue taking methadone beyond the 7-to-10-day detox period, you would not be managing symptoms; you would be engaging in a substitute addiction.

3. Withdrawal Is Necessary

The last thing we want you to know about heroin withdrawal is that it is necessary if you want to kick your habit. The fact that you exhibit withdrawal symptoms indicates your body is already dependent on the drug, and there’s no way to break that dependence without stopping your use altogether.

As long as you continue to use heroin, no matter how small the amount, you are feeding a habit that will not go away by itself. Furthermore, thinking you can control your heroin use and not let it get out of hand is simply unrealistic. Heroin addiction is the direct result of tolerance, and tolerance requires you to continually use larger amounts of heroin in order to enjoy the same pleasurable effects. The person controlled by heroin has little choice but to continue using it more often.

The good news is that withdrawal does not take long. Major withdrawal symptoms usually peak somewhere between the second and third day of treatment, then subside thereafter. With the exception of cravings, most withdrawal symptoms subside in about a week. When you’re done with that portion of the treatment, you can move on to psychotherapeutic treatments to deal with the mental and emotional aspects of addiction.

Contact Us Today

There is no need for you or someone you care about to continue living a life controlled by heroin or methadone. If you are willing to undergo ten days of detox and a few weeks of psychotherapeutic treatments, you can be free from your addiction once and for all. We want to help.

We invite you to take advantage of our free and confidential resources by contacting us on our 24-hour helpline. If you don’t want to call, you can send a message through this website. In either case, your contact will be our signal to get to work on helping you find treatment. We have access to dozens of private rehab clinics and other treatment providers all across the UK. What’s more, we will help you find a treatment programme appropriate to your circumstances.

close help
Who am I contacting?

Calls and contact requests are answered by admissions at

UK Addiction Treatment Group.

We look forward to helping you take your first step.

0203 553 0324