Causes of heroin withdrawal
Heroin is an extremely powerful, extraordinarily dangerous, and highly addictive drug that has the potential to inflict significant damage. As an opioid, heroin shares certain properties with opium, morphine, and the active ingredients in prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin. Individuals who abuse heroin risk a wide range of physical and psychological outcomes, including becoming dependent on the drug, which can begin to occur the first time a person ingests heroin.
When a person becomes addicted to heroin, he or she will prioritize the acquisition and use of this drug over virtually all other important aspects of his or her life. This problem will only worsen as the person develops a tolerance to heroin, which means that he or she will need to ingest larger or more potent doses in order to achieve the desired effect. Tolerance is one of the indicators that a person may be struggling with a substance use disorder and in need of help from a licensed addiction treatment center. Obviously, abusing heroin more frequently and in larger amounts will increase both the likelihood that a person will experience negative outcomes and the potential severity of those outcomes.
One of many reasons why heroin dependence is so difficult to overcome is that once a person has become addicted to this opioid, ceasing or significantly decreasing one’s abuse of the drug will trigger several painful withdrawal symptoms that can set in with stunning rapidity.
Signs of heroin withdrawal
When heroin addiction, or heroin use disorder, occurs, a person’s body adapts to the presence of heroin. When the drug is not present, either because the person has not been able to acquire the drug or because he or she is trying to end his or her heroin abuse, the body will react in an unpleasant manner. This unpleasantness is known as heroin withdrawal.
The exact symptoms that a person will experience while undergoing heroin withdrawal will vary depending upon several factors, including the amount of time that he or she has been abusing the drug, the amount and frequency of that abuse, and his or her abuse of other substances. However, if a person attempts to quit using heroin without availing him or herself of a licensed addiction rehab center, he or she may develop some, many, or all of the following heroin withdrawal symptoms:
- Intense cravings for heroin
- Watery eyes and runny nose
- Excessive perspiration
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Suppressed appetite
- Abdominal cramping
- Pain in muscles and bones
- Slow or shallow respiration
- Dangerously low body temperature
An individual who experiences these symptoms will find it difficult, if not impossible, to end his or her dependence on heroin without professional treatment. With effective care, though, he or she can avoid the pain of withdrawal and begin to make the therapeutic progress that will empower him or her to achieve long-term recovery.
Why seek treatment for heroin addiction?
The pain of withdrawal can prevent people from ending their addiction to heroin and, in some cases, the fear of these symptoms can stop people from even trying to end their heroin abuse. The good news is that with effective treatment, from a reputable addiction rehab center, withdrawal symptoms can be managed, the pain can be significantly decreased, and abstinence can be achieved.
However, even the unpleasantness of withdrawal without professional help pales in comparison to the distress and danger of continued heroin abuse. Every time a person ingests heroin, he or she puts him or herself at risk for myriad negative outcomes, including overdose and death. The longer this behavior continues, the greater the risk becomes that the individual will experience lasting damage. In addition to the physical and psychological harm of heroin abuse, additional negative outcomes include, but are not limited to, academic failure, job loss and unemployment, family discord, destroyed interpersonal relationships, financial distress, arrest, incarceration, homelessness, social withdrawal or ostracization, and suicide.
With the effective comprehensive care that is available at Life Center of Galax, in Virginia, these risks can be eliminated, the damage that a person has incurred due to heroin abuse can begin to heal, and future harm can be avoided. With detox, medication assisted treatment, and a variety of therapeutic activities, Life Center of Galax is uniquely prepared to help the men and women in Virginia end their use of heroin, overcome the compulsion to continue to abuse this dangerous drug, and become empowered to pursue a healthier and happier future, free from the constraints of heroin dependence.
To learn more about treatment for heroin addiction at Life Center of Galax, or for answers to any questions you may have about any aspect of our addiction rehab center, please feel free to contact us at your convenience. We look forward to providing you with the information that you need to make the most informed decision for yourself or for someone who you care about.