Quitting Heroin: How to Get Started

Quitting the habit of heroin is a long process. It takes persistence and patience and is not just about detoxing the body. However, the good news is that one can definitely stop taking heroin for good.

How to Stop

The best way to stop taking heroin is with medical supervision. Going cold turkey on a heroin addiction does not always turn out positively or help long term recovery. It is very difficult to drastically reduce heroin dosage as the body develops a dependence over time and withdrawal symptoms can be very intense and extremely uncomfortable. Which can lead the individual right back to using heroin. With medical supervision, the individual may be prescribed medication during the detox period to help with the withdrawal symptoms and making it easier to stick to recovery.

What Happens When You Stop

When an individual has been using heroin regularly and their body is functioning normally while the drug is in their system, this mean that they have become physically dependent on the drug. So what happens when the individual stops taking heroin?

Like stopping the use of any drug or harmful substance, the individual will go through a period of withdrawal. Most of the symptoms are predictable, but some can be very difficult to go through. Taking heroin speeds up certain functions and system, and it takes time to resolve these symptoms. Acute symptoms reach their peak approximately 72 hours after a dose, but can linger for 7 to 10 days after stopping. Mood and sleep disorders can persist for weeks and even months.

Side Effects

The following are the side effects that an individual can expect to experience when stopping heroin. As mentioned above, these symptoms will usually peak around 72 hours after the last dosage. How intense these symptoms will be and how long they will last depends on the individual’s dosing history.

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Cold sweats and chills
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Depression
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Vomiting
  • Tearing up
  • Body aches and pains

In conclusion, it is clear that the safest way to stop taking heroin is under the supervision of a medical professional. Any number of trained professionals, such as addiction specialists, medical doctors or psychiatrists can help. The professional will determine the level of dependency and make an assessment on the addiction. They will them recommend the safest way to stop. It could mean checking into a detox clinic, or another method. This is the first step to getting better

If you or a loved one wants to quit heroin, The Villa has trained staff who can help. Contact us for more information on how we can assist your recovery.