Timeline of Heroin Withdrawal

Timeline of Heroin Withdrawal

Timeline of Heroin Withdrawal

When a person’s body becomes physically dependent on heroin, it’s not easy to stop using it, even if they make the decision to stop. Not knowing what to expect can be particularly daunting to someone. The timeline of heroin withdrawal may look different from person to person, but understanding the general timeframe may help to ease someone’s fear.

Prevalence of Heroin Use

In the United States in 2016, about 948,000 Americans used heroin in 2016, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.[1] It’s vital to remember that not every person who uses the drug will become addicted and start to abuse the drug, and also that this survey is self-reported.

In Arizona alone, heroin use continues to be a problem.[2] In 2018, 1,106 residents of Arizona died from opioid-related causes, an alarming rate of 15.9%.[3] The severity of the drug and the dangerous effects it has on the lives of those who use it makes it an ever-increasing problem in Arizona. Once users begin to develop a physical and psychological addiction to the drug, recovery can be challenging because of how highly addictive heroin is.

When a person’s body becomes physically dependent on heroin, they will experience intense symptoms of withdrawal.

Step-by-Step Heroin Withdrawal Timeline

Withdrawal from heroin will take some time, though it may differ from person to person. Here is a general overview and timeline of heroin withdrawal:

The First 6-24 Hours

Within a short period, some or all of the following symptoms may be experienced:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Anxiety or irritability
  • Twitching, pain, or aches in the muscles
  • Runny nose
  • Increased heart rate
  • Stomach pain or discomfort
  • Disruption to sleep
  • Excessive yawning

 48 to 96 Hours (Days 2-4)

Side effects typically hit their peak between 48 and 96 hours. These include:

  • Loss of appetite, as well as diarrhea and vomiting
  • Stomach cramps (can be severe) and nausea
  • Muscle twitches and pain that can be severe
  • Cravings for the drug
  • Feelings of depression, irritability, and anxiety
  • Mid-grade to high fever
  • Problems sleeping
  • Hallucinations

5 to 10 Days

Within days five through 10 is the time when most patients begin to see their symptoms taper off. They’ll begin to feel better and have survived the worst of the timeline of heroin withdrawal. Some of the lingering symptoms may include:

  • Mood changes
  • Continued cravings for the drug
  • Issues with sleeping
  • Stomach cramps

Continued after infographic:

timeline of heroin withdrawal, heroin rehab

Getting Help for Heroin Withdrawal in a Rehab Facility

When a person makes the decision to stop using heroin, attempting to withdraw on their own may be overwhelming. In fact, many attempts to detox from heroin without professional help end in failure. The physical and psychological symptoms of heroin withdrawal often push a person to use again to alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal. Most addiction treatment professionals recommend a medically supervised detox for heroin withdrawal. 

Heroin Detox in Arizona

When you go to a trusted rehabilitation facility like Desert Cove Recovery for heroin addiction treatment, you’ll be under the care of medical professionals with the tools available to help you withdraw as safe and comfortable as possible. When you choose heroin detox in Arizona, you will also participate in counseling to help you through the emotional and psychological side effects of heroin withdrawal. Our staff will be there with you to help you through every single step as you navigate through the symptoms so that you don’t have to go it alone.

For many, the timeline of heroin withdrawal can feel incredibly long and experiencing new side effects may feel scary. At our rehab facility in Arizona, you’ll have access to the help you need to endure what’s happening and to give you the tools to succeed when you are done with treatment.

Why You Should Seek Help with Heroin Withdrawal

Some of the specific ways that we can aide with detox and recovery from heroin and other substances include:

  • Access to medical professionals to treat the symptoms of withdrawal
  • Monitoring of vital signs
  • Support from medical staff and psychologists to aide in powering through the tough times
  • Mental evaluation and strategies for overcoming struggles within the mind
  • Continued support from professionals after the detox period is complete

If you’re struggling with an addiction to heroin, please know that you are not alone. Detoxing from this opioid does not have to be a solo mission. When you turn to Desert Cove Recovery for help, you’re never alone. Our experts on addiction and recovery will offer a comprehensive solution for getting through detox and entering long-term recovery with the right tools for success.

We know that heroin abuse isn’t something that can be overcome overnight. If you’re facing a heroin dependency and are ready to give it up once and for all, we’re here for you. Contact us today, we’re here to help you gain sobriety safely.



[1] https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin/scope-heroin-use-in-united-states

[2] https://hookedaz.cronkitenewsonline.com/

[3] https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state/arizona-opioid-summary