When a person becomes dependent on heroin, this means their body needs it in order to function normally. If the drug is removed, withdrawal symptoms can be very intense.
To safely withdraw, this should be done in a medical setting such as a hospital or rehab program. There are ways to withdraw from home, but the best option will be to seek medical care.
But for some, they’re already aware of the symptoms of withdrawal and are looking for ways to ease the pain and flu-like symptoms they know will happen.
For these people, we’ve compiled some helpful tips for heroin withdrawal.
Tips For Heroin Withdrawal
For those who have been through heroin withdrawal, or are looking for ways to ease the transition for the first time, there are home remedies.
Here are a few tips on withdrawing from heroin at home:
Have A Support System
Any successful recovery plan involves social support. Whether this means family, friends, or a community of individuals, find people who can support you in the process of withdrawal and getting sober.
Take Over-The-Counter Medications
In recommended and safe doses, certain medications can help to ease the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal.
Take Imodium for diarrhea, Dramamine for nausea, Tylenol or ibuprofen for muscle aches, and melatonin for insomnia.
Heroin withdrawal can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting, which can lead to dehydration. If left untreated, major dehydration can be fatal. It’s essential that the body’s fluids are being replenished regularly.
Have A Healthy Diet
During withdrawal, the body will be depleted of many essential nutrients.
A study from the Iranian Journal of Public Health found that people with opioid addictions show deficiencies in calcium and magnesium, which are major factors of pain and nervous or muscular disorders in those detoxing.
Soak In A Hot Bath
Hot baths can help with things like muscle aches and pains, headaches, and back pain. The relaxation from taking a hot bath can also help with sleep.
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Is Withdrawing From Heroin At Home Safe?
For those who have existing social support and have been through withdrawal before, going through withdrawal at home can be safe.
Additionally, for those who don’t have a serious addiction or long-term physical dependence on heroin, at-home withdrawal may be fine.
But for those who have a major dependency on heroin, withdrawing alone can be dangerous.
What Are The Risks Of Withdrawing From Heroin At Home?
Heroin withdrawal often comes with a number of serious side effects, such as dehydration from diarrhea and vomiting, abdominal cramping, and muscle aches.
If not properly managed, symptoms like these can lead to complications and in some cases, death.
There are also psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and severe heroin cravings, that can cause long-term damage that’s difficult to treat at home.
Under the medical and psychological supervision of trained staff, complications and risks such as these can be swiftly addressed.
Are There Any Benefits To Withdrawing From Heroin At Home?
One of the benefits of withdrawing from heroin at home is that you won’t have to pay for medical bills for a hospital or rehab center stay.
However, most treatment facilities work with major insurance providers, accept Medicaid, offer a sliding scale, and have other financing options to help with the cost of treatment.
Another benefit to withdrawing from home is that the comforts of home are available.
When those flu-like symptoms set in, a person withdrawing from heroin can sleep in their own bed, cook healthy meals, and enjoy the familiarity of their own environment.
What Are The Alternatives To Withdrawal From Home?
The safest and most effective way to withdraw from heroin and maintain sobriety is to participate in a treatment program.
This can mean a short hospital stay, an outpatient rehab program, or an extended inpatient rehab program. Recovering individuals have many options in withdrawing from heroin.
A few heroin recovery programs include:
Detox is the process of the body removing all traces of drugs.
Medical detox is usually a 24-hour treatment program lasting seven to 10 days, but the length of stay will depend on each individual withdrawing from heroin. These programs utilize medications to help the body to withdraw more comfortably.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
With an MAT program, medications like Suboxone, methadone, or Vivitrol will ease the painful symptoms of withdrawal. These programs also use a variety of behavioral therapies to ensure a successful recovery.
With an outpatient program, a person withdrawing from heroin will receive treatment while living at home.
Outpatient programs include standard outpatient, intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization, aftercare, and more.
Get Treatment For Heroin Withdrawal
If you or a loved one need to withdraw from heroin and are interested in participating in a medically supervised program, we’re here to help.
Call our helpline to speak with a representative about treatment centers equipped to help you to withdraw from heroin.
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Opiate and opioid withdrawal
- National Center for Biotechnology Information — Burden and Nutritional Deficiencies in Opiate Addiction- Systematic Review Article
- National Center for Biotechnology Information — Withdrawal Management