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According to the CDC, heroin-related deaths increased by 19.5 percent, with nearly 15,500 people dying in 2016.

If you or someone you know is trying to quit, they need to be aware of the withdrawal symptoms. Just be aware that everyone’s experience with heroin withdrawal is different.

They’ve already taken the first step which is deciding to quit, and that’s a huge accomplishment. Now, they need to know what to expect within the first few hours of withdrawal.

Read on for the most common symptoms, as well as how to overcome them.


Cravings is one of the biggest symptoms of heroin withdrawal. If someone is addicted to alcohol or drugs, of course, they’re going to crave it.

Craving something does not mean that you’re weak or vulnerable. They’re normal. The good news is that they won’t last forever.

In order to combat them, keep a journal or talk to someone closest to you. Stay positive and don’t be afraid to enlist people who support you.

If you have a friend or family member that enjoys working out, tag along. Start slow to avoid any muscle pains. Exercising will help keep you distracted.

Mood Changes

Feeling depressed or irritable is part of the heroin withdrawal. Have emotional support while you are going through this. If the feelings do not pass, talk to your doctor about appropriate treatment.

Your family and friends will understand, and just want you to get the help you desire.

Aches & Pains

You will feel achy and sensitive to pain. Like we mentioned under “cravings,” you can start doing minor workouts.

Don’t push your body into doing something it can’t handle.


Nausea and vomiting can range from mild to severe. Over-the-counter medications can help with nausea.

Since dehydration is part of the reason for vomiting, drink plenty of clear fluids. If you feel the need to eat, choose bland foods like toast, white rice, and bananas.

Sleep Problems

Thankfully, insomnia is only temporary. Your body is trying to adjust to normal sleeping habits, something it’s not used to.

Try to establish sleep rituals. Perhaps reading a book or watching some television will relax you before going to sleep.

When in doubt, drink a warm cup of caffeine-free tea before bed. There’s plenty of choices for sleepytime tea. Choosing a mint tea will even help lower your blood pressure and blood sugar level.


There’s the chance that your body is trying to fight off an infection. If that’s the case, drink plenty of fluids and take Ibuprofen. Do NOT take any painkillers with codeine.

Seek medical attention immediately if the fever goes above 103 degrees or you have a seizure.

You Will Not Die From Heroin Withdrawal

Don’t believe the rumors of people dying from a heroin withdrawal either. These are the ones who tried detoxing, then relapsed and overdosed. It’s very hard to do it alone.

That’s why at Turn A New Leaf, we don’t want you to do this alone. Our rehab center guides you on a journey to long-term sobriety.

So contact us today and let us help you or someone close to you with their addiction!