Can you die from heroin withdrawal? It rarely happens, but some people have died of heroin withdrawal symptoms. A 2016 study published in the Journal of the Society of the Study of Addiction found that a few people have died of heroin and other opioid withdrawal. The leading cause of death was dehydration or electrolyte imbalances from vomiting and diarrhea. If you’re seeking a heroin addiction treatment center North Carolina residents rely upon for holistic treatment, Red Oak Recovery can help.
At Red Oak Recovery, we know that drugs like heroin can have a dreadful effect on a person’s life. However, with time, patience, and the proper treatment, it is often possible to manage these effects. Through treatment, most clients are able to recover successfully, living a life free from drugs or alcohol. However, the first step is to get through heroin withdrawal safely and in relative comfort. Contact us at 828.382.9699 to learn more about our heroin addiction treatment center.
Why Do People Begin Using Heroin?
The reasons people start using heroin are as varied as the people themselves. Some people begin using heroin to self-medicate undiagnosed mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety. For others, peer pressure or simple curiosity might lead them to try heroin. Still, others begin using heroin to escape from difficult life circumstances, such as:
- A history of abuse or trauma
- Witnessing violence
- Living in poverty
- Having a parent who uses drugs
- Being exposed to drug use at a young age
One of the most common reasons that people begin using heroin is that they were at one point addicted to prescription opioids. Heroin is an opioid, similar to many prescription drugs, such as oxycodone or hydrocodone. When people become addicted to these drugs, they often turn to heroin when they can no longer get the prescriptions they need.
What Is Heroin Withdrawal?
Heroin withdrawal occurs when someone dependent on heroin stops taking the drug. Dependency is related to tolerance. All opioids develop tolerance in the body over time. Tolerance means people need to take more of a drug over time to receive the same effect. Dependency means they need to take the drug to feel normal.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, heroin causes intense degrees of tolerance and dependence. When people who are dependent on heroin stop taking it, their bodies and mind are suddenly disrupted. The symptoms can start within a few hours of the last heroin dose. Can you die from heroin withdrawal? Severe withdrawal symptoms combined with no medical care have resulted in a few deaths.
What Are Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms?
If you’re wondering can you die from heroin withdrawal, former heroin users have described their withdrawal symptoms as worse than the worst flu you ever had. Early heroin withdrawal symptoms include:
- Agitation and anxiety
- Muscle aches
- Runny nose
- Excessive sweating
- Abdominal cramps and diarrhea
When someone stops using heroin without warning, most medical experts say that the person is quitting cold turkey. The term originated with the goosebumps, and clammy skin people experience while withdrawing from heroin or other opiates. If you’re wondering can you die from heroin withdrawal, dehydration and heart irregularities could be life-threatening, which is why cold turkey withdrawal is risky.
Can Heroin Withdrawal Be Dangerous?
Can you die from heroin withdrawal or experience serious health risks? Dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea is the most significant health risk from heroin withdrawal. Everyone’s body is different. If heroin users are young and relatively healthy outside of their drug use, they may be able to overcome peak symptoms, which last for two to three days.
Health risks for heroin withdrawal rise with other physical complications. Diabetes, heart disease, and malnutrition can all increase the risk of dangerous heroin withdrawal symptoms.
How Can Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms Be Treated?
A professional heroin addiction treatment center can help clients taper off heroin gradually. It can also provide medication-assisted treatment, which provides FDA-approved medications to help clients manage heroin withdrawal. These treatments often lead to higher chances of long-term recovery and fewer chances of dangerous health concerns as a result of this process.
Some medications used for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorders can help to ease withdrawal symptoms. Methadone and Suboxone are MAT medications that help in long-term opioid recovery and during the early days of withdrawal. Other drugs that can ease withdrawal symptoms include clonidine and lofexidine.
Treatment for the physical symptoms of heroin withdrawal can be similar to treatment for severe flu. It’s difficult, but not impossible, to detox from heroin at home with a lot of support and help. You can also seek an ambulatory detox program that will provide medical supervision and medication while you live at home. Finally, medically supervised detox programs are available for severe withdrawal symptoms resulting from long-term heroin use.
Why Should You Consider Professional Heroin Addiction Treatment After Detox?
After a heroin addict has completed the withdrawal period, they can begin addiction treatment, including a gender-specific men’s rehab program for young adult males between the ages of 18 to 30. Long-term use of opiates like heroin causes changes in body, mind, and spirit. Recovery will involve physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.
Most heroin addiction treatment programs use a 12-step model or similar framework. These steps help those battling heroin addiction to identify the root causes of their heroin use and develop a plan to avoid heroin in the future. Addiction treatment can last anywhere from 30 days to 90 days or longer, depending on the needs of the individual.
Take the Next Step in Healing at Red Oak Recovery
Red Oak Recovery offers holistic healing, including our psychotherapy program. Our therapeutic options for substance use disorders include treatments such as:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Wilderness therapy
- Experiential therapy
A holistic approach to recovery can help to build long-lasting sobriety and a return to health. If you’ve gone through heroin withdrawal, the next step in treatment is a heroin addiction treatment program. To learn more about how this treatment option can improve your recovery outcomes, please contact Red Oak Recovery at 828.382.9699. Red Oak Recovery can help you to recover and heal from heroin use.