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.
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 “profound” degrees of tolerance and dependence. When people who are dependent on heroin stop taking it, their body 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
Later in withdrawal, symptoms can include:
- Abdominal cramps and diarrhea
Have you heard the term “cold turkey?” It 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 lasts 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?
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.
What Happens After Heroin Withdrawal Ends?
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 18-30. Long-term use of opiates like heroin causes changes in body, mind, and spirit. Recovery will involve physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. Red Oak Recovery® offers holistic healing, including our psychotherapy program.
A holistic approach to recovery can help to build long-lasting sobriety and a return to health. Have you gone through heroin withdrawal? If you want to take the “next step” in your treatment, contact Red Oak Recovery® at 866.457.7590. Red Oak Recovery® can help you to recover and heal from heroin use.