Why You Need Help with Your Heroin Detox

Published: 03/27/2016 | Author:

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes: “Although heroin use in the general population is rather low, the numbers of people starting to use heroin have been steadily rising since 2007.” In part, researchers believe this is due to the rise in prescription opioid addicts, who often switch to heroin as a cheaper, more accessible substitute for prescription drugs. With rising numbers of users come rising rates of addiction. Heroin addiction is often talked about and much of the conversation covers withdrawal symptoms, which can be debilitating. They make it a wonder anyone would try to undergo heroin detox alone, but people do. That approach can prove dangerous, even life threatening.

If you are a heroin addict and you want to go through detoxification and are considering doing it on your own, please reconsider. You should have qualified assistance and Detox.com can direct you to the help that you need and deserve. For help connecting to resources and treatment options, call 866-351-3840(Who Answers?) and speak with someone today.

Why Do People Try to Do Heroin Detox Alone?

It may be surprising, but most heroin addicts never seek help. The NIDA estimates that of the approximately 810,000 identified heroin addicts, only 20 percent seek or receive treatment. This includes assisted detox. That’s a very small number and there are many factors at play. Much of the population addicted to heroin filters through the correctional system, where they may not have access to traditional treatment.

But, what more general reasons remain for people refusing to seek help?

heroin detox

Heroin withdrawal is so painful, it can lead to suicidal thoughts and actions, making medical supervision a must.

Big considerations are shame and guilt. If people have kept their addiction somewhat private, entering traditional treatment will feel like going public with being an addict and that may be something with which folks can’t deal.

In addition, denial is a powerful emotion and seeking detox treatment may break that denial and a whole lot of shame will rush through that crack. Instead, people will attempt to get their drug use under control on their own, to show that they aren’t really addicts.

Popular culture also plays a role. Television and movies, even books, depict people locked in a room or chained to something while they detox from heroin. Although they go through Hell, they have the willpower to make it through. This process also takes relatively little time. These are lies.

Withdrawal is a painful process and it takes time and supervision. It can’t be done by being trapped somewhere. But, people believe the lies and they attempt to follow the example set.


The Center for Substance Abuse Research asserts: “Many users continue abusing the drug even after they no longer experience the euphoric effects, simply to provide relief from the painful, flu-like withdrawal symptoms.” Withdrawal is that bad and that’s why you should detox with assistance. Doing so can help you through the following symptoms.

Early symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Tension
  • Anxiety
  • Increased tearing
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle aches
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Yawning

You don’t have to suffer alone. Treatment specialists are available 24/7 to provide advice and resources.

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Late symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goose bumps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

These symptoms will peak between 48 and 72 hours past the last dose of heroin taken. The symptoms, as a whole, can take as long as two weeks to completely disappear.

Why Medical Detox from Heroin is Important

As stated in the beginning of this post, independent detox from heroin can literally kill a person. Intense seizures or respiratory complications are often causes of death during heroin withdrawal, but suicidal urges tend to be the most common cause.

Many users consider killing themselves to end the pain of the withdrawal process. In addition, the stress of the drug on brain chemistry and actual make-up can leave thoughts and reactions scrambled.

In less severe instances, withdrawal causes the range of symptoms above and they are quite serious. To quit without the aid of medical staff or medication assistance is cruel, as it needlessly triggers debilitating pain and discomfort. This especially problematic for users whose drug of choice has traditionally dulled physical pain, as opioids do. The pain rushes back and it is more intense than anything users ever remember feeling.

You can benefit from assistance during this process. A qualified, professional detox program can monitor your symptoms and treat them quickly and humanely. For more information, contact Detox.com and speak with someone today. Just call 866-351-3840(Who Answers?) for immediate assistance from a treatment specialist.


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Heroin- Overview.
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Heroin Addiction. 
  3. Center for Substance Abuse Research. (2013). Heroin.
  4. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2016). Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal. 
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