When you quit using heroin after being dependent on it, you will experience withdrawal. Know that it only lasts for 4-7 days, and that simple things like hydration help ease the symptoms.
8 Tips for Coping with Heroin Withdrawal
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As a highly addictive drug, once you develop a tolerance for heroin it can be extremely difficult to cut it out of your life. Fortunately, this is something that many others have done in the past. This should give you hope that you will be able to do the same.
Once you decide it is time to quit heroin once and for all, you will begin to think about the steps that need to be taken.
The biggest challenge associated with quitting heroin is withdrawal. Your mind and body is dependent on the drug. When you give up heroin, your body will experience cravings, mental discomfort, and a variety of other withdrawal symptoms.
Some of the most common heroin withdrawal symptoms are as follows:
- Stomach pain and cramping
- Nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting
- Muscle aches and overall discomfort
- Difficulty sleeping at night
- Goose bumps
- Depression and mood swings
- Dilated pupils
- Low blood pressure
As uncomfortable as these symptoms may be, it is important to remember one thing: heroin withdrawal side effects do not last forever. There will come a point when these are in the past and you can move on with the rest of your treatment and recovery.
How to Handle Heroin Withdrawal
Just because you are going through heroin withdrawal does not mean you have to sit back and deal with the discomfort. You are sure to be uncomfortable throughout detoxification, but there are things you can do to better cope with the situation.
1. Seek the assistance of a professional rehab center
There are many benefits of this, including around the clock care. Additionally, you may be able to take medication that can help prevent or treat some of these symptoms. You will feel more confident in beating a heroin addiction when being treated by a team of experienced professionals.
2. Focus on the future
This has nothing to do with your physical state, but everything to do with your mental outlook. You need to realize that what you are feeling now is not what you will be feeling the rest of your life. Think about it this way: the pain and discomfort is a necessary evil. Once you are through this part of your treatment, the rest will be easier.
3. Distract yourself
Do you enjoy reading? How about browsing the internet? What about watching sports or movies on television? No matter what you enjoy doing, make sure you have plenty of it available while going through detox. When you distract yourself with something you enjoy, it is much easier to forget about the discomfort.
4. Exercise when possible
There may be days when you don’t feel like doing much outside of sitting around. That being said, you should exercise when you are up for it. This may sound like something that will make you feel worse, but most find that this is not the case. Instead, a good workout allows them to feel better about themselves and the direction they are headed. Even if you only take a brief walk, you are getting exercise that will help enhance your overall health and wellness.
5. Keep a healthy diet
It is important to eat healthy during heroin detox. Along with this, make sure you stay hydrated. This is particularly important in the event of vomiting or diarrhea. If you don’t stay hydrated you are going to compound your problem, and that is not something you want to deal with.
6. Open up to others
It is nice to have a support network in place when going through heroin withdrawal. These people can occupy your mind, and help you overcome each and every challenge. This is another benefit of checking into rehab. Your medical team, which often includes a counselor or therapist, can become part of your support network along with family and friends.
7. Establish structure
Are you going to bed at the same time every night? Are you waking up at the same time? You don’t have to be exact with such details, but it is important to have structure during heroin withdrawal. Not only will this help you now, but it will work in your favor once you move past detoxification.
8. Don’t let the thought of quitting enter your mind
There is no doubt that you will be dealing with intense cravings. It is easy to think about going back to your old life, which consists of taking the drug to feel better. If you do this, however, you will never make progress. Once you devote yourself to rehab you are already halfway home. Now, all you have to do is complete the process.
With these eight tips guiding you, coping with heroin withdrawal may not be nearly as difficult as you were expecting.
It can be a challenge to put a heroin addiction behind you, but once this is in your past you will feel better about the future. Don’t let the fear of withdrawal stop you from getting treatment for your addiction.
For more information about heroin use and treatment, see: Heroin: Effects, Dangers, and Addiction Treatment