How Long Does Heroin Addiction Withdrawal Take?

The feelings that come with heroin usage may last just five hours, but the withdrawal process takes time. Upon its discovery, medical practitioners prescribed heroin for several types of health challenges. However, it has since been abused. Today, many people abuse the substance to get their regular dopamine fix. 

Heroin acts as a depressant, directly affecting your body’s metabolism, breathing, and heart rate. And in Canada, the 3rd most commonly injected drugs among the youths is heroin. To get treatment for heroin addiction, you must first stop using the substance. This is what is called the withdrawal process. 

Withdrawal from heroin isn’t an easy process, as it can come with adverse health effects. Some examples include muscle aches, stomach aches, moody periods, excess sweating, catarrh, among others. Many factors affect the timeline for heroin withdrawal for different addicts. In this article, we’ll show you what to expect from heroin addiction withdrawal and how long it takes.

What Signs Do You Expect From Heroin Addiction?

Before you think about heroin withdrawal, you must be sure if you have an addiction. You may have had it one or two times and loved the feeling. However, that isn’t a clear indication that you can not do without the drug. Here’s a list of signs that indicate heroin addiction;

Heroin Addiction sign

Physical appearance and neatness

At the start, you may not see signs, but with increased intake, symptoms will come. One character familiar to most heroin addicts is a decline in their physical looks. 

Your skin, eyes, mouth, and many other parts of your body may suddenly become pale. Likewise, you begin to pay less attention to your personal and home hygiene. 

Drug dependence

When you take heroin, the feeling lasts for maybe 5 hours, after which you always want more. That’s one reason why heroin withdrawal is a very complex process for a heroin addict. 

Observe how often you look for another fix once the drug wears off. If it’s immediate, that means you depend on the drug, which is addiction. 

Insomnia and uncontrolled sleep

For most cases of heroin addiction treatment in Vancouver, sleep disorder is a common symptom.  However, it may come through the loss of sleep or uncontrolled sleep. In some cases, a heroin user can not easily sleep at night without the drug. It’s either they don’t know when they slept or have no control over sleep intensity. 

Brain and memory complications

Brain and memory complications

Heroin doesn’t only affect your physical appearance, but it also affects the brain and mind. You may notice that you forget the most common details about yourself or your family. 

Furthermore, you may see that it takes a little bit more time for you to understand things. All of these are signs of heroin addiction. 

Pains and heavy limbs.

Heavy limbs and some severe pains in some organs are common symptoms of heroin addiction. You may notice that all of a sudden, your hands and legs become more massive than usual. 

Furthermore, you may experience extreme pain in your stomach and abdomen. These sudden pains and limb heaviness are symptoms of severe heroin addiction. 

Depression and agression.

Most heroin addiction treatment experts in Vancouver identify depression as a significant sign. Without heroin in the system, a heroin addict exhibits an extreme display of emotional instability. 

At a point, they may cry and feel very depressed about their heroin addiction. And at other times, they are ready to beat the next person without cause. 

Depression and agression.

Related article: This is What Happens When You Forfeit Your Life to Heroin Addiction

What is the Process of Heroin Addiction Withdrawal?

After highlighting some symptoms of heroin addiction and withdrawal, let’s examine the whole treatment process. Heroin addiction treatment in Canada and Vancouver is similar to other parts of the world. Therefore, the symptoms and therapy sessions are almost the same everywhere. 

However, the signs of heroin withdrawal in different heroin addicts differ from each other. Therefore, the treatment intensity has to be peculiar to the noticed symptoms from the addict. 

Treatment on admission

Treatment, when you’re on admission, can also mean inpatient treatment and rehabilitation. It’s a process where you stay in a medical facility for some time. When you do this, the medical personnel can easily keep an eye on you. The timeline for this heroin treatment is between 30 – 90 days. 

Furthermore, some heroin withdrawal symptoms come from other health conditions. When you’re in the hospital, the doctors can immediately attend to those illnesses. Likewise, staying in the hospital means you isolate yourself from most temptations. As a result, your body detoxifies. Here are some things it corrects; 

  • Side effects of heroin usage on your health 
  • Emotional instability
  • Pain removal
  • Conscious therapy
  • Heroin isolation

Home Treatment

Home Treatment

Treatment, when you’re in your home, can also mean outpatient therapy and rehabilitation. In this process,  there’s a tiny bit of freedom to the heroin withdrawal routine. 

At this stage, there has been a bit of heroin withdrawal, but not completely. And in a bid to be careful, you must not be around heroin. This treatment may seem risky, but it can be great for complete sobriety. An addict needs a little freedom to mix with society and settle in gradually. 

What is the Timeline for Heroin Withdrawal?

The timeline for heroin withdrawal is a function of different factors. Like any other drug addiction, heroin withdrawal is not a tea party. Here are some of the influencing factors:

  • The amount of heroin consumed by the addict.
  • Any underlying health conditions
  • Use of alcohol or other drugs.
  • The timeframe of heroin addiction for an addict. 
  • The typical personality of an addict before addiction. 
  • Method of heroin intake
  • The heroin withdrawal process of the treatment centre. 

Before you ask how long does heroin addiction treatment take, you should know it’s a process. The effects of heroin start almost immediately and last for up to five hours. However, when you begin the process of heroin withdrawal, some health symptoms surface. Some examples are extreme pain, insomnia, depression, mood swings etc. 

These heroin withdrawal symptoms start to show between six to twelve hours after the last usage. And these symptoms may worsen for the next two to three days. These symptoms may reduce with proper care, but that doesn’t end the addiction treatment. So in essence, heroin withdrawal may take between 2-14 days.


As hard as it seems, heroin withdrawal isn’t an impossible process. This article explains the process and timeline for heroin addiction treatment. However, the success of this treatment depends on the competence of the experts employed. Call Inspire Change Addiction Rehab in Vancouver for addiction treatment programs.


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