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Heroin Withdrawal Timeline

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline

Heroin detox is an inevitable first step in addiction treatment. Learn more about what symptoms you should expect during the withdrawal timeline.

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline: What to Expect

In 2006, the number of people who started using heroin in the United States was 90,000; by 2016, this number nearly doubled to 170,000.1 With such rising statistics, there is cause for concern. At Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, we work with people who have decided that enough is enough and have chosen to undergo a heroin detox.

Timeline of Heroin Withdrawal & The Symptoms

Drug withdrawal is never fun, but it is an inevitable first step of addiction treatment. It comes with a variety of side effects depending on how heavy the drug use is as well as the individual person. Heroin is no exception, but it does have a shorter withdrawal timeline than some other drugs. While the heroin withdrawal timeline can be different for everyone, there are some general trends to expect.

6 to 24 Hours

Withdrawal symptoms can happen pretty quickly after someone stops taking heroin. These symptoms may include:

  • Sweating
  • Muscle aches, pains, and twitches
  • Mood changes, irritability and anxiety in particular
  • Runny nose
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Stomach problems
  • Constant yawning
  • Problems sleeping

2 to 4 Days

At this point in the heroin withdrawal timeline, side effects tend to be their worst. The patient is likely to experience symptoms such as:

  • Nausea and more severe stomach cramps
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite
  • More severe muscle pain and twitches
  • Intense drug cravings
  • Increased anxiety, irritability, and depression
  • Disorientation
  • Fever
  • Possible hallucinations
  • Sleep problems

It is important to monitor mental health during heroin detox because it also takes a mental toll on the person who is detoxing. Our mental health treatment in Palm Beach takes this into account throughout the recovery process.

5 Days and Beyond

After 5 to 10 days, the patient’s body has already gone through the worst part of the heroin withdrawal timeline and symptoms should start to taper off. While some of these problems may stick around for weeks to come, the severity of them will decrease drastically. At this point, patients may still experience:

  • Mood changes
  • Drug cravings
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Cramping
  • Dilated pupils

Because of the negative symptoms associated with the heroin detox time, it is important to undergo such treatment in a professional setting like our South Florida detox center. Patients are monitored 24-7 to ensure that the process is safe and as comfortable as possible.

Whether you struggle with heroin, prescription pain pills, alcohol, or other drugs, you can get help for your addiction. Let our addiction treatment center guide you over not only the first hurdle that is the detox process but also the long road ahead on the path to lasting sobriety. Call us today at 888-280-4763 to get started.


  1. NIH – What is the scope of heroin use in the United States?
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.