Can Heroin Withdrawal Kill You?

Getting clean is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your loved ones. However, it’s not easy, as anyone who’s suffered from painful withdrawal symptoms knows. If you’re trying to overcome heroin addiction, asking, “Can heroin withdrawal kill you?” is a valid question. Find out the real answer so that you can take the next steps to move forward.

What Heroin Withdrawal Is Like

Once the body is accustomed to an addictive substance like heroin, abruptly quitting will result in unpleasant effects. Typical heroin withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Body aches
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea

Symptoms will start within hours of the last dose, with the worst of them peaking during the first couple of days. After about a week, users feel better physically, although they often feel tired.

Can Heroin Withdrawal Kill You?

Opiate withdrawal isn’t usually fatal, but sometimes, people die while detoxing. It’s not the actual process of detox that’s fatal; it’s the complications that arise as someone goes through withdrawal. Therefore, the simple answer is ‘no.’ But like everything in our lives and especially when dealing with a complex disease like addiction, there is more to it than this simple response.

The most likely scenario for death occurs when a person completes detox and becomes overwhelmed by cravings for heroin. Now that they are clean, their body is no longer accustomed to the drug. They may return to using the same amount that he previously did, and it can prove too much, leading to overdose and death. However, this is a death caused by overdose and not withdrawal or detoxing.

As uncomfortable as withdrawal symptoms are, they aren’t life-threatening. But they’re typically uncomfortable and painful enough to make at-home detox dangerous. This is usually when individuals give in to the cravings and withdrawal symptoms and use again to relieve their pain. Therefore, it’s recommended that users undergo detox in a qualified facility. There, medical professionals can monitor them around the clock to ensure their health and safety. During withdrawal, the body goes through a stressful time. If an individual has any underlying medical conditions like a weak heart, a high risk for blood clots, or any other medical issue, detoxing can cause that issue to lead to complications. Again, it isn’t withdrawal that causes the complications nor detoxing, but the strain addiction to heroin puts on the body.

Also, clients may receive interventions that ease the worst of their symptoms, making detox more comfortable. Once they’re clean, they can move into the next phase of rehab, which includes various therapies. This gives them a solid foundation for lasting recovery.

Compassionate and Comprehensive Treatment Just for Teens

If you’re a parent who’s worried about your teenager’s substance abuse — whether it’s alcohol, heroin, meth, or marijuana — Destinations for Teens can help. We’re an addiction treatment and mental health facility in Woodland Hills, California. Our goal is to treat adolescents who are struggling with addiction exclusively. With our help, your child and your whole family can recover and heal.

Our programs include:

We’re ready to answer all of your questions surrounding addiction treatment, including “Can heroin withdrawal kill you?” With a combination of evidence-based practices and a holistic approach, we offer families hope for recovery. Call our dedicated team at 877.466.0620 today for more information.

destination for teens mental health and addiction treatment centerDestinations is one of the premier teen treatment centers in the country. Both our residential and outpatient programs are designed to support the whole family throughout their journey to sustainable wellbeing. By providing a quality safe-haven, a full range of treatments, and an uninterrupted education, we have one of the highest rates of success in the industry. Whether treating mental illness, addiction, or both, we pride ourselves in exceptional service and accessible care for the teen and their family. A foundational goal of treatment at Destinations is the sincere desire to help re-introduce clients to themselves, in a more loving way. Find Out More