Can Heroin Withdrawal Kill You?

Can Heroin Withdrawal Kill You?

Heroin withdrawal is an acute state induced by the dramatic reduction or cessation of the use of heroin. Withdrawal happens after a person has been abusing the drug for a time period and then decides to stop. The symptoms normally begin from six to twelve hours after taking your last dose and peaks within a day or two, gradually subsiding over a week. However, some patients may experience withdrawal symptoms spanning over weeks or months.

Heroin withdrawal differs from individual to individual. In case you or somebody you care about is going through heroin withdrawal, it is recommended to immediately seek medical attention. The medical personnel in an emergency room are capable of treating the symptoms and can direct you to the care of a detox center for the duration of your withdrawal. The medical staff can also refer you or your loved one to a qualified psychiatrist who will be able to help with the mental aspects of heroin addiction.

Can you die from heroin withdrawal?

Death from heroin addiction is very unlikely, but it can occur as a result of seizures or respiratory complications. Withdrawal arising from high heroin doses can cause seizures. Having a seizure increases the risk of respiratory failure which can consequently cause death. Seeking medical attention can help in preempting such fatalities, as medical personnel are trained to handle such situations. They can also give very valuable information to you and your loved one about other appropriate treatment options.

During withdrawal, the patient can experience a myriad of symptoms ranging from insomnia to loss of body fluids to fever. Being under the care of medical staff specializing in managing withdrawal can help patients in smoothly sailing through the process. This is the best reason for seeking medical treatment from a detox center. Even though the withdrawal process is a rather painful process, it is an essential phase of recovery and patients have to go through it in order to completely recover from heroin addiction.

Seeking psychiatric attention

Seeking medical and psychiatric attention is a multidisciplinary approach to treating and recovering from heroin withdrawal. Psychiatric attention is especially important for individuals who have suicidal tendencies or have had thoughts of hurting themselves. Withdrawal can evoke such negative tendencies, which can place you or your loved one in real danger. Psychiatric intervention is highly recommended for patients with a history of depression or any other psychiatric issues.

Seeking medical attention ensures that patients sail through the withdrawal process as comfortably as possible. The withdrawal experience of everybody depends on their individual body chemistry, the magnitude of the addiction and the length of time you have been hooked to heroin. All in all, medical professionals are capable of executing the withdrawal process and optimally managing a safe and helpful recovery. Individuals who seek medical and psychiatric attention for heroin addiction are much more likely to kick the habit than those who do not.

Image: Flickr

About the Author: Dominica Applegate is dedicated to the art of self-discovery, creative expression, and raw truth.

She founded and runs Life Junkie + Love Rehab online magazines, dedicated to sparking a genuine love revolution. When she’s not scribbling up a storm, you can find her ingesting a good book gleaning valuable insights about people and life. Her creations include the Overcoming Codependency eCourse and eBook, Recycle Your Pain: It Has a Purpose.  She is laboriously working on a book proposal for her memoir.


Pat Moore Foundation teams up with D’Amore Healthcare. D'Amore Healthcare specializes in treating mental health and behavioral illness along with the wide variety of addictions such as alcoholism, opiate addiction, cocaine addiction, crystal meth addiction, and prescription drug abuse.

Our caring, qualified staff is here for you. If you have any questions regarding help for yourself or a loved one please contact our us anytime 24 hours a day at 714.375.1110 or fill out the contact form.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

Enter the characters shown in the image.