Heroin is a powerful illegal drug that can be produced from the opium poppy. It’s highly addictive, and overdose has been known to be fatal in some cases. Most cases involving heroin addicts tend to involve prescription opioids.

The dangers associated with taking opioids, such as heroin, have been widely documented, including significant mental and physical health problems.

Symptoms of Heroin Use

Physical symptoms

  • Burn marks on the fingers or mouth
  • Nose bleeds
  • Marks on the arms
  • Weight loss
  • Scabs and signs of skin picking
  • Drowsiness or fatigue
  • Slurred speech
  • Mood swings
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Itchiness

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • The presence of drug paraphernalia like aluminum foil
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Risky behaviors
  • Concentration problems
  • Seeming disoriented
  • Mood swings
  • Euphoria
  • Lack of enjoyment
  • Unpredictable actions
  • Changes in menstrual cycles

Heroin Overdose

If you witness someone overdosing on heroin, do not hesitate to call 911 or your local emergency services provider. A heroin overdose can be a very serious and often life-threatening situation but can be rapidly reversed if Narcan medication is administered in time.

Signs of an overdose can include:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Unable to speak
  • Shallow breathing 
  • Slow, erratic, or stopped heartbeat
  • Very low blood pressure 
  • Blue/purple skin
  • Choking or gurgling sounds
  • Limpness
  • Clammy, pale face
  • Vomiting

Heroin Withdrawal

Heroin can cause both physiological and psychological dependence. Withdrawal occurs when you stop using a drug or start taking less of it-it suggests that your body, brain, or both may need this particular substance for normal function.

Physical Dependence is when there are serious problems with our ability to function properly should we go too long between doses while Psychological Deregulation is more about feeling listless without having taken anything at all.

Heroin withdrawal can occur just hours after the last dose and it’s an extremely uncomfortable, sometimes life-threatening experience. For safe withdrawal, you’ll need to check in to a heroin detox facility like The Right Time Recovery, as some people may experience severe symptoms requiring medical assistance for opiate addiction treatment.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline 

Early withdrawal symptoms (up to 24 hours after use)

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Runny nose
  • Digestive issues
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue

Peak withdrawal symptoms (30 to 72 hours after use)

  • Mood swings
  • Intense drug cravings
  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Increased heart rate
  • Insomnia
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Hot flashes
  • Cold flashes
  • Sweating
  • Muscle Aches

Protracted withdrawal symptoms

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea

Heroin Addiction Treatment


Heroin detoxification is a serious medical procedure that cannot be safely conducted at home. The risks of overdosing and potentially fatal interactions between drugs are too great for those who want to go through this process alone, so it’s best if you find an expert in your area with knowledge about heroin addiction treatment programs or facilities where they can monitor patients throughout their stay until rehabilitation begins successfully completing rehab exercises without increased rate of relapse.

Residential Inpatient Rehab

Residential or inpatient programs offer treatment at a facility away from your home that can be very supportive. Depending on the addiction severity, you will need to stay for weeks- residential facilities are often more intensive than outpatient ones. Still, they may have better outcomes due to being closely monitored by professionals who know how best to help you recover.

Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient programs provide you with the opportunity to get help for your addiction while not disrupting everyday life. They incorporate counseling, therapy, medication-assisted treatment options, and provide a substantial level of aftercare support, such as group counseling and meetings.