John Lennon wrote a song about his experience coming off heroin. It’s called “Cold Turkey”. It features a painful screaming voice throughout that culminates in gasps and moans and growls at the end. It’s a powerful representation of what it feels like to come off the the powerful drug Heroin.

Cold sweats. Stomach cramps. Diarrhea. Vomiting. It’s not surprising that addicts stay on the wheel of dependence rather than face the pain of going without a fix. The body becomes quickly reliant on the powerful drug. When it doesn’t get the drug within a certain length of time, the misery sets in. Withdrawal has been called the “Super Flu”, but it goes a step beyond the symptoms of a general flu. The illness can actually cause seizures.

Getting Hooked on Heroin

Heroin is a seductive drug that can is highly addictive. It causes the release of endorphins that cause the user to feel a state of euphoria. It puts one in a state of relaxation so intense that it causes one to drift in and out of consciousness. Someone on a heroin high may drop off into a sudden sleep for short periods of time no matter where they are at the time. It, basically, makes the world go away.

Even if you try heroin one time out of curiosity, you may develop an addiction. The body begins to require the release of those endorphins just to function. The more frequent and heavy your use, the more difficult withdrawal will be and the longer it will last.

Stopping Hurts  

Heroin withdrawal is not fatal, but, according to first hand accounts, it will make you want to die because it is so painful. If you go “cold turkey”, or without any medication to help your withdrawal process, the symptoms usually start about twelve hours after the user last dosed on the drug. Once the process starts, it continues for a good long while. Symptoms usually peak at about one to three days after they begin. The illness usually begins to subside in about a week. Some symptoms may hold on longer than that. For addiction that has been long term, withdrawal symptoms can take weeks–sometimes even months–to go away. This extended state of withdrawal is referred to as post-acute withdrawal syndrome.

The intense heroin withdrawal process is hard to endure, but it does pass. Some of the side effects of heroin use don’t go away. It can have a negative effect on cognitive abilities that continue after the addiction is kicked. It can also affect one’s ability to experience emotions. It leaves the former addict with a hollowed out feeling–a loss of the ability to fully feel deep emotions like love or grief. This can, in turn, lead to severe issues with depression and anxiety.

Leaving heroin behind is not easy, but you can get medical help for physical and mental symptoms. Some recovering addicts rely on a replacement substance called Methadone that is far less harmful than heroin. Seeking care in a reputable drug rehabilitation facility is the best option.


For help quitting heroin or any other addiction, the experts at Treatment Now are here to assist you through the recovery process.

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