10 Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms: What to Expect

addictHeroin withdrawal is something you may experience as a heroin user if you have been taking the drug for a while, whether as a regular user, in binges, or if you have become addicted to the drug. One of the easiest ways to understand the concept of heroin withdrawal is to think of using heroin as taking out a loan. In the beginning, you are experiencing only the highs of the drug, which make you feel good. However, once you come down from the drug or start experiencing heroin withdrawal, you are immediately saddled with the debt of your heroin high, and you won’t feel good again naturally until the debt is paid off. The specific symptoms of heroin withdrawal vary from person to person, depending on factors such as how frequently the drug is used, but there are also certain features common to each episode of heroin withdrawal, which are outlined below.

What to Expect During Heroin Withdrawal

If you have become addicted to heroin, you will likely experience severe symptoms of heroin withdrawal when you stop using the drug entirely, or when you come down from the drug after engaging in heavy heroin use. The following are ten heroin withdrawal symptoms you can expect to experience after you stop using the drug:


Aches and pains




Stomach pains

Feelings of anxiety or irritability

Heroin cravings



One of the ways heroin works is by blocking the pain pathways in the body. Because of this, when you stop taking heroin, you may experience a rebound effect, causing you to feel achy and more sensitive to pain than usual, particularly in the legs and back. This is one of the most common signs of heroin withdrawal, and is often accompanied by one or more of the other symptoms listed above.

Coping With Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

It’s important to be aware of the symptoms you may experience during heroin withdrawal, especially because many people going through heroin withdrawal experience a strong desire to take more heroin, either to reduce the symptoms of withdrawal, or to regain the pleasure of a heroin high. Keep in mind though, that these heroin withdrawal symptoms, while uncomfortable and sometimes seemingly unbearable, are all part of your body’s attempt to maintain homeostasis, or restore its balance. Compared to the long-term effects of heroin abuse, which include loss of memory, muscular weakness, impotence in men, coma, and possibly even death, the symptoms of heroin withdrawal are at least tolerable. And while these symptoms may be extremely intense during this time, they typically pass once the withdrawal stage is over.

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