Last Updated on by Dr. Ronaye Calvert-Conley
Every day, all across the world, over 9 million people use heroin. It’s a deadly addiction, with four out of every five drug-related death being attributed to heroin specifically.
If you or someone you love has an addiction to black tar heroin, you know how dangerous it can be. Many people think that because it’s less pure than traditional heroin that it’s less potent, leading them to take higher doses. This is a mistake that often leads to overdose because black tar heroin is as powerful.
Because black tar heroin is as powerful as pure heroin, it’s also as addictive. And coming down off of this addiction is a difficult process that that can cause a lot of complications if it’s not done the right way.
So what can you expect from black tar heroin withdrawal? Keep reading to find out.
The Body and Withdrawal
First, let’s take a look at what withdrawal is.
If you’ve been abusing a drug for a long period of time, your body has to deal with the effects of this toxin. Over time, it starts to become used to it, and when you stop it cries out for more.
Also, heroin can cause things like respiratory congestion, fatigue, and constipation. And while you’re in the deep stages of addiction, you may not notice these problems as often. But as soon as you stop, your body feels the full force of those issues.
Your body becomes dependent on black tar heroin. When you stop using, many things are going to happen. We’ll take a look at those symptoms now.
Black Tar Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
Black tar heroin has a harsh withdrawal associated with it. It comes about much faster than prescription painkillers do because it leaves your system faster.
Black tar heroin withdrawal feels a lot like the worst flu you’ve ever had. Here are some of the symptoms you can expect:
- Muscle aches
- Trouble sleeping
On top of these physical symptoms, you can expect a number of psychological symptoms as well.
- Emotional exhaustion
- Suicidal thoughts
- Concentration issues
All these psychological issues stem from your brain doing its best to readjust after you stop using a drug that you’re physically dependent on. The severity of the withdrawal symptoms will depend on how long you’ve been using.
How Long Does it Last
The length of your drug abuse will determine the severity of your symptoms, but it will also determine how long they last.
For the most part, the worst of the flu-like symptoms will be over in a week, peaking in severity at 2-3 days. However, heroin use that has lasted for a long time alters your brain’s chemistry, which means that the psychological symptoms are likely to hang around for much longer.
The Timeline of Black Tar Heroin Withdrawal
Here’s what black tar heroin withdrawal might look like for you. Keep in mind that everybody is different and you might not experience things the same way.
Your level of dependency will determine when the symptoms start. They could start anywhere from 6-12 hours after you use last. You’ll notice pain and muscle aches, just like you would if you thought you were getting the flu.
You can expect that feeling to get worse over the next 48 hours, accompanied by anxiety, inability to sleep, and diarrhea.
Your withdrawal will be in full force between day 3 and 5. The worst of the pain and nausea will peak here. But the good news is that it’s all downhill from there.
By the end of the week, the worst of the pain and the muscle cramps should be gone. You will still be tired, your body has just overcome a serious trauma. But with rest, you should start to feel better.
There is something known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome to watch out for. This is when withdrawal symptoms continue for a long time after you’ve stopped using. It can come on suddenly and go away without a warning, and it’s caused by the changes that happen in your brain when you use heroin.
How Do Treatment Centers Help Ease Withdrawal
All of this information is probably intimidating. Why would anyone want to go through heroin withdrawal if it means feeling this terrible for so long?
The good news is that you don’t have to go through it alone. When you choose a reputable treatment center, there are plenty of things that they can do to help make the withdrawal from black tar heroin so much easier.
Medically Assisted Treatments
Most rehabs will offer something known as medically assisted detox for people addicted to opioids. This is when a medical professional supervises a patient while they wean off of their medication, usually using a replacement medication as a substitute.
Suboxone, methadone, and benzodiazepines are what rehabs use to help people wean off heroin use without terrible withdrawal symptoms.
However, medically assisted detox isn’t enough. To get clean and stay clean, a good facility will treat the whole person.
Another way that rehabs can help with black tar heroin withdrawal is by providing you with adequate nutrition. Oftentimes when we’re in the deep stages of addiction we don’t pay attention to the things our body needs. We lack the right nutrients and minerals we need to heal.
That’s where a rehab program will come into play. They will provide solid nutrition to help the body heal itself.
This is arguably one of the most important aspects of a rehab facility. Without the proper help treating the mental aspect of addiction, it’s almost impossible to completely heal.
Heroin withdrawal is so much easier when the user can attend regular therapy sessions. This helps them to tackle the depression, anxiety, and irritation that comes with withdrawal.
Get Help for Black Tar Heroin Addiction
Black tar heroin is deadly. An addiction to this awful drug can and does ruin lives every single day. And while the thought of going through withdrawal might be scary, it’s worth it to get sober and save your life.
If you or someone you love is dealing with addiction, you’re not alone. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment to tour our facility and get the help you deserve.
Dr. Ronaye Calvert-Conley is the CEO and Founder of Revive Detox, a Joint Commission Accredited and Legit Script Certified Addiction Treatment Center in Los Angeles, CA. She earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University in Los Angeles in 2007 and has extensive experience working in the addiction and recovery field and the LGBT community. To learn more about Dr. Calvert-Conley click here.