What Is A Heroin Hangover?

Heroin can cause strong withdrawal symptoms in its users after a single use that gets stronger with continued use. This heroin hangover is very uncomfortable and often the biggest obstacle in a person’s recovery.

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Dr. Langdon M.D.

Medically Reviewed By: Kimberly Langdon M.D.


A heroin hangover, often referred to on the street as being “dope sick”, are the withdrawal symptoms that a person begins to feel once they start coming down from a heroin high.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms and cravings are notoriously painful and uncomfortable and have been described as feeling like a very strong flu illness.

Side Effects Of Being “Dope Sick”

The symptoms of withdrawal from heroin and their intensity are believed to be the single biggest obstacle that most heroin users face when attempting to stop using.

Some heroin withdrawal symptoms include:

  • sweating
  • muscle aches
  • runny nose
  • increased heart rate
  • increased blood pressure
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • insomnia
  • anxiety
  • nausea

How Heroin Drug Abuse Leads To Withdrawal Symptoms

A person may experience heroin withdrawal symptoms even after the very first time they use heroin, and these physical symptoms will only get worse over time and with more use.

As a person uses heroin repeatedly over time, they will quickly build up a tolerance to the drug and need larger doses of it in order to feel their desired effects.

They will also need to use it more frequently in order to avoid the uncomfortable withdrawal period.

Treatment Options For Heroin Withdrawal

Fortunately, there are numerous treatment options available when it comes to quitting heroin use, and professional addiction treatment services can be exactly what a person needs in order to turn their life around.

Medical Detox

Treatment for heroin usually begins with a period of medically monitored detox so that people can get sober and clean under professional supervision.

Medications administered at this time include methadone and buprenorphine and can help alleviate much of the pain and discomfort that comes with getting detoxing from heroin.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

For people who need some extra short-term assistance in addition to medical detoxification, there is medication-assisted treatment for heroin.

This type of treatment involves detox while also providing counseling and therapy, addiction and recovery education, and continued aftercare.

Residential Inpatient Treatment

Residential inpatient treatment will involve a period of detox to start but provides additional 24/7 care and assistance. This helps ensure you are able to stay off heroin and keep your mental health and behavioral health on track.

Inpatient heroin treatment is ideal for people who:

  • are heavy heroin users
  • are using multiple substances
  • have been using for a long period of time
  • have tried unsuccessfully to discontinue drug use on their own.

Find Help For Heroin Use At Bedrock

If you or a loved one are currently struggling with heroin addiction or any other opioid or substance use disorder, please know that you are not alone and that recovery is possible.

At Bedrock Recovery Center, we can answer any questions you may have about drug and alcohol abuse treatment as well as get you started with a treatment program to suit your needs and well-being.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to our treatment center specialists today.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/heroin/index.html
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/heroin
  3. U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus https://medlineplus.gov/heroin.html

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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