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Risks of Going Cold Turkey From Heroin

When someone decides to stop abusing heroin, it is the best decision they could make for themselves. But going cold turkey from heroin can be an awful experience to endure. It may look like an easy process, but in reality it is a dangerous process to go through alone. Having medical supervision is best when deciding to find recovery from heroin addiction. An individual’s decision to end heroin abuse is an attainable goal, especially when done safely and effectively.

Going Cold Turkey From Heroin

While it seems like an easy and convenient process to go cold turkey from heroin in the comfort of home, it isn’t necessarily the best decision to do so. When quitting heroin, there are some pretty uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that occur. Some symptoms of going cold turkey from heroin include:

  • Muscle pain and spasms
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Heart rate changes
  • Insomnia
  • Headache


These symptoms often lead people to relapse which could make the situation much more dangerous. Often, when an individual decides that going cold turkey from heroin at home is what they wish to do, they end up turning to heroin to alleviate these symptoms and it can lead to fatal consequences.

Effects and Risks

When going cold turkey from heroin, there are some risks involved. These risks range from mild to extreme. Some can be long-term, and even fatal. 

Blood pressure

Blood pressure changes can occur as a result of going cold turkey from heroin. When blood pressure gets too high or too low, it can result in some severe health complications and harm an individual long term.


Due to the health effects of going cold turkey from heroin, a seizure can be a side effect. Having professional and medical monitoring as someone goes through heroin withdrawal can make all the difference. This is why it is so highly suggested to do so under medical supervision.


When using substances like heroin, the brain tends to change. As the body is expelling the toxins, the brain is simultaneously trying to correct itself. This can lead to an altered mental state, resulting in delusions. Being monitored by professionals can prevent these delusions from becoming out of control.

Relapse and Overdose

The most severe risk someone could take when going cold turkey from heroin in the comfort of their home could result in relapse and potentially fatal overdose. Due to the symptoms of heroin withdrawal, individuals tend to return to using heroin after a period of not using it. This can lead to overdose. They tend to use the same amount as they did prior to stopping, and because the body isn’t as dependent on it, processing the drug is harder and it results in overdose. This can be fatal.

Why Relapse Occurs When Using Cold Turkey Method

Outside of the physical symptoms of withdrawal that can occur as a result of going cold turkey from heroin at home, one of the biggest contributors to relapse is mental cravings. As previously stated, the brain changes when it becomes dependent on a substance. Because the brain is so sensitive, when the body becomes dependent and the brain changes when the substance is abruptly removed or stopped, the brain goes into overdrive trying to fix itself. It craves the substance and in turn, the person begins to obsess and feel as though they need the drug. This can occur even after the physical dependence has come and gone.

Why Detox is Best

Medical detox compared to going cold turkey from heroin is the best decision. Having medical professionals available to assist as these symptoms arise, day or night, and being able to alleviate the symptoms can prevent the potentially harmful effects of heroin detox from occurring. Professional medical detox is a lot safer, and a lot more comfortable than going cold turkey from heroin at home. Risking some of these symptoms occurring can lead to severe consequences that can be long-lasting. Some of the symptoms can lead to devastating and fatal results. 

The best solution when deciding to end heroin abuse is to seek professional help and guidance to achieve recovery and begin living life again. Recovery is possible, especially if the detox process is as smooth and comfortable as possible.

Detox From Heroin Safely

When struggling with heroin, it can be a dangerous game. Not only can it create havoc in the lives of those who struggle, but it can also affect their loved ones. Heroin is extremely deadly and leads to some pretty severe consequences. If you or a loved one are struggling with heroin, Lexington Addiction Center can help. We have a team of professionals standing by that can help to guide you through the process of achieving recovery. Contact us today and begin living a new life!