Completing a heroin detoxification is a very difficult thing to do. Heroin addiction is one of the most difficult addictions to overcome, the addict becomes accustomed to having the drugs in their system. Because of this, withdrawal symptoms are very difficult. Usually heroin withdrawal symptoms start to set in about 12 hours after last doing heroin. The symptoms peak after about three days.
The withdrawal symptoms include nausea, anxiety, insomnia, chills, sweating and irritability among other things. The rate at which people successfully complete a heroin detoxification is very high. In fact, almost all heroin addicts will relapse, at least a dozen or more times on average in fact.
Heroin detoxification done successfully, saves many lives. When a drug user takes heroin it quickly produces a rush. The problem is the brain and heart functions slow down considerably, not only that but the user will be tired and drowsy for hours after. Coming down from the rush is difficult as the user wants the rush to come back, using more heroin the next time around. Because of this, overdose is common among heroin users. Not only that, because it is difficult to know the origin and purity of a drug, a high dosage can be accidentally taken. Also, in many cases heroin addicts get HIV due to the sharing of needles.
In recent times, systems have been developed to allow addicts to lose their addictions quicker and with less symptoms. But it comes with risk, in methadone assisted withdrawal, delirium, attempted suicide and even renal failure have occurred. People are willing to risk this as the alternative can be worse. It is thought by some that a heroin detox that involves methadone, is just delaying the inevitable. Methadone allows the addict to slowly wean off, by having the effects be less intense over time, and with less withdrawal symptoms.
Others have an approach of supervision, along with medication to ease the pain. This is thought to be a more natural way, that actually fully cures the person from their addiction. Either approach requires strict medical supervision and a lot of hard work. But of course it is well worth it in the end to lose an addiction this deadly.