Can Heroin Withdrawal Kill You?


Is Heroin Withdrawal Dangerous?

There are not many rules about what not to do when you’re withdrawing from heroin, beyond abstaining from heroin, of course. But because your health and safety is important, you should never use a psychostimulant during the detoxification period. Psychostimulants include drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine. Using a psychostimulant during detox is particularly dangerous because heroin withdrawal is caused by a hyperactive Central Nervous System. Adding stimulants into the mix only exacerbates the symptoms of withdrawal. The potential hazard of psychostimulant administration while you’re withdrawing from heroin, is an increased risk of Tonic-Clonic seizures, which can kill you.

Is Heroin Withdrawal Life-Threatening?

Heroin withdrawal symptoms may complicate an existing medical condition. If you are detoxing from heroin, and experiencing withdrawal symptoms, such as vomiting and/or diarrhea, it can easily complicate illnesses like dysentery or the flu. What’s more…vomiting can occur, and if stomach contents enters into the lungs, which is called aspiration, it can cause a major lung infection, and that may also kill you.

Heroin Withdrawal Complications

Immediately after heroin withdrawal symptoms disappear, the addict’s tolerance to heroin drops off significantly. Such that men and women who have just gone through detox can overdose on a much smaller dose than they are used to taking.


Heroin overdose is a type of opioid poisoning that results in respiratory depression and/or failure. A relapse soon after heroin detoxification is potentially life threatening, because the addict no longer knows, with any certainty, what dose is safe. Even a tiny heroin overdose can kill you.


In rare cases, serious complications and fatality have been reported following treatment for opioid overdose. Particularly in persons who are undernourished or have underlying electrolyte abnormalities. In these cases, naloxone was administered as emergency treatment for opioid overdose. The primary aftereffect was acute opioid withdrawal, which included increased heart rate and respiration, putting the patient into cardiac arrest.

Can you die from heroin withdrawal?

There is no getting around it, heroin withdrawal can be difficult, maybe not as difficult as Chinese Trigonometry, but it is hard. Ironically, most people know that using heroin leads to addiction, and its repeated use will lead to withdrawal symptoms that are painful and long-lasting. What’s more, a heroin addict in the throes of heroin withdrawal, may think they are going to die, but in truth, they’re much more likely to die from using heroin.


Withdrawing from heroin is rarely, if ever, life threatening, especially if the individual in question is in good health. What’s more…if heroin detox is properly conducted, it’s typically very safe. On the other hand, heroin withdrawal does have the “potential” to kill you.