What You Don’t Know Unless You’ve Been There: Heroin

What You Don’t Know Unless You’ve Been There: Heroin

You know it as heroin. Chemists know it as diacetylmorphine, an addicting chemical that’s derived from a morphine alkaloid found in the seed pods of the Asian opium poppy plant. When heroin enters the brain it’s converted back to morphine and binds to the opioid receptors Mu, Kappa, and Delta, which are associated with pain and reward.

Heroin doesn’t just make you feel great. People get a euphoric rush when using heroin, says Marci Ouellette, RN, director of nursing at Mountainside, a substance abuse treatment center in Canaan, Connecticut. But the drug also decreases anxiety and pain and gives you a feeling of detachment from the world.

There’s nothing like your first time. There’s a lot to like about how heroin makes you feel, but the trouble is, you can’t get back that initial high. Many try, though, using more of the drug and more often, chasing that feeling. That’s how users become addicted. A key danger, though, says Ouellette, is that a person’s opioid receptors are located in the brain stem, which also controls the autonomic nervous system, responsible for blood pressure, respiration and alertness. High doses of heroin depress these systems and can lead to an overdose which can, of course, kill you. Or leave you with brain damage from a lack of oxygen in the brain if respiration decreases enough.

Heroin is often “cut” or diluted with other substances. These include sugar, starch, powdered milk and other drugs like fentanyl, another painkiller which is 50 times more powerful than morphine. And because the user doesn’t always know what, exactly, they’re taking, it’s much easier to overdose or die. These adulterated versions of heroin are “more dangerous in terms of its overdose potential,” cautions Paul Rinaldi, PhD, director of The Addiction Institute of New York at Mount Sinai Roosevelt and Mount Sinai St. Luke’s, in New York City.

If you want the greatest high, inject it into your veins. This technique, though, brings a second set of risks: that of spreading disease if the needle has been used before by another person. Early in 2015, 150 heroin users in Indiana were diagnosed with HIV; the virus was transmitted through shared needles. Heroin can also be snorted, smoked, ingested orally or used in the form of a suppository, “but the drug is addictive no matter how it is taken,” says Ouellette.

What You Don’t Know Unless You’ve Been There: HeroinWithdrawal from heroin is excruciating. If you abruptly stop you can expect high anxiety, insomnia, muscle and bone achiness, extremely restless legs, feelings or agitation and irritability, as well as GI symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Suddenly going cold turkey from heroin and other opioids can get so uncomfortable that many times users will just go back to using. That’s why medically monitored detoxification is a more easily tolerated way to come off the drug, Ouellette stresses.

Heroin is a bargain compared to prescription painkillers. “People often progress to heroin because it is much cheaper than prescription opiates, and very pure,” says Dr. Rinaldi.

If you quit and start using again it’s way easier to overdose than it was before. Many people who’ve been addicted to heroin or other opiates often don’t realize that if they go off the drugs in treatment and then relapse, that’s when they’re at the highest risk of dying. Why? Because too often the person will go back to taking the same dose he did before going into recovery, but after detoxing he’s lost the tolerance he built up for that dose, so can more easily overdose and die. Rinaldi says that when people use opiates such as heroin for periods of time, they develop more receptors in the brain for the drugs. These receptors disappear when they stop using. But when someone goes back to heroin after not using for some time and there fewer receptors to receive the drug, the amount can overload the brain, leading to an overdose and, potentially, death.

The risk of relapse can be ever-present. “Last month someone put heroin in my face after I had been clean for a year, and I’m tempted all the time,” says Connie, 38, a former heroin addict who now works for a supermarket chain after spending a year in prison following a drug arrest. Over the past year her weight has gone from 87 pounds to 128 as she has started prioritizing good nutrition and her overall health. Still, Connie struggles against relapse. “When I saw the heroin, I didn’t just wave it away. I had to think about it,” she recalls. “It bothered me that my mind kept racing even a year down the road. It never goes away, it’s always going to be there, but I’ve got to be vigilant and I am. I have a heroin group on Facebook which helps me because I help others.”

Most addicts can’t distinguish one buzz from the next, Connie believes. “If they get an alcohol buzz, they may want to go on to something else that can be more dangerous. It’s never enough for the people I’ve seen. It may be today you just smoke pot or drink alcohol, but you’ll build up to wanting another buzz and when desire meets opportunity you’ll find a way to get what you want.”

Adds Connie, “My friends who have relapsed call me every day. People don’t realize that addicts are human too.”

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37 Responses to What You Don’t Know Unless You’ve Been There: Heroin

  1. AddictionMyth August 5, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

    This article is so full of lies. Withdrawal is not ‘excruciating’. In fact it’s really not a big deal. You’ve been watching too many Hollywood movies or Dr Drew’s Celebrity Rehab. Most medical professionals says it’s about the equivalent of the 24 hour flu. For example, Carl Hart, Theodore Dalrymple, Donald Klein. Plus you can take a couple ativan and you’ll feel much better. You can score IV heroin but not a ten cent pill? LOL give me a break. Drug addicts make the mistake of assuming that they are the only people who can speak on their condition because they’ve been through it and it doesn’t matter what anyone else says. Nope. Sorry that is a huge blunder and it is killing people.

    • Lauren September 2, 2015 at 7:41 pm #

      Obviously, you have never been through withdrawal yourself! It is excruciating! You have aches and pains in body parts you didn’t even know existed, you have uncontrollable twitches and tremors, you sweat so much you feel like you need a gallon of water, but don’t you dare get out from under that blanket because then the cold chills start, and don’t drink that water even though you feel like you’re dying of thirst, because it’s going to put your stomach into such a knot, you feel like you’re throwing up your intestines! Please, don’t try to make it less real and agonizing than it is, unless you’ve been through it!

      • Sherrie February 21, 2016 at 10:28 am #

        My son recently died from an overdose of heroin. He tried kicking it several times. It was excruciating for him. He got so sick that he cried out in pain, and so he always went back to it.

        Maybe some people’s experiences are different, less severe, but to generalize that the claim is untrue or overly-dramatic is insensitive and shows a complete and utter lack of empathy.

        • Smith September 9, 2016 at 9:59 pm #

          I’m sorry for your lose. I have a family member that I would like to help as to avoid a potential lose. I have no exposure whatsoever. I have strong intuition and a little bit of privacy invasion going on. Through internet research I’m thinking heroin. I wanted to speak to someone that has actually witnessed a family members use of heroin before I approach the issue.

          I have found two jars. One had majuanna in it. I found the paper from straws but no straws. Penny’s and I mean lots of penny’s which is puzzling. Found wads of alumiun foil. Clean with no burn marks. Bottle caps and many pens with the middle taken out. Can you please help me with understanding what all of this means?

      • Chaz October 8, 2016 at 7:24 am #

        So true!

    • Brandy September 3, 2015 at 12:28 am #

      You must either used heroin for a month then quit or never got addicted at all. Cuz either way ur an idiot. I used heroin (smoked it) every single day for 3 yrs and the 1st time I quit I stopped cold Turkey for the 1st 4 days b4 I got suboxone. And I barely remember those days although my mom said I barely slept I walked around a lot even thru the night and blacked out, cried in pain almost constantly, sweat profusely, had diarrhea, it was all hell. You have no right to post on this page cuz u obviously have never experienced what withdrawals are and for that ur lucky. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. I did take xanax and ativan, pot cookies, anything to try n sleep or take the edge off & nothing let me sleep longer than an hr.

    • Christina September 3, 2015 at 7:42 am #

      Clearly you need to educate yourself! You sound very dumb right now. Go back to your troll hole of judgment. How can you speak on something you know obviously nothing about? IT IS EXCRUCIATING! YOU HURT FROM HEAD TO TOE WHILE SITTING ON THE TOILET WITH A BOWL ON YOUR LAP SO YOU CAN PUKE/DRY HEAVE AT THE SAME TIME! IT’S DEFINITELY WORSE THAN A 24HR FLU! IT LASTS A MINIMUM OF 3DAYS FOR PHYSICAL SIDE EFFECTS. AND BY THE WAY SMARRY PANTS, HEROIN IS VASTLY, WIDELY AVAILABLE, SO YES JUDGY JUDGERSON IT’S POSSIBLE & HIGHLY LIKELY THAT YOU’D “SCORE” THAT OVER A PAIN PILL (WHICH IS REAL SMART! LET’S GET YOU TAKING PAIN KILLERS WHILE TRYING TO DETOX, GREAT ADVICE! NEW ADDICTION ANYONE? Next time before speaking on something of this nature please go do some research!

    • Christine September 3, 2015 at 9:07 am #

      OK AddictionMyth you’re a moron… that’s all.. just you’re a moron…

    • Els December 30, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

      The only one I trust to speak on addiction truthfully and with facts supporting their theories *aside from actual addicts* are those who have spent time observing those undergoing withdrawal or a scientist of some form or other that has actual research to back up their claims.

      If withdrawal were like a 24 hour flu, I wouldn’t have suffered in literally BLINDING pain for days. Days. On top of that, I wouldn’t still suffer random symptoms of sobriety that are comparable to withdrawal over a year after the fact. You’re a fool, and if the amount of people telling you so in the face of your arrogance hasn’t made you realize this yet, I wager nothing will.

    • Cj stripe April 24, 2016 at 1:16 am #

      Really bro? Have you done it? It is not like having the flu and mommy can make you some chicken soup. People climb the walls and know if they score it will stop. I do agree with you that if you detox in a hospital, they can keep you fairly comfortable for the 3 days needed, but most people don’t know that….all they know is how awful they felt when the tried cold turkey. Your flippant attitude shows you either are just misinformed…or you are a nasty person….and be careful because you just never know where you or someone you love may end up one day. Nobody wakes up and says, ” today I am going to start being a junkie”. .. .and I am sure you think that people should just have the willpower to stop…and Suboxone is a crutch ….well, whatever it takes brother….one day at a time. Resist tyranny.

    • marina August 29, 2016 at 8:02 pm #

      Wow Dr please do inform us more, your clearly more informed than I, a former heroin addict, please tell me more I’m learning so much.

    • Jr September 19, 2016 at 12:01 am #

      What the #&$! ever, withdrawal isn’t excruciating, you obviously haven’t been far enough along to even comment on a thread like this. Detox is absolutely horrible and I would do almost anything to not go through it, that’s exactly why I can’t stop. 4 days of PURE HELL, if you haven’t tried it then trust me, dont, I honestly love dope but it’s not worth the suffering of not having it. If you dabble with it, stop while your ahead, anything more than 3-5 days using and you’re gonna catch a habit. And if your an everyday user wwith a habit of at least a gram a day, then you kno what I mean.. why the hell heroin even exists is beyond me, it is the devil, no exaggeration in that statement…

    • Andrew Pierson September 24, 2016 at 6:39 pm #

      Withdrawal Is the most excruciating hardest thing I have ever been through! your Comment tells me that you haven’t ever experienced a true Heroin Withdrawal or you wouldn’t of claimed such nonsense. Unless you enjoy the constant physical torure which is actually only taking a back seat to the mental anguish of your mind literally in a state that I cannot even properly put into words. Its caused many more suicides than I wish to mention and while a person is suffering thought this time the light at the end of the tunnel is no viewable… It feels as though you will never feel any better and that your life is going to be this for the many moons you manage to tought through it before taking your own life.You cannot work PERIOD., If you have kids..welll there going to be at grandparents or at the babbysitters for at least 2 weeks unless you dont mind inflicting child abuse becaue there is no fuckin way your going to be able to take care of any children. let alone pets like a dog or cat. NOthing on TV will keep you occupied as your mind constantly races and is overcome by the thought of your favorite lover Heroin. and at this point all her extended family too,

      Ok the sun has gone down for the second time since you last used…This is when you start to really go insane in the membranes. Within 30 min your chances of going to the emergency room are about 85% which can be good and bad. Good because they can feel generous enough to take pity and RX you something like Ativan or Klonopin, Valium, Librium and in the rare case Subutex.TBH I found the Weak Ativans to work best in either Methadone (30mg CT) or dihydromorphine also CT wd’s they help you sleep which is about 30% of getting your endorphin systems operating normally again. Just make sure that the staff in the ER know which opiate your DOC is and exactly how often and when the last does was. You want them to know so they can prescribe the needed amount of benzos to get over the difficult Accute part of the WD

      Most people will stop reading or roll their eyes after my next statement but hear me out. The last thing any bed ridden junky trying to kick wants to do is go hike up Mount Everest. But that’s not required luckily but its highly recommended you make yourself get a decent hour or 2 of exercise starting slow at about 4 or 5 days into the withdrawals, THis seems to do more than any of the other techniques. And if you are like me then your morning involved getting high as the first thing you did. but with this no longer an option its hard to get out your morning funk. You feel like shit and probably still are shitting muddy puddles of diarrhea while your intestines tie themselves in knots. You wont be thinking about anything other than how you ended up in you predicament. your feeling hopeless because everyday your feeling worse and time seems to stand almost completely still. At this point I was told by my EX tar slamming father that we were going to clime a local mountain with a coastguard station on top from the 60’s because if i didn’t start to get my blood flowing id feel shitty for longer than i could bare. I trusted my dad, after all he managed to kick heroin without the Done or any other replacement type substance, He always told me that being put to work on his dad farm in connecticut helped him sweat out all the toxins and he helt better everyday and slept 6 hours a night for the first week then 7-9 following the same regiment of working hard and eating healthy.

      I started the uphill walk thinking i made such a terrible and thoughtless mistake. What if someone called my house with drugs for sale or something like that. Of course that was wishful thinking that i deluded myself into believing as possible. This is how the minds of an opium smoker works. You can be quite creative in your imagination and imagining the least likely possibility as though it was likely if not certain. My Dad was the motivational speaker the who trip. He knew i would soon ask for a cigarette because i had been chain smoking for over 30 hours not to mention i was chilly due to the late september morning. At this point a Panic attack struck without warning or for any discernible reason, This had been going on the past week since going cold chicken of a moderate to extreme Done/Tar w/ taggament habbit. This caused me to not every relax or smoke any MJ to change my state of mind which was in constant dread,

      The walk was over and i felt about the same for the most part. I didn’t say much besides how I would like to eat at a Pizza joint like little caesars. That would have to wait as my dad dropped me off and my mom needed the car. At around 4 or 5 mins after getting there i went out side and lit a stogie. I noticed that my thoughts were more positive and this was so pleast that I bragged to my dad that The hike up bear mountain did wonders on my mental state. but I wanted to ear. At this point is when i was reminded that I need to wait until mom gets back and cooks food in 30 to 45 min, ,,, WELL to a Hard ass junky that amount of time is like 4 to 5 hours. I decided that with my new found fortunes saved from that filthy shit mexicans sold me i could affort to order a decent mean in which i did..

      The next day I woke up and it was like groundhog day…. Totally first thing done was a explosion of diarrhea into the toilet bowl followed by some vomiting. Then 2 houres of Hiking up hills then back down, The Lorazepam I got was out and the nurse at the ER said that it was only a partial amount and to come in and get it refilled. Well in the process of going to the ER it just so happened that that ER doctor was a total ASSHAT who said that my symptoms were identical to meth addicts and id have to get my meth cooking ingredients elsewhere. I sad that Ill just get my Black Tar Heroin elsewhere and that he was a terrible physician for not knowing that opium withdrawal symptoms are very much like tweaker symptoms ie. Saucer sized puples ect.

      I managed to stay sober a month and to this day am still amazed i did it. It was the most difficult thing i ever attempted or did in mt life includeing being shot at in a warzone overseas…

    • rob heeb October 2, 2016 at 4:40 pm #

      Addictionmyth; let me start by first saying to you that the moment I read your response here I became, insulted, then incredulous moving on to anger and coming to a stop at seething rage. First of all, MR. NO BIG DEAL, if you re saying this then it is obvious that you may have only had short term affair with opiates, possibly a prescription that you easily kicked once you were healed. Or maybe you have a more adventurous soul than I am sensing and you smoked some in mom’s basement for a few months. No matter, research has shown time and again people who use it for pain management short term had easy withdrawal. Those who have injected heroin daily for years recreationally rarely make it through cold turkey. They go on methadone and taper off over long periods of time. I am not going to waste anymore time telling you how ridiculous this drivel you have written is, clearly you are an idiot.

      • Amanda October 15, 2016 at 4:33 am #

        I am a recovering heroin addict. I’ve been clean almost 3 years. It’s sad to c some ppl trying getting mad over others opinions but it’s not all that serious we who are committing are suppose to be as one to help who ever that it is an influence them to get better an become clean. My name is Amanda I’m 25 I used heroin for almost 4 years and I’ve been clean 3 I use to sound like some of the ones who r saying u don’t understand u never done heroin an I would go on about it , I really felt that way and would always denied the facts but that was when i was under the influence of heroin , my opinions has changed now that I’m clean I do feel a person who has a loved on who is fighting the disease can pretty much feel the pain because it’s killing them as well with worrying an living to see the person who means the most take the chances of one day not waking up an nobody around to save them . In all honestly I feel the one who never done the drug an who has a loved one with the addition is honestly hurting more than the addict and why I say that is because me as a ex addict knowing that when I was high on heroin all my sadness hurt pain an depression went away for the time an as I was high I’d feel happy more alive i felt like honestly as if there was no feeling in the world if that makes any since to where the one who is clean an hasn’t done the drug but loves the person who has the disease of addiction is beyond more painful because that person who cares for the addict can feel. can hurt from watch the addict slowly kill their self an not knowing when the day comes where it’s to late an never c , hear , kiss, hold them again because they are dead. So the one who has to live life with a heroin addict is suffering way more than I person can only imagine an for those who disagree well go right ahead I am speaking on how I c an feel about the situation. And those who are still getting high an are weak still or doesn’t have any fam , friends to support you an keep pushing u well I am here for u , all heroin addicts all have the same thing in common weather it’s thinking or reacting . I remember always being in denial throwing a. Fit if I can’t get money to do more who the last stuff was wearing off being high thinking there no trouble in the world , but in all reality heroin once messed my whole life up an before I knew it i was wanting to be my normal self I once was before being addicted I didn’t understand the dope sickness at first I was having fun an feeling good an doing it once I’m awhile until I started to always want to feel high off heroin an before I knew it i couldn’t take it back I was trapped , badly so bad that the Amanda I once was totally left my body , I woke up plenty of days or nights not being able to get well just not to feel the pain , the pain was so bad I did things to be able to get a $ to get well to get a lil happiness. It continued on an on I’d be normal I thought when I had it an when it was gone all the pain hurt an depression was there on top of the aches and pains from not having it i then wanted my sobered life back I wanted help , not treatment but support . A person who wouldn’t give up on me an help me threw the worst days of my life. I might have been the worst thing I’ve experienced in life and the hardest thing to over come but I did it , ill be honest I relapsed over an over I’d almost be over my pain n sickness 8 days not doing an an boom I’d mess up an let my mind out power my body and start from square one I did that relates for about 5/6 months an what helped me , seriously what made it easier was ppl places things. I moved far far away so that the place I lived wouldn’t make my mind think about certain things that would bring back memories and make me want it ppl, as a heroin addict we think we friends r friends but only cause we have one thing in common heroin so I distance myself from all ppl other than my supporter all the old ppl behind me who got high was behind me an I had to focus on me and not look back , things well I tried staying focused I’d keep busy make a daily things to do list so I didnt have to much free time on my plate to allow my mind to wonder back to getting high again. I am blessed to be my normal healthy self again an im strong in a survivor. Not alot can do it the way I did it but if I’ve done it anyone can and it’s well worth it not just for ur self , for the ones who love uas well. Life is so much beautiful. I’m no longer in denial I’m actually glad to talk about it i want to be a voice that’s heard a voice that can help . I’m still going threw the pain I’m no longer the heroin addict I’m a family member of one it’s my sister and treatment s over n over still hasn’t help but I believe an I have faith in I preybgod be with her n angels protect her. get healthy beat the disease of heroin addiction. It’s vary hard but have faith stand strong an never give up I believe n u.

    • e.j November 13, 2016 at 9:40 am #

      Addict myth that is probably the most misinformed statement I’ve ever heard in my life. To think you’re on an addiction site telling people that withdrawal from the most dangerous drug in the world is not that bad…..Withdrawal from heroin can kill you WTF do you mean a 24 hour flu……withdrawal from opiate pills could maybe be closer to a 24-72 hour flu depending on your dose an so forth…and you would have to be on a really low dose to be so lucky to have withdrawal symptom similar to a 24 hour flu. Please don’t misinform the general public on opiates; their destroying the lives of good American people for that exact reason. I didn’t read anyone else’s responses and I’m sure multiple people have responding to you. I know I should have read further before voicing my opinion but this deeply offended me…….

  2. sickgirl1964 August 6, 2015 at 7:17 pm #

    Withdrawal is real enough. Trust me. While you can’t actually die from it, it sure does feel like you will.

    • marina August 29, 2016 at 8:04 pm #

      Or it feels like you wish you would, right?

  3. kali August 10, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

    Whoever thinks withdrawal is a joke has never done it nor gone thru this ….the title says it all things u won’t know unless you’ve been there….. and if you’ve never done.it been thru.it etc you have absolutely no right to speak.on it
    You just look stupid
    Ppl like u are the reason I started getting high..celebrated 3 yrs clean last month and I wouldn’t wish the pain of being rope sick on my worst enemy not even.if.they’re as.ignorant and.uneducated as you.

    • Kim September 2, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

      I totally agree with you if you haven’t been through it dont speak on it cause withdrawal is not easy and is one of the worst things to feel!!

  4. Lylo September 2, 2015 at 2:06 pm #

    addictionmyth, I work with addicts daily. I work in a rehab. I have not used rugs myself, nor do I know what it feels like. But I have seen enough opiate withdrawals to know I do not want to experience that. I have seen big men weep, and that is with withdrawal medication. Some people fly fly through it, most people struggle through it. And I can guarantee you you, they don’t pretend.

  5. Camille September 3, 2015 at 6:58 am #

    A 24 hour flu??? Are you kidding me??? Ive been clean for over 7 months from a 23 year opiate addiction and i am still not feeling 100%. There is so much healing going on in your brain during the first year of recovery and it’s not comparable to a 24 hour flu.

  6. Gwen September 5, 2015 at 6:38 pm #

    ..yeah 24 hours………
    I went to rehab for iv heroin use (about 2-3 years this time)
    I didn’t sleep a minute for 13 days. The nurses were giving me triple the sleeping pills and both kinds.. trazodone seroquel vistaril melatonin… nothing! I was a shaking corpse!
    Day 13 I slept 4 hours and felt so refreshed!
    SCARY!
    Its 6 months later and my joints still hurt. I still can’t fall asleep or stay asleep. .

    Withdrawal is horrible.. if it wasn’t so bad then there wouldn’t be so many active addicts.. and addicts wouldn’t be robbing people as much since they aren’t fearing the withdrawal.
    The idea of withdrawal is that torturous & crazy that one will throw all their morals away to avoid it

    • ed June 9, 2016 at 9:46 pm #

      well said.

  7. Anita October 9, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

    I have never been through withdraw but have watched my ex go through them and she pleaded with me to help her die. She could only handle it for two maybe three days and would get a fix no matter what the cost.

  8. 3YearsClean isn't easy May 5, 2016 at 8:36 am #

    I love that all it takes is one misinformed comment for all the addicts , friends of an addict , or others that seen an addict going through withdrawal to come together . That’s what makes us better people , we are all good people struck down by the chase of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. All we ever wanted was to ease the pain, anger , fear for one night and now we’re forever hooked.

    I don’t know how far along you all are , but even if it’s one day , one month , or one year , CONGRATS! There are many of us , as you know , that don’t make it AND you are ! Day by day , don’t overwhelm yourself with life , it took time to ruin our lives , it’ll take time to rebuild , but that’s the journey of life! Everyone is struggling one way or another , even the ones that think they have it all figured out.

    AddictionMyth :
    I feel very sorry for you , I pray that whatever has made you bitter will soon end . I hope you NEVER have to go through what we all have , but it seems that you have something else just as strong ailing you . I’ll bet you know someone that uses or has used , but you have no idea BECAUSE like many of us , out families and friends had NO idea until they were told by us . I sincerely hope none of your family or friends are addicts , BUT I’m almost positive someone you know probably is. And if they are close enough to you , you will see them go through this and maybe have a change of heart and find some empathy for others as a result . UNTIL THEN , please keep your thoughts to yourself , unless you’ve been in a car accident or first hand have seen a car accident ….you can’t speak about how it impacts a person AND not all car accidents are the same….

    BUT I do want to thank you for bringing us all together , and reminding me that I’ve grown from my addiction ( I realize i have considerable amounts of empathy and compassion. I also have appreciation and respect for the struggles others face , that I know little about . I am not perfect , but I have no place to tell another that their struggle isn’t real. )

    Please go do a little more research , go read both sides of a situation before you close your mind to any other ideas ….. those Dr’s that you refer to are one sided …. if they were right , then every addict in the world is lieing about their withdrawals. … right ?

    Maybe try reading some addict testimonials…I’m sure a little Google search will yield plenty of material to contradict those drs.

    Sorry for the long rant , but I need to stand up for those still struggling with this .

    Sincerely ,
    L3C4.

    P.s. DAY BY DAY

    • Codym August 10, 2016 at 9:29 pm #

      This was so great to read as an addict still struggling with heroin addiction myself. I was also going to say something to this person but every one else in the family seems to have it covered. Your comment was wonderful thank you for posting. I’m starting a suboxone clinic soon and hope to get clean but anyone who says it isn’t the hardest thing they’ve ever done is either lying or never got that deep into addiction and is very lucky.

  9. 3YearsClean isn't easy May 5, 2016 at 9:00 am #

    BTW , I’ve NEVER shot up heroin (I only snorted it. Maybe because I knew I could die and that stopped me.) So I can’t speak for those withdrawaling from shooting up ( I have heard the withdrawals are more intense .) My withdrawals were hell , with everything mentioned ( the RLS , shivers , tremors , cold sweats , crawl out of your skin feeling , irritability, body aches , anxiety , wanting to use so i could “function”, couldnt fet out of bed , getting out of bed cause you think it might ease the suffering , no sleep ni matter how tired , etc .) I MADE sure that i went at least a day before getting treatment so I could remember that feeling for the rest of my life ( i even wrote it down when i was in treatment in the form of a poem , this continues to stop me from using , if I ever contemplate it.) Wondering if anyone else has heard /saw / experienced withdrawals being less or more depending on HOW you took it? I’m wondering if it was solely based on quantity / quality of what was taken ?

    Anyway , AddictionMyth, what’s the difference between IV heroin and heroin you snort ? I didn’t know there was a difference ….please explain .

  10. courtnei June 1, 2016 at 8:21 pm #

    Hello, I’m not a user but my fiance is and have been for a while. I have witness him going threw the withdrawals and it breaks my heart to the point to were I leave. I am new to all of this, how can I help him?

    • Codym August 10, 2016 at 9:34 pm #

      I wouldn’t leave him it’s not his fault he’s hurting. The best thing you can do is educate yourself you need to go to some meetings, read a few books, do research if you really want to help him and try to get him into treatment as well just try to support him.

  11. angela September 6, 2016 at 7:34 pm #

    Courtnei: My fiance never used but I myself did for two years. I recently decided I knew I hit rock bottom and needed help to get clean and stay clean. I home detoxed myself in secret and that was the reason for my relapse. If your fiance wants to truly get better (but only if he TRULY wants to) please support him and bare with him with his mood swings. It’s one thing to deal with withdrawal but its so much harder to learn to live again WITHOUT your drug of choice. I would never go back, I truly wanted to be clean so I know for a fact their are addicts out there who can and will stay clean no matter what happens. You definatly need a support system though, someone to know what your triggers are and help you get by.

    Withdrawal was by far the most horrible thing i ever went through, PAWS is difficult too, learning to live everyday again without it after your brain was rewired to need it (of course that was my fault though)

    I used for 2 years, ive been clean one and ill forever consider myself an addict because you must look at it like that in order to stay clean forever.

  12. Ladybug October 13, 2016 at 11:32 am #

    Wow❣ Thank you all for sharing, I’m a Mom trying desperately to help my Son. Yes I’ve sat on his legs trying to control the trimmers, held the waste can while he vomits, was on methadone for 7 yrs! Then couldn’t cope, I truly don’t know what he’s doing, I can’t tell??? He has been arrested three times, currently out on bail, trying so hard to support him but it’s becoming harder & harder. Financially we are ruined, all retirement gone???

  13. Renek October 16, 2016 at 10:53 pm #

    I am currently going through withdrawals and dude, you are so far out of wack that I DO WISH THAT SHIT ON YOU. Then please, cry about how much you just want to stop hurting every single moment of every day for a whole week to someone as “courteous ” as yourself. When you hear the reaction you gave all of us, please try to stop yourself from breaking their nose.
    I’m currently on day 4…technically. i set out to quit last saturday, almost 8 days now…but i found a piece of dope in my clothes, so i tried to taper by breaking it into 3s. I was still cold sweating on this dosage and the real trouble came when the rinses from this piece were not everlasting. 6 hours after shooting the last really pathetic rinse, i started aching and pouring out sweat…i think that was monday, because that night i ate about 12 baclafin (skeletal muscle relaxer) and aparently combined with the detox of dope and crystal, i went into a psychotic coma state. I dont remember ANY of it, this was all relayed to me by my poor momma- who i had to watch me *****YES YOU SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE A BABY SITTER FOR YOUR SELF WHILE COMING OFF ANY ADDICTION, in case of what im about to tell you i did*****
    THIS IS A LIST of everything that happened:
    -I was trying to open my moms closet in order to use the bathroom and my mom could not get me to the real bathroom so I ended up pissing myself.
    – i took of all my clothes and started screaming “MOMMY PLEASE!” REPEATEDLY and violently thrashing around under a single sheet. She, at this point figured i was going to wake up the neighborhood and called for an ambulance.
    – i continue to refuse- utterly refuse- to put my clothes or a robe on…despite the fact that now in my room standing around my bed in horror were: 2 police men, 6 firemen, and 3 emts.
    – they have to strap me down while im screaming/passing out and thrashing and take me to the ambulance and carry me 2 flights of stairs to the drive way where, yes, the now neighbors on both sides of the house were outside watching me…fucking horrible to have your parent telling your own neighbors wtf you’re acting like such a psycho. YEAH, mayybe i don’t really give a shit if they know. And i really don’t know how much I embarrassed myself but i woke up, very occasionally to the EMTs karate chopping my neck to get me to wake up when it was pretty cllear I wouldn’t be awake for more than .5 seconds responding to horrible physical pain of the hospital staff trying to find a vein for the IV while im screaming “PLEASE, please make it just end!!” The doctor i got apparently just didn’t know anything about drug abuse or withdrawals – as he admitted to my mom so his fucking solution: strap me to the bed, give me a catheter, no water or food…what the fuck. I clearly woke up to a nurse yelling at me “you have to pee” while pushing on my belly. I was literally begging for my life to end until one whole day later when they finally let my staps loosen. At least i was blacked out for the worst of it. It was Wednesday night i get home and Find a rinse in my purse i didn’t know i had. Shit. I shoot it cuz even though I feel a lot better, i could still feel better. It is a waste, i dont feel it and the next 4 days are full on hell..
    Tremors, now without anything but some useless ass Nyquil, and the melatonin pills from my mom, lack of sleep for every night since. Ive had such bad diarrhea i jusf wanted to stay in the bathroom but my mom insists im up to no good if I stay in the bathroom too long. restlessness is an understatement, i got up and changed places to sleep all night for 3 of those nights. Sneezing constantly, such low energy. I could not eat or drink without first puking, then forcing it down, and barely anything then. Then of course theres the lethargy and general not giving a shitness that floats into your empty dopamine receptors and controls you just as easily. I would literally tell myself that part of why i felt SO BAD was because i wasnt eatting or drinking but i didnt care. Trying was just too hard so i pretty much gave up.
    On Friday, i drank a little bit more and my poor mom who doesnt know about the rinse thinks i should be great by now according to everything shes ever read, makes me go get my nails done, grocery shop, and go to a department store for SOCKS. Although the excersize make me a little better, i was still in such bad shape. Stomach in knots and sweating profusely, i can only imagine what the clerks in those stores thought of me and my uncommbed hair, sweating and clenching my jacket for warmth.
    Im on day 4/5 right now and i do feel a lot better, i am still cant sleep, have stomach issues, and a generally negative disposition…..and shittely enough a friend just came by and handed me a piece of dope. I felt my hand closing around the black putty and heard myself saying that i was quitting but there was was no way he was getting it back now. All day I’ve been tortured with the thought:how long after withdrawals start can i use again just once, to say goodbye? I keep trying to throw it in the toilet and i cant make myself..i am so terrified of withdrawals again from using too soon but its all i can think about anything else.
    Does this sound like something you could dismiss as anything but TORTURE?

    • Patty November 9, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

      Seriously??????? Look really. If you are so worried about all these with drawls, and this flu, then why go stick a dam needle in your arm.

  14. Renek October 16, 2016 at 11:04 pm #

    I don’t ever want to go through this again..been using 9 years now, im 28 now and am going to stay in Minnesota in the middle of nowhere to get away from all the people i know who use…I’m hoping that i can do this last thing and kiss it goodbye. I know that is so not normal and dangerous for folks but I could care less. I just hope that you will read these many posts in response to your hauty attitudes and educate yourself.

    • Patty November 9, 2016 at 5:38 pm #

      Bottom line ,,,,you can walk away from this drug. It’s a mind set. It really is.

  15. Patty November 9, 2016 at 5:35 pm #

    I just fell on this sight, here is my personal experience, with this drug. If you’re big enough to sit there and inject poison into your body then be prepared for the consequences after it’s done of course you’re going to get sick you’re shooting poison into your body don’t expect sympathy, you got the flu. Poor baby. What did you think was going to happen when you wanted to quit. They make it way to easy for herion addicts maybe they would not be so prompt to go running back to this drug, if they had to fight this flu,,,that they get. That’s just my opinion, get it together.

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