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Is heroin withdrawal deadly?

Discussion in 'Heroin' started by k9cb, Jul 11, 2015.

  1. k9cb

    k9cb Active Contributor

    I've heard of people dying during heroin withdrawal, but is it the actual withdrawal that does it or is it the side-effect? In other words, I know the actual withdrawal from alcohol and some other substances can be deadly, so hospitals will actually administer alcohol to addicts while they are being treated. Is this true of heroin withdrawal or is it solely an alcohol thing?
  2. Auril

    Auril Active Contributor

    I would imagine it could possibly kill someone. I know the withdrawal can cause your blood pressure to bottom out and your heart rate to increase. I don't think it is quite as big of a risk as alchohol withdrawal though. The person will feel horrible for awhile for sure.
    k9cb likes this.
  3. k9cb

    k9cb Active Contributor

    I didn't know it caused blood pressure drops. Any idea why that happens? I do know that blood pressure drops can cause heart racing to compensate for the drop, so I imagine those two are related in that way. Is that the case?
  4. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    The main causes of death during withdrawal are seizures and choking on your own vomit. This is why most withdrawal should always be done under medical supervision.
    k9cb likes this.
  5. rightct

    rightct Community Champion

    That should sum it up. I've actually never heard that withdrawal on heroin or any other drug could possibly kill someone, but I guess you live and learn. I went through bad withdrawals before, but fortunately to me and my family I was able to surpass those problems without too much hassle whatsoever. I guess my body's one of a kind, haha.
    k9cb likes this.
  6. k9cb

    k9cb Active Contributor

    That's what I thought, which in the case of vomiting is kind of secondary, I suppose. Are seizures themselves deadly or is this similar to the choking on vomit thing? I know people can get injured or choke during a seizure, but I wasn't aware that they could kill.
  7. k9cb

    k9cb Active Contributor

    I know for a fact severe alcohol addiction can kill (I think due to delerium tremens), as can withdrawal from benzodiazepines, I believe. That being said, not everyone is going to die from this type of withdrawal either, depending on the severity of their addiction and who they are. It is a concern with severe alcoholics, though, and everyone is different.
  8. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Coma and death can happen with a heroin overdose. Nausea and vomiting can occur as withdrawal from heroin but on its own does not cause seizures. Suddenly stopping alcohol or tranquilizers though will cause seizures, stroke, heart attack, and delirium tremens. Delirium tremens is a psychotic condition typical of withdrawal in chronic alcoholics, involving tremors, hallucinations, anxiety, and disorientation.

    Choking on your own vomit is always the story that you hear, but there has to be other factors present. You'd have to be pretty messed up to choke on your own spit and probably still doing whatever else while attempting to stop. There is always more to the story. There are more than a dozen stories about Jimi Hendrix's death but the one that stuck is that he choked on his own vomit. There is no real conclusive evidence that this actually happened. He actually had about 9 sleeping pills the night he died which is about 20 times the prescribed amount. Just some wine the night before that, so he was sober. The girlfriend tells a story that changes from time to time said she went out for cigarettes the day and came back to find him covered in vomit. Perhaps it wasn't even his vomit, famous story.

    It's kind of interesting that a hospital will give someone alcohol with the withdrawal if they needed it. What does that say about alcohol? Like I always say, it is an evil substance. Coming off of alcohol can cause seizures. This is bad. You would have to be swimming in it everyday for this to happen. Like when someone wreaks of the smell of it 24/7.
  9. Jack Wallace

    Jack Wallace Senior Contributor

    Dеаth frоm hеrоin аddiсtiоn is vеry unlikеly, but it саn оссur аs а rеsult оf sеizurеs оr rеspirаtоry соmpliсаtiоns. Withdrаwаl аrising frоm high hеrоin dоsеs саn саusе sеizurеs. Hаving а sеizurе inсrеаsеs thе risk оf rеspirаtоry fаilurе whiсh саn соnsеquеntly саusе dеаth. Sееking mеdiсаl аttеntiоn саn hеlp in prееmpting suсh fаtаlitiеs, аs mеdiсаl pеrsоnnеl аrе trаinеd tо hаndlе suсh situаtiоns. Thеy саn аlsо givе vеry vаluаblе infоrmаtiоn tо yоu аnd yоur lоvеd оnе аbоut оthеr аpprоpriаtе trеаtmеnt оptiоns.

    During withdrаwаl, thе pаtiеnt саn еxpеriеnсе а myriаd оf symptоms rаnging frоm insоmniа tо lоss оf bоdy fluids tо fеvеr. Bеing undеr thе саrе оf mеdiсаl stаff spесiаlizing in mаnаging withdrаwаl саn hеlp pаtiеnts in smооthly sаiling thrоugh thе prосеss. This is thе bеst rеаsоn fоr sееking mеdiсаl trеаtmеnt frоm аdеtоx сеntеr.Еvеn thоugh thе withdrаwаl prосеss is а rаthеr pаinful prосеss, it is аn еssеntiаl phаsе оf rесоvеry аnd pаtiеnts hаvе tо gо thrоugh it in оrdеr tо соmplеtеly rесоvеr frоm hеrоin аddiсtiоn.
  10. BradR

    BradR Member

    I didn't even know that, I'll be honest, though, it seems like you should always seek medical assistance if you're trying to quit heroin as it's dangerous doing it yourself. I remember watching a documentary about someone who was quitting heroin and he ended up in a bad way but he was able to do it after seeking some medical help.