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Seeing someone detox off heroin.

Discussion in 'Share Your Detox Experience' started by pineywood, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. pineywood

    pineywood Community Champion

    Quite frankly, not sure to post this under the Heroin thread or the Detox Experience. I have never gone through detox on heroin, but I clearly remember the first time I witnessed someone else go through this experience. I have to admit, it had a big impact on me because even though it was years ago, it is still instilled in my brain.

    I was visiting a friend in the Psych Ward Community Area at a local hospital. There was another patient in a wheel chair talking to us. He explained why he had been admitted. His pattern of speech was barely coherent because he was on so much medication to help him detox. I simply could not imagine how someone could detox on their own without a professional expert, after experiencing and hearing about what he was going through.

    As I mentioned in another thread, at least I think I did, one of my friends son became addicted to heroin. Since they have move away and out of touch, I often think about them. After reading about how difficult it is to detox on your own, and thinking back to this young man at the hospital, I pray he got professional help.
  2. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    I have heard that it is horrible to detox off of that drug and the withdrawl symptoms are violent. It is like having the flu if I remember correctly. The withdrawl is probably the main reason people do not get off of heroin. Too much for most people to handle without professional help.
    pineywood likes this.
  3. aimeep80

    aimeep80 Senior Contributor

    My husband is a recovering addict. His drug of choice was narcotic pain meds. He got to the point where taking them orally would not produce quite the euphoric effect that his addiction craved, so he began crushing them and snorting them. He was taking so many a day that he said he literally would lose count. Hes very blessed that he did not OD. Anyway, he tried to stop them himself a few times. He told me his plan and asked me to just keep an eye on him in case he needed medical intervention. I remember him sweating profusely, yet he was freezing. He was shaking, had diarrhea, and was vomiting. He also said he had bad muscle cramps and I noticed his legs seemed to be restless but it was involuntary movement.

    He cried a whole lot and asked me why he had to go through it. It was heartbreaking. All I could do was comfort him the best way possible. This lasted a day or so and then he was suddenly "better". Well, apparently he couldn't handle it anymore so he caved and gave in to his addiction. He was very upset that he couldn't do it on his own but eventually he got himself into treatment and was able to detox there with supervision. It was not a medical detox so he had to go through several days of this, but the nurses would check their vitals quite often. He said that was the absolute hardest thing to detox from. The only reason I mention this is because narcotic pain meds are opiates and heroin is an opiate so I assume the withdrawal is the same.
    pineywood likes this.
  4. IrishHeather

    IrishHeather Active Contributor

    Detox on your own can be done although I do not recommend it without professional help as it is extremely rough. It has been by far one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. Opiate's are indeed a nightmare. I believe that all people that use them should be educated on what its like to DT from them. But I will say this... the misery I went through getting clean was well worth it in the end!
    pineywood likes this.
  5. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    I have seen a close friend go through heroin detox. It was terrible to see her reduced to a little human bundle of misery in a hospital gown, looking all green and yellow with hollow eyes, and smoking one cigarette after another. What had happened to my friend, who once used to be so strong and vibrant, and proud of being a nurse?
    The good thing is that she managed to fully recover and never went back to taking drugs. Yet, her psychological difficulties are still not quite resolved, but under control by now.
    pineywood likes this.
  6. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    That is rough. I heard that people shake uncontrollably and feel like they have the flu really bad. I would be interested in hearing what the withdrawls symptoms are really like if someone would be comfortable enough to share.
  7. unique

    unique Member

    Yes, I too have experienced someone going through detox. And I agree that it is hard to detox on your on. You have to be on medication and you can barely eat and you can barely move. I can not imagine to think how this could possibly feel. Its so crazy because you want to be off heroin or drugs but you might be afraid to detox. But you have to experience it to make sure you are fully clean and start your life back healthy.
    pineywood likes this.
  8. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    I think if someone were to go through something that scary, it would make them not ever want to go back to the drug again. I could be wrong though because addiction becomes a part of you and each day you have to make a personal commitment to stay clean.
  9. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    It really is a horrible process to have to go through. Thankfully, there are new developments inthe medical world, such as suboxone, which make withdrawal easier. I don't know if you've ever seen the film "Trainspotting" but I've heard that the scenes where Renton is experiencing withdrawal symptoms were pretty realistic.
    pineywood likes this.
  10. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    It has been years since I have seen Trainspotting, so I will watch it again. I don't even remember any of the scenes. I also heard there is methadone, which is supposed to help with the withdrawl symptoms.
  11. pineywood

    pineywood Community Champion

    Thanks for sharing, when you read about someones first hand experience, it brings the reality of the seriousness to a different level. So, I appreciate these posts. At the same time, I think, I will watch the movie Trainspotting, too.
  12. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    Heroin being such an addictive drug would require lots of professional help for one to kick off the habit. I've seen people who are heroin addicts living a life you wouldn't imagine. Professional help is vital here as i can't imagine someone detoxifying on their own.
    pineywood likes this.
  13. Danyell

    Danyell Community Champion

    I am a heroin addict and detoxing is some of the worst times I have ever had. The first time I ever detoxed it wasn't that bad, just kind of like the flu, but every time you detox it gets worse. Now this past time around, since I was using so frequently (Shooting up about 4 times/day and using about a gram and a half a day) for 3 years straight it was absolutely terrible. I would start getting dope sick after several hours of not using. I admitted myself into a detox facility and most places will put you on Suboxone which helps tremendously. The only thing is that all opiates have to be completely out of your system so you have to wait anywhere from 24-36 hours before you can have your first dose. While I was waiting to dose, I ended up have several seizures, which I have never had before, and was CONSTANTLY throwing up/dry heaving.

    I have been a IV heroin user for a while and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Pretty much all of my veins are calcified and no longer work or blown from using. I was in that facility about a month and a half ago and I am already back to using. Overcoming it is by far the hardest thing that has been in my life.
  14. Danyell

    Danyell Community Champion

    Methadone does work, but the withdrawls from that are even worse than heroin. I was going to this local Methadone Clinic for about 2 years to help with the heroin problem that I have.
  15. pineywood

    pineywood Community Champion

    I hope you find it within you to go back through the detox again (although, sorry to hear about your past ordeals with detoxing). Also hope this forum helps you to vent and share your insight. I did read your comments in another thread, about how you can only quit for yourself and not anyone else. You know, you are right, and I know, I appreciated your honesty. I did not know about the 24/36 hour waiting period. I hope there will be something new that is available to relieve the stress on your mind and body, so that you do not have to wait. How scary to have seizures. I am so sorry you are going through this cycle of addiction to heroin!
    Danyell likes this.
  16. EditorsRHumansToo!

    EditorsRHumansToo! Community Champion

    A close friend's young son confined himself in a hospital to detox and be rehabilitated. For about 10 months, he was fine. He's a sweet young man who has a loving family. Now he's back to his drugs and my close friend feels giving up hope on him. I hope he doesn't give up on himself and be strong with his family again.
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
    pineywood likes this.
  17. rightct

    rightct Community Champion

    Don't try to do detox all by yourself since failure is more than guaranteed. Have someone help you, or even better, seek professional help. You will see that doing either of my two recommendations will ammeliorate your situation and save precious time from oblivious waste. :)
    pineywood likes this.
  18. Christian

    Christian DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    Yes! The withdrawal from opiate dependance and or heroin is the most miserable experience I've been through. Being on a heavy dose of opiate pain meds for years once I realized I needed to get clean the process of going through detox is comparable to having the flu... times 10! In addition to other flu like symptoms of cold sweats and being nauseous and unable to eat much of anything your extremely depressed. Theres a definite feeling of hopelessness that sets in for at least 10 days to two weeks, and you feel miserable and as if your just stuck in this forever. You also get the added bonus of experiencing extreme anxiety and are unable to sleep despite being exhausted. So, needles to say, going through this is probably the worst thing you can go through. Though I've heard people that have had long term benzodiazapine (Xanax, Valium, Clonopin) dependance have as rough or even rougher go at it due to the duration of withdrawal.
    All in all the withdrawal from opiates is a very painful process on multiple levels and should not be taken lightly. Finding the right addiction specialist to assist someone that is going to stop an opiate addiction is definitely the best advice I can offer. With all the symptoms that one experiences some assistance is going to be the best course of action. If not going to an inpatient facility to be some place that getting the drug(s) are a near impossibility, because if there is anything around a detoxing opiate addict they will use whatever they can to not feel what they are going through.
    pineywood likes this.
  19. kjonesm1

    kjonesm1 Community Champion

    I once spent a day in jail for traffic tickets and had spent my time in a cell with a girl who was going through withdrawal. She was crying and spent a lot of the time I was there screaming to get medicine. When she wasn't yelling for help she was dry heaving over the toilet in the corner of the room. All the while she was sweating profusely and basically terrifying me. I felt horrible for her and thank god I've never been so addicted to anything that I had such intense physical pain.
    pineywood likes this.
  20. Danyell

    Danyell Community Champion

    Yeah it is pretty terrible. I am a IV heroin addict and have been for years now. I have said this in another post so I won't go into too much detail, but my withdrawls are extremely bad. I am constantly throwing up/dry heaving, all the typical flu symptoms but cranked up about 50 notches, and siezures. The siezures are definitely the scariest of them all though.
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