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How To Quit Heroin

Heroin Addiction

Opiates like heroin light up the addiction center in your brain like it’s a Christmas tree. In fact, many addiction experts believe it’s the most addictive drug on the planet.

Why you should quit

There are many reasons not to use heroin; the virus, physical dependence, addiction and overdose are enough to persuade most to stay away. But if you’re already addicted then you know that normal pleasures have lost the appeal. Your desire for such things as eating out, visiting family, and romantic intimacy are now unable to compete with heroin.

What causes dope-sickness?

Opiate use suppresses the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the locus coeruleus. These areas cause the vast majority of opiate effects. When an opiate drug like heroin is discontinued, these previously suppressed areas begin working at levels way above normal, i.e. they become hyperactive. As a matter of fact, these three areas in a hyperactive state account for nearly all of the physical aftereffects attributed to opiate withdrawal, with the exception of diarrhea.

Telltale signs of withdrawal

  1. Large Pupils
  2. Runny Nose
  3. Sneezing
  4. Physical pain
  5. Negative Emotional State
  6. Lack of Energy
  7. Diarrhea
  8. Insomnia

Can you die from withdrawal?

Opiate withdrawal can be miserable, but it’s rarely, if ever, life threatening, especially if the person in question is in good health. However, detoxing cold turkey may complicate an existing medical condition, such as heart problems, COPD, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure or HIV. Read More…

Prepare to quit

The ideal therapeutic plan is to begin detoxification during a period of low external stressors. Of course, that may be hard to do, as heroin addicts, for the most part, lead extremely unstable lives. Another issue is that many heroin addicts are uncertain about quitting. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of the situation the moment someone says they’re ready. In other words, do not wait for the perfect time, because the perfect time may never come.

Easing dopesickness

If you want to quit heroin or some other opiate, this may be the most important message you will ever read. Truth be told, some ways of quitting are better than others. At least today you have choices. The two main choices are buprenorphine and methadone. Both drugs help ease the symptoms of dopesickness, but because both drugs are opioids, you’re not really “detoxing” as much as you’re “retoxing.” What often happens is that doctors want you to stay on buprenorphine or methadone forever. Let’s be real. Doctor’s make a fortune with maintenance but not with detox. It is a clear conflict. So you wind up cross addicted.

Take buprenorphine, it is a good tool for detoxification, but as a maintenance drug it’s a nightmare. Methadone is also good for detoxification, but it is easily misused, diverted or added with other drugs so you may wind up abusing it as well.

Sometimes the best alternative is a more natural detox, and the Parisi formula is one of the better home remedies. It’s really a combination of remedies, a hybrid detox if you will. The genius of it is that you don’t have to be a genius to use it. There are no hard to find ingredients like “toe of a frog” or “eye of newt.” It’s a straightforward and simple way to detoxify yourself heroin at home.

Home detox for opiate withdrawal

Have you ever tried to kick heroin at home? If you have, than you may have tried a home remedy or two. Which begs the question, “Do home remedies actually work?”  The simple answer is that some do and some don’t.  We know that individuals who kick at home commonly use home remedies.  All we’re really saying is that if you’re going to use a home remedy then use one of the better methods. Otherwise you’ll detox cold turkey.

Cold turkey opiate detox

Cold Turkey is the most natural detox. It’s also very uncomfortable and extremely ineffective. Way back when, recovery experts recommended cold turkey. They actually believed it was the best way to quit. It may be the fastest way, but it’s definitely not the best way. This was their rationale; with cold-turkey you’ll remember how bad it was and therefore you won’t relapse. However, the success rate of cold turkey detox is beyond bad. Unless of course you’re in jail and you have no other choice. What typically happens is that heroin addicts never make it to day three. However, if you have to kick cold turkey, take heart in knowing that it will improve after day three. Of course, you may not be able to fall asleep for several more days, but nobody ever died from lack of sleep. They went crazy but they didn’t die.

Kicking opiates with medications

The duration of heroin withdrawal is somewhere around 7-10 days. Curiously, there are only two medications FDA approved to treat heroin withdrawal, methadone and buprenorphine. There is a brand new medication “lofexidine hydrochloride” that is currently in clinical trials and awaiting FDA approval. If that drug is approved, it will be the only non-narcotic opiate withdrawal drug and therefore the only non-addictive medication FDA approved for the treatment of heroin withdrawal. There are two other medications, valium, which is a sedative hypnotic, and clonidine, which is an antihypertensive, both of which treat specific symptoms of heroin withdrawal.

Quitting opiates with Buprenorphine

There are currently three popular buprenorphine based medications (Suboxone, Subutex and Zubsolv) used to treat heroin withdrawal. All three are narcotics and therefore addictive drugs similar to heroin.

Does buprenorphine work?

The FDA approved buprenorphine as an orphan drug and clinical trials suggest that buprenorphine does in fact work. Furthermore, most of the statistical evidence suggests it’s an effective medication for heroin withdrawal. Most of the information that we’ve gathered points to Zubsolv as the best buprenorphine-based medication. However, Zubsolv does typically cost more.

Kicking opiates with Methadone

Is Methadone detoxification a viable solution for kicking heroin? It most certainly is. Most places regulate it, pay for it, and provide it – so Methadone is definitely viable. Methadone detox for heroin withdrawal usually lasts 21-28 days, but patients have to visit the clinic every morning. On the down side, there are few clinics in rural areas, so if you live too far from a clinic, it’s not a workable solution.

Opiate withdrawal detoxification programs

Let’s look at inpatient medically managed heroin detoxification programs. If you’re asking, “is an inpatient heroin detox a logical solution?” It appears to be a near perfect solution logically. Inpatient heroin detox programs utilize health care professionals to help men and women kick heroin. Heroin detoxification is the smart solution, because it’s cheaper than hospitalization and better than outpatient heroin detox. The main benefit to this modality is that healthcare professionals handle all phases of detox, so the success rate is very high. For example, Clear Detox Center is a successful Heroin Detox in Orange County, CA that utilizes buprenorphine/Suboxone as well as other detox medications to minimize the withdrawal symptoms in order to make the detox process as safe and comfortable as possible.

Hospital – Chemical Dependency Units (CDU’s)

Medically monitored detox centers are generally found in hospitals and are called chemical dependency units. It is one of the better if not the best heroin detox strategy you can find. You’ll have doctors and nurses 24-hours a day. All you have to do is let the doctors and nurses monitor and manage the detox for you. Patients basically kick with a doctor close by. This method of dopesickness treatment may be expensive, but it is the safest and most comfortable way to kick heroin.

Getting your life back

Making the decision to get off heroin is the critical first step, and quitting heroin is a tremendous accomplishment. However, staying clean takes time and effort. The good news is that over time the struggle fades and you begin functioning in a healthy way. People start to trust you again. You regain your self-worth, self-confidence, and self-respect, because you no longer have any deficiency holding you back. In the end, you get your life back, and that’s what really matters.

Staying clean for good

Heroin addicts who get off heroin and stay off heroin for a year generally have four well-maintained dimensions that support their life in recovery:

1. HEALTH: Sobriety – making informed healthy choices that support physical and emotional wellbeing.

2. HOME: A stable and safe place to live.

3. PURPOSE: Having a job, which means maintaining gainful employment.

4. COMMUNITY: Having a good support system, such as a loving family, a loving wife, Narcotics Anonymous, Church or Synagogue. It means being among healthy people who care about you.