What Is Heroin Addiction Like?

  The Allure of Heroin Imagine having no problems, because that is what the heroin high feels like. Of course it’s an illusion, but heroin […]

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 […]

How To Kick Heroin

There are many reasons not to use heroin; the virus, physical dependence, addiction and overdose are enough to persuade most to stay away. But for the men and women who do become addicted, normal pleasures will undoubtedly lose their appeal and desire for such things as eating delicious food, spending time with family, and romantic intimacy will be unable to compete with heroin. What’s more…the cost of using heroin is often paid in human lives and those lives are severely curtailed by four main causes: heroin overdose, liver disease, accidents and homicide.

How does heroin affect the brain?

Heroin affects the brain because it binds to and activates μ-mu opioid receptors, which are the most prevalent opioid receptors in the body and the receptors most responsible for heroin’s drug-effects. Read More…

What is heroin addiction like?

Heroin addiction is the supernova of drug addictions and those who play around with it often pay a heavy price. There really is no way to avoid it. Read More…

Why is it so hard to quit heroin?

There are two main reasons why heroin addicts continue to use in spite of all the negative consequences that come with heroin addiction. Read More…

Setting up for detox

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. Though, once you do begin, it is a good idea to place the person in one of three categories.

Extreme Withdrawal

These individuals need immediate treatment.

Moderate Withdrawal

Though less acute withdrawal is better, the timeline for treatment is immediate, though the treatment may be different.

Under the Influence of Heroin

It may be best to monitor the person for several hours and wait for objective signs of heroin withdrawal to develop before beginning treatment.

What causes heroin withdrawal (dopesickness)?

Heroin use suppresses the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the locus coeruleus. These areas cause the vast majority of heroin’s effects. When heroin is withdrawn these previously suppressed areas begin working at levels way above normal, i.e. they become hyperactive.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 symptoms attributed to heroin withdrawal, with the exception of diarrhea.

Telltale signs of heroin withdrawal

  1. Large pupils
  2. Runny Nose
  3. Sneezing
  4. Physical pain
  5. Depression
  6. Lack of energy
  7. Diarrhea
  8. Insomnia


How long does heroin withdrawal last?

The duration of heroin withdrawal coincides with its clearance rate, such that, withdrawal symptoms typically linger for 7-days or so. Read More…

Can heroin withdrawal kill you?

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

How to help ease 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 you wind up cross addicted. This is why heroin addicts are always looking for new ways to kick. Sometimes the best alternative is a more natural detox, and the Parisi formula is one of the better natural home detoxes. It’s really a combination of remedies, a hybrid home 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” or anything like that. It is a simple and inexpensive way to detox heroin at home.


Home detox for heroin

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 heroin detox

Cold Turkey is the most natural detox. It’s also very uncomfortable and extremely ineffective. Way back when, recovery experts recommended cold turkey and said it was the best way to quit. It may actually be the fastest way, but it’s definitely not the easiest way. This was the expert’s rationale; with cold-turkey you’ll remember the detox and therefore won’t relapse. However, the success rate of cold turkey detox is terrible. Unless of course you’re in jail and you have no other choice. What typically happens is the heroin addict never makes 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 days, but nobody ever died from lack of sleep.

Kicking heroin 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 heroin 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 heroin 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.

Heroin withdrawal detoxification programs

Let’s look at inpatient medically monitored 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.

Hospital – Chemical Dependency Units (CDU’s)

Medically managed 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 have three common associations, which include:

1. Having a job, which means maintaining gainful employment.

2. Having accountability, which means having someone or some people who can check on you like a sponsor, parent, wife, friend or employer.

3. 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.
how heroin works