First Night Detoxing From Heroin?

Question by andrea: First night detoxing from heroin?
I brought a family member to detox today, it was his first time ever trying to get help from an outside source. Needless to say I was very hopeful, and happy. It was nerve wracking to drop him off in a different town, at a strange place, and I’m sure it was even more nerve wracking for him. He lasted about 4 hours. He called me VERY upset. and I called his girlfriend, because I was worried (as was she) that his enabler and dealer, was going to be the one to go pick him up. So his girlfriend went and got him.

He took a first step, something we thought he would never do. He wants to stop.

My question to everyone is this: Statistically, how common is it for people to, not make it through, their first night of detox???? That is all I want to know. If I get that answered and maybe some helpful suggestions, that would be amazing. I can’t even explain how happy I was to see even just a “baby step” But I would be so happy if He went a little further, as long as it too, for him to be sober, and not dead. <3 Best answer:

Answer by Starry Eyes
It’s almost impossible to stop cold turkey, go through the detox, and then never pick up heroin again.
I wanted to get clean for months, but even after going through the entire detox (my parents had me locked inside the house for 3 weeks) I immediately went out and used heroin as soon as I was able to leave the house, and instantly got addicted again.

It’s about more than the detox, a heroin addict will be plagued with “mental obsessions” of doing heroin for up to two years after quitting, even after detoxing. It’s amazing that he took the first step, but I sense he will fail if you don’t get some sort of professional help.
By professional help, I mean either methadone or Suboxone. Personally, I vote for Suboxone. You would do well to educate yourself on these two substances.

In short, methadone is the most common “cure” for heroin addiction because it’s cheap, and you can pay the clinic back at a later date, but most heroin users will lie about how much heroin they use on a daily basis in hopes that they receive a stronger methadone dose, so they can get high off of it.
In theory, the addict is supposed to go to the clinic and receive methadone for awhile (basically switching the addiction), so that they will not experience heroin withdrawals. However, methadone is almost the exact structure as heroin, so essentially, the addict is STILL addicted to opiates, even when they’re on a methadone treatment. The only difference is they KNOW how strong their methadone is, so they don’t have to worry about overdosing or getting shot during a drug deal. Again, in theory, the methadone clinic EVENTUALLY is supposed to lower the methadone dose… but most clinics aren’t the best at doing that, so you end up with a LOT of methadone users who have been on methadone for 20 years. And no offense, but over that long time, methadone WILL do irreversible damage to your brain. Methadone should really only be an option if he’s been a heroin addict for 10+ years. Anything less, Suboxone can do just as well.

Suboxone is similar to methadone, except it has a ceiling effect so you can’t get high off of it. It stops all withdrawals, and Suboxone withdrawals aren’t as bad as methadone withdrawals, some people report no withdrawal symptoms at all when quitting Suboxone. I have never tried methadone, but every addict I know who has tried it, is STILL on it to this day. And they’ve been on it for years. My Suboxone, however, I love. From day 1, it took away not just my withdrawals, but it also stopped my obsession with doing heroin. It’s wonderful. I could never stop using heroin without this medication.
The downside to Suboxone is that it’s expensive, and you’ll probably have to go to a pain clinic to get it. I don’t have insurance, but my parents make a decent amount of money, so we ended up having to pay $ 200 for an appointment at the pain clinic, and then $ 300 for my monthly Suboxone prescription. Keep in mind, if you can’t afford this, there very well could be a free clinic in your area.
What I especially like about Suboxone is that if I try to do heroin after I take my daily dose, I won’t feel it at all. It makes using pointless.

So now that you have some background info on these two medications, I STRONGLY suggest your loved one find what’s right for him. I personally think Suboxone is better by a long shot (even doctors aren’t a fan of methadone), but if all he can afford is methadone, that’s better than staying an addict.

There’s very little hope that he will be able to stop without having one of these medications. It’s just a fact. If he were somehow able to get through the detox, he’s still faced with the obsession of going out and using for many months afterwards. Once you’re an addict, it takes about 2 years to get the addict’s brain back to normal- no cravings, no obsessions. So he can expect to be on one of these medications for at least 2 years, but it will help him so much more in the long run. Once he’s on the medication, things like counseling and NA meetings will help immensely. It’s about getting out of his “old crowd” and getting into a healthy, “new crowd.”

But the first step to a permanent recovery is getting on either Suboxone or Methadone. It’s the only thing strong enough to take away the cravings.
That was my problem. I WANTED to stop, but my cravings had control over me. As long as I had cravings, I KNEW I would use, so the first step for me was to get rid of the cravings. That’s the hardest part.

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