Heroin withdrawal questions

Discussion in 'Opiate & Opioid addiction' started by miffy, Jun 3, 2005.

  1. miffy

    miffy Newbie

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    Jun 3, 2005
    Firstly - Hello! It's not actually my first post, but pretty close to
    it - I let my membership lapse, and have just re-registered. Anyway, Hi
    to all!

    My problem :

    I've been on that lovely ole heroin for about 6 years now, off and on
    (mostly on). It went the same way it did for most people, I think - did
    all the other drugs, and dived into gear, as it's known in these parts,
    as soon as it came along. Started smoking, and about eighteen months
    ago started injecting - partly for $$$ reasons, partly for the buzz.

    During that time, I've come off a few times, in various ways.

    In the first couple of years, when I was just smoking it, I did a
    couple of cold-turkey (why do they call it that!!??)
    withdrawals, the last of which was pretty bad. Then came off on a
    methodone reduction over 3 months, and stayed off for a year (moved
    abroad). Since I've been injecting, I've been on a couple of programs -
    came off on subutex over 3 weeks. This was about a year ago, and I
    started using again as soon as the subutex stopped - so it only lasted
    3 weeks. Then I went on methodone. Didn't really stabalise on it, even.
    Managed to get my using down to about once every 5 days - which was
    brilliant progress for me - just not enough, not fast enough for the
    guys at the clinic, who stopped my 'script. That was about 3 months
    ago, and I've been using ever since.

    I think part of the reason I've always ultimately failed in all
    of my attempts to come off has been that some part of me has enjoyed
    doing gear. Whatever the reasons for this - partly self-destruction,
    partly buzz, I think - they've always led me to start up again.

    I'm now really feeling that enough's enough. I want to stop. All of me,
    I think, although the only way to know if I can stay clean is to see
    what happens. Still, I really think I've had enough. I'm depressed much
    of the time, my girlfriend's had enough of my habit, she's splitting up
    with me, and I can't blame her! I'm finding it really hard to get a
    decent vein, so I've got hurty little lumps all over me. . . whinge,
    whine, etc!

    Also, I've really messed up my budget for this month, and it's going to
    be really difficult, maybe impossible to pay for it until the end of
    the month (when I'm paid). I've never robbed to pay for my habit - I'm
    an office worker - and I'm not going to start now.

    I would like to try another subutex detox - I think I've got what it
    takes to stay off for good this time. Trouble is, after my recent
    failure with the methodone, the people at the clinic are very reluctant
    to treat me. I'm trying to win them round, but even if they do agree to
    take me back, it won't be for a couple of months - and I don't know if
    I can hold out that long.

    So it looks as though I might have to go it alone. Something I'm pretty scared of.

    Which I s'pose brings me to my questions. . .

    Last time I went cold-turkey (I keep thinking of shivering poultry!)
    was when I had a smoking habit, and it was nasty, about 3 days of real
    illness, then a week where I couldn't really leave the flat, and aches
    and pains for a further month or so.

    But this time, I have an injecting habit, and I'm probably using more, too.

    (I live in the UK, if that's relevant)

    I can try to reduce my consumption somewhat, but only for a few days. I
    find it really hard to keep it low when I still have gear about. But,
    if I can cut down to half of my regular dose for a few days prior to
    the final big 'STOP!' - will it make the withdrawal any easier, when I
    finally get down to it?

    How long can I expect the withdrawal process to last?

    And is there anything I can take / do to make it any easier?

    Sorry about the long post - if you've managed to read all that, thanks!
    And if you have any advice, information or personal experience -
    anything that might help - I'd be really grateful!

    Cheers!Edited by: miffy
  2. Creeping Death

    Creeping Death Iridium Member

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    Jun 29, 2004
    Withdrawal from smack can last 2 weeks, more or less.

    I have no experience with heroin, but i find that the best way to cut down on a dangerous drug is to slowly substitute it with safer ones. Plan your whole withdrawal period out.

    Stock up on weed, valium, anti-nausea medicine, anything that you feel can help ease your situation.

    Do not go cold turkey instantly from a high dosage of H. Every week you should take less and less heroin, and more and more marijuana and/or valium. I hope this will help you out a bit, but i've never used heroin myself. And from what i hear, it's very hard no matter what to get off it and stay off it.
  3. greener

    greener Silver Member

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    May 29, 2005
    It sounds like you're doing a small taper, which will likely make it
    easier to stop... As for withdrawal, it's going to suck no matter
    what, but it WILL end. I learned that anything even moderately
    stimulating (even caffeine) made me feel 45,000 times worse during
    WD. You'll want something to sleep, as well, because that goes
    right out the window for a lot of people... Benzos can be good
    for this, but be careful not to simply take them in lieu of H, as the
    withdrawal from benzos is even worse. (I had seizures for
    about 3 days, and didn't sleep for about 6.) If alcohol is okay
    with you, that can help cut down on some of the vile feelings...
    For diarreah, large doses (8-12 mg) of loperamide (Immodium in the US,
    could be the same in UK... It's over-the-counter) can help, and
    might even affect the withdrawals, as it is opiate derived.

    Some people claim to find a great deal of help by taking DXM or very
    large doses of Vitamin C, and there certainly is evidence that these
    things can be helpful, so it won't hurt.

    Truth is, nothing is going to make it easy except having it end, and
    the only way to truly end it is to make it through. It should run
    about the same time frame as your previous experience, though the
    intensity might vary a bit...

    Best of luck to you, let us know how you do.
  4. miffy

    miffy Newbie

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    Jun 3, 2005
    Thanks, people - I guess I'm just scared, and hoped someone would say
    "No, take this *magic* pill, and it'll be totally painless|!"

    I've got maybe 3 days, maybe a week to reduce as steeply as I can, then
    it'll be the end of my resources - I could probably beg / borrow money
    to drag it out for another few days, maybe until I get paid - but
    that'll only mean I end up in the same place again, next month. . .

    And, the truth is that, although I'm really not looking forward to the journey, I really wanna get there.

    Thanks, and I'll try to underindulge over the next few days - rather
    than just have 2 days of doing really fat hits, then suddenly run out!


    (btw - what's DXM? I've never heard of it (am in the UK - maybe we don't have it here?)
  5. greener

    greener Silver Member

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    May 29, 2005
    DXM is the short name for Dextromethophan, which in the US is commonly
    used as an OTC cough remedy. I believe it's legal in the
    UK... Here, it's found in things like Robotussin, Vicks 44, and
    pretty much any other cough syrup. If possible, you need to make
    sure that whatever preparation you're buying has Dextromethorphan as
    the ONLY ingredient. To help with WD, you'll want to take about
    3x the reccomended dose, and if there's other stuff in there, you'll
    just end up feeling worse. Best of luck...
  6. Eirias

    Eirias Gold Member

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    Jan 21, 2005
    Find out about ibogaine. If you go into the experience
    with intention, not only will it cease your Withdrawals symtoms, it can also
    help eliminate cravings, at least for enough time for you to reflect on
    you lifestyle and decide where to go from there.

    Subbies work well for a pain-free withdrawl, but once they are
    no longer being taken it seems like relapse is a frequent occurance. .
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2017
  7. miffy

    miffy Newbie

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    Jun 3, 2005
    Many thanks to people for their suggestions.

    So far, I’ve been trying to cut down, and succeeding for a few days –
    then I just binge for one big hit, and I’m back where I started. . .
    I’m going to have to step it down for a couple of weeks, though, ‘cos
    I’m certainly not going to make it through to pay-day if I keep doing

    If I can manage without having to stop cold, then I shall – if I can
    get by on a quarter of what I’m currently on, I should be able to make
    it to the end of the month. I spoke to my doctor yesterday, who offered
    me a ‘supervised’ 21 day subutex detox, followed by naltrexone.

    I’ve done the subutex thing before, and found that I relapsed only
    about 2 days after finishing the detox! I think I’ve got a great deal
    more determination, this time, though – I’m really keen to be off at
    the moment, really feeling trapped by the habit. Which is when it’s
    time to stop. I’m looking forward to all the things you do when you’re
    clean – holidays, sex, ecstasy – that sorta thing!

    Anyway – in the meantime I have to stick to a very strict reduction schedule.

    I'm gonna have to check out DXM - sounds as though I'd have to be a bit
    careful about contraindications? I take antidepressants, so I'll check

    Thanks for all the suggestions – ibogaine sounds really interesting,
    I’ve never heard anything about it before. Does anyone have any
    experience of it?

    (Oops - actually, I've just seen there's a thread on ibogaine!)

    Edited by: miffy
  8. Yassy

    Yassy Newbie

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    May 16, 2005
    [​IMG]hi! this is my first post,,i'v been clean for 4 yrs off that shit and i'm loving it,,i went through all the things and feelings you talk about and its no life is it,,existing for your next fix[​IMG]

    i tried everything,,,and usally got to day 3 and thought ideserved a little"treat" back to square 1,,,

    i ende up losing my 2 beautiful children and family living with a violent man(father of kiddies) in a dirty flat with a "conspiricy to suppy" charge hanging over me

    ended up taking alot of sleepers and callingkids social worker saying i'd had enough of life and was O.D-ing(which i hadnt)i was then admitted to a clean mental ward(i was the sainest person there)they then seen my situation as a priority got me into a rehab which put me on a meth withdrawal(12 days, i should have said i was addicted to sleepers as they only gave them to people who were and i would have slept better) that was the start of my new life,,yes i tripped up a few times but i had people around me who wanted me clean and they helped lots,,if there are any N/A meetings in your area go to them its not about God,,its about recovery,,

    good luck and take care
  9. Explotation

    Explotation Newbie

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    Mar 25, 2005
    Dude you got this, I think your mentality is half of the battle. Just think/imagine what it will be like after you don't have to stab yourself just get through the day.
  10. miffy

    miffy Newbie

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    Jun 3, 2005
    Thanks, people - it's really good to hear from people who've come out
    on the 'other side' - it's good to know there's a life out there, and
    it's a better one!

    I know that there is, and I know that I'm actually happier when I'm
    clean - it's just the trouble I have getting to that point. Once the
    physical cravings stop, I find that I'll get really depressed, that
    life seems really empty and boring without the gear.

    I know that once I get past that, I'm fine - about 4 years ago, I managed to stay off for a year, and it was great.

    Well, I'm cutting down at the moment, it's only been a few days but I'm
    already using less. I'm going to keep reducing (finances necessitate
    that!) until the end of the month, and then I should have the subutex
    coming up. Phew! I can't wait . . .
  11. miffy

    miffy Newbie

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    Jun 3, 2005
    Just to update anyone who might be interested - I'm s'posed to be
    starting a subutex detox in about 3 weeks. I spoke to my old keyworker
    a few days ago, and he reckons he might be able to fit me in about 3
    weeks from now - it'll be a 21 day subutex detox, starting on about
    6mg, peaking after 3 days on about 8 or 10mg, then reducing rapidly to
    about 2mg after a week, then 1, then down to zero. The whole process
    is, as I said, 21 days, followed by a gap of about a week where I'm on
    nothing(!) - then, after that week, I'll start on Naltrexone -
    which I've never tried before, but it sounds just what I need to
    prevent relapse.

    I'm really lucky to get this opportunity so rapidly, considering the
    state of the services in my part of the UK, and the length of
    waiting-lists. Last time I went on treatment it took about 4 months
    from the moment I first walked in off the street to the point where
    treatment started - which is hopeless, considering that many people
    leave it until it's their only option, and it's too late for anything
    else. . .

    Anyway, if anyone's interested, I'll update on what goes on.
  12. Muirner

    Muirner Gold Member

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    Feb 19, 2005
    from U.K.
    Do update, but u should check out Ibocaine (sp?) it is supposed to be real good with recovery. I'll search it up on here and post later

  13. miffy

    miffy Newbie

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    Jun 3, 2005
    Yeah - there's a thread in this forum, I think. From what I've read
    (only there) it sounds brilliant - the mythical miracle-cure, no more
    habit & increased self-awareness.

    I've never heard of it elsewhere, though, outside of these forums.
    Maybe it would be called something different in the UK? I'll try to
    remember to ask my keyworker, and see if he's heard of it - I'll post
    it, if he knows anything.
  14. jimdandy

    jimdandy Newbie

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    Feb 3, 2005
    i'm not too sure about ibogaine,i think you have to be motivated. i met a whole bunch of dope fiends in thailand who'd tried it and were still dpoe fiends.

    speaking of thailand anyone out there been to the mythical thamkrabok monastery/rehab? i did a stint there, what a fuckin sad sad place that was. locked up in a tiny room with 200 withdrawing junkies, most with aids, some full blown, a tiny open crapper in the middle of the room-monks beating the shit out of inmates, i mean patients, with bamboo sticks. they didn't beat me cuz they don't beat foreigners anymore, a few months before i got there they had beaten a german patient to death and there was a bit of an embassy fuss, so the policy since has been don't beat the farangs. it was the closest thing i've seen to a medieval prison.
  15. picpic

    picpic Newbie

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    Mar 7, 2005
    Immodine helps alot, it's an anti-diarrea medicine also an opiate but it doesn't cause euphoria or pain killing effects. I think it's in the same family with fentanyl. Give it a try, many people swear by it, they call it over the counter Methadone.
  16. miffy

    miffy Newbie

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    Jun 3, 2005
    jimdandy - ewww! That place sounds like a nightmare! An ex of mine
    keeps telling me she thinks I should go there, thinks I need
    discipline! I don't think she really knows the score (although she was
    brilliant in helping me to get & stay off while we were together) -
    and keep telling her that, when you're really sick, you need life
    to be as easy and soft as possible. . . not even harder - I feel so
    much sympathy for people coming off in such places - prisons, etc - and
    really hope (touch wood!) it never happens to me. . .

    I'll maybe try the anti-diarrhoea thing - when I'm sick, my guts give me hell!

    The situation at the moment is that I'm hopefully starting on thew
    subbie detox in 2 weeks - but the clinic hasn't 'approved' it yet, so
    they may still refuse to treat me on account of my previous failures
    (one on subutex, two methodone). I've got my fingers crossed, and am
    trying to push it through. . . I'm really poor 'til pay day so I'm
    scraping by on what little bits of gear I can buy, beg, borrow &
    blag. . . (I've never ripped anyone off tho). . . and I'm really
    looking forward to being clean - thinking of all the things I can do
    with the extra money. . .
  17. OiledMandible

    OiledMandible Titanium Member

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    Apr 26, 2005
    As others have said, look into Ibogaine. Unfortunately I was not
    aware of it during withdrawal (For a year I had access to as much
    vicodin as I wanted, any time, for free. Then my source got into
    mucho trouble...all of a sudden, nothing.) A friend of mine
    swears by Ibogaine, says it helped him like nothing else!
  18. English_T


    Reputation Points:
    May 13, 2005
    48 y/o from earth
    i live in the uk and am on a meth script that has been going on and off for 5 years, i have used for 9. I have no veins in my arms now and have to shoot in the groin. It is a a great drug at first but , in the end, takes much, much more than what it will ever deliver.

    I still use smack about once a week in snowballs but mainly use crack now. However, my counsellor knows exactly how much i use because i tell her she doesn't mind as long as i am honest with. thus their is no stress and have found it easy to reduce. these guys that kick you off are fucking idiots , with no common sense at all.

  19. jimdandy

    jimdandy Newbie

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    Feb 3, 2005
    fuck meth, fuck it all-day three of withdrawl.

    i used to say i have no regrets, but right now i sure as hell regret having ever touched that shit (junk). tis said god works in misterious ways, so i'm hoping there's a reason for this, something i have to learn and cherish (beyond, duh don't pick up)

    the prob with meth is you never get out of it-you're choosing the dark side.

  20. jimdandy

    jimdandy Newbie

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    Feb 3, 2005
    double post, sorry brain not working very well-deleted the last one

    but yeah fuck it

    and this is about the millionth time i'm doing this, what the fuck's the natter with me?Edited by: jimdandy