How do you quit heroin cold turkey?
Somebody I know is addicted to heroin. He has been on it for about 3 or 4 months now. He wants to get off of it and I really want him to get off of it too. He tried to lean himself off of it and I told him I don't believe that will work. So I'm trying to get him to quit cold turkey. It would hurt to many people in his life if they found out so I want to try to get him off with out going to rehab. Does anybody have any ideas on what can help with the withdrawals. I will try anything. Please help me.
- Tony ILv 51 decade agoFavorite Answer
Realizing that he has an addiction problem and wanting to get over it are important first steps.
It may be that some kind of prescription drugs are needed for a very short term to prevent what is often an agonizing and sometimes precarious withdrawal process when one attempts to go "cold turkey", but the emphasis here should be on "short term" instead of prolonged prescription drug use. Even then, withdrawal will not be pleasant but it IS absolutely achievable and the rewards of having one's life back in order are beyond measure.
Cleanses on a regular basis, as well as periodic fasting, are important to get not only the heroin, but ultimately the prescription drugs too, out of the system. Otherwise, minute amounts may remain and trigger continued cravings for quite some time. A weekly fasting day where nothing but one of the following items is consumed (as much as you want, but nothing else) will help: watermelon, dark grapes (seeds and all), juiced vegetables, water.
Frequent baths will help wash off the night sweats one may experience and give a better sense of cleanliness and well being.
Sugar must absolutely be avoided to the greatest degree possible, as should bleached white flour, processed foods and junk foods - all of which feed addiction and retard recovery.
A good diet and lifestyle that gets rid of junk food, processed food, sugar and caffeine to the greatest extent possible will help the body heal faster and help reduce cravings, as will the other suggestions in my post to the group. In particular, exercise can be extremely helpful. A high protein, nutrient rich diet that emphasizes raw foods is best. Make sure there are plenty of omega 3's and essential fatty acids. Dark green leafy vegetables, such as baby spinach, are great. I would also add some good supergreen food protein drinks containing such items as spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass, barley grass and more.
Exercise not only helps eliminate drugs from your system and increases your energy and overall health, it also releases endorphins - which are feel good chemicals that will decrease stress and give one a higher sense of being happy and satisfied.
Most people are aware that drug overdoses can kill you, but many are not aware of the other ways those poisons can kill or damage your body. All drugs weaken the immune system. Heroin can cause life threatening damage to the heart muscle. For that reason, CoQ10 and Magnesium are both good supplements and I would say some Dr, Christopher's Hawthorne Berry Syrup would be a good idea too.
Some other essential nutrients to consider are:
Vitamin B complex (100 mg of each major B vitamin) plus extra pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5 500 mg three times daily) and Vitamin B3 in the form of Niacinamide (500 mg 3 times daily and do not substitute niacin for the niacinamide). Those will help reduce stress and help with proper brain function (and the way drugs work is primarily through tricking the brain and neurotransmitter interference).
Essential fatty acids, as directed on the label, are good for reversing the effects of malnourishment, which is common in heroin addiction as well as other substance abuse victims.
Calcium and magnesium (use 15oo mg along with 1000 mg of magnesium at bedtime). These two essentials nourish the central nervous system and help calm the body to control tremors that often accompany heroin addiction.
L-glutamine (500 mg 3 times daily) passes the blood-brain barrier to promote healthy mental function and increases the level of gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA), which has a calming effect.
GABA, as directed on label.
Glutathione, as directed on label. Aids in detoxing and reduces cravings for drugs and alcohol.
L-phenylalanine (1500 mg daily upon awakening). Necessary as a brain food and helps with withdrawal symptoms. Caution: Not to be taken when someone is pregnant (unlikely in his case - lol), nursing (ditto), or suffer from panic attack, diabetes or high blood pressure.
S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe), as directed on label. Aids in stress relief and depression, eases pain, and has an antioxidant effect that can improve liver health. Caution: Do not use if there is a manic-depressive disorder OR if taking prescription antidepressants.
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids (up to 2000 mg every 3 hours). Detoxes the system and lessens drug cravings. Use a buffered form such as sodium ascorbate and cut back on the dosage if diarrhea occurs.
Zinc, as directed on label but not to exceed 100 mg daily from all supplement sources. Promotes a healthy immune system and protects the liver.
Iodine (up to 100 mg daily). Helps restore thyroid function, which is often affected by heroin users. Take with selenium (as directed on label) for maximum effectiveness.
I would also personally recommend an all around natural food derived nutritional supplement such as the outstanding IntraMAX product, which contains 415 essential nutrients (and adjust the other supplements accordingly). This will insure that no vital vitamin, mineral, trace mineral of other nutrient is missing and help speed recovery.
Now, here is an absolute must: he must take every step he can to avoid all of the people, places and things that have been associated with his past crack cocaine use, because any one of them can and will trigger cravings that often lead to relapses. If you go around people who use, you will end up using. If you go to places where people use, or where you used to go when you used, you will end up using again. If you listen to the same kind of music you listened to when you used (more often than not, that kind of music is Rap and/or Hip Hop for crack cocaine users), you will use again.
Here is another absolute must: Avoid all alcohol, marijuana or any other substance that gets you high and/or alters your mood. Most addicts make the mistake of thinking that they can have just one or two drinks, or perhaps smoke a little pot, without going back to their drug of choice. It doesn't work that way. Not ever. All it does is lower inhibitions and lead ultimately back to the drug of choice again and again and again. The user always thinks that they are the exception, but they are always wrong. There is no exception!
Never excuse a slip, but also do not condemn it because they are the rule and not the exception - which is not in any way giving an excuse to your son to have a slip. And believe me, addicts are looking for excuses to use again. In most instances, they have even mentally planned out and justified what is going to cause a relapse in advance. That thinking must be eliminated and he must be determined not to use again, period! BUT, if he does slip after weeks or more of avoiding crack cocaine, that does not mean that all of his hard work and recovery time has gone down the tubes IF he immediately realizes his error and gets back on track. It's kind of like riding a bicycle - if you ride for miles and take a spill, it does not take away the miles you have traveled if you get back on that bike and keep riding.
Another thing a drug addict must do is learn how to have fun and enjoy life without using drugs. To do this, one must remember the things they enjoyed before they began using. Maybe it was fishing, hiking or camping. Maybe biking, working out, practicing martial arts. Or perhaps reading, writing, coin or stamp collecting or some other hobby. Or playing with your dog. And then there is a whole world of new things to try that might be enjoyable besides the things that were once enjoyable. I dare say that every addict out there once had things they enjoyed doing before they began using, and no telling how many things they never tried that they might have enjoyed.
Now, this may come as a surprise to many people: but I am not very favorable towards recovery groups, rehab centers or halfway houses. As someone who has worked as a volunteer in an alcohol and drug rehab program for young men, I know that the greatest downfall of those groups is that they inevitably bring you into contact with people who use drugs and often still want to use drugs. There is an old joke that is really not a joke about it being easier to find and score drugs at NA meetings than practically anywhere.
Instead of being in regular contact with present and past users who will tell war stories that actually trigger you to use again or else will talk you into another episode of using, find people and groups that are not about drug use.
Finally, here is a tool that may help insure that successful recovery is "in the cards" for those who have a substance abuse problem:
Get a notepad and pen. On one page, write down all of the positive things you can think of about being drug free -- such as getting and holding a job, better self image, keeping the love and respect of family members and friends, being healthier, longer life, more active lifestyle, etc. Try to come up with the top ten reasons. On another page, write down all of the negative things you can think of about using drugs, including your own worst experiences: Losing friends and families, losing jobs, losing your home, auto and other possessions, having no money, feeling miserable, low self esteem, poor health, association with criminals and prostitutes, run-ins with the law, stealing to support your habit, etc.
Next, get yourself a few wallet sized index cards, or make some up on your computer. On the front of each card write the negative things about using drugs and on the back write the positive things. Put one in your wallet and one wherever else you may keep money and perhaps also tape one to the back of items like TVs, computers and stereos you may have hocked, sold or traded to get drugs. PROMISE yourself that anytime you are thinking about using drugs again, you first pull out that card and read it carefully and completely.Source(s): Two years working as a volunteer for a drug and alchohol rehab center for young men, research into nutrition for addiction recovery and personal family experience.
- 1 decade ago
Quitting cold turkey is extreamly dificult, you wpuld probibly have to tie him down or lock him in a room some how, because by the second day of kicking he will be in so much agony that he will do anything to get well (use). Also on the second or third day he will litraky start to become crasy, hearing voices, seeing things. If you dont have health insurence and there is no free county funded detox, the best thing to do would be to get your hands on Xanax or Colonopin, it will do a lot as far as keeping him calm and able to sleep, because usaly you cant sleep for upto 10 days after quitting. It will also relax him so he wont toss and turn and kick his legs so much (they call it kicking dope for a reason). Also make sure to keep him hidrated, lots of water, Gatorade is even better because of the electrolites. When detoxing your bods is purging out all the poisin youve been putting in so water is importent to speed that process up. It will also help with the retching and dry heaving, if he pukes it up keep trying. The best thing to do though would be to get him into a medicated detox, they will give him a drug called Buprenorphine, it will make it so he wont even get sick at all. There is another vversion of Buprenorphine called Saboxone, and that can be prescribed by a doctor and taken at home, it will also make it so he wont have to get sick and withdraw. I know where I'm at at least, you can find it on the street as well, so have him ask around his friends that use heroin as well. Just if he uses Saboxone or Buprenorphine at home, make sure he knows how to take it because if its taken wrong it can make the kick 1000 times worse, so bad it could kill if taken too soon of if one has methadone in their system. He would have to wait 18 - 24 hours from his last shot of dope before takeing it. When he has all simptoms of withdrawals he can take it, but AT LEAST 18 hours no more then 24. The pill is then put under the toung all 8mg and held there untill it is compleatly desolved, about 20min. That should make him better. If hes not all the way well after 1 pill take another half. Then another whole pill every 12 hours 3 time then a half every 12 hours 4 times then a quarter every 12 hours for the rest of 5 or 6 days. After that he will be compleatly detoxed. However it takes a long time to return to normal. He may not sleep well for up to a year, he'll be depressed and lathargic. If its only been 4 months have him do it soon, the longer he stays strung out the harder it will be to stop. Because of the nature of the drug one has to have it it them 24/7 so if one stays strung out for years, it's a huge shock to quit because your used to being on it all the time. I've strugeled with heroin addiction for years and wish I had someone at 4 months to help me quit, my life has been destroyed I'm homeless and ive lost everything, and worse everyone who has ever cared for me, they wont speak to me. Once whatever hes been doing for money for dope dries up or he looses his job, which he will, hell start to steal from and lie to and screw over whoever he has to to suportt him habit. Inevitably hell loose everything and everyone, they allways do. Not that hes a bad person, thats just how evil the stuff it. Good luck and i hope he is able to stop before he ends up like me and you end up like my family.Also I know IM a horrible speller but this is too long and Im not going baack sorry.
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- jesseLv 43 years ago
That's a good point
- Anonymous4 years ago
Don't think this is correct