You Asked, We Answered
How do I stop using heroin? I’m scared to death of the withdrawals.
You are not alone. Many people are frightened of opiate withdrawals. But we live in an age of a certain amount of hysteria and misinformation concerning withdrawals from drugs. For example, heroin withdrawal, at its worst (assuming of course you do not have other physical issues or complications – we are assuming you are otherwise a generally healthy individual) is no more than a 72 hour flu-like experience. Everyone gets the flu, and yet, we jump to the idea that this withdrawal experience will “force” you to use substances. This is only the case if you have been taught to frame your withdrawal as being something you cannot handle. This is a learned concept – to attach continuing your use to avoid withdrawal. Thousands everyday leave hospitals physically dependent on an assortment of opiates and because they are never told to attach continuing use to stave off withdrawal, they don’t. They simply assume they caught the flu (as a worst case scenario) and then after that 72 hours, they move on. That is because they did not frame their use as a needed protection from withdrawal. Lastly, a medical detox can help you taper, and then move on with your life. The Freedom Model for Addictions addresses this in Chapter 3 and other parts of the book:
“Much is made of the role of physical dependency and withdrawal syndrome that occurs when people stop using some drugs, such as opiates, benzodiazepines, and alcohol. Surely, people who suffer from withdrawal syndrome must be true addicts enslaved to their drug of choice. Once again, this is not the case. Throughout history, most people who have had withdrawal syndrome simply experienced it as a sickness rather than as a compulsion to seek and use more drugs. It’s true that some people do require medical help to safely weather this condition, but it is not true that withdrawal compels people to use substances. Furthermore, withdrawal symptoms don’t need to be present for people to feel addicted, which can be seen in users of drugs that cause little or no withdrawal, such as marijuana and cocaine, and all the nondrug activities people feel addicted to, such as gambling, shopping, or watching pornography.”
*In cases of physical withdrawal, medical treatment and/or medical detoxification services may be necessary. Consult with a licensed physician..
The Freedom Model and the Saint Jude Retreats, divisions of Baldwin Research Institute, Inc., do not provide any services that require certification by New York State’s Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. The information in this book is designed to provide information and education on the subject of substance use and human behavior. This book is not meant to be used, nor should it be used, to diagnose or treat any associated condition. The publisher and authors are not responsible for any consequences from any treatment, action, application, or preparation, by any person or to any person reading or following the information in this book. The publisher has put forth its best efforts in preparing and arranging this. The information provided herein is provided “as is” and you read and use this information at your own risk. The publisher and authors disclaim any liabilities for any loss of profit or commercial or personal damages resulting from the use of the information contained in this book.