Fighting for your life against an inner opiate who wants to control you, own you and kill you is what quitting heroin entails.It might be the most important decision you'll ever make, choosing to come off junk and learn to control your junkie.You can learn to take control of your life.
Step 1: If you're healthy, quit cold turkey.
Withdrawal cold turkey means quitting heroin abruptly and getting your withdrawal symptoms over with as quickly as possible, usually 4-7 days of flu-like symptoms and suffering.It is only recommended for users who are in good health.Cold turkey heroin withdrawal is not recommended for pregnant women or people with severe health problems.
Step 2: Set a definitive date and then reduce it as you can.
If you want to go cold turkey, you should try to get yourself down to as low a dose as possible before you stop."I'm cold turkeying as soon as this runs out" is up to you, but you have to force yourself to do it if you want to go through with it.Get ready for the process by taking off work."tapering down" is an excuse to keep using.You're still using if you convince yourself to buy more just so you can stop.You need to jump if you make the decision to cold turkey.Now.Pull that thing off and get it over with.
Step 3: All your bridges should be burned.
It's time to get rid of your needles, dirty spoons, and empty baggies when you're on a cold turkey date.Get rid of your dealer's number.It's a good idea to get rid of anything that makes you think you're taking heroin.It should be impossible to use.Get help if you don't trust yourself to make it impossible.Allow a trusted friend, family member, or sponsor to take everything away from you.Don't throw it in the garbage, destroy it by smashing it with a hammer and have someone else dispose of it.
Step 4: You can find a place to stay.
If you're going to cold turkey there, have someone come over and help prepare your place, or check yourself into a safe place like a hotel or a friend's house, where you will be able to spend the week in quiet.Get ready for hell by taking a week off.If you want someone to stay with you and watch you through the process, you need to have someone check on you regularly throughout the hard week to come.It can be lonely and dark to be alone.Don't.
Step 5: Don't forget to stock up on everything you need.
A lot of drinking water and time is the most important thing you'll need.It's important that you stay fully hydrated while you're in the throes of withdrawal because you will cut yourself off from your life as an addiction.The process will be easier if you have fluids, over-the-counter flu medication, and some food, as well as enough clothes to change into and out of.
Step 6: Drink lots of water.
You can drink as much as you want.Make sure you have plenty of water and keep it down as best you can because night sweats and diarrhea can make you sick very quickly.Dehydration can cause your blood sugar to go up.Multi-vitamins and isotonic mixtures do wonders.Water them down to drink if they drink other than water.It's essential that you keep your electrolytes up.Keep the drink down by cutting it with some water.You have this.
Step 7: Imodium and dramamine can be used to treat the flu symptoms.
Heroin withdrawal will feel like the worst flu you've ever had, and it will last for several days.It's a good idea to keep some flu medication around and take it as needed to make sure the symptoms don't get out of hand.It's a good idea to take a dose of milk of magnesia a few days before you start to clear out your system and make it easier to eat.Taking large amounts of Imodium for the first couple of days during the worst part of cold turkey has been a success for some.If you take OTC drugs, try to space them out so you don't abuse them.Valerian is a natural alternative that is effective in calming your nerves and making you feel better.Think of it like herbal Valium, which is cheap and available at Walmart.
Step 8: Something to eat.
During cold turkey, bread and peanut butter can save your life.It's going to be hard to keep anything down, but forcing yourself to eat a few bites of peanut butter sandwich will give you strength and help you feel human.Whatever you do, try to eat a little bit every day to stay as human as possible and keep some ramen on hand to heat up.
Step 9: Try to sleep.
The night sweats can be rough, so have a pile of bedsheets handy.You should change your clothes and underwear every day.If you can distract yourself, try to keep yourself as clean as possible.Warm baths should be taken when it feels appropriate.You're fighting a good fight and need to rest.It's called cold turkey and you will feel extremely cold throughout it.Warm baths keep you warm and close to normal.If you can't get warm, jump in the bath or shower and let the steam work on you.
Step 10: If you can, get some exercise.
It might sound crazy, but going for a long walk or jog is the most effective way to relieve the leg pains you're going to feel throughout the process.Sometimes you don't have any symptoms when you use your body to get some exercise.Take a warm bath and force yourself to move around.Take the first few steps towards being clean.
Step 11: Take it one day at a time.
You are fighting the hardest fight of your life.It's not going to be fun, but you're doing the first step in quitting heroin for good.You are not a slave to drugs.Show it.
Step 12: It is possible to ease the effects of withdrawal with prescription medication.
If the option is available, using certain prescription drugs in a controlled and careful environment can be a more effective method of kicking heroin for good.Keeping yourself feeling normal while you quit heroin can be achieved by monitoring your intake more carefully.Learning more about "warm turkey" methods can help ensure that you don't fall into their traps, as you run the risk of further addictions to other drugs.
Step 13: There are free or low cost options in your area.
Warm turkeying requires health insurance that you might not be able to get, which is a problem as opposed to quitting cold turkey.To find out more about free or reduced clinics in your area, call the Substance Abuse hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).If you want to avoid becoming addicted to other prescription drugs, don't rely on the same old chain of dealers that caused you to quit heroin in the first place.Don't try it on your own.Get the professional medical help that's available to you and take the drugs that are recommended.
Step 14: There are state subsidized methadone clinics in your area.
Heroin users who want to stop using the drug can get it at many clinics that are free or cheap.It's up to you to negotiate your quitting, but getting drug tested and checked out by physicians can help curb the psychological trauma of heroin withdrawal for some users.You are doing the right thing.Start with as little a dose as possible.It's too easy for users who hope to quit more quickly and effectively because some clinics start with more than 70mg.Don't drag out the process if you communicate with the staff that you want to quit.Try to start smaller if you're healthy enough for a lower dose.It's not uncommon for heroin users to become dependent on methadone or double dippers to begin using heroin later in the day when the effect wears off.If you can apply and qualify for insurance aid in your state, methadone is usually the cheapest option.
Step 15: Discuss the Suboxone or Subutex approach with your doctor.
Subutex is often less of a hassle than getting on methadone, and will help with cravings.It's easier for some people to quit than it is for others.The amount of time you will take Suboxone/Subutex is less than Methadone, but maintenance generally lasts for 3 to 6 months, depending on the person and doctor.
Step 16: Prepare for the doctor's questions.
If you want prescription drugs to help you quit heroin, you need to be completely honest with your clinicians.Coming up with elaborate fantasy tales to tell as a way of getting a couple of Xanax could lead to a chain reaction in which you're rejected, get angry, and end up using again.Come clean.Inform the doctor of your intentions if you want to quit heroin completely.They can help.If you want to be admitted to state-run clinics, you need to agree to take periodic drug tests, HIV screens, and other procedures.Getting on prescription drugs can be more involved than getting a couple of pills, so be prepared to be run through the gauntlet.
Step 17: If you want to curb the withdrawal symptoms, ask about other prescription drugs.
Talk to your doctor about a prescription for other drugs that can help make the withdrawal process easier if you don't want to go on methadone.This can be an effective way of quitting if you take them in a smart and controlled manner..A non-narcotic med, given by most addiction doctors, is quite effective at managing your withdrawal symptoms.They are effective in treating addiction, insomnia, and anxiety.Some narcotics are prescribed to help take the edge off.Sometimes prescribed to combat leg pain or restless-leg syndrome, it has proven to be quite effective in easing the effects of withdrawal.
Step 18: It's a good idea to commit to secondary withdrawal.
Warm turkey methods of quitting heroin don't work because you're still on drugs.It may have a different name, but if you're still using drugs daily, you aren't done yet.You have to commit to going through the difficult work of quitting and getting sober if you are taking whatever you're taking.Depending on the method of warming the turkey, your secondary withdrawal might be mild or close to heroin.It may take several weeks for you to feel normal again.Pick a quitting date and commit to it.
Step 19: If you can afford it, consider attending a rehabilitative facility.
A private rehab clinic that you can go to while you experience withdrawal, receive medical care, psychological care and time away from your life as an addicted person would be the warmest turkey.A full rehabilitation package can cost as much as $10,000.These packages are often the end result of family interventions and can actually serve to make addicts feel guilty because of the associated cost.If you withdraw at a place that's costing your parents thousands of dollars a night, you might feel worse off than if you cold turkey alone.Don't allow it to get to the point where it becomes necessary.
Step 20: It is not the same as quitting if you survive your withdrawal.
It's not like quitting booze, quitting cigarettes, or quitting cocaine.Both the physical and psychological parts of addiction are difficult to negotiate.Heroin is the hardest drug to quit, and many people who successfully negotiate their physical withdrawal end up using again because they don't consider the psychological withdrawal that will occur.The work of life begins once you've made it through the initial weeks or months of kicking your habit.
Step 21: If you have a mental addiction, address it.
If you want to quit and stay quit, you have to come clean and admit that you are an addiction.You may be addicted to something.You have to accept that your addiction may always be waiting out in the parking lot to beat you up, steal your wallet, and ruin your life.One day at a time is what it takes to quit heroin.It's hard to quit when you think you can't do it again for the rest of your life.Don't worry about the rest of your life.Getting to 5 o'clock pm without using is worrying.Then worry about getting to next Monday without using.
Step 22: You can learn to process and anticipate your recall.
When you start thinking about how great another shot or line will be, you can forget about the pain and problems that follow it and just focus on wanting to use again.You may start to feel a sense of euphoria when you buy and take it back to your place.Don't allow these cravings to get the better of you at the pass.
Step 23: Prepare for the lows.
You may reach a holding pattern where things can seem boring, lifeless, as if the world were a boring black and white movie you have to sit through at school.This time period is when most people who are addicted relapsed.Depression is a serious problem for recovering addicts, so it's important to get busy and start living a sober life.
Step 24: Start talking to people.
A structure and community of people who are feeling the same things can be provided by Narcotics Anonymous meetings.Listening to other people's stories and having a place to tell your own can be uplifting and freeing for many people.You can find a local NA meeting by clicking here.NA can turn some people off.If the idea of spending several hours a week listening to other addicts talk about using drugs, or if you think that may drive you to use again, seek other social groups that can fulfill a similar hole.If you want people to talk about a common subject or interest, check out bowling leagues, card groups, or any other sober social organizations.Talking to a therapist can help with addiction.Talking about your addiction, coming clean with it, and being able to discuss it with someone who won't judge you or your life are all part of the decision to confront it.
Step 25: There should be a reward system in place.
Whether you choose to participate in one or not, there is a common aspect of 12-step programs that you recognize periods of sobriety and reward yourself for them.If the reward is the chance to look at your sober self in the mirror and say, "You've been sober for a week," it's important to let yourself celebrate.It's helpful to put all the money you used to set aside for drugs into a savings account so you can buy something nice for a sober milestone.Purchase something nice for yourself, or take a trip.You are deserving of it.
Step 26: Think of a trash bin.
Temptations will happen.You will eventually want to score again, to use again and to feel that feeling.The first 3-6 months of quitting heroin are when most relapses occur.You don't have to let that old bird build a nest and stay because you can stop it from landing in your mind.It's helpful to visualize a "trash bin" in a corner of your mind where you can place those temptations, locking them away as soon as they surface.When you are tempted, picture the garbage can as a piece of trash.Put it in the can.Put the lid on it.Keep it out of sight.
Step 27: Drug highs should be maintained in other ways.
So you did a great job.Now what?One of the biggest challenges for a recovering addict is boredom.It's up to you, but you're likely to be more successful if you can reproduce a similar kind of high.This could mean creating something, taking up challenging sports that will leave you breathless, or just going for long walks and thinking.You have an opportunity to create a new life.There is a blank page.Start filling it.
Step 28: You can own your body by exercising.
Your body is not a slave to heroin.Exercise helps the body excrete all the junk inside, regulating metabolism and creating natural endorphin highs.You will be able to keep up with regular exercise if you find a regular kind of exercise that you enjoy.Go for a jog or play sports.If you can't exercise, go to dance clubs.Have fun.You're sober!
Step 29: You may be able to quit other drugs if you use your sobriety as an opportunity.
Drug users aren't encouraged to give up everything at once in formal rehabilitation programs.Eliminate as many addictive substances as you can from your life and replace them with other productive activities to cope with sobriety.Replacing heroin with other drugs may work for a short period of time, but it will likely keep you hanging around the same types of people and you won't be sober.Know who you are.Don't try to quit right away if you're still fighting a big battle against heroin temptations and feel like a couple cigarettes a day is your only sane lifeline.Set goals for yourself and learn your own limitations.If you want to quit, when?Next week?Next month?If it fits in with your goals for your life, set a date for quitting pot or booze.
Step 30: Eating healthy food will allow you to own your body.
The concept of eating and enjoying food can be hard for some people, but taking care of your sobriety by embracing a healthy diet can help restore nutrition to your body and keep you healthy.
Step 31: You can find new hobbies to do.
Cultivate new sober acquaintances and explore new hobbies that will keep you occupied.Heroin is less likely to return to your life if you're busy doing other things.Sometimes it's necessary to get rid of old friends that are likely to bring you back into the drug world.You have to take care of yourself and be smart.You have to avoid that person if you worry that they will lure you to use again.You would love to see them get clean, but you don't trust yourself yet.
Step 32: Allow yourself to relax.
Depressions, guilt, and addictions can seem like they're everywhere for the addicted.Look through the window instead of the mirror.Don't pay attention to the things you've done, but focus on where you are going and what you will accomplish with your new sober life.Start living.
Step 33: If you want to become clean of heroin, you need a friend who is serious about helping you.
If someone tries to call you and you don't want to listen, you should have him/her monitor your phone calls.
Step 34: You should educate the person you chose for your buddy system.
Explain to them the severity of the withdrawal symptoms so that they can help you get through it.
Step 35: Even though your life is over, keep a positive mind.
It will only cause more problems if you keep your feelings bottled up.Make sure that the person you choose for your buddy system is trustworthy and willing to help you.Make sure that the person you choose is someone that you can talk to about anything in your life, as well as someone you have known for a long time.
Step 36: The person you chose did not do this to you.
Remember that they don't have to help you when you're at your lowest point, and they chose to do so.Remember that they have feelings as well.They should be warned in advance that you are going to be moody and not take anything seriously during withdrawal.