Welcome to the Club: How to Cure a Heroin Addiction

“I had an intense craving for heroin that lasted for days and wouldn’t go away.  So I got my hands on some.  Then I took it, and it wasn’t enough.  So I took more, but that still wasn’t enough.  So I kept taking it until I was unconscious.  Then when I woke up feeling sick to my stomach, and I felt bad because I was withdrawing, so I took more.  Then I kept repeating the cycle.”

OK  I can understand the initial craving.  But why wasn’t it enough?  Why did you keep having to take more?  And why not just withdraw and get it over with?  You can always go back to it later.

“Because I wanted to feel as good as I felt the first time I took it.”

But you’ll never feel as good as you did the first time you took it.  It’s impossible.  With any drug.  You didn’t know that?  Well now you know.  YOU WILL NEVER FEEL AS GOOD AS YOU DID THE FIRST TIME YOU TOOK A DRUG.  That is the nature of pharmaceuticals and the human nature in general.  We get accustomed and bored quickly.  You are wasting your time if you think you can achieve the same high.  Is sex as good now as it was your first time?  Does a joke get funnier each time you repeat it?

And seriously, is that really your goal in life, to get that high again?  Why do you need to feel so high?  I can understand the need to feel good.  But why isn’t that enough?  What’s with the need to feel really, really good?

“The first time I took the drug, it was as if my brain lit up like a pinball machine.  It was amazing.  I wanted to feel that way again.  But I think you’re right, I don’t need to feel that way again, and to be honest, I wasn’t doing it to achieve the same high.  I realize that probably won’t happen, and yes feeling good is good enough for me.  Here’s the problem: each time I started to come down I got a fever and cold sweats and my boyfriend would panic and give me more.  He can’t stand to see me in pain.  He loves me and I love him.  Even though he’s twice my age and has the complexion of a pineapple and a long rap sheet and my parents despise him.”

OK obviously your boyfriend is just keeping you as his personal sex toy and that’s fine with you because you hate your parents for some reason or another.

“It’s true, I resented them because they didn’t buy me a car when I turned 16 like they did for my sister.  We talked about it and I understand now.  I also dumped the jerk boyfriend.  But then I tried to detox again and discovered another problem: I had become tolerant to the drug.  Like you just said yourself, it’s just not as good the second time, and I had been taking it for a while now.  So I needed more just to feel good.  In fact, I needed it just to not feel bad.  That’s why I kept taking it.  I was experiencing bad withdrawals and I didn’t know what else to do.”

OK well here’s what you need to know:  heroin itself causes sweating and stomach pain.  Those are side effects of the drug while it’s actually working.  So feeling sick to your stomach on heroin is normal.   It’s not a withdrawal symptom, and taking more won’t help it.  That’s why Heroin addicts always look so miserable.  Furthermore: withdrawals are easy!  They are exaggerated in movies and Dr Drew’s Rehab, but don’t worry that’s just fiction.  Typically it’s described as ‘surprisingly comfortable’.  That’s the case with Dan Mager (opiates) and Heather Kopp (alcohol), both authors reviewed here and describe detox in detail.  Typically they are prescribed benzos like ativan and xanax.  At worst it’s described as the 24 hour flu (Carl Hart).  Which I’ve had, and it’s really not that bad.  Plus for narcotics you can get withdrawal treatment under anasthesia in under an hour.  And meth has no painful withdrawal symptoms at all other than at most a week of fatigue and depression.

And if you don’t want to go cold turkey, you could taper.  Which means, you take just enough to relieve the withdrawal symptoms without actually getting high.  It may take a week or two, but it’s not a big deal.

“Well I didn’t know that withdrawal was so easy.  But I can’t afford instant withdrawal.  That is several thousand dollars and I wouldn’t know who to call anyway.  I don’t have time to taper because I have a custody hearing next week and don’t want to appear intoxicated.  And I don’t have any ativan.  I didn’t think about that.”

Well what goes up must come down.  If you didn’t know then now you know.  You’re gonna have to come down eventually.  And so unless you want to stay high forever, you should plan for coming down.

“I want to stay high forever.  My life sucks.  Just kidding (not really).  Where do I get ativan?”

Seriously?  You can get meth and heroin, but you can’t find anyone with ativan or xanax or klonopin?  That stuff is less than 10 cents per pill from the drugstore, and most docs give that shit out like candy.  But seriously just ask your dealer.

“OK you’re right.  Well I tried the ativan.  Yes the withdrawal from the heroin was much easier.  No problem really.  But there’s a new problem.  Now I’m addicted to ativan!”

OK, what do you mean, ‘addicted to ativan’?

“Well, if I don’t take it, I get really nervous and I feel like I’m having a heart attack.  I have to take more or I think I might die.”

OK I understand the feeling.  You are withdrawing from ativan.  YOU ARE NOT HAVING A HEART ATTACK.  Put down the phone.  Do not call 911.  The feeling will come and go for a couple days at most.  If it’s really bad then just take a quarter pill and stay in bed.  Don’t go to crowded locations.  You’ll be fine.

“OK thanks I successfully detoxed from the ativan, but now I have another problem: intense cravings to take it whenever I get stressed, like when my baby cries or my parents badger me to go back to school.  I think I’m addicted to it again.”

OK that is understandable.  You recognize that you are getting stressed.  Identify and reduce the cause of the stress if possible.  That is what is causing the craving.  You are not addicted to ativan.  You are simply self-medicating for stress.  That is not addiction.  You can breath a sigh of relief!

“OK thanks I realize that I was self-medicating so I decided to reduce my stress and not to take it at all, and so I didn’t for a long time, and it was fine (and I was going back to school too).  But then suddenly I panicked and took a whole bunch.”

Why did you panic and take a whole bunch?

“I panicked because I got really scared that I could never have it again for the rest of my life and I just couldn’t face it!”

Why could you never have it again?

“Because if you take the drug you are not sober and you could relapse and get addicted again.”

First of all you were not addicted.  Secondly, you can take the drug again any time you want.  SOBRIETY IS SHIT plus most Old Timers at AA are total hypocrites and actually drink normally did you know that??

“OK I didn’t know that but you’re that crazy Addiction Myth guy so hey whatever.  Anyway.  I now know that I can take it in moderation, and I did, but then there was a time when I got really stressed and took one.  And it felt so good that I decided to take another, and I thought, ‘Well if two felt good then imagine how good 4 will feel.’  Then I felt thirsty and thought I should wash it down with some vodka.  Then my roommate found me unconscious on the sofa with the empty bottles of ativan and vodka and called the ambulance.”

Are you retarded?  Why is feeling good not enough for you?  And DON’T MIX ALCOHOL AND DRUGS.  IT WILL KILL YOU.  But you already know that.  Were you trying to kill yourself?

“Yes, maybe.  My boyfriend broke up with me and I wanted him to regret it.”

OK well I’m sorry to hear that.  But that is not addiction.  That is called “cutting off your nose to spite your face”.

“OK great I’m not an addict.  I’m just a fucking loser nut case.”

Yes, good.  Welcome to the club!

 NEXT!

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4 thoughts on “Welcome to the Club: How to Cure a Heroin Addiction”

  1. Comparing heroin withdrawals to the flu, and ive had both is like comparing a paper cut to having ur eyes gouged out of ur head awake… very bold of u to speak on something u have no experience with

    1. Just ask the experts: Drs Carl Hart and Theodore Dalrymple. They say it’s like the flu and reports to the contrary are greatly exaggerated. And under medical supervision it’s ‘surprisingly comfortable’ as reported by Dan Mager, as described in his book which is reviewed here.

      If you disagree please provide the opinion of a medical expert. Otherwise I suspect you’ve probably watched too many tv shows and movies like Requiem for a Dream and Trainspotting.

  2. Well here we are with the lies again.
    Oldtimers in AA drink normally. You went in to AA meetings with an agenda. Researcher bias skews results, you complain about it in others yet feel free to indulge…hypocrite!
    Then you can’t seem to decide if withdrawal exists or not. Physical and psychological habituation require larger doses of whatever substance is being discussed to achieve the same effect. This means that withdrawals also become progressively more addictive. Personal experience shows me that’s true.
    Why don’t you try not lying for a while.
    Scared you’ll have withdrawals??
    You are a particularly pitiful and odious example of the blogosphere. Show us some research other than Hart, his “experiments” were poorly designed( not blind) and he shows a bias toward addiction not existing. Even addicts can be influenced by poor experimental design to show the results they see the researcher desiring.
    As far as you knowing anything tangible or meaningful about AA “oldtimers,” I doubt that. They would have seen you for what you were, a lying troublemaker with a personal agenda not relating to recovery. Personally, I would not even speak to you if we met at a meeting.

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