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Quitting Heroin Cold Turkey: Pros and Cons

Most people know that heroin is one of the hardest drugs to quit, especially when using the cold turkey method. There are many side effects to quitting heroin this way and they are different for everybody, so we’ve gathered some useful information for you to make the most effective decision on how to complete your detoxification process.

The detoxification of heroin process is different for everyone, but it usually takes five to seven days for the drug to be completely removed from the person’s system. In extreme cases, this detoxification process could last up to 10 days for people who used heroin more actively.

Since the definition of the cold turkey method is “abruptly quitting the use of an addictive drug,” symptoms of withdrawal begin to arise rather quickly. Within the span of these five to 10 days, the symptoms of withdrawal put the person in a state of helplessness.

Major Con: Withdrawal Symptoms

Having symptoms of withdrawal after quitting heroin is a major con for many reasons.

  1. Symptoms can be hard to deal with. With symptoms such as aggression, high blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, paranoia, and shaking, people may like they don’t know what to do or where to turn. These symptoms become more and more debilitating as time goes on.
  2. The chances of relapse are higher. Since the withdrawal symptoms can become so bad, the person may turn back to their drugs so that they don’t feel them anymore. The farther along the person goes in the detoxification process with no help, the higher their chances of relapsing become.

Most of these symptoms hit people in the first 24 hours after an addict stops the use of their drug. In 3-5 days, the person’s most extreme symptoms have gone away but still result in minor lingering symptoms.

How long does oxycodone withdrawal last?

Oxycodone is the main ingredient in OxyContin, a prescription painkiller. Symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal start within 8-12 hours of taking the drug, with its peak being in the first 72 hours. The major symptoms usually go away in a week, but some minor symptoms such as cravings may last a little longer.

How long does Suboxone withdrawal last?

Suboxone is a medicine that is used to treat opioid dependence. Withdrawal symptoms from Suboxone are at its worst in the first 72 hours and usually dissipate to minor aches and pains in about a week. It takes about one month for symptoms to completely resolve to just cravings, but this is when relapse is most likely to occur.

Other dangers of quitting heroin cold turkey:

  • Dehydration
  • Convulsions and seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Death

So, what should you do instead?

Instead of quitting heroin using the cold turkey method, seek out medical help. Chose an addiction facility that monitored by medical professionals so that you can complete your detox in a safe environment. They will help you wean off of the drug safely so that severe consequences do not come as a result of your addiction.

Addiction facilities provide a holistic approach to your addiction recovery; they may contain physical activities, meal plans, massage therapy, mental health counseling, and more. Medical professionals may even prescribe you medications to help you cope with the symptoms of withdrawal. Instead of quitting something so serious by yourself, chose to seek out help for your own benefit and long-term well-being.

If you or someone you know is trying to beat their heroin addiction, get professional help now. For more information on addiction treatment and prevention, call Safe Prevention at 1-877-503-2608.

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