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911Doctor
911Doctor, Doctor
Category: Health
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Experience:  Board Certified Emergency Physician
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I have a friend whom is shooting heroin daily. He says he wants

Customer Question

I have a friend whom is shooting heroin daily. He says he wants to stop. He says that he can get over the addiction without help, cold turkey. I have a hard time beliveing this. Is this possiable?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  911Doctor replied 1 year ago.

911Doctor :

Welcome, My answers are for educational purposes only. Remember please, that we do not get paid if you do not click 'accept' / give positive ratings!

911Doctor :

The fact of the matter is that it IS possible though extremely difficult to stop using heroin by going cold turkey.

911Doctor :

An example of how this is possible is that when heroin addicts are jailed and can NOT get it, they go through withdrawal and come out the other end.

911Doctor :

As long as the person has no underlying medical problems such as heart disease or diabetes or kidney failure the withdrawal is not dangerous, but is terrible... like having the flu times ten.

911Doctor :

So, apart from the extraordinary circumstance of separating the addict from their drug it is nearly impossible to do this.

911Doctor :

This is not to say that there is not much controversy about drug addiction and treatment.

911Doctor :

Some call it a disease, some call it a choice.

911Doctor :

There are programs that subscribe to the disease model, and programs that do not.

911Doctor :

And then there is methadone.... the heroin substitute that is dispensed to keep the user off the intravenous heroin, and, theoretically, cut down on drug related crime.

911Doctor :

The jury is out on this, but it is true that taking methadone is simply trading one addiction for one that is (theoretically) less dangerous.

911Doctor :

But here's the rub, and this is from experience, heroine users will say about anything when they are not withdrawing. Everything is great, they can quit anytime.

911Doctor :

But almost none of them do.

911Doctor :

They lie, and they steal, and they do other things to get their drug.

911Doctor :

once the withdrawal starts the bold statement, 'I can quite anytime' is not heard.

911Doctor :

So, to answer, yes, it is possible to kick heroin. Many have done it.

911Doctor :

Is it likely?

911Doctor :

No.

911Doctor :

Please let me know if you have any questions about my answer.

911Doctor :

Best

911Doctor, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 5094
Experience: Board Certified Emergency Physician
911Doctor and 7 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  911Doctor replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.


How long do withdrawals last? Which day or days are the worst for withdrawals? Is there anything I can say or do for this person to help?

Expert:  911Doctor replied 1 year ago.
Here is a helpful link on opiate withdrawal for you.

As a very general guideline, heroin withdrawal starts ten to fifteen hours after last use and the physical symptoms peak and wane over the course of 5-8 days.

However, the psychological need for the drug may remain for years. Overcoming this need is often the greatest challenge.

Thanks for your question!

Best

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