If a person who was thinking about using heroin had a good understanding of what would happen when they tried to stop using it, would they ever start?
This is a vital question. Every heroin addict starts using the drug one day -- maybe someone they knew was using it and seemed to be having a good time. Maybe they went out looking for a new experience. But it is very likely that the need to withdraw from heroin someday was on their minds at that moment.
One heroin user trying to dissuade a person from starting heroin use described his withdrawal this way: "Diarrhea, vomiting, uncontrollable shakes, cold sweats, goose bumps, hot flashes, aches and pains that will not go away, semi-permanent insomnia, anxiety, muscle spasms and suicidal thoughts."
Thus heroin withdrawal may seem to some heroin addicts to be a gruesome experience that can't be faced for the sake of sobriety.
Some drug rehab programs offer alternatives to this type of withdrawal. But unfortunately, they all involve some other kind of drugs. Suboxone and buprenorphine use an opioid drug to prevent withdrawal symptoms from kicking in, but the person taking them remains addicted to a synthetic form of opium. Methadone is another prescription drug intended to replace heroin but methadone withdrawal can be just as bad as heroin withdrawal and may last for weeks rather than days.
A person may even be offered "rapid detox" to help them through heroin withdrawal. This process involves the administration of a general anesthetic or a heavy sedative, with a massive cocktail of drugs following. Some of these drugs are intended to quickly bring on every withdrawal symptom and others are supposed to prevent the vomiting and diarrhea or other adverse or hazardous conditions that would normally result from heroin withdrawal. The person remains unconscious or sedated during this process. Some US state health agencies have excluded this process from their recommendations for addiction treatment, citing several deaths that have been reported, the high risks involved and the high cost. Some reports also state that the withdrawal symptoms are not necessarily over when the person comes out of the sedation or anesthesia.
The answer to that question is "Yes." Finally there is a drug rehab that makes it possible to come off heroin in a tolerable manner so that sobriety comes within reach.
This is what is offered as a person begins the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program, available at Narconon centers around the world. Discoveries in the field of drug recovery have finally enabled withdrawal to become a tolerable, positive step.
It starts with the administration of nutritional supplements in the first hours of arrival at the drug rehab. Since heroin addicts usually neglect their personal needs, it is very common for them to be in nutritionally-depleted conditions when they arrive at rehab. Nutrition such as generous doses of B vitamins, vitamin C and minerals such as calcium and magnesium begin to calm the body down to alleviate muscle spasms and cramps, aches and anxiety. Gentle objective exercises done with staff help a person focus on the objective world (the environment) rather than the subjective world (anxieties and pains) and also provide more strength and ability to get through the entire process successfully.
A medley of other assists help even more: escorted walks through hills, seashore or countryside, relaxing and getting oriented to the new and safe surroundings; warm Jacuzzi baths; physical assists, somewhat resembling gentle massage, that help calm the nervous system and muscles.
At the end of a Narconon withdrawal step, those in recovery may be surprised that the experience was so tolerable. This puts recovery in a very positive light.
In fact, the entire Narconon drug rehab program consists of one innovation after another with the result being a success rate that is far beyond that of other types of drug rehab programs. And there is another distinctive plus to the Narconon withdrawal and rehab program: It is all done without any drugs of any kind. (Of course, if a person must take a medication for a physical condition, they would continue to do so, as directed by their physician.)
Many rehabs think their successes should be counted by the number of people who get to the end of the rehab program and then go home. At Narconon, only one type of success counts. How many people stay sober after going home. So Narconon graduates are monitored for up to two years, sometimes longer, after graduation. And in that time, seven out of ten graduates successfully use what they have learned to stay clean and sober.
For forty-five years, the Narconon program has offered its innovations to addicted people in the US, UK, Italy, Russia, Taiwan, Australia and dozens of other countries around the world. The goal is a drug-free world, which includes helping one addicted person at a time overcome his or her addiction. It also includes helping students around the world learn why they should never start to use drugs.
If you are struggling with addiction, find out how you can experience this tolerable withdrawal by contacting a Narconon drug rehab counselor today.