cold turkey withdrawal

Heroin Addictions – 8 Reasons Why You Should Never Quit Heroin Cold Turkey

Are you or a loved one struggling to overcome addiction and trying to quit heroin cold turkey? Heroin can create such a strong dependence that it can seem impossible to break free. Withdrawal symptoms, like vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, tremors, body aches, and chills can make the process even more difficult.

With all these barriers standing in the way to regaining your pre-addiction life, you may start to feel unmotivated or depressed. However, there are ways that you can quit addiction and get back to living a healthy, drug-free life.

You might want to quit heroin cold turkey, but there are so many risks associated with this method. Instead, seeking professional help is the best way to ensure you safely detox and recover from your heroin addiction.

Do you want to know more? Keep reading to discover the 8 reasons why you should never quit heroin cold turkey.

1. Lack of Methadone

The process of detoxing your body from heroin can be long and awful. Withdrawal can last over a week and include a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms. Among the most common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, and anxiety.

These symptoms can make it harder for you to finish the detox process. But, by seeking professional help, you will have easier access to methadone. This can help dull these symptoms and make it easier for you to complete your detox.

2. Increased Risk of Relapse

Without proper professional help and access to methadone, many people trying to detox end up relapsing. Since taking heroin will stop all the withdrawal symptoms, 40-60% of people will relapse at some point during this process.

However, as soon as you discontinue heroin, your tolerance for it decreases. Many people are unaware of this and jump back into doing heroin at the doses they did before attempting to detox. This can lead to an increased risk of overdosing since your body doesn’t have the same tolerance it did just a few days ago.

3. Increased Risk of Dehydration or Malnutrition

Two of the most common physical withdrawal symptoms of quitting heroin are vomiting and diarrhea. What do these both have in common? They are purging your body.

In the process of trying to detox your body from heroin, you are also losing a lot of liquid. This, coupled with nausea, makes it harder for you to stay hydrated and keep food down. Because of these symptoms, you have an increased risk of suffering from dehydration during detox or malnutrition which could require hospitalization.

Quitting drugs cold turkey could put you at an increased risk for this by not having the proper professional help to ensure that you are eating and drinking enough to stay healthy during your detox process.

4. Increased Risk of Suicide and Self-Harm

While the physical symptoms may seem more frightening, there are also some terrifying psychological symptoms to quitting heroin.

You may feel more emotionally unstable while detoxing. This could lead to suicidal thoughts or self-harm. In fact, substance abuse can make you 75% more likely to commit suicide.

If you try to quit heroin cold turkey, you are putting yourself in danger. With no professionals on-call to help you combat these suicidal and self-harm feelings, you will be more likely to act on them.

However, by checking in to a rehab center, you will have access to counselors who are trained to help you handle these psychological symptoms.

5. More Likely to Partake in Risky Behaviors

But an increased risk of suicide and self-harm aren’t the only psychological side effects if you try to quit heroin cold turkey.

Many people going through detox begin to feel emotionally distraught, and their decision-making skills become clouded. Those who are not in the safe environment of a rehabilitation center, may venture out of their house and partake in risky behaviors.

Sharing needles, taking too much heroin, committing criminal acts, and getting into car accidents are all examples of risky behaviors that you may be more likely to partake in. Not only are they risky, but many could result in disease or even death.

6. Dangers of Staying the Same Environment

One risk of quitting heroin cold turkey that you may not have thought of is the danger of staying in your own home.

Staying at home while detoxing can make it harder to stay clean as you probably associate it with where you’ve done heroin before. The best way to successfully detox is to take yourself out of the environment and away from the people you associate heroin with.

7. Less Support and Professional Help

One consequence of heroin addiction is strained relationships with family and friends. However, when trying to detox and recover from addiction, it’s vital that you have the proper support.

All the of negative side effects we’ve listed above can make quitting heroin cold turkey impossible to do on your own. You will need someone to help you avoid drugs, stay hydrated, and make sure you stay safe during this process.

While you may have family and friends who are willing to help, it’s always best to seek professional help. Your family and friends will be a great support system to help you while you’re in rehab, but they have likely never dealt with withdrawal symptoms.

The professional help that’s available at rehab centers can help ensure that you successfully detox and stay safe while doing it.

8. Less Likely to Seek Long-Term Help

Detoxing may seem like the biggest hurdle to overcome on your quest to get clean and stay clean.

However, it’s just as important to partake in a long-term aftercare program. In fact, people who detox from heroin but don’t try to address their underlying substance abuse issues have almost a 100% chance of relapsing.

People who quit heroin cold turkey are less likely to seek these vital aftercare programs.

Instead, detoxing in a rehab center will give you the motivation to continue your journey to sobriety with either an inpatient or outpatient program to address your problem and learn how to deal with it in your daily life.

Should You Quit Heroin Cold Turkey?

Quitting heroin is a long and difficult process that simply can’t be done alone. When you quit heroin cold turkey, you have an increased risk of relapsing, overdosing, becoming dehydrated or malnourished, committing suicide, partaking in risky behaviors, and failing to seek long-term help.

Instead, you should seek professional help where you can have access to methadone, trained counselors, and a safe environment to ensure you successfully detox. To find addiction help near you contact us at (855) 976-2092.

Did you find this article helpful? Check out our detox blog page for more informative blogs such as this one.



[1] Dehydration – Symptoms and causes. (2018, February 15). Retrieved from

[2] Drug Addiction as Risk for Suicide Attempts. (2015).  Retrieved from

detox symptoms

Be Prepared: Opiate Detox Symptoms and How to Minimize Them

The United States is facing an opioid crisis–nearly 115 people die every day due to opioid misuse. Opiates are just a subcategory of opioids, and they significantly contribute to the opioid epidemic. If you’re currently battling an opiate addiction, you probably know how detox symptoms feel. And it’s important to start cutting this dangerous habit out of your life as soon as you can.

You might feel trapped when you have an opiate addiction, but there are plenty of ways that can help you quit. As you probably already know, the withdrawal symptoms aren’t pleasant.

Fortunately, your withdrawal symptoms can be reduced with certain treatments and medications. Let’s take a look at the opiate withdrawal process and how you can manage your detox symptoms.

What are Opiates?

Opiates are narcotics made from the poppy flower. They’re typically used as pain-relievers, but they can quickly become addictive. The following list of opiates can result in addiction and dependency:

  • Codeine
  • Darvocet
  • Demerol
  • Dilaudid
  • Heroin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Lortab
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Oxycontin
  • Percocet
  • Suboxone
  • Subutex
  • Vicodin

Causes of Opiate Addiction and Dependence

When you take an opiate, the drug enters the bloodstream. Soon, the opiate’s effects will reach your brain. Opiates are highly addictive due to the fact that they attach to the brain’s opioid receptors.

When the opiate attaches itself to these receptors, it not only relieves your pain, but it also releases dopamine. Dopamine is associated with a sensation of pleasure–this is what makes it so hard to stop taking opiates. The release of dopamine also blocks noradrenaline, making you feel more drowsy.

If you take opiates for long enough, your brain will become used to high dopamine levels and low amounts of noradrenaline. Your brain will soon only be able to function correctly when you take opiates, and you will become physically dependent on the medication.

Over time, your brain will stop responding to the dopamine from opiates. This means that you’ll feel the need to take higher amounts of opiates so you can feel “normal” again. This is a sign that your body has become tolerant of opiates.

Why Does Opiate Withdrawal Occur?

Opiate withdrawal happens when you become physiologically dependent on opiates. In other words, your body won’t feel right if you’re not taking opiates. Withdrawal symptoms usually appear if you stop taking the drug, or if you lower the dosage.

All opiates are processed through your body at varying speeds. This is why it’s hard to predict when your withdrawal symptoms might start–it all depends on what drug you’re taking.

For example, heroin’s half-life can be a few hours or a few minutes. On the other hand, Vicodin and Oxycontin can stay in your body for 4 to 6 hours, while methadone has a long half-life of about 30 hours.

Detox Symptoms

It’s difficult to answer the question: “How long do withdrawal symptoms last?” Your symptoms and length of opiate withdrawal can vary greatly.

The severity of your withdrawal process is related to how dependent you are on opiate drugs, how long you’ve been taking it, how much you’re taking, what opiate you’re taking, and if you have any mental or physical health conditions. Your withdrawal process might look like the following example, but it can change depending on several factors.

Initial Withdrawal Symptoms

You’ll start to feel withdrawal symptoms in about 6-12 hours if you’re taking opiates with a short half-life. Withdrawal symptoms for opiates with a longer half-life begin 30 hours or later. These are some of the symptoms you might experience initially:

  • Anxiety
  • A runny nose
  • Achy muscles
  • Watery eyes
  • Insomnia
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Hypertension
  • Sweating
  • Yawning

Last Withdrawal Symptoms

Your worst symptoms typically happen within three days. These symptoms could last a week or more.

  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Opiate craving
  • Stomach pain
  • Goosebumps
  • Vomiting

It’s common for opiate cravings and depression to last longer than a week. In this case, it’s important to seek out mental health care from a substance abuse program.

Medical Detox Treatment

While some may prefer to stick with natural remedies to cure opiate withdrawal symptoms, others find that medical treatments work better.

It’s important to talk with your doctor first if you want to stop taking opiates so they can provide you with a treatment plan. Remember to never stop taking opiates suddenly, as some withdrawal side effects can be dangerous.

Choosing to undergo medical detox can provide you with pharmacological and psychological support as you slowly wean yourself off of opiates. You’ll stay inside a medical setting where a team of medical professionals can monitor you and provide you with medications to help your detox be as comfortable as possible.

Medical detox typically occurs for a period of 5-7 days.

Opiate Detox at Home

If you choose to undergo opiate or heroin detox in the comfort of your home, your doctor will likely prescribe you with medication to reduce your withdrawal symptoms. Here are some of the medications you can take during your detox and how they can help you:


Methadone is a drug that alleviates the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. You can use methadone for maintenance in order to lessen opioid dependence. Methadone will be gradually reduced over time until withdrawal symptoms are completely gone.


Like Methadone, Buprenorphine can make it more comfortable to withdraw from opiates. You can take this drug for a long period of time as well.


During your detox, you might feel sweaty, anxious, achy, and have a runny nose. Your doctor may prescribe Clonidine to help relieve these symptoms.


Doctors prescribe Naltrexone to help you avoid relapsing. You can receive this medication by mouth or through an injection. It’s not a good idea to take this drug when opiates are still in your body, as it can trigger severe withdrawal symptoms.

Learn More About Methadone

Curing an opiate addiction may be a long, difficult process, but your health will improve greatly once you’re opiate-free. Don’t let detox symptoms make you start reaching for that pill bottle again. There are plenty of treatments that can kill your craving, and make you feel like yourself again.

Methadone is a powerful drug that can help you throughout your detox. Click here to learn more about using methadone for opiate withdrawal or contact us today at (855) 976-2092.


[1] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, January). Opioid Overdose Crisis. Retrieved from DrugAbuse.Gov:

[2] European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. (2007, October 15). How does the opioid system control pain, reward, and addictive behavior?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 13, 2019 from

Withdrawing from opiates at home

10 Natural Home Remedies for Opiate Withdrawal

Opiate withdrawals can do a serious number on the mind and body. Some people experience minor symptoms nausea and headaches when they’re trying to stop using opiates, while others go through more intense things like vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive sweating.

These are just a few of the many symptoms of opiate withdrawal. Thankfully, there are plenty of home remedies for opiate withdrawal that you or your loved one can use to overcome this period of the addiction recovery process.

Here are 10 of the best resources a person can use when going through the stages of withdrawing from opiates at home.

1. Hydration

Proper hydration is essential to everyone, but it’s particularly important for addicts who are experiencing withdrawals.

Hydration helps keep the body in homeostasis. It supports healthy blood flow, good energy levels, and emotional stability – all of which may be affected during the withdrawal process.

When the body is trying to “shut down” because of its addiction to opiates, water is one of the best things that will keep a person going.

2. Healthy Eating

Drinking plenty of water and healthy eating go hand in hand.

It’s smart to eat bland, easy to digest foods like:

  • bananas
  • oatmeal
  • rice
  • pasta
  • saltine crackers

Note that many bland foods are carb-heavy. It’s smart to pair them with lean proteins and good fats in order for the body to get all the nutrients it needs.

3. Hot Baths

The next home remedy that does wonders for the struggles of opiate withdrawal is a hot bath. However, it’s good to note that this works better for some symptoms than others.

A hot bath doesn’t pair well with feelings of nausea or diarrhea. For things like headaches, muscle aches, restlessness, and/or goose bumps, taking a hot bath may be exactly what does the trick.

4. Exercise

If a person is particularly restless, they need to do something about all the energy rushing through them. Going for a run, a bike ride, or hitting the gym is the best option.

This gives the body a release of energy while supporting healthy changes and helping the mind unwind. Just a half-hour or a full 60 minutes of exercise can offer many benefits to a person’s opiate withdrawal process.

5. Meditation

Another home remedy worth trying when dealing with opiate withdrawals is to meditate. Meditation is good for the mind, body, and soul.

It takes a person’s mind off all the symptoms they’re dealing with and it helps calm some of those symptoms, too. Meditation can ease the sense of restlessness a person may be feeling, but it also has the potential to boost their energy a bit if they’re dealing with a big sense of fatigue.

6. Sleep

When fatigue gets to be too much, the best thing to do is just sleep.

Sleep helps boost a person’s energy levels and it supports muscle relaxation, too. It’s a good way to escape from the symptoms of opiate withdrawal for a while in a way that’s healthy and progressive. Not to mention, a person is more likely to start feeling like themselves and be in a good mood when they wake up from their sleep.

7. Acupuncture

This “home remedy” is one that an individual may need to call a specialist for. But, many acupuncturists are willing to do house calls, which adds to the overall comfort available with this experience.

Acupuncture is an ancient medicine that’s meant to help the body unwind and let go of mental struggles it’s been holding onto. This practice can ease the physical symptoms a person feels when going through opiate withdrawal, and it can boost their mental state as well.

8. A Smart Distraction

Sometimes, the best thing to do about opiate withdrawals is anything that will get the mind to think about something else. That “anything” should be a healthy distraction, of course.

Some of these include:

  • drawing/painting
  • cooking
  • journaling
  • going for a walk
  • playing a game
  • watching a movie

These are what most people do in their free time. But, they’re activities that some addicts have to push themselves to engage in after being so caught up in shooting up. Such distractions ease the withdrawal process, while also replacing old habits with new, better activities.

9. A New Daily Schedule

Speaking of new activities, a good thing to prioritize during the withdrawal process is a new daily schedule. Addicts in recovery need structure. They need to find ways to occupy their mind and body in order to speed the recovery process along, but more importantly, to reduce the chance of relapse.

When a person is busy gardening, exercising, or cooking, they’re not as focused on trying to entertain their addiction. Instead, they’re taking big steps in the right direction just by changing how they spend their time each day.

10. The Support of Others

The final remedy is that addicts in recovery need support from others.

Whether it’s your brother, mother, or best friend going through the withdrawal process, make an effort to be there for them. If you’re the one dealing with it, don’t hesitate to reach out to your loved ones.

The more support a person has during their recovery, the better their chances of getting sober and staying that way.

The One Thing That Tops All Home Remedies for Opiate Withdrawal

Keep in mind that as great as these home remedies for opiate withdrawal are, the best resource a person can have is medical help.

This does much more for an addict than any of these tricks can. It provides them with the attention and guidance they need to reach the other side of the opiate withdrawal process.

Medical personnel can easily identify exactly what a person needs to soothe their symptoms. They make the stages of withdrawal as comfortable as they can possibly be, and they help an addict jump right into the rest of their recovery process.

To get the professional support that you or a loved one need right now contact (855) 976-2092.



[1] Rachel Nall, RN, BSN, CCRN. (2018, July 19). Can you treat opiate withdrawal symptoms at home? Retrieved from

[2] Melemis S. M. (2015). Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery. The Yale journal of biology and medicine88(3), 325-32. Retrieved From:

going through opiate detox

How to Survive Opiate Withdrawal

As a consequence of America’s deadly Opioid Crisis, more than 115 Americans die from an overdose in a single day.

In fact, nearly 66% of drug overdoses happen with drugs that can be classified as opioids.

The takeaway here?

The Opioid Crisis is not only still in full force within the United States, it may actually be getting even more severe.

Luckily, help is available for those who want to break the cycle of addiction and get clean and sober. While many addicts fear the potential social consequences of life without opioids, many also worry that they won’t be able to handle the process of opiate withdrawal.

Looking for advice on how to make it through the difficult, but incredibly rewarding, opiate withdrawal period?

If so, then read on.

A Brief Timeline

To overcome opiate withdrawal, it’s important that you first know what to expect. It is true that, while this class of drugs is one of the hardest to overcome an addiction to, it also has shorter physical effects than the withdrawal periods of other drugs.

However, the mental impact of withdrawal is often severe.

In the first three days of withdrawal, you’re the most likely to relapse.

You may find that you’re overly aggressive, experience serious mood swings, and perhaps even want to become violent.

You’ll also experience the physical symptoms of opiate withdrawal.

These include headaches, sweating, insomnia and nausea, issues with digestion, and aches and pains. Many people may also experience high anxiety and panic attacks.

After you make it through the first three days, you’re well on your way to beating withdrawal without relapse.

You likely still deal with a feeling of the shakes, you may not be very hungry, and you’ll probably deal with exhaustion.

After about a week, it will be time to focus on your long-term recovery process and, most importantly, your overall mental health.

Advice For Overcoming Opiate Withdrawal

Now that you have a better understanding of the timeline associated with withdrawal, let’s take a quick look at the best methods of survival if you’re one of the victims of the Opioid Crisis.

1. Detox In A Treatment Center

The reality is that detoxing and going through the symptoms of withdrawal without professional support and medical supervision can be incredibly dangerous.

No matter how strong you think you are, the truth is that you’re much more likely to relapse, or perhaps even face serious setbacks or death if you try to detox on your own.

If possible, enter a detox and rehabilitation center to make it easier.

Plus, doing so will also increase your chances of staying clean and sober in the long-term.

2. Fuel Your Body

If you’ve been struggling with opioid addiction, then chances are you haven’t been giving your body the nutrition it needs for quite some time.

We mentioned above that you’ll likely deal with a loss of appetite in the first few days of your withdrawal.

However, once you’re ready to start eating again, you need to begin to pay attention to the foods you put inside your body.

Above anything else, make it a point to drink as much water as you’re able to keep down during the detox process. If you become dehydrated, you put yourself at serious risk — and the opiate withdrawal process will only become more uncomfortable.

When you’re ready to take on solid food, make it a point to avoid anything that’s processed and unhealthy. Reach for vegetables, lean proteins, and a few fruits.

This will help to fuel your body without overwhelming your already weak system.

Try things like nuts, olive oil, kale, and other leafy greens, and even salmon.

If you want to take natural vitamins and supplements throughout the process, first, talk to your doctor.

3. Pay Attention To Bathroom Habits

It may not be pleasant to think about, but when you’re going through opiate withdrawal, you may struggle to go to the bathroom.

While some may struggle with diarrhea, others may find that they’re faced with severe constipation. If you experience the latter, then we suggest taking a mild laxative to help get things moving.

Also, be aware that some of the medication you’re given during the detox process may cause you to need a bathroom a little more frequently than you’re used to. This is normal but can be severe for some patients.

4. Sleep, Sleep And Sleep Some More

Our final piece of advice when it comes to surviving opiate withdrawal?

Make sure you’re getting as much sleep as you can. Aim for a minimum of eight hours every night.

In some cases, once you’ve made it past the first three days of withdrawal, you may still experience trouble with sleeping. If this happens, you can speak to medical professionals about potentially using a sleeping medication.

However, you shouldn’t expect to get a completely normal sleeping schedule back until about six months after you’ve stopped using.

Do You Or Someone You Love Struggle With Opiate Addiction?

We know that the thought of going through opiate withdrawal is intimidating.

However, we can guarantee that it’s worth it if it means you’ll live the rest of your life clean and sober.

Remember, during the detox process, get plenty of rest, fluids, and healthy, unprocessed foods. Also, if at all possible, seek the help of a professional medical team or rehabilitation center.

Methadone treatment works and it has been especially helpful in combatting an addiction to opioids.

Looking to learn more about whether methadone is right for you? Ready to find a clinic in your area?

If so, spend some time on our website to set yourself on the road to recovery or give us a call at (855)976-2092. We would love to help you get on the path to recovery. You deserve a better life!


[1] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, January 22). Opioid Overdose Crisis. Retrieved from

[2] Inside a Killer Drug Epidemic: A Look at America’s Opioid Crisis. (2018, January 20). Retrieved from

[3] Library, C. (2019, January 17). Opioid Crisis Fast Facts. Retrieved from