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

heroin vs methadone

What’s the Difference Between Methadone and Heroin?

Heroin addiction is a serious problem that is sweeping the nation and destroying lives and families along the way.

Are you or a loved one struggling with heroin addiction but don’t know how to treat the addiction? Many people are considering methadone treatment for their heroin addiction, but the thought of treating drugs with other drugs can seem controversial to some people.

There is a large difference in methadone vs heroin, and methadone for the treatment of heroin addiction has been proven to have effective results.

We are here to tell you everything you need to know about methadone vs heroin, and to make this decision about addiction treatment as easy as possible for you and your family.

What is Methadone?

Methadone is a synthetic drug that is part of the opioid family, and it works similar to morphine. It was originally created during World War II by a German doctor. When methadone made its way to the United States, doctors used it as a way to treat pain. However, today it is often used to treat heroin and narcotic addictions.

How Does Methadone Work?

Methadone affects the brain and the nervous system and alters the way the body reacts to pain. Unlike strong painkillers and narcotics such as codeine, heroin, hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone, methadone purposely omits the chemicals that cause a euphoric high.

Replacement Therapy

Methadone can also be used to help treat heroin addicts by training their bodies to function without the euphoric high sensation. Methadone replacement therapy also helps to eliminate dependency from heroin. By replacing heroin with methadone, doctors can eliminate the withdrawal symptoms that patients undergo, which can be intense and cause relapses.

It should be noted that methadone replacement therapy is only beneficial when administered in a medical facility by medical professionals. Methadone replacement therapy is not a substitute for support groups, therapy or lifestyle changes.

While methadone is not a cure for opioid addiction, it is used as part of a treatment plan. These treatment plans change for different patients. While no concrete time duration is set for methadone replacement therapy, doctors suggest that patients implement the therapy technique for at least a year.

When the patient is ready to stop their methadone replacement therapy, their doctor will slowly start to lower their dosage in order to prevent more withdrawal symptoms.

Risks of Methadone

Much like any other drug, there are some risks that come along with methadone if it is not taken properly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), methadone is one of the most common drugs to cause prescription opioid overdose deaths.

One reason for this is that methadone is a slow-release drug that can stay in the body for up to 59 hours. If someone assumes that taking more methadone than prescribed will result in an opiate high, they can easily overdose.

Another reason that methadone causes so many overdoses is that taking it with other opioids, alcohol, sedatives, amphetamines or antidepressants can also result in an overdose.

What is Heroin?

Heroin is an opioid drug that is illegal and has no medical use in the United States. It is often injected into the body using a needle, but people also sniff, snort or smoke heroin. Heroin provides similar effects as narcotic pain relievers.

How Does Heroin Work?

Heroin quickly enters the brain and binds to the opioid receptors. These receptors are located in many different areas of the brain including the areas that affect sleeping, breathing, pain, pleasure, and heart rate.

Once heroin attaches to the receptors, it floods the brain with dopamine, which is what causes the euphoric high. Many heroin users describe this sensation as a surge of pleasure or a “rush”.

Heroin also depresses the central nervous system, which can cause people to become drowsy, fall asleep or even become sedated.

Risks of Heroin

Heroin affects the brains reward system, which makes the drug highly addictive. In fact, only one use of heroin can have permanent effects on the brain.

Overdoses are a fatal risk of using heroin, and the overdose numbers are extremely high. When someone overdoses on heroin, their breathing slows down immensely or even stops altogether.

The result of decreased oxygen to the brain can cause hypoxia. Hypoxia can affect the nervous system and cause the body to go into a coma or can even result in permanent brain damage.

More than 115 people die every day from overdosing on opioids and roughly five times as many Americans are using heroin than a decade ago.

Methadone vs Heroin

Methadone is administered in a medical facility with proper dosage and clean supplies. Next, patients at the methadone clinic are then watched closely to ensure that their vitals are stable. Methadone is used to treat addiction while heroin is what causes the addiction.

Heroin is taken at home without the supervision of a medical professional, and the tools and needles are often dirty. This can lead to a variety of other diseases including addiction.

The withdrawal symptoms of heroin can be so intense and uncomfortable that it can easily cause an addict to relapse. However, this is where methadone comes into play.

Methadone is used to ease the withdrawal symptoms so addicts can slowly ease themselves off of heroin as opposed to stopping cold turkey, which has poor results with heroin users.

The Main Takeaway

Methadone and heroin are similar in the sense that they are both in the opioid family. However, when used correctly, methadone can help treat heroin addiction due to the fact that it is long-lasting and does not provide a euphoric high. Methadone replacement therapy is highly effective for heroin addicts, but it may not be for everyone.

If you have any other questions on methadone vs heroin, contact us at (855) 976-2092. Or visit methadone treatment, our page that covers everything you need to know about methadone treatment.

<h3 style=”font-size: 20px;”>Sources:</h3>

[1] Brown, R., Kraus, C., Fleming, M., & Reddy, S. (2004). Methadone: applied pharmacology and use as adjunctive treatment in chronic pain. Postgraduate medical journal80(949), 654-9. Retrieved from

[2] (n.d.). Department of Health | 4 The principles of methadone maintenance therapy. Retrieved from

[3] Center for Disease Control. (2018, December 19). Prescription Opioid Data | Drug Overdose | CDC Injury Center. Retrieved from

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