View Full Version : Please compare heroin wd to oc withdrawal

02-03-2005, 07:22 PM
My son went cold turkey from oxycontin two years ago. He was doing about 160mg a day on the average. He got back on the OC's and switched to heroin. Now he plans on doing cold turkey again. He mixed them for a few months and then switched over completely to about 15 little bags a day of the heroin. The withdrawal he went through from the OC's was very terrible. Does anyone know if this will be worse , the same or hopefully easier (though I doubt that.) He snorted the heroin. He is 23. He insists that he can do it because he doesn't want to go in patient. I am giving him a week then If he doesn't succeed he will go in patient. If he does succeed he has to go to an outpatient program for six weeks or I will ask him to move out. I can't live with an opiate addict any more. I found the heroin last Friday. I knew he was on the OC's. He was trying to ween off through a Doctor. I hope I am doing the right thing. Thanks ahead for any input.

02-04-2005, 07:20 AM
Joan, I can only imagine what you are going through right now. Addiction definately affects the whole family, not just the addict. I know that I put my parents through hell and they did nothing but support me. So, you hang in there.

If your son is dong 15 packs of heroin a day, he has a BIG habit and it's not going to be easy at all for him to quit CT. The withdrawal is a lot like coming off the oxy but it is definately more intense. How long has been using? The longer he has been using like this, the worse it will be too. You know, it's not an easy thing for an addict to admit that they need help with their addiction and that they really can't do it on their own. Your son is unfortunately messing with a very dangerous drug. With heroin, getting through the withdrawal is often the easy part (and it's not easy) but, it is staying off it that is the hardest part. Studies have shown now that it actually takes a good five years for the body to recover from heroin addiction. Has your son been inpatient before? There are many different options. A lot of people are very afraid of methadone and look at it as trading one addiction for another, but methadone has been proven to be one of the most affective ways to treat heroin addiction. Taken alone I don't think that it works so well - but with counseling I think it can be very sucessful. Methadone gives the body time to heal while the patient works on the psychological part of his addiction. Craving is one of the worst things about heroin. A heroin addict can still have cravings even after being clean for a few years which is why there is such a high relapse rate. Methadone stops withdrawal symptoms and cravings. There is also something called suboxone that is being used for heroin addiction and I have heard that it is easier to get off of than methadone. With as much as your son was doing I'm not sure if he would be a good candidate for suboxone or not though. But, it also depends on how long he has been using.

I was addicted to painpills, vicodins and oxycontins and it eventually led to heroin. I snorted heroin and I always told myself that I would never use a needle....but, I knew that it was only a matter of time because most people who start out snorting it end up IV drug users. So, I made the decision to get on methadone. I had tried so many times to quit and it just wasnt working. I would stay clean for weeks and sometimes months at a time and still end up using again. In my case, methadone saved my life. But that is me. It didn't work for my husband but I don't think he was serious about wanting to get clean at the time...he is in prison now.

Your son needs help. I've seen so many people ruin their lives with that drug. I can think of four or five people that I know off the top of my head that have died in the last five years from heroin overdoses. But, one thing you have to remember is that there is nothing that you can do to make him quit. As much as you love him you have to think about your own sanity and peace of mind too. If he makes the choice not to get clean, than you are right in making him leave your house because you are right - you can't live like that and there's only so much you can take too. I was an addict, myself,and I hurt people who I loved when I was getting high. But, I also lived with an addict even after I got clean and I know how stressful it is and how hard it is to watch someone that we love hurting themselves like that. So, take care of yourself and do what you need to do for you, too, Joan. I really hope that your son can get his life together. The best of luck to you.

02-04-2005, 08:05 AM
"Whether you sniff it shoot it smoke it eat it or shove it up your a** the result is the same: addiction." -William S. Burroughs, Junky.

02-04-2005, 08:52 AM
Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. I am going to call our methadone clinic now to at least get the details in case that becomes a viable alternative. I have read about suboxone and have him on a waiting list at the only suboxone Dr. in the area. I want to keep all bases covered. We have a good treatment center nearby and I have already contacted them. I have also read about naltrexone. I suppose in the end it's all up to him. Help himself or move out. I'm not good at tough love and I know that I have enabled him too many times. But this time I called on my ex husband, my daughter and her husband and my sister and her family and we have put up a united front, letting him know that we love him and any decisions we make we make together. No more me covering up for him or him railroading me into a corner and coming up with more excuses.
I think it's wonderful that you are doing well yourself and can be an inspiration to others. It must be difficult to deal with your own addiction and then have to deal with someone else's at the same time. I guess my daughter said it best. "One day at a time, Mom".


02-05-2005, 09:05 PM

and some days it's "One Minute at a time." I'm really glad that you have the rest of your family for support right now. I hope everything works out.


02-05-2005, 10:02 PM
I am a parent and a recovered opiate user. I feel your pain and wanted to let you know that when you do check him into a in-patient treatment center, make sure they have a "family program" so you and everyone in the family can heal as well, and the treatment center can prepare you on what to do if there is a relapse. I dont know where you live but I live in Texas and went the the treatment center Dr. Phil always talks about, it's called " Lahacienda " an you can do a search on it and find out everything they have to offer. '

My heart goes out to you!



02-06-2005, 05:56 AM
I feel for you-from my head to my toes..
I was a heavy heroin user for several years-now on suboxone treatment-
Knowing the nature of heroin addiction(the lies/obsession)-i can tell you this.
15 bags a day-is pretty hardcore..sniffing is less intense(you get about 3/4 of the amount you'd get shooting it-but compleately addictive nonetheless-
heroin/Oc's are very similar-i used oc's a few times when i could not get heroin-and it was strong.
Im going to suggest to look into suboxone for a detox/and short term maiainence.
You can google and find much info on the web-including Drs that prescribe in your area.
Suboxone will help your son-get thru w/d-and the peroid following where most addicts relapse w/o the depression and anxiety that is acute.
The problems w/ kids getting into dope-is #1-there missing out on those formative years-of school/work/career foundation time that by the time you hit 30-you'd like to have in place.
And the main thing-its party time-people think im young/i got time..i can do this-get off and get serious later.
WRONG!Heroin/ocs are very hard to come off of-he may see some hope-w/ the sub-because although it is an opiate replacement-it is not nearly as difficult to come off of as his drugs.And it offers clean time that is positive-and if he relapses he WONT feel it.
Another women came on here a while back w/ a daughter in the same situation-her child did the sub-and is now clean/working/has her own apt..
Its a miracle for many of us-on this board.
Let me know what you think-and ill try to help you as best i can..
ggrl :angel:

02-06-2005, 06:44 AM
My daughter and I will start attending Al Anon meetings today. The Rehab treatment center here in town also has family counseling which we will attend.

We have only one suboxone Dr. in the area. Each Dr. can only have 30 patients on it. This Dr. is at his quota. But I put my son's name on the waiting list anyway. The quota is a government thing. Drs. hand out oxycontin easy enough. Why make it so hard to get suboxone?

Now, if he manages to get through the withdrawals on his own, would the suboxone still help at a later date with cravings?

Thanks for all your input everyone.