Don't attempt to Opiate Detox yourself (like I did!)

Opiate detox was one of the most painful and rewarding things I've ever gone through. It's rare that you look back on a situation and tell yourself that you never would have volunteered to do something, had you known what it really entailed, but you were still glad you did. I first tried heroin when I was 25 years old, and was addicted after a very short time. I can't really pinpoint what prompted me to try it in the first place other than the fact that I literally tried everything else, and wanted to see how far I could push my body-this is the first time I've ever admitted this to myself, much less written it. After my casual flirtation with the needle turned to dependency, my life was a nightmare. I was surprisingly still maintaining a job as a file clerk, but spent every minute of my workday watching the clock, and counting down the minutes until I could go home and use again. After a while I was only going to work because my supplier worked there too. Had I sought opiate detox sooner, I could have spared myself countless nights of vomiting, hallucinations and body-aches, and one heart attack. 

 
When my supplier called in sick to work, it was like my whole world got turned upside- down. I'd spend my day trying to casually find out where he was, and when he'd be coming back. I must have looked pretty pathetic, but I didn't care at the time. I thought I had everyone at work fooled, but there had to be a few people at my job that suspected I needed opiate detox and rehab. I was 70 pounds underweight, would throw up regularly, found it hard to concentrate, and kept losing and miscategorizing files. This was my life for about three years. My family had long given up on me; I was always on thin ice at my job; the only girlfriends I had were those interested in scoring, but couldn't really afford their own; and I'd spend my nights either high as a kite or wishing I was, while doubled over in agony and nausea. I managed to convince myself that this was normal, and that I didn't need opiate detox. 
 
When you have a heart attack at the age of 29, that's supposed to be some kind a red flag, right? Well, it wasn't for me. I was sitting home one night, in what had come to be my usual state, and I felt my pulse start to quicken and my eyes close by themselves. The rest is blackness. I woke up in the hospital with eleven stitches in my forehead-apparently I hit my head on the coffee table on the way down, but didn't feel it. My heart had stopped, and if I hadn't made so much noise on my way to the floor, my neighbor never would have noticed anything was wrong, and I'd be dead. I was treated at the hospital, and then placed in jail, where I sat for four days on a possession charge, unable to make bail. The judge let me out on the condition that I seek opiate detox on my own and do community service. I volunteered for three weeks at a local shelter, but never pursued opiate detox. 
 
The four days I'd spent in prison were agony, and I couldn't wait to get out to see my dealer again. The problem was that word of my little escapades had spread to my supervisor, and I was fired my first day back at work. The thought that I wouldn't have any money to live never even entered my head; I was fixated on the idea that I wouldn't have access to supplier any longer. I was able to score from him one more time-that was the last time I ever used heroin. I didn't know it at the time, but I'd be in opiate detox one week later. 
 
I thought the four days I spent in prison were bad-the week after I lost my job almost killed me...again. I had no more heroin and was convinced I was going to die of withdrawal. I had no concept of how hard opiate detox could be when you go through it alone, and wanted to be in the comfort of my own home when and if I died. During my week of withdrawal, neighbors said it sounded like somebody was being murdered in my apartment. I was moaning, wailing, and vomiting round the clock Eventually someone had the presence of mind to call the paramedics and send an ambulance to my house. I still don't know who it was, but they saved my life. After a blood test, and a confirmation that I needed proper opiate detox, I was put in a court-ordered program that changed my life forever. 
 
I had gone through the worst withdrawal alone in my apartment, however the symptoms during my professionally managed opiate detox were still practically crippling. Luckily the staff my facility was able to offer symptom relief and make me comfortable. After completing opiate detox, I entered a residential heroin rehab program. This was four years ago, but I still remember the pain and sickness of withdrawal like it was yesterday. Once I was able to get out from under my addiction, and think logically about what had happened, I realized that I never would have experienced such pain had I not fooled around with heroin to begin with-such a simple notion, right? Unfortunately I had to experience the worst, before I could be at my best. Thanks to opiate detox, that's exactly where I am...my best.

Contact the The National Center for Alcohol and Drug Detox anytime toll-free at (888) 243-3869 or through our online form, for our recommendations of the best medically licensed detox centers for you or your loved one!

Detox should never be attempted in your home or without medical supervision at a licensed detox treatment facility. For your safety we do not recommend any rapid or ultra rapid detox centers.

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