How bad is heroin and pain pill withdrawal? This article will tell you just how horrific it all is. If you’ve never been through it, you just can’t imagine feeling so horribly bad. You have no energy. Taking a shower will drain you of all movement for hours. Many people might believe that heroin has to be worse than pain pills, but this isn’t usually the case. Particularly in the case of oxycodone, pain pill withdrawal is worse.
The symptoms are similar for both, but oxycodone seems to have some kind of mysterious staying power. Withdrawal from it can go on for weeks and even longer than a month. Heroin is bad, make no mistake, but it tends to be much shorter. It tends to wimp out at around the 10 day to 2 week mark. By then, all pain is gone and even the insomnia is a bit better. Everything seems better when you can get some sleep. At about this same time period, oxycodone withdrawal is still going strong with no relief in sight except for improvements in nausea and vomiting, and maybe you can eat a little, too. Here’s the hit parade for opioid withdrawal symptoms:
- Restless leg syndrome
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Can’t eat or even keep water down
- Drug cravings
- Thirst because water won’t stay down
- Horrible stomach pain
- Bone, muscle and head pain
- Zero energy
- Can’t concentrate or get comfortable no matter what you do
The stomach pain feels like worms with tiny, razor-sharp knives crawling in your stomach. It might go on for days, and nothing but time or an opioid will stop it. Without medication, sleep is impossible. You will toss and turn, sometimes for weeks on end. The diarrhea can be so severe that dehydration sets in. Fortunately, the OTC drug loperamide will help with this. Contrary to popular belief, loperamide will not help other withdrawal symptoms. People think that because it’s an opioid, it will help, but this is because they don’t understand that the drug cannot enter the brain. Well, it can, but it gets kicked right out again. It cannot bind to the brain’s opioid receptors. It works only on the opioid receptors in the intestines. It may help the stomach pain a bit, though, because the stomach does have opioid receptors as well.
You sweat, then you feel cold. Then you feel hot. The next moment, you’re feeling hot and cold at the same time. You feel like you need to jump out of your skin. Your eyes burn and water. Your throat hurts and feels strange. This just goes on and on and on.
Do you Think Heroin is Stronger than Oxycodone?
Oxycodone when taken by mouth is actually stronger than oral heroin. In fact, it’s at least twice as strong. Now, it’s true that heroin isn’t normally taken by mouth, but if it were, it would pale in strength compared to oxycodone. Not only is oxycodone at least twice the strength of heroin by mouth, it’s about three times more active. This is because nearly 90 percent of an oral oxycodone dose gets to the brain’s opioid receptors. It seems that oxycodone is resistant to the liver’s best attempts to detoxify it.
Heroin, also called diacetylmorphine, is actually just super-charged morphine. It’s much more lipid than morphine is, so it zooms across the blood-brain barrier and enters the brain full on and ready to go. That’s where the heroin rush comes from. The rush is active for no more than a few minutes. After that, the body begins breaking the heroin down and converting it back into the morphine from whence it came.
Anyone who has ever kicked both oxycodone and heroin will tell you the same thing: Both are unbelievably bad, but oxy is worse. Hydrocodone withdrawal is actually not that bad. It’s bad enough, but it too tends to be shorter, with a nearly full recovery often occurring within a week to 10 days.
Suboxone and Methadone
There is no need to endure all this. Both Suboxone and methadone can be given short-term, perhaps for a few weeks, in gradually lowering doses. This will eliminate most of the withdrawal symptoms and quell the worst of the drug cravings, too. You don’t have to stay on either of them if you don’t want to. You can, but short-term tapers are available, too. Detox units and methadone clinics offer them. Just tell them that’s what you want to do. They have to let you. It’s your body and your life. Just be sure to get drug rehab counseling and treatment as well, or a relapse is almost inevitable.
We Can Help
If you’re addicted to heroin or pain pills, you’re not alone. And we’re here 24 hours a day at 833-610-1174 to help you find the best treatment solution in your area. There is always hope, and we’re here to help.