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Heroin side effects/treatment

My brother has recently admitted to our family that he has been using heroin for over a year...we are devastated and trying to help him.  The only thing he has agreed to do,  is going to a methadone clinic, which I will be taking him to.  We would much rather him detox & rehab, but I know this is something he must want to do,he says he won't go to the hospital, because he doesn't want to suffer, Even though he suffers from his withdrawls now. my question is do you think he will be able to come off heroin with just the use of methadone? also he has complained of blood in his urine, what could that be?, is it from the heroin abuse? how do we get him to agree to a doctor to at least check that for him??
Please help.
16 Responses
Avatar universal
I am not a medical professional but as a former heroin addict there are other meds besides methadone for the detox. I came off heroin with little withdrawl in an in patient setting with clonidine. Some think methadone is like switching one dug for another. As for the blood in urine it sounds like his kidneys he really should check it out.
Avatar universal
Your questions are well founded here.  I have no experience with methadone clinics, but I think your brother will need a lot more help than methadone has to offer. He's going to have to have a supportive group and a lot of counselling as well.

What is his age? Does he use IV?(syringes)  I've had blood in my urine and it's been due to a severe kidney infection such as nephritis or sepsis. Heroine abuse usually kills our immune systems' defense against all sorts of infections.

I would by all means try to get him into a medically supervised detox facility.  If he is actively using heroine, he may be incapable of making decisions for himself right now and you may have to step in to save him. Really though, it's "his call" if he wants to live.  Best of luck to you all!

J.B.
Avatar universal
whatever he decides to do- it is going to take a concerted effort based firstly on his own intentions and secondly- with familial support-i agree with jb- methadone alone without accompanying support is not enough- and whatever inpatient treatment others have had- if their was little or no w/d symptoms- you can be assured that more than clonidine was used-
it is very very hard indeed to make this a painless process- not impossible- but very very hard
good luck
Avatar universal
My 20 year old son is 14 days clean minus 1 relapse from heroin use. He has been in the hospital with endocarditis which ironically probably has saved his life so far. Now he wants to go back to his same living situation in the city (with my support). He thinks he can stay clean on his own without treatment. As much as I would like to believe him, I think he is unrealistic. Do I play hardball and say inpatient treatment or no support? I am not sure how committed he is to sobriety. He keeps lamenting how stupid he was to get the endocarditis ( not using sterile wipes) rather than lamenting his heroin use. Help! he gets out of the hosptital tomorrow and i have to decide what my part is. He wants me to help him get on welfare so he can afford to live in the city. I think that is just setting himself up for relapse. thanks, Gina
Avatar universal
I AM A 55 YR OLD MALE, WHO HAS STRUGGLED W/ ONE TYPE OF DRUG OR ANOTHER. THERE IS A PATTERN FOR ADDICTS. AT THE AGE OF 17 I WAS MAIN LINE HERION USER 3-5 TIMES DAILY. I USED THIS DRUG FOR 3 YRS. I REALLY DID NOT THINK THAT THERE WAS MUCH HOPE. NOW I HAVE HEP C FROM SHARING "WORKS" THIS HAPPENED FROM 1966 UNTIL I GOT ON ONE OF THE FIRST PRIVATE METHODONE PROGRAM. I WAS REALLY SUPRISED THAT IT BLOCKED THE URGE FOR HERION AND ON LONG TERM USE I WAS ABLE TO STOP THE HERION ADDICTION. I WAS GIVEN 15 MG THE FIRST DAY INCREASING TO 20 THE NEXT DAY, AND UP TO 100 MG DAILY FOR THE PERIOD OF 5 YRS. ON LONG TERM USE OF METHODONE YOU CAN AND WILL KICK HERION. THERE IS NO WITHDRAWALS.THE OTHER PROBLEM WITH THIS IS METH IS ADDICTIVE ALSO. I WOULD RECOMMEND LONG TERM THERIPTY OF METH. WITHOUT THE HIGH DOSE 15-20 MG IS MORE THAN ENOUGH. I JUST WANTED TO SHARE THIS BECAUSE I KNOW WHAT THIS DID TO ME AND MY FAMILY. I WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH I HAD PARENTS WHO BELEIVED IN ME, AND HAD A GIRL WHO STUCK BY ME WHEN TIMES GOT REAL TOUGH.
Avatar universal
thanks for your story Steve. At this point, methadone is plan B if treatment doesn't work. Question, he is day 14 of withdrawal. His calves are killing him. Is this a symptom of withdrawal from opiates or something to do with the endocarditis? Anyone know? thanks, Gina
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