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Withdrawal

I am going to explain what it feels like during the withdrawal process from drugs- specifically heroin.

If I hear the analogy "it's just like a bad case of the flu" one more time; I am going to lose my shit.

Being in withdrawal does NOT feel like a bad case of the flu, it feels like you are dying a long, slow, agonising death...times by ten.


So here is a timeline from start to finish, when an addict is withdrawing from drugs...


  • 6 HOURS - About six hours after you've consumed drugs, the withdrawal process begins. Your body feels uncomfortable, restless, your eyes start watering and your nose starts to run.

  • 8 HOURS - Eight hours in you're having uncontrollable sneezing fits too.

  • 10 HOURS - You're restless, agitated, have a runny nose and watering eyes. You break out into a cold sweat and feel nauseous.

  • 12 HOURS - Your skin is clammy with sweat, but you feel so cold. You are on the verge of being sick. Every part of your restless body is screaming at you to use drugs and stop the way you're feeling.

  • 14 HOURS - You are freezing cold, but no matter what you do, you can't get warm. Sweat is pouring down your skin. Your clothes are damp and the feeling of them on your body is making your skin crawl. You want to curl up in bed, but instead you spend the first of many hours to come sat on the toilet with chronic diarrhoea, simultaneously vomiting into the sink next to you.

  • 24 HOURS - You've spent the past ten hours with flu like symptoms, glued to the toilet with relentless diarrhoea and non stop vomiting. Your clothes are soaked through with sweat, yet you are still freezing cold. Your skin is crawling, every limb is restless - particularly your legs. Your skin feels too tight for your body. By now, if you have no way to get your hands on drugs, you are seriously contemplating suicide.

  • 36 HOURS - The symptoms at twenty four hours have steadily got worse. You didn't think you could feel any worse. You're suicidal but too weak to do anything about it. Your mind, body and spirit is in agony. You feel like you're being slowly and painfully tortured.

  • 72 HOURS - ...and on it goes

  • DAY 4 - There's still no light at the end of the tunnel. The agonising torture continues...


When eventually the withdrawal process begins to slow down, you gain enough strength to do one of three things;


  1. Go and score, even if you have to commit robbery to pay for the drugs.

  2. Commit suicide.

  3. End up in prison, or hospital.

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.


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