How2Quit : Heroin and Painkillers

Use the following guidelines alongside our How to Quit Action Plan in Part 4 of the How To Quit book.

Please note all page and chapter references in this article are from How to Quit.

Firstly, don’t do it alone. You need professional support. Our recommendation is that you check into a good treatment clinic where you will be medically detoxed. As well as quitting you need to change your friends and your circumstances. Some people join Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and meet other people committed to staying clean. As they say in NA, you need new playgrounds and playmates. You need to make a break from the kind of situations where you’ll be offered heroin. With medical supervision, the nutritional support recommended in Chapter 27 can greatly reduce your abstinence symptoms and improve your chances of success.

  1. One week in advance begin taking the Basic Supplements.
  2. It is certain that your digestive system will be damaged, since heroin shuts down digestion, so you need a digestive-system tune up. As a consequence you’ll be low in essential fats. Eating oily fish, seeds and supplements of omega-3 can help to heal the damage. Read Chapter 8 and follow the Digestion Prescription (see pg 393) of our How to Quit Action Plan.
  3. In terms of specific supplements, you need the Opiate Prescription (see pg 411). This contains D-phenylalanine, which is the amino acid that helps restore your brain’s normal production of endorphins and enkephalins. It also contains natural relaxants (GABA or taurine/glutamine), magnesium and tryptophan or 5-HTP. (Taking NAC 500mg twice a day and turmeric 500mg twice a day with meals will help with ongoing detoxification and to increase production of enkephalin.)
  4. Two nutrients included in the Opiate Prescription (see pg 411) are niacin (vitamin B3) and vitamin C. You’ll need these in large amounts for a small period of time. Back in 1977 Dr Alfred Libby and Irwin Stone pioneered a detoxifying treatment for drug addicts using megadoses of vitamin C. In one study involving 30 heroin addicts, they gave 30–85g a day and reported a 100 per cent success rate. Dr Abram Hoffer reported similar results in one week with ten heroin addicts using 50g of vitamin C combined with high-dose niacin. If you take too much vitamin C you get loose bowels. Take vitamin C up to bowel tolerance levels.

Using IV

In an ideal world, the detox process at the treatment clinic will include six to ten days of IV nutrient therapy (see Chapter 30), with a minimum back up of medication. Alternatively, IV therapy can take place after medical detox. After IV therapy, follow the recommendations outlined above.

The most important keys for you to follow are:

  • Rebalance Your Brain with Amino Acids (Chapter 7) – here you will find out how your symptoms are all connected with dopamine and opioid shut down and which specific amino acids will get your brain back on track.
  • Your Gut is Your Brain’s Best Friend (Chapter 8) – by restoring your gut’s ability to digest and absorb, your improved diet and supplements will have a more positive effect.
  • Rebuild Your Brain with Essential Fats (Chapter 10) – by optimising your intake of the brain’s essential fats you can help to undo the damage.
  • Get a Good Night’s Sleep (Chapter 13) – sleep is a great healer, and learning how to sleep and to chill out without drugs is a key step to recovery.
  • Get the Past out of Your Future (Chapter 18) – although this might not be something you are immediately keen to be involved in, once you get your head clear and your health and strength back, there are likely to be issues in your life, and your past, that you’ve been avoiding. You are going to need some help unravelling these.

What to expect 30 days later

It takes, on average, about 30 days to recover and normalise your brain’s chemistry and blood sugar balance. Of course, this depends greatly on your previous level and length of abuse and whether you are still using alcohol as a downer or cigarettes. If you’ve been using a variety of addictive substances for years, our advice would be to stick to this kind of recovery programme for at least 90 days.

Otherwise, provided your Scale of Abstinence Symptoms Severity score has dropped by two-thirds (see Chart Your Progress on page 26), stop the Opiate Prescription (see pg 411), but keep taking the Basic Supplements.

For more information order How to Quit Without Feeling S**T.

The advice given here is not a substitute for the advice of your doctor or other suitably qualified person. For any serious addiction it is vital that you do have professional support. The recommendations given here help to ensure you are optimally nourished after stopping an addictive substance which may have had a negative influence on your nutritional status.