Don't waste your time; they won't give you anything.
At most, they will refer you to a methadone clinic. Physicians are not very sympathetic to those withdrawing from heroin.
At a major hospital in Australia you might get some benzo's and IV fluid if you're in a really bad way but most likely just some metoclopramide or prochlorperazine for nausea.
They would hopefully refer you to a drug treatment centre to help you with ongoing treatment too (that depends on the attitude of the triage nurse though )
Good on you and all the best with withdrawal.
Do not waste your time at a hospital for heroin W/D. I know it feels really bad , but the there is nothing they can do. They will not give you benzos or any opiate since your an addict. When my ex GF went they just gave her IV for dehydration and a IV shot of dimenhydrinate(gravol). Waste of time..and that was in Canada, so she had to wait there for like 8-9 hours before she even got examined.
My experience has been that an addict will receive very little sympathy in an ER. Too often, drug-abusers are viewed as con artists and "weak" people, rather than individuals with an illness. Of course, this is somewhat understandable as doctors must constantly deal with drug-seeking behavior. I seriously doubt that any competent physician would prescribe narcotics for someone in acute withdrawal. IMO, an appropriate response would be to direct the patient to a treatment facility, or admit them for detox.
The two times I went to the ER for accute opiate w/d (heroin), I was given the following meds:
Lorazepam 1mg (the first time it was #15, the second time i got #24)
Vistaril 50mg (cant remember how many)
and both times a Clonidine patch
The hospital I went to both times was Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, WA
I also went to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for accute opiate w/d earlier this year. That time I was transfered to the county detox facility (RCKC in Seattle) where I was given Phenobarbital, Vistaril, Bentil, Methacarbabol, IBU, and Trazadone throughout the day....
So that's 3 times and all 3 times I ended up getting either benzos or barbituates for accute opiate withdrawl...
also i did have severe drinking problem and could not stop... thus i went to the emergency room and told them i was having severe alcohol withdrawl and they were very kind and understanding.. they gave me i.v fluids and talked with me for a bit and saw that i was sincere and sent me home with 30 2mg Ativan to get through the bad part of withdrawls...it all depends on what kind of doctor and staff you are dealing with..and yes i have been booze free for close to 6 years now thanks to those doctors at the E.R that day
^ hah! yeah certainly not in the USA when they're working at an innercity public charity hospital....yeah no way lol
I know it's almost impossible to die from wd alone but I was tols It's possible I could have from accidentally taking naltrexone during mass heroin wd. The past few times before when I needed to kick I was able to get methadone off the street. This time around it was not available but I knew a junkie would just got out of a govt clinic with some pills. I asked him if they were helping his wds and he said they were. This guy was the shittiest kind of junkie and I never should have taken his word for anything but I was desperate. As it turns out naltrexone is very effective for various types of pain management and seems to often work well for junkies after they are 100% what I didnt know is that if taken in wd it flushes the junk out all at once and causes instant wd. So long story short within an hour I was in the worst pain of my life. pain that made having the distal tips of my fingers cut off seem like a cake walk. Uncontrollable vomiting and diareah, demon chills, and a pain in my abs that felt like a series of different knives tearing open my organs. If that wasn't enough I actually went blind from dehydration. Yes blind thats when I called an ambulence. I don't see any other reason why you would ever need to go to the er for wd. I kicked heavy habits before and the sickness was awful but nothing like this. AVOID THE ER! heres how I was treated in the worst possible condition: EMT and cop show up in my room. Cop looks around and finds a few bags in the trash and a used rig. EMT
asks if he's going to press charges. Cop says nah this is the 4th one today why bother with the paperwork. The Emt wheels me to the ambulence. I scream That Im freezing and need a blanket. The emt says its because the pill was someones blood pressure medication. They don't give me one. Inside the ambulence the pain is so servere that I scream again and the cop punches me in the face which cases me to throw up. Then the Emt asks my age. I tell him 30. He says yep thats about right, your going to die you know. I actually believed him. The only good thing the hospital did for me is get me on an iv fast which hadno effect on the pain but stabilized me enough to regain my vision. The nurses treated me like shit and literally left me in shit for 4 hrs at a time. When I first got there they had not yet done a test on the remaining pill that i didnt pop so they hadno idea why I was so much worst then normal. There was a clinic in the hospital so I knew they had access to everything. After barfing 5 - 6 times they gave me 2 methadone pills which i immediately threw up. They began injecting me with morphine and that only intensified the pain which baffeled the doctors. When the pill report came in they told me what was happening and that I was stable so they did not need to pump my stomach. They then gave me some naseau and diareah meds and left me in the hallway all night. The Next day when the pills wore off they seemed to know nothing about the mysterious methadone and refused to give me any pain meds of any kind. I was released later that day and took high doses of loperamide for the next week. There are 2 morals here A. know what you are taking for wd! and B. Avoid the ER if at all possible. There are plenty of legal solutions worth looking at. Kratom, tramadol, and loperamide have all shown some success and are worth researching for a home detox. Good luck
I noticed lots of people complaining about how the hospital won't give addicts benzos and suboxone/methadone in the emergency room, and how they think it's hypocritical. It really isn't. The truth is most addicts will abuse the drugs the hospital gives them for withdrawals. I know because I am an addict also. None of you are putting yourself in the shoes of the doctors. Emergency rooms aren't made to ease the withdrawals of drug addicts. They are for treating life threatening wounds/illnesses/etc. A broken bone IS life threatening. You can die from broken bones, wounds, the flu, etc. It is almost impossible to die from opiate withdrawal alone. It's not an emergency. If you want benzos go and buy them off the street like the opiates you had. You aren't entitled to narcotics. Start taking responsibility for yourself and be accountable. You won't ever get out of your hole until you do. This isn't aimed at the OP btw. It's just a general post to help motivate those entitled lazy addicts, which is what I once was...
Edit: this was only made after reading the first page. It's only directed towards those complaining about the ER/Doctors :P
Last edited by drapedup; 07-11-2009 at 23:31.
I was suprised they gave me IV Ativan , IV Dilaudid (yes DILAUDID) and clonidine as well as IV fluids, my doc was a young asian dude who was extremely compassionate. You should havre seen the nurses trying to find a place to stick me for IV, my veind were gone. So a big dude who was an ex army medic comes in and say ahh this is easy ill just stick ya in the neck, (at this point i ddnt care i just wanted some opiates in me and FAST) he said hold still man. He jabbed it in and had a line in on the first try. The nurse gave me the ativan first(which felt suprisingly good) then the zofran and then 3 mg Dilaudid. It actually gave me a nice rush since I had been in withdrawl for 2 days.
My friend got a 7 day methadone taper, along with clonidine and ativan. Must be the exception to the rule. And she's the biggest crook when i8t comes to doctors..
My girlfriend and I used to hit the ER pretending to be in w/d all the time just to get Rx's for Clonazepam,usually just 20 pils or so,no refills.and Zopiclone.We saved the zopiclone for when we were actually in w/d so we could knock ourselves out.
Also,I think it has to do with what type of addict you are.My friend who has several painful diseases/conditions,was in very bad w/d after losing his bottle of morphine,Rx'ed ofcourse.
He went in to the ER and was immediatley given sublingual ativan and an IV morphine drip.
I doubt they would have did it if he didn't have his medical conditions,didn't have a legit prescription,had track marks up and down his arms,and admitted his opiate of choice to be an illegal,frequently injected intravenously one.
You should have reported the cop who hit you.
As you pointed out, it's a good idea to know what you're taking.
I'm sorry about your horrific experience, thank you for adding it though. That was a very interesting read.
IV hydromorphone is a pretty euphoric opiate. You got lucky there. That's funny they used your neck, how are your veins doing? Hopefully they're coming back.
Zofran is great for nausea too.
I've never heard of anyone getting anything whatsoever if they walk into a hospital in the UK in acute opiate withdrawal - however severe it is. Maybe alcohol or benzos as they are physically dangerous to withdraw from but on opiates you'd have no chance, in my experience. And believe me I've tried it a few times and so have many others
For opiates in the UK you'll probably be referred to a drug counsellor but given no treatment until you'd been assessed by an addiction specialist, in my experience. Policy varies slightly around the country slightly but I doubt anyone in the UK in that situation would walk out of hospital having had any treatment or with a script for anything - although some GPs will prescribe a few days worth of diazepam and maybe some codeine or DHC to tide you over till you get to see the specialist. Even in rehab I was only allowed 2 paracetamol every four hours, a single 2mg dose of loperamide in the morning and an unknown sublingual dose of mirtazapine at night. They turned a blind eye to smoking cannabis but it actually made my w/d worse so I didn't smoke much. Other rehab facilities may be less strict but us UK addicts are just plain hardcore
my only experience of getting meds (oxycontin, pethidine(very unusual i thought), nsaids, morphine) in wd from hospitals in australia is when i've had a signed piece of paper of consent from my doctor that has all the medications im on listed and have been out of town or my doctor has been on holidays and i was unable to get another doctor in his surgery to write me out my normal script. some doctors don't feel like risking their license over prescribing another doctors patients meds, some may do it as a once or twice off thing in my experience.