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Kid_filmmaker
05-31-2018, 01:27 AM
Ok I'm here because I have a question, I tried to ask this on Reddit in their drugs subreddit but i don't know, people get offended if you ask questions about certain drugs and such - ridiculous. Anyway, I've been trying to get answered for two days now. I'm doing a novel where my MC is a 40ish year old man on a three times a day, three month Heroin binder - or drug use.

In my novel, my character is kicking the habit cold turkey, all alone, in an abandoned warehouse because he's homeless. My question is, can someone go unconscious for a long period of time while suffering from severe cold turkey heroin withdrawal symptoms?
I mean, has anyone on Heroin ever went unconscious/fainted from fatigue or lack of food, after going through all of the severe symptoms of Heroin withdrawal via detoxing cold turkey?

Maryn
05-31-2018, 02:16 AM
I have no real-world experience on this, but more than a decade ago I did a good bit of research online about cold turkey heroin withdrawal. A glimpse at my notes does not show loss of consciousness as one of the things that typically happens.

This is not to say that it never happens to anybody, but that your character probably needs a medical condition that is made worse by his withdrawal--or you need another means to render him unconscious.

If he's alone in an industrial space, how about a nice fall in which he hits his head?

FWIW, going without food for three days is nothing much. Going without sleep that long is bad but unlikely; people going cold turkey get so exhausted they sleep in spite of how horrible it is. I'm sure not what happens if he has no means of hydration, i.e., he can't keep water down. Usually the puking part is over in a day or two, though.

Maryn, who wouldn't care to do it this way in real life

Kid_filmmaker
05-31-2018, 02:50 AM
I have no real-world experience on this, but more than a decade ago I did a good bit of research online about cold turkey heroin withdrawal. A glimpse at my notes does not show loss of consciousness as one of the things that typically happens.

This is not to say that it never happens to anybody, but that your character probably needs a medical condition that is made worse by his withdrawal--or you need another means to render him unconscious.

If he's alone in an industrial space, how about a nice fall in which he hits his head?

FWIW, going without food for three days is nothing much. Going without sleep that long is bad but unlikely; people going cold turkey get so exhausted they sleep in spite of how horrible it is. I'm sure not what happens if he has no means of hydration, i.e., he can't keep water down. Usually the puking part is over in a day or two, though.

Maryn, who wouldn't care to do it this way in real life

Ah ok, your answer helps. I thought though that he would go unconscious upon trying to leave the warehouse, after finishing from withdrawal symptoms, and feeling fatigued and dehydrated. I thought that would surely make him black out in weakness.

AW Admin
05-31-2018, 02:58 AM
You might Google Heroine Withdrawal symptoms; this site (http://writingforaliving.us/famous-literary-rejection-letters/) states the following:


The main dangers of cold turkey withdrawal include dehydration and risk of relapse, which can easily lead to overdose if the person uses the same amount as before detox. Cold turkey withdrawal is one of the most dangerous and least effective ways to overcome heroin addiction; sudden cessation of heroin use can shock the body and result in dangerous symptoms like convulsions, hallucinations, and seizures.

Severe dehydration can cause someone to lose consciousness; the early stages of dehydration can mimic flu.

I'd look closely at withdrawal and dehydration, in terms of research.

I'm going to see about moving this to Research, where someone medical folk might some thoughts.

MaeZe
05-31-2018, 02:59 AM
There are multiple resources online for opiate withdrawal:

https://www.healthline.com/health/opiate-withdrawal#symptoms
Early symptoms typically begin in the first 24 hours after you stop using the drug, and they include:

muscle aches
restlessness
anxiety
lacrimation (eyes tearing up)
runny nose
excessive sweating
inability to sleep
yawning very often
Later symptoms, which can be more intense, begin after the first day or so. They include:

diarrhea
abdominal cramping
goose bumps on the skin
nausea and vomiting
dilated pupils and possibly blurry vision
rapid heartbeat
high blood pressure
Although very unpleasant and painful, symptoms usually begin to improve within 72 hours, and within a week you should notice a significant decrease in the acute symptoms of opiate withdrawal.

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/withdrawal-timelines-treatments/opiate/

Heroin withdrawal is very unpleasant but rarely fatal (unless the person has underlying heart problems).

Alcohol and a benzodiazepine withdrawal, on the other hand, can be fatal if not medically managed.

MaeZe, who has worked in drug rehab as a nurse practitioner. ;)

Kid_filmmaker
05-31-2018, 03:32 AM
You might Google Heroine Withdrawal symptoms; this site (http://writingforaliving.us/famous-literary-rejection-letters/) states the following:



Severe dehydration can cause someone to lose consciousness; the early stages of dehydration can mimic flu.

I'd look closely at withdrawal and dehydration, in terms of research.

I'm going to see about moving this to Research, where someone medical folk might some thoughts.


Great, I would appreciate it. I didn't know what subcategory to put this under, so I just posted my question here. Thanks for the answers from you others as well.

Kid_filmmaker
05-31-2018, 04:28 AM
Ok I'm here because I have a question, I tried to ask this on Reddit in their drugs subreddit but i don't know, people get offended if you ask questions about certain drugs and such - ridiculous. Anyway, I've been trying to get answered for two days now. I'm doing a novel where my MC is a 40ish year old man on a three times a day, three month Heroin binder - or drug use.

In my novel, my character is kicking the habit cold turkey, all alone, in an abandoned warehouse because he's homeless. My question is, can someone go unconscious for a long period of time while suffering from severe cold turkey heroin withdrawal symptoms?
I mean, has anyone on Heroin ever went unconscious/fainted from fatigue or lack of food, after going through all of the severe symptoms of Heroin withdrawal via detoxing cold turkey?

Al X.
05-31-2018, 04:36 AM
does it really matter?

AW Admin
05-31-2018, 04:59 AM
Please don't start duplicate threads. The mod will weigh in when she can.

Cath
05-31-2018, 05:41 AM
Yep, we’re going to merge this with the thread you already started.

Cath
05-31-2018, 05:43 AM
does it really matter?
Please read the forum guide before you post in here again.

If you don’t want to answer the question, don’t reply.

Gillhoughly
05-31-2018, 06:19 AM
I suggest you read actual autobios of people who have gone through this ordeal, which is well outside the experience of most of us. Your character isn't going to have a few cramps, throw up, take a nap, and feel middlin' fine, just needs some coffee. Going it alone usually means a relapse. It's a minimum of 5-7 days to clear the system and the addictive personality has to be reset over several months.

https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/heroin-addiction/withdrawal-detox/#gref

Call up professional centers for drug rehab, let them know you're doing book research and ask if they can recommend nonfiction books by addicts. Or start searching Amazon. Check how it's done at Betty Ford.

If the story begins with the character waking up, you may want to reconsider, as that is an ancient cliche, whatever the circumstances.

WeaselFire
05-31-2018, 08:05 AM
My question is, can someone go unconscious for a long period of time while suffering from severe cold turkey heroin withdrawal symptoms?
I mean, has anyone on Heroin ever went unconscious/fainted from fatigue or lack of food, after going through all of the severe symptoms of Heroin withdrawal via detoxing cold turkey?

Yes, and yes. From the been there, done that experience category. If you decide to go cold turkey, have some reliable friends to help. And remove any breakables.

But, it gets you off the drugs very effectively. :)

Jeff

jjdebenedictis
05-31-2018, 10:05 AM
I just read AW's own Peter McLean's book Damnation, and it has the main character going through cold turkey heroin withdrawal. From the googlefied list that AW Admin gave (convulsions, hallucinations, and seizures), the author did his research and got those answers too.

Heroin makes you fall unconscious (going on the nod). Maybe your character could relapse, if you want him passed out for an extended period of time?

ap123
05-31-2018, 01:46 PM
In my novel, my character is kicking the habit cold turkey, all alone, in an abandoned warehouse because he's homeless. My question is, can someone go unconscious for a long period of time while suffering from severe cold turkey heroin withdrawal symptoms?
I mean, has anyone on Heroin ever went unconscious/fainted from fatigue or lack of food, after going through all of the severe symptoms of Heroin withdrawal via detoxing cold turkey?

If your character has seizures from the withdrawal, the postictal (after seizure) period can trigger a period of minutes to hours of sleep that is just about equivalent to being unconscious. The longer/more severe the seizure, the more you can stretch out the postictal state.

Kid_filmmaker
05-31-2018, 04:41 PM
If your character has seizures from the withdrawal, the postictal (after seizure) period can trigger a period of minutes to hours of sleep that is just about equivalent to being unconscious. The longer/more severe the seizure, the more you can stretch out the postictal state.


I just read AW's own Peter McLean's book Damnation, and it has the main character going through cold turkey heroin withdrawal. From the googlefied list that AW Admin gave (convulsions, hallucinations, and seizures), the author did his research and got those answers too.

Heroin makes you fall unconscious (going on the nod). Maybe your character could relapse, if you want him passed out for an extended period of time?


Yes, and yes. From the been there, done that experience category. If you decide to go cold turkey, have some reliable friends to help. And remove any breakables.

But, it gets you off the drugs very effectively. :)

Jeff


Ah, ok, thanks you all for your answers.

Gillhoughly
05-31-2018, 06:40 PM
I just read AW's own Peter McLean's book Damnation, and it has the main character--

However well written, NEVER research using a work of fiction. Always source from nonfiction venues.

If the facts do not fit what you are plotting, then change the plot or get called out down the road.

In one of my books I was going to dispatch a character with a machine gun. It was big, impressive, right for the period -- until I went into a gun store and chatted with a clerk. I was informed that such weapons were not readily available then and hard to conceal when walking down a busy street. I hated that, but asked what would work. He suggested a sawed off shotgun. It worked a treat and I learned that research will usually turn up a much better idea than my original inspiration.

Twick
05-31-2018, 07:19 PM
As regarding a faint, people can faint pretty easily. I saw someone go down just from standing up for about half an hour in the heat (not even direct sun), and that was a healthy young man. If you said a person who was sick, hadn't eaten, was dehydrated, tried to stand and fainted, I'd not feel it was pushing credibility.

Alsikepike
06-01-2018, 09:33 PM
I haven’t heard of people losing consciousness from withdrawal, but plenty of factors already mentioned wouldn’t be out of the ordinary. What I do know is that you can lose huge chunks of time without realizing it. I have a family member who went through a particularly bad withdrawal.
When his symptoms peaked, he lost track of time and couldn’t tell the difference between 20 minutes and 3 hours. He described it to me later as like laying awake at night and trying to fall asleep. You look at the clock and it’s midnight, you close your eyes and try to fall asleep, and ten minutes later you’re still awake, you look at the clock again and it’s 1:30. You know you didn’t fall asleep, and yet somehow that time is gone, so you couldn’t have been fully awake. After being subjected to the same stimuli over a long period of time, your mind just starts to wander.
I’m not sure anyone could fall unconscious for three days, but I can totally see someone losing big chunks of time from the symptoms that come with going through withdrawal, especially if no-one is there to confirm time has passed. Probably not a whole three days, though. It would probably be just a haze of one moment to the next for them.

Ziast
06-06-2018, 06:07 AM
I sometimes go to Bluelight.com to research drug related stuff, you may find it helpful to read through it.

In my research, it's my understanding there won't be unconsciousness, but the individual might be 'out of it' or lose time, unless they take something else to make themselves sleep.

MaeZe
06-06-2018, 06:23 AM
As regarding a faint, people can faint pretty easily. I saw someone go down just from standing up for about half an hour in the heat (not even direct sun), and that was a healthy young man. If you said a person who was sick, hadn't eaten, was dehydrated, tried to stand and fainted, I'd not feel it was pushing credibility.

Fainting can occur easily, but one regains consciousness within less than a minute of lying on the ground. The longest I've had a patient who fainted stay unconscious was about 40 seconds and he was very exceptional.

The movies where women faint for convenient lengths of time at the sight of the monster are pure fantasy. It does not happen.

I'm going to repeat what I said earlier, opiate withdrawal does not cause seizures. Withdrawal in a person with a seizure disorder could have one, but it's not the opiate alone.

Alcohol and benzodiazapine withdrawal can cause seizures and can be life threatening; heroin, not so much of either.

MaeZe
06-06-2018, 06:26 AM
..., unless they take something else to make themselves sleep.Which is an excellent plot solution. Character is miserable with withdrawals and tries to knock themself out with other drugs.

PeteMC
06-06-2018, 12:27 PM
I sometimes go to Bluelight.com to research drug related stuff, you may find it helpful to read through it.


Bluelight is an excellent resource for all things drug-related - it's a forum for recovering addicts, and people are very full and frank in what they say on there. It's where I did most of the research for Damnation.

Cobalt Jade
06-06-2018, 08:33 PM
You mean bluelight.org.... bluelight.com goes to Kmart.

Enlightened
06-06-2018, 08:46 PM
OP: You used both in your original post, but make sure you don't confuse heroine (a female hero) and heroin (a drug).

Some info for consideration....

I recall an episode of CSI talk about heroin. I cannot tell you if the info is factual or not. Maybe you can confirm if you research it, and want to use it. Heroin metabolizes into morphine in the liver. Slash, of Guns n' Roses, used heroin quite a bit. He noted, in an interview with Howard Stern, that one does not experience euphoria, but if you have any problems, they all just go away.

The only things factual I know of heroin is it was first synthesized (an opioid, not an opiate) by the Bayer aspirin company as a less addictive form of morphine. Sadly, it turned out to be far more addictive than morphine. The other is, the increased strength of heroin (in the US), according to TV reports, is the heroin is cut with fentanyl (which acts like morphine only a lot stronger). These act as muscle relaxants and can prevent the user from breathing. This is not the only way they can die.