Greg: Alright, what’s going on everyone? Greg and Matt here, Project Unbroken. Today, we’re going to be talking about what does opiate withdrawal actually feel like. Now, recently Matt was sick over the weekend. I was kind of texting back and forth with him. He’s like “Damn man, this reminds me of some withdrawal.” It kind of just got me thinking that maybe this is a good topic to kind of … Matt was maybe reminded a little bit of what withdrawal felt like and we just want to give people an overview of what it feels like.
Matt: Dude, I was brought right back in it. It was fucking nuts. I haven’t been sick in a while and my whole family caught this nasty stomach virus, flu, whatever. But I didn’t even really think about it. I felt terrible. I was on the couch, I couldn’t move, restless legs, you can’t sleep. I didn’t even think about it though until I had the cold sweats. It’s where your fucking bones are cold, but your hot. It’s a weird …
Greg: Actually yeah, when you texted me you’re like “I just got out of a half an hour shower.”
Matt: I did. I went up and I turned the shower on blast and I just sat on the floor in the shower and probably the last time I did that was when I was going through withdrawal like bad.
Greg: So let’s talk about opiate withdrawal, what it actually feels like. A lot of people compare it to a super flu, right?
Matt: Yeah, yeah.
Greg: A flu on steroids. It’s funny because when you texted me that, you were like “Man being reminded of withdrawal.” I’m like man, he’s forgetting what withdrawal feels like because withdrawal’s so much worse than the flu.
Matt: It is, it is.
Greg: I think one of the reasons is, you have all the flu-like symptoms, but I think the restless legs are way worse. I think the anxiety is through the roof when you’re withdrawaling. I think you’re depressed because all of the dopamine is not there. I think on top of having all the flu-like symptoms, throwing up, shitting, maybe bones hurting, cold … you also are super anxious. When you have the flu, you can sleep. You can fall asleep. It might be a little harder than normal. When you’re withdrawaling, you’re not sleeping.
Matt: You’re not fucking sleeping.
Greg: Your anxiety is through the roof and you’re depression is just kicking into overdrive because the dopamine is not there. Withdrawal is horrible. Horrible.
Matt: Dude, my wife had it at the same time, my daughter had it. Dude, we were laying on the couch and it was just like … no, we weren’t even talking. The TV wasn’t even on. It was just like this … fuck. It’s just like when you’re laying there. You’re just like “I don’t know what the fuck to do.” Your skin’s crawling. Again, it’s not as bad as withdrawal is and luckily it doesn’t last as long as withdrawal does.
Greg: The other difference is the medicine for the flu is all stuff that can help you. The medicine for withdrawal is something that’s going to restart you all over.
Matt: There is one medicine for it.
Greg: It’s going to restart everything. If you take that medicine, you are fucking starting that from point one.
Matt: So that’s what I was thinking, especially when I was in the shower. I was like “Fuck man, this is …” it reminded me of the first time I withdrawaled. I was in Mexico on vacation, I couldn’t bring any dope. It hit me and I was like shitting and throwing up and I couldn’t sleep so I just spent all night in a hot shower. This is what I was thinking while I was in that shower and I was like man, I remember now, being like … if you get through two days of that, which is probably about as far as we got without a maintenance program or drug, you’re just like “Fuck this.” It’s pretty much unbearable.
Greg: That’s the other thing is with the flu, you know you’ve got maybe two, three days. With withdrawal, you have like five to seven really tough days and then a few, at least a few weeks of really still not feeling that good at all, if you’re trying to come of heroine without any type of maintenance program or anything. Even after you get past the initial withdrawal, you got the post acute withdrawal symptoms, which you’re still just … you feel like shit.
Greg: You may not be throwing up and different stuff like that and shitting yourself, but you still have a lot of anxiety, depression’s still there.
Matt: Restless legs is definitely still there.
Greg: You’re going to have problems with sleep still.
Matt: Probably not sleeping.
Greg: Coming off the heroine and going through that withdrawal is just a lot longer process and it’s like there’s not medicine for it. For the flu, you can take some stuff that helps you feel better, maybe helps you sleep. There’s none of that with withdrawal.
Matt: Yeah, not at all.
Greg: And if you fuck up one time and take heroine again or the medicine-
Greg: It’s the restart button.
Matt: Yeah dude, that’s why a lot of times people comment saying that like methadone’s bullshit or suboxone’s bullshit and it’s just …
Greg: Delaying, or replacing the same thing with aanother thing. It’s not.
Matt: It’s not at all. It’s just … I don’t even know, before this stuff, I don’t know how anybody ever did it. Balls of steel. I consider myself to have a pretty high pain tolerance threshold, pretty mentally tough, but fuck man … it just beats you down from all … physically, mentally. It just tears you apart.
Greg: Yeah, like you said, I think we never made it past like two or three days. We were like fuck man, I got to go get something.
Matt: That’s the other thing, Greg and I made a lot of videos about maintenance programs and things they do to give you, to help you with your success through the maintenance programs. A lot of this stuff, if you pull cold turkey, pull that card … a lot of times, you’re still around the same people that you’re doing dope with. You probably are still, if you’re working, you’re around the same people, or if you just have your friends you’re getting dope with, that’s like your only point of contact. So, it’s not going to be hard before you rub shoulders with them again and then you’re like you know what, fuck it. Let me get a bag.
Greg: Even us, we would try to withdrawal at the same time. One of us would just call up the other one or whatever, text the other one and be like “Dude, how do you feel?” “Not good.”
Greg: We just talk each other into it, right? When you get on a maintenance program, you distance yourself from people who are using and you start to get used to a life away from those people and kind of like a normal type life. When you withdrawal or when you try to get off heroine cold turkey, it’s like … everything’s still around you. You still have the people who are using around you, you’re still living the same type of lifestyle. There’s no major changes, so your chances of going back and using heroine are increased tremendously.
Matt: Yeah and as soon as there is just one moment of weakness, which is essentially all withdrawaling is, just one big fucking moment of weakness. You’re right back in. Like Greg said, it’s like one bag … it’s one bag and you hit the reset button. That’s one thing that I definitely misunderstood getting into this, into trying to get off of heroine. We would be like “Alright, we’ll just do like one bag and then we won’t do it again tomorrow.” You might as well just fucking get right back on the train.
Matt: It’s like, once you do one bag, everything starts right from square one.
Greg: Yeah, so I mean the main symptoms, just to kind of go over them again … everything you have with the flu, you’re throwing up, you’re shitting, your legs hurt, you can’t get comfortable, your anxiety is through the roof, which for me was the worst part. You can’t sleep, which makes everything that much worse, because you never get a break. So literally, an hour feels like two days because you don’t get a break. It keeps hitting you and hitting you and hitting you.
Matt: You don’t get a break and then, the other thing is, you still have … everyday life is fucking moving right along. When I had this flu over the weekend, I was like “I can’t fucking do anything.” You still have to go to work, so when it gets to that point, if you know “Alright I got this to do, I got that to do, I got bills to pay.” It’s like well, I kind of have to do dope for me to be a member of society at this point. That’s a whole another ballgame right there. You can’t show up … when you’re in the depths of withdrawaling, you’re not able to do shit.
Greg: Nope. Not at all.
Matt: Really not.
Greg: So yeah, little trip down memory lane for Matt this weekend on what withdrawal feels like. So we just wanted to do a video of it, kind of get back into letting people know what it feels like.
Matt: And if you’re getting ready, if you’re thinking about getting off of dope or any drug and you’re thinking about going cold turkey, I would strongly suggest that you consider a maintenance program. It just makes everything easier. We have videos about how to find success with those maintenance programs. You don’t have to be stuck on them forever. That’s not the goal here, it’s to get off and we know that. Play it smart and be patient. That’s the way to go.
Greg: Alright, so hopefully you all enjoyed this video. We’ll see you in the next one.