Chasing the dragon
Over 4 Million Americans suffer from addiction to opiate pain relievers and heroin. The number of addicts has doubled and the number of unintentional overdose deaths from these drugs have increased by 400% over the last 10 years.
Chasing the Dragon refers to the tolerance that predictably develops with opiate use. Once a person is 'Chasing the Dragon,' they need more and more drugs to get high and can't stop because the cravings are so strong and the fear of withdrawal so great.
Cold turkey and kicking the habit
Detox Centers can help with the horrible symptoms of acute withdrawal (anxiety, cravings, insomnia, cramping, vomiting and diarrhea, hot/cold sweats with goose bumps or 'cold turkey,' and severe muscle spasms from 'kicking the habit'), but the one year relapse rate is 85% - the highest of all addictions.
Long-term abstinence from opiates is so difficult because cravings seem to be hardwired into the nervous system. These cravings may seem to be under control for relatively longs periods of time until circumstances or events trigger a 'stress response' that the addict believes can only be relieved with a return to drug use.