How to Get Off Opioids & Detox Off Heroin & Prescription Painkillers

By: Reilly Johnson

“Healing your disease and getting well is easy. All you have to do is STOP doing the things that made you sick in the first place and START new healthy habits that will create a powerful healing.” – Dr. Richard Shulze

There is no single “best way to get off opiates.”

Because everyone’s methods and motivations for finally quitting varies case to case.

However, there are a number of ways to detox off opioids and become sober. But Quitting drugs for good will work better with careful planning.

Millions of opioid addicts have made the mistake of trying to quit narcotics like heroin, opioid painkillers like hydrocodone, oxycodone, suboxone, methadone, oxycontin, morphine, etc. BEFORE researching addiction treatment options.

You need to research how to detox off opiates what may be the most realistic and effective way for YOU to quit opioids for good.

You can learn your options below, then decide the best way for you to quit to opiates. Any one of these methods or a combination of them could be what finally works for you to get off opioids.

How to Detox #1.
“Cold Turkey” It Off Heroin and Other Prescription Opioid Painkillers


Quitting Cold Turkey off heroin another other painkillers such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine, and oxycontin will hit you hard and fast. Cold turkey withdrawal symptoms are long, hard and painful.

What can happens when you quit heroin and opioid painkillers Cold Turkey?

It basically means when you use heavily and often until you abruptly run out of your supply or can’t get anymore and you are therefore forced to quit opiates Cold Turkey.

I would also guess that quitting cold turkey is actually one of the most common ways people quit prescription painkillers. Let’s face it, a lot of people addicted to drugs take a lot and go hard until they run out, and then they must suffer through cold turkey opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Quitting cold turkey can work fairly well, but you must have the right tools, because those who make it through those nasty withdrawal symptoms use that experience as extra motivation to stay clean and sober, and never have to endure that again.

How long does opiate withdrawal last cold turkey?

Great question. After you quit cold turkey opiate withdrawals symptoms can last weeks or longer depending on the circumstance.

But here’s the trick to quitting, if you come straight off opiates and cold turkey it, BE PREPARED. There are a lot of natural opioid withdrawal easing supplements that can help you through this initial stage. We have articles all over this site than can help you in that respect. Do some research on ways to ease symptoms, such as exercise, warm baths, and sleep aides.

How to Detox Off Opiates #2.
Taper Off Opioids Slowly

medical_doctor for opiate detox

Slow tapering off opiates can completely eliminate withdrawal symptoms. If done slowenough and in the right way. Usually the slower you taper, the less painful your opiate withdrawal symptoms will be. Because you are gradually lowering your dose while your body adjusts.

It is quite possible and often even advisable way to quit this way but one must be very disciplined or have a loved one that can distribute your pain pills to you as needed, or who can monitor your dosages closely.

But for others… cold turkey may not be a very realistic way to quit. Many times the slow taper method ends up being a way to justify and prolong continual drug use. Rather than taking just enough to keep from feeling withdrawal symptoms, the drug abuse continues and you find yourself HAVING to quit cold turkey or having to continue using! So just recognize if you have the self control to taper off opiates or not.

How to Get Off Opiates #3.
Detox With Suboxone (aka Buprenorphine/ Naxalone)


Suboxone can be a wonder drug in the right situation but it can also act as a debilitating crutch in other situations.

Suboxone can almost instantly eliminate 100% of your opiate withdrawal symptoms, but it comes at a price.

Suboxone (naxalone) is technically an opiate. It binds to the opioid receptors stronger than any other opiate, therefore eliminating most opiate withdrawal symptoms.  Buprenorphine is the active ingredient in Suboxone and Naxalone. Buprenorphine has a stronger affinity to your brains opiate receptors than ALL other opiates.

But make no mistake, Suboxone is an opiate and it is still addictive. You will also eventually have to detox and withdrawal off suboxone too. Which can be even harder to withdrawal off because of suboxone’s long half life after a dosage.

While Suboxone may not be getting you high, you still have to rely and take it every day for you to feel good. If you stop taking Suboxone you will withdrawal and be miserable.

Is Taking Suboxone a Good Idea?

I think Suboxone therapy can work wonders for the “right” person in the right situation. For example if if you’re using more hard core drugs like heroin, using needles, becoming a danger to yourself or others or if you’ve just been taking a boatload of opiates for a really long time and are completely dependent on them, then Suboxone can really be great for you.

Generally speaking, if you’re taking prescription pain killers like hydrocodone I’d be hesitant about taking suboxone. Because in some cases the side effects would not be worth the benefits.

Remember, many opioid addicts like to keep suboxone around for when their supply runs out, so they don’t have to suffer from painful withdrawal symptoms.

Suboxone is often Used as a Crutch for Addicts

Suboxone is often used as a crutch for people doing a lot of narcotics.


They just take suboxone when they run out of their opiate supply so that they won’t have to suffer severe withdrawals. And then they jump back on heroin or whatever opioid the vicious cycle continues, and it never really gets them off opioids and free of drugs.

If you decide to take suboxone I recommend you get off it as quick as possible. The longer you stay on it, the harder it will be to get off it. So I highly recommended that you do not stay on it long and that you create a strict plan to get off suboxone as quickly as possible.

How Bad is Suboxone Withdrawal?

I’ve even heard suboxone withdrawals can be worse than heroin and can last longer because of its longer half life. So you must be very careful to not become addicted to Suboxone (Naxalone) if you plan to use during your detox off opioids.

Suboxone for Addiction

How to Get Off Opioids #4.
Inpatient Rehab for Detox, Withdrawal & Addiction Treatment

Depending on the rehab for opiate addiction and your situation, this could be exactly what you need. In-patient rehab is done in a residential setting, with the addict staying right at the rehabilitation facility, instead of traveling to outpatient clinics for appointments. This is a great option for users that require extensive emotional or physical support. It’s one way to opioid detox success.

Opiate Addiction Treatments Center Success Rates Vary Widely

Remember, addiction treatment methods and success rates vary greatly from rehab to rehab. If you choose this option, do careful research into the effectiveness of their treatments. Ask a lot of questions. Ask to speak with others who were successful there and are still successful.

Benefits of Inpatient Opioid Addiction Treatment

In-patient opioid rehab treatment provides the user with a structured day in a safe environment, where they can be monitored, have access to physiological treatment, and develop healthy life habits for when they are released.

Rehab is not for everyone and is not cheap. A huge percentage of people who come home from rehab start using immediately. If you’re going to pay $10,000 or more for a short stay at rehab, make sure you get your money’s worth at a quality facility with a history of success.

Need Help? Check Out Top Quality Inpatient Addiction Treatment Centers. Call for a free consultation 1-844-672-8129.

How to Get Off Opioids #5.
Outpatient Opiate Addiction Rehab Treatment

Outpatient rehab can work if you already have a great support system in place and good self control. If you feel you already have your addiction under control and you just need a little guidance to get you over the hump, then out-patient rehab might work for you.

Outpatient rehabilitation for opiate addiction is a form of rehab in which patients travel to a facility or doctor’s office for treatment and are able to return to their homes instead of staying at the facility or hospital. This option is much less expensive than in-patient rehab, as there is no cost for hospitalization. This treatment typically includes visits with doctors and counselors with a specific treatment plan put in place and monitored.

This type of treatment will only be successful if you have taken the steps to eliminate your hook up sources from your life. Often times the problem is prolonged and slipping up can cause even more barriers between family members and friends. Know your limits and what’s realistic for you.

How to Detox Off Opioids #6.
Waismann Detoxification Therapy for Pain Free Opiate Withdrawals

(aka a Personalized Medical Detox While Under Light Anesthesia)

The Waismann method rapid detoxification program allows patients to sleep through withdrawal and detox under light anesthesia. That way they are able to avoid the pain of withdrawal.

So while you sleep, doctors are monitoring your vitals and pumping you full of medications to help cleanse and restore your body. Essentially, they put you to sleep in a “light coma” (more or less), and you wake up 4 or 5 days later feeling better without opioid withdrawal symptoms.

While this may seem like the perfect solution, the Waismann Detox Method is extremely costly, with one facility charging $16,800 for the treatment! The other pitfall is that even though your withdrawal symptoms will be eliminated, your addiction and cravings do not just disappear. Follow-up treatments with therapists or counselors should be utilized, so remember there is an even larger expense in the long run.

How to Get Off Opioids #7.
Ibogaine for Drug Addiction Treatment

Ibogaine is the closest thing to a silver bullet for addiction as you’ll ever find. And Ibogaine Therapy may be the most successful treatment ever invented for ending opiate and heroin addiction.

Ibogaine, is an indole alkaloid found in the bark of the root of the African shrub Tabernan- the iboga. It has strong anti-addictive qualities, including high efficacy in acute opioid withdrawal and addiction.In laymen’s terms, it’s a secret tribal hallucinogen that helps you achieve your 2 most difficult goals.

1) Eliminates 100% of opiate withdrawal symptoms in under 24 hours

2) Eliminates the desire for opiates, many people who take it swear it cured their addiction all together.

If there ever was a miracle drug for eliminating opiate withdrawals and addiction, Ibogaine is it. Read this fascinating scientific study about how Ibogaine helped hardcore heroin users and other drug addicts, Ibogaine-study.pdf

All good things come with a downfall of sorts, and Ibogaine is no exception. The use of Ibogaine has a mortality rate of 1 in 300, with deaths coming from brachycardia (your heart rate slowing way down) and lethal combinations with other drugs. The risks and benefits of this treatment should be weighed out very carefully and treatment should only be done in a medical setting.

How to Detox Off Opiates #8.
The Vivitrol® Shot That Blocks Opioid Receptors in the Brain

This is the newest FDA-approved treatment for opiate addiction — a once-a-month shot with the drug Vivitrol that blocks opioid receptors in the brain.

“Vivitrol is nothing new. It’s just a chemical in a delivery form that is new,” Dr. Joseph Py, corporate medical director for Discovery House. It has been used since 2006 to treat alcohol dependence.

Vivitol treatment needs to be utilized alongside a 12-step program or counseling for the addict to change their behaviors and daily lives. This treatment can only begin after the user has gone 7-10 days without partaking in drug use. Otherwise, serious complications could occur.

How to Get Off Opioids #9.
Commit To Quitting No Matter What It Takes

Ultimately you’re the only one who can stop using drugs. No one else will ever be able to make you get off opioids.

That’s why it’s VITALLY important you learn the skills and techniques that can move you past your demons!

Always remember you’re responsible for your outcome. If something hasn’t worked in the past, learn more, `study your opponent and make adjustments for the problems . Do not make the same mistakes twice. Get smarter and play the game better! Failure means learning how to NOT do something. Keep trying and trying until you find a solution! Keep a positive attitude and continue to do things that develop new confidence in yourself and you will overcome!

YOU alone must develop the knowledge and confidence it takes to quit opioids, and that starts with understanding your opioid detox treatment options.


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Don't miss out on these amazing withdrawal methods, begin your opiate detox today. Recovery is closer than you think!
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  1. Surviving Opiate Withdrawal With Some Degree Of Comfort | Justin Waggoner Blog says:

    […] A final tip is to start moving and doing light exercises as you begin to feel stronger. Just a little activity for a short time will help to balance your hormones and strengthen your body. It can fight off the depression and anxiety that you might be feeling as well. For more information about kicking opiates, check out this great article: […]

  2. rynnoll says:

    I just want my life back. I have 6 moths since my last hydrcodone but my energy level is still as low as it was in my 1st month of quitting. I don’t know if I can continue life this way. I find no enjoyment in what used to be my favorite hobbies. If anyone reads this and has any advice I would be eternally great full for your response. Thank you I advance and God bless you.

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Don't miss out on these amazing withdrawal methods, begin your opiate detox today. Recovery is closer than you think!