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’s no 1 single “best way to get off opiates.”
Because everyones methods and motivations for finally quitting varies case to case. Everyones situation and reason for being in the situation are different.
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 what may be the most realistic and effective way for YOU to quit opiates for good.
Don’t make that mistake, 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.
Quitting by going Cold Turkey off opiates like heroin, hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and oxycontin will probably hit hard and fast. Withdrawal can be long, hard and painful.
What does quitting painkillers Cold Turkey usually mean?
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.
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.
Slow tapering off opiates can completely eliminate withdrawal symptoms. If done slow enough and in the right way. Usually the slower you taper, the less painful your opiate withdrawal symptoms will be. Because you will be gradually lowering your dose.
It is quite possible and often even advisable way to quit but one must be very disciplined or have a loved one that can distribute your pain pills to you as needed to monitor your dosages closely.
But for others…this 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.
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, oxycodone, oxycontin I’d be hesitant about ever 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 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 and the cycle continues, it never really gets them off 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 of it as quickly as possible.
I’ve even heard suboxone withdrawals can be worse than heroin and other narcotic withdrawals and it 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.
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 facility, instead of traveling to 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 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 In-Patient 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.
Out-patient 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.
Out-patient 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.
The Waismann method rapid detoxification program allows patients to sleep through withdrawal and detox under light anesthesia.
While you sleep, doctors are monitoring you and pumping you full of medications to help cleanse and restore your body. So essentially, they put you to sleep in a “light coma” (more or less), so you wake up 4 or 5 days later with no withdrawal symptoms.
While this may seem like the perfect solution, the Waismann Method is extremely costly, with one facility charging $16,800 for 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 there is an even larger expense in the long run.
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.
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.
Ultimately you’re the only one who can stop using drugs. No one else will ever be able to make you quit using.
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.