How to get off opiates

How to get off opiates?

The honest answer to this question is “with difficulty.”

The only way to truly get off opiates immediately is to stop them. This is usually not feasible as this is primarily not a mental task but a physical adjustment and healing of the brain, after damage has been done healig has to take place.

Simply stopping opiates causes a great many physical and mental problems.

Opiates have been available for hundreds of years but addiction has only recently been identified. In the past cultural control and a lack of supply regulated the use of opiates.

In the modern era there is now, more or less, an unlimited supply of opiates if you have the means to buy them.

So, it is true that many people have stopped opiates with little or no help. It is possible but very painful and the success rate is low.

For the last 40 some years the only real way to get off opiates, and that was usually heroin, was to take another opiate called methadone. This has stabilized many people but is just as addicting as heroin and when you use it you can use other opiates.  So the point is methadone is still an opiate but it removes one form many of the triggers of illegal opiate use and its potential for getting one “high” is much less. One is usually on methadone for the long term. It is only when detoxing form methadone are you opiate free.

Shortly after methadone came naltrexone. The success rate with this is, overall not great, nevertheless in the right person it will work and in this case the drug is not an opiate and therefore easier to stop.

Finally came buprenorphine. This falls somewhere in the middle. It is still and opiate but it “blocks” other opiates. Unlike methadone using other opiates with buprenorphine is not an option as they will not be effective.

Stopping buprenorphine, being an opiate like substance, after some time will cause withdrawal. The solution to this, as with methadone, is to withdraw or decrease your dose very slowly to minimize withdrawal symptoms. 

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