methadone detox treatment

Using Methadone For Detox Treatment Of Opioid Addiction

Using methadone is one of the most popular methods to help people beat an opioid addiction. It is controversial, however, as it effectively means substituting one addictive and dangerous opiate for another. Indeed, there are significant pros and cons to this type of treatment, although most professionals agree that the benefits of methadone outweigh the risks if used properly. The reality is that methadone works, but when used incorrectly, it can be dangerous.

Detox Treatment of Opioid Addiction

It is now increasingly common for those addicted to opiates to be enrolled in a methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) program.

“In closed settings, MMT should be available to patients who have been receiving MMT in the community and wish to continue this treatment in the closed setting, and patients with a history of opioid dependence who wish to commence MMT. Patients should receive MMT for the entire duration of their detention in the closed setting. This ensures the maximum benefits of the treatment are obtained.”

What this means is that methadone is often not used for a short term detox, but rather as part of an ongoing maintenance program, one that can sometimes last for a very long time. This is because effectively using it for short term detox, requires a great deal of self-discipline and commitment.

How Does Methadone Work?

If used properly, methadone has the potential to remove 100% of the withdrawal symptoms associated with opiate addiction, because it is an opioid itself. It is a slow-acting opioid, however, which means that it does work as a painkiller and relaxant, but much slower than street drugs, such as heroin or opium. It also lasts much longer and, because there is no rapid onset, it does not create a euphoric high.

What few people understand, however, is how it can be beneficial to treat an addiction to opioids with another opioid. Essentially, this is due to the fact that the withdrawal symptoms associated with these addictions are very severe and often unmanageable as they trigger the fight or flight response. This is one of the reasons why so many people relapse.

What Is the Right Dosage for Methadone for Detox?

Methadone can almost instantly solve the problem of opioid withdrawal syndrome. However, it is vital that a medical professional find the correct “therapeutic dose”. If too little is given, the drug will have no effect. If too much is given, the patient can become high and can even overdose. This is why it is so important that patients seek appropriate help for methadone detox so that a trained professional can help determine the appropriate methadone dosage, while also understanding the relevant precautions.

“Dosing recommendations should only be considered as suggested approaches to what is actually a series of clinical decisions over time in the management of the pain of each individual patient; this drug has a narrow therapeutic index, especially when combined with other drugs.”

Usually, a patient is prescribed around 40mg or less of methadone for the first day. Over the next week or so, they will then determine whether it needs to be raised or lowered. Methadone is prescribed for three types of detox options, and the dosage will vary depending on which type you enroll in. They are:

1. The 21-day detox, which is short term detox
2. Long term detox, which usually lasts around 180 days
3. Maintenance program, which means you will continue to take methadone for a substantially longer period of time

How to Be Successful with Short Term Withdrawal

If you do not want to stay on methadone for a long period of time and your physician agrees that the 21-day detox is suitable for you, then you will likely be on methadone for no longer than a week, possibly even just three to four days. This is because the goal is simply to ensure your body contains enough opioid receptors to help you manage withdrawal. If done properly, it means you don’t just stop your body from becoming dependent on methadone, you also avoid the symptoms associated with going cold turkey. Going cold turkey is incredibly dangerous, not in the least because the chance of relapse and overdose is greatly increased at that point.

“As soon as people stop using heroin, their tolerance for the drug lowers, meaning less of the drug is needed to get high. Therefore, when people with heroin addiction relapse, they often overdose because they don’t realize their tolerance is lower than before.”

The reason why your overall detox will last 21 days is because it also ensures that you have the chance to access counseling and treatment, to determine whether there are co-occurring disorders, and to effectively give you a chance to recover properly before returning into the community.

The Downside of Methadone

For some, methadone has been a wonder drug. Many studies have shown that it is incredibly effective in the treatment of heroin addiction, leading to an increased quality of life (physically, psychologically, and socially), better family relations, and less risky and criminal behavior. However, there are some downsides to methadone as well, whether it is used short term or long term, and it is important to be aware of this.

Some of the problems with methadone relate to the side effects. They include sweating, weight gain, loss of libido, sexual dysfunction, constipation, depression, and sleepiness. All of that is caused by opioid-related endocrinopathy.

“Chronic opioid use may predispose to hypogonadism through alteration of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis as well as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis.”

Another big complaint is that many people find it difficult to come off methadone. Some of that is down to fear of withdrawal, but some of is due to improper support. With short term methadone detox, in particular, treatment should ideally be offered on an inpatient basis, so that people are supported through the withdrawal of not just heroin, but also methadone. It is vital to understand that methadone is designed as a treatment, not as a full cure and that it can only be successful with proper support. For more information or assistance call us at (855) 976-2092.


[1] Methadone maintenance treatment – Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings – NCBI Bookshelf. (n.d.). Retrieved from

[2] Methadone Dosage Guide with Precautions – (n.d.). Retrieved from

[3] Is Quitting Heroin Cold Turkey a Good Idea? (n.d.). Retrieved from

[4] Opioid-Related Endocrinopathy. (2015, October 13). Retrieved from

methadone treatment for opioid dependence

How Does Methadone Work?

If you or someone you know is dealing with opiate addiction, you aren’t alone. Opiate addiction can happen to anyone, and many people that are addicted want a way to get clean.

Methadone has been hailed as a way to wean off of opiates, but some people are worried about using medication to stop their addiction to painkillers.

Do you ever find yourself wondering “how does methadone work?” We’re here to tell you what you need to know.

How Does Methadone Work?

Think of methadone as a different kind of medication. It’s a is a long-acting synthetic opioid analgesic that some people use for pain relief, but many more use it to treat addiction to strong opiates and opioids.

Think of methadone as your brain’s physical defense against the chemicals that opiates and heroin can release. Methadone works by filling up the brain receptor sites that would usually be affected by heroin and other opiates.

Methadone blocks the euphoric and sedating effects of opiates, but since it’s an opioid itself it also helps relieve cravings and symptoms associated with withdrawal from opiates.

Is Methadone Safe?

If you’re wondering how does methadone work, you may also be wondering if it’s safe to use to detox off of opiates. Methadone is safe for detox, but only under the supervision of a doctor and/or an addiction counselor.

It’s important to keep in mind that methadone is a medication and that it can have side effects like any other medicine. But people that take methadone according to doctor’s orders rarely experience negative side effects.

What Should I Know About Methadone?

When you’re asking yourself how does methadone work, it’s safe to assume that you may not know much about the medication.

Before you decide if methadone treatment is right for you or your loved one, take some time to learn a bit about methadone’s history and how it’s worked for other people.

Methadone Has Been Used To Treat Addiction For Years

There are a lot of myths about methadone treatment, one of which is that it’s a new drug. Methadone may seem like relatively new drug treatment, but it’s actually been used to treat heroin addiction for decades.

Doctors Vincent Dole and Marie Nyswander pioneered what was known as a methadone maintenance treatment for opiates in the 1960s.

Their work was revolutionary at the time. People were looking for a good way to treat heroin addiction but didn’t have much success with the medications they were using.

MMT changed the lives of the test subjects. Alleged lifelong addicts were able to stop their habits, reconcile with family members, work, and generally get their lives back in order.

Their methods have evolved and grown over the years, but the two doctors laid the groundwork for modern addiction treatment today.

Methadone Is a Legitimate Medication

People that are currently abusing opiates can be worried about trading one addiction for another. The truth is that methadone is a medication that can treat addiction problems.

When patients take methadone daily and reach a stable dose, they don’t report feelings of euphoria or feeling “high”. They feel normal and can go about their days.

This is why it’s important to only use methadone under a doctor’s or rehabilitation center’s care. They can ensure that you’re only taking therapeutic doses and can control your access to medication.

Methadone The Most Effective Opiate Addiction Treatments

If you’re asking yourself “how does methadone work”, you’re also asking yourself if it actually can work to treat your addiction.

Statistically, methadone is the most effective opiate treatment. The methadone treatment success rate can range anywhere from 60% to 90%.

It’s also important to know that success can take on more forms than quitting opiates.

Methadone treatment can reduce the risk of overdose or transmitting diseases like HIV and Hepatitis. It could also reduce criminal activity, and lead to more positive employment outcomes.

In terms of numbers and the sheer amount of positive outcomes, methadone treatment can be the best options for people.

Methadone Can Treat Withdrawal Symptoms

One of the reasons why some people delay stopping the use of opiates is because they’re worried about having to go through withdrawal.

Withdrawal can be a physically and emotionally intense experience. But luckily, the right methadone treatment can help alleviate the symptoms.

The aches, pains, and flu-like symptoms people experience during withdrawal can be easily helped with methadone. The same goes for digestive discomforts like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Methadone can also help drastically decrease cravings for a patient. This can help people psychologically deal with their treatments better, and make them less likely to relapse.

Methadone Treatment Can Give You More Freedom

A lot of people Googling the phrase “how does methadone work” want to go into treatment for opiate addiction, but are worried about how it will interfere with their lives.

Work, family care, and other responsibilities can make getting an extended stay in an in-person treatment facility difficult. Luckily, methadone can help people treat their problems and still live their lives.

Methadone with outpatient treatment can help you maintain your lifestyle and get clean.

Methadone is long lasting, it can stay in your system for 24-36 hours. Some people are able to go to their treatment facility, get their medicine, then go about their day.

Therapy Can (And Should) Be Paired With Methadone

If you choose to use methadone to stop abusing opiates, know that methadone alone isn’t the only way for you to stop using.

Physically finding a way to end your dependency on drugs is important, but it’s also important to treat the psychological reasons behind why you want to use opiates.

Drug counseling and therapy can do wonders for people trying to end their addiction. Individual therapy, group therapy, or a mix of both can help people when they’re detoxing and can help well after they’re clean.

Next Steps

Now that you know how effective methadone can be, you may be eager to learn more about methadone and treating opiate addiction.

Check out our post on opiate withdrawal remedies so you can be prepared to handle some of the unpleasant side effects of detox. To get proper assistance with opiate addiction, consider reaching out for help.

And remember, we have a lot of useful information about methadone on our site. Browse our site or contact (855) 976-2092 to learn the best way to use methadone for opiate addiction.



[1] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, January 22). Opioid Overdose Crisis. Retrieved February 14, 2019, from

[2] NIDA International Program. (n.d.). Methadone Research Web Guide. Retrieved from



symptoms of overdosing

Recognizing the Signs of Opioid Overdose

Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Opioid overdose deaths make up more than half of that number.

Opioid overdoses accounted for more than 42,000 deaths in 2016, greater than any previous year on record. About 40 percent of those deaths involved a prescription opioid.

Opioid addiction has reached epidemic levels in the United States, says the CDC. This includes addiction to prescription opioids, as well as heroin.

And studies show that four in five heroin users started out by becoming addicted to and misusing prescription painkillers.

With more and more lives being lost, it’s essential to be able to recognize the signs of opioid overdose. We’ve put together a guide to help you.

What Are Opioids?

Three opioid medications that are often overdosed are Vicodin, OxyContin, and morphine.

Vicodin is a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. It’s one of the most frequently prescribed narcotic painkillers.

OxyContin contains oxycodone, another painkiller used to treat severe or chronic pain.

Morphine is the painkiller used in hospitals and hospices. It’s the gold standard for fighting pain.

Illegal opioids include heroin and fentanyl.

How Does an Opioid Overdose Occur?

When doctors prescribe opiate painkillers, they intend these drugs for short-term use only. But some people become addicted to them, sometimes from the first time they take them.

Then they seek these medications out, taking too much or going from one doctor to another for prescriptions. They will often mix opioids, and combine them with alcohol.

Many will move on to illegal opioids like heroin and fentanyl when they can no longer get a prescription.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is also being implicated in an increasing number of opioid overdoses.

People who get hooked on opioid medications sometimes develop a tolerance to them, so they have to have more and more to get the same high or just to feel “normal.”

It’s a dangerous situation that can easily lead to deadly overdoses.

In other cases, someone who is not addicted and has a legitimate prescription might misread the dosage or forget they already took it.

Signs of Opioid Overdose

How do you know if someone is just very high or showing signs of an opioid overdose? Sometimes it can be hard to tell.

But here are some symptoms that would signal an overdose.

There are three primary ones and some others that may be present.

Difficulty breathing

Opioids work on the respiratory system, limiting breathing and leaving a person weak, less alert, and lethargic. Any kind of breathing problems, including slow or irregular breathing, is a sign something is wrong.

Opioids cause hypoventilation. It’s the opposite of “hyperventilation.” Here, an overdose victim’s breathing rate slows, and their lungs do not completely expand and contract.

Keep an eye on the chest. If you can barely see it rising and falling, the person could have overdosed.

Depressed breathing is the most dangerous side effect of opioid overdose. If a person experiencing an opioid overdose is left alone and asleep, the person could easily die as their respiratory depression worsens.

Pinpoint Pupils

An overdose victim will have almost imperceptible pupils or “pinpoint pupils.” Check to see if he or she has eyes dominated by the iris with little to no sign of a pupil.

Loss of Consciousness

Especially with slowed breathing, loss of consciousness is a real possibility. The individual will fail to move or respond to anything.

It’s critical to get medical attention before this occurs, if possible. Lack of oxygenated blood circulating in the body can be disastrous, including leading to brain and nervous system damage.

Other Symptoms

In addition to the top three symptoms, other signs of opioid overdose may include vomiting, the inability to speak, or a faint heartbeat. Victims may act drunk or delirious.

Overdose victims may also be pale, with clammy skin. Their legs and arms may go limp, and they may have purple or blue fingernails and lips.

Never assume that just because someone doesn’t have all these signs of opioid overdose that they are not experiencing one.

It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you suspect an overdose, get medical help right away. A timely response may make all the difference.

Responding to an Opioid Overdose

Victims of opioid overdoses can often be saved if they get help in time.

Once you’ve recognized the signs of an overdose, here’s what you should do.

Call 911, obviously.

While waiting for emergency medical help to get there, roll the overdose victim (if he or she is unconscious) over on their side to keep them from choking in case they vomit.

If the person is conscious, keep them awake and talking if possible.

Don’t leave a person who has overdosed alone. Overdose victims can rapidly take a turn for the worse. If they are awake, they could wander away and be seriously hurt.

If they are unconscious, they could stop breathing and not be able to receive medical help before it is too late.

Once the person who has overdosed gets emergency medical care, doctors may use a variety of treatments to save him or her, including intubating them to ensure proper breathing.

Other treatments will include activated charcoal administration to prevent absorption of any more of the ingested drugs, along with pumping of the stomach.

Treatment for cardiac arrest may also be necessary if heart problems occur.

Naloxone to Reverse Opioid Overdoses

One of the most important treatments for an opioid overdose is Naloxone.

Naxolone is a medication that’s been used in emergency rooms for several years to reverse overdoses, especially heroin overdoses.

Now, many emergency responders and others carry injectable or nasal spray form of naloxone to treat people who have overdosed.

Whether someone has overdosed on prescription pills or fentanyl, Naloxone (also known by the brand name Narcan), can bring victims back from the brink of death.

Naloxone blocks the fatal effects of opioids.

Once naloxone has stabilized an overdose victim, he or she will be taken to a hospital for further treatment.

Get Help for Opioid Addiction

Once an opioid overdose victim has recovered, he or she may need professional help to overcome opioid addiction.

The withdrawal symptoms that occur when someone tries to overcome an addiction to heroin are so severe that people often relapse.

There are clinics available that addicts can go to when they want to get help to overcome their addiction.

Want to learn more?

If so, check out our methadone treatment blog posts today or call us at (855) 976-2092 for more resources to help you make an informed decision about how to navigate the recovery process.


[1] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, January 29). Overdose Death Rates. Retrieved from

[2] American Society on Addiction Medicine. (2016). Opioid Addiction 2016 – Facts & Figures. Retrieved from

heroin facts

The Heroin Abuse Statistics You Need to Know About

The United States in the middle of a heroin crisis and has been for the last decade. According to statistics, roughly five times as many Americans are using heroin than a decade ago, and about three times as many are addicted.

Additionally, it has been found that in the years following 2010, nearly four times as many people died of heroin overdose than in the early 2000s. According to another statistic, the number of deaths caused by heroin overdose in 2015 was over six times what it was in 2002.

With these facts in mind, you may be wondering what else you should know about heroin abuse? Is there any information out there that might help me avoid heroin abuse, recover from it, spot it in someone I love or help them recover?

The answer to all of these questions is “yes.” The first rule of any struggle is “know your enemy” and knowing what heroin is, why it’s addictive and why it’s dangerous can do you a world of good.

Read on to learn more.

Origins of Heroin and Heroin Abuse

Humanity’s connection to heroin dates back to the 19th century. In fact, it is mentioned in some of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories that Sherlock Holmes uses heroin.

Heroin comes from the poppy plant and is technically classified as an opiate. Opiates like heroin were one of the awful by-products that came with the creation of better painkillers like morphine.

Roughly 13.5 million people use opiates around the world. Of these, only 4.3 are not using heroin.

Heroin and the Prescription Drug Issue

The abuse of prescription painkillers is at an all-time high, and this had a major effect on heroin abuse. Painkillers ten to be a gateway drug to heroin, and the statistics back this up.

Nearly half of all heroin users also use painkillers. Of those that inject heroin, about half reported that they abused painkillers first.

Another statistic reports that people who are addicted to painkillers are 40 times more likely to become addicted to heroin. Others state that this likelihood is only nineteen times greater, though this is still staggering compared to other drugs.

Though prescription painkillers are far more dangerous, heroin deaths are rising rapidly. Prescription painkillers were responsible for roughly 18,000 deaths in 2015, up just slightly from around 17,000.

Meanwhile, heroin caused almost 13,000 deaths in 2015, up from 10,000 the previous year, and 8,000 the year before that. Prescription opiates, on the other hand, experienced a dip in 2012-13, only to recover over the next two years.

The Average User

So, if we had to describe the quintessential heroin user, the one that all of the statistics describe, what would they look like? How do they live?

He’s Male

According to a study conducted by Columbia University, heroin addiction grew more among males than it did females. On a related note, males die from heroin overdose far more often than women do.

He’s White

This same study concluded that heroin use was rising far more quickly among whites than any other race. Currently, whites also account for the largest amount of overdose deaths from heroin. This is a stark change from the early 2000’s when the average was much higher among black people between their 40’s and 60’s.

He’s Lower-Middle-Class or Below

Columbia reported that heroin use was rising among those with lower income. One major reason for this may be that heroin is surprisingly affordable. If you spent sixty dollars on prescription opiates and six dollars on heroin, you would have roughly the same amount of both drugs.

He has little education. According to Columbia, heroin increased significantly among those with little education. This is not surprising, seeing as lower education may result in a lower-paying job, which would result in the need for a cheaper drug.

  • He’s young. According to the CDC, heroin use has more than doubled in those aged 18-25 compared to a decade ago.
  • He’s addicted to multiple drugs. A study conducted by the CDC in 2013 found that over 95% had used another drug. Just over 60% used at least three. To combine this with earlier statistics, one of this ‘patient zero’s’ other drugs of choice is probably a prescription painkiller
  • He has health issues of some kind, and maybe multiple. A report from the SAMHSA states that those with pretty much any kind of health problems, be it an injury or painful condition, a substance abuse disorder, any other form of mental health problem and even just poor health in general increases the chances of heroin abuse.
  • He’s been discriminated against at some point. Maybe this guy was treated pretty badly growing up because of his health issues. Maybe some other factor caused people to mistreat him. Either way, discrimination is also a potential risk factor for heroin addiction.

Things to Look For

If you think that somebody you know may be suffering from a heroin problem, but aren’t sure, there are some signs to look out for.

A lot of these factors will be obvious, things that you’d probably pick up on before too long. If they’re acting weird, neglecting various things from work to hygiene, asking for money a lot or having run-ins with the law, they may be using heroin or other drugs.

Some of the more subtle ways to spot addiction involve looking for certain health issues. If they are prone to infections or contract a serious one. They may also have constipation, bad skin, depression or trouble sleeping.

What’s Next?

Now that you know a little more about heroin and heroin addiction, what should you do? Getting off of drugs is hard, and, to level with you, heroin is particularly tough to kick.

Still, there are things you can do to make it easier. Perhaps just learning more about opiates and what you can expect when getting clean might help. Perhaps someone else has the problem, and you aren’t sure how to help them.

We’re here with a whole host of resources to help you. Heroin addiction, really any kind of addiction is tough to get rid of. There are a lot of places committed to helping you and a lot of people who’ve been where you are. You’re not alone.

If you or someone you love is struggling with heroin addiction and want to find options for methadone treatment near you, give us a call at (855) 976- 2092


[1] US Heroin Abuse Statistics. (2018, August 8). Retrieved from

[2] Heroin Abuse Information & Statistics | Signs and Symptoms. (2018). Retrieved from

[3] Heroin Statistics – Facts About Heroin Addiction, Use & Death – Drug-Free World. (n.d.). Retrieved from

[4] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, January 29). Overdose Death Rates. Retrieved from


risks of opioids

Understanding the Destructive Effects of Opioid Abuse

The opioid crisis is more destructive than many people realize. Each day, over 115 people die from an overdose in America.

In addition to the fatality rate, opioid abuse also wreaks havoc on addicts and has both short and long-term effects.

Some of the effects of opioid abuse are minor and will pass once a person goes through recovery. Unfortunately, others side-effects are more detrimental and may cause serious physical and psychological issues.

If you or a loved one has an opioid addiction, you need to get treatment immediately. It also helps to stay educated.

That’s why we’re going over some of the effects of opioid abuse.

Opioids: A General Overview

Opioids are painkillers, typically prescribed after surgery, injury, or other debilitating illnesses.

They bind to receptors in your brain, which is why they stop pain and produce a feeling of euphoria and relaxation. However, after extended use, a person begins to build up a tolerance. This means they need more and more of the opioid in order to get the original result.

When a person becomes addicted, their brain stops producing natural endorphins that act as painkillers. This is because their body is used to the opioid. They’re now dependent on the drug to act as an alternative to the endorphins.

Once a person becomes addicted, the effects of opioid abuse start to take their toll on the body and mind.

Short-Term Effects

The short-term effects of opioid abuse may start occurring fairly quickly after a person reaches dependency. Many of these side-effects are minor and disappear after the person discontinues use.

However, these side-effects can quickly lead to more damaging issues if a person continues to take opiates.


Drug abuse of any kind eventually starts to drain the user of energy. This is a result of a weakened immune system, stress, or lack of sleep.

Because opioids already slow down breathing, fatigue could be even worse during continuous use.

Mild Depression

Even in early stages of addiction, a person may experience mild depression. This could be a result of a general lack of motivation caused by the drug, or even a symptom of minor withdrawal.

One study found that out of 100,000 people, none of which had depression prior to the study, 10% developed depression after taking opioids.

Social Withdrawal

A person abusing drugs may begin to withdraw from social circles they once were very involved with.

This could be because they’re now devoting more and more time to drug use. It could also be a way to hide their growing dependence.

Nausea or Constipation

Opioids tend to cause stomach problems for the user. Often a user whose body isn’t used to the drug will experience nausea, upset stomach, or even vomiting.

These drugs also slow down the digestive process, often leading to constipation.


One of the short-term effects of opioid use for many people is itchy skin. This seems like a strange side-effect of a painkiller, but it’s quite common.

Doctors had originally thought this itchiness was a result of the drug interacting with the nervous system. However, research found that one of the receptors in the brain causes itchiness. When opioids bind to this receptor, some people start itching.

Long-Term Effects of Opioid Abuse

While many of the short-term effects discussed will disappear after an addict stops using opioids, there are long-term effects that are more detrimental. These effects continue long after detox treatment.

Long-term effects are typically associated with prolonged use of the drug. They take the form of both mental and physical side-effects and may require continued counseling and medical treatment.

Psychological Issues

During severe opiate addiction, a user may start to suffer from a wide range of behavioral issues. These could include:

  • Anger and irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Paranoia
  • Delirium
  • Lack of awareness

This increased instability in their behavior could be a result of many things. Heavy dependency puts a lot of strain on the body, which affects a person’s ability to handle everyday issues.

Depression may linger well after a person has gone through treatment and is no longer on the drug. Their mind has to acclimate back to sobriety.

A person may also experience guilt and regret their addiction, which may lead to depression.


Lack of sleep is a very common symptom of opioid withdrawal. This can be extremely difficult for a recovering addict, as insomnia effects every other aspect of their well-being.

Our immune systems recharge while we sleep, and when this doesn’t happen, we’re prone illness, stress, and even depression.

Even after an opiate addict goes through detox and has rid the drug from their body, they still may struggle with insomnia. Without the drug, they may not know what to do with the renewed energy.

In addition, although the physical withdrawal is over, the psychological one could last years. This may lead to trouble sleeping.

Decreased Sex Drive

Long-term opioid abuse can affect a person’s hormones, causing a drastic drop in their sex drive. This is due to an alteration in their endocrine system. This system carries hormones directly to the central nervous system.

A recovering addict may notice a lack of interest in sex or reduced occasions of sex. Women may notice changes to their menstrual cycle. Some people even experience infertility after long-term drug abuse.

Increased Sensitivity to Pain

After long-term abuse of opioids, a person may experience increased sensitivity to pain after recovery.

When a person constantly has opiates in their system, the brain starts to believe it’s constantly in pain. This is because other parts of the body are sending pain signals.

This long-term effect is very serious for people who started taking opioids to manage pain from an injury or surgery. They become hypersensitive to the pain, which can lead to disability.

Seek Help for Opioid Addiction

If you or a loved one suffer from opioid addiction, the faster you get help, the better. Prolonged abuse of opiates may lead to some of the long-term effects of opioid abuse we discussed above.

Before this happens, seek treatment. For more information check out our blog or give us acall at (855) 976- 2092.


[1] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, January 22). Opioid Overdose Crisis. Retrieved from

[2] Using Opioids Can Cause Depression – Citizens Commission on Human Rights, CCHR. (2016, June 14). Retrieved from

[3] When They Become Tough to Stomach. (2016, January 27). Retrieved from

[4] Westly, E. (2012, March 1). Why Some Pain Relievers Cause Intense Itching. Retrieved from

[5] Katz N and Mazer NA. (2009, February 25). The impact of opioids on the endocrine system. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from