time to recover from opiates

How Long Does Opiate Recovery Take?

80% of current heroin users started out by prescription opioid abuse. Back in the 1990s, opioids became prescribed more than necessary. It’s this overuse of opiates that’s led to the current epidemic in the United States. And that’s why we’re here to discuss opiate recovery.

These drugs are obviously dangerous and create life-threatening situations. However, recovery from addiction or misuse of opioids is possible. It’s not an easy, or pleasant, experience. But if you or a loved one are suffering from opiate addiction, there is hope.

Today we’ll look at the opiate addiction and recovery process. We’ll show you how long it takes, and how you can get started.

Opioid vs. Opiate vs. Narcotic

The first step to understanding the opiate recovery process is the differences between the drugs.


Opioid describes all synthetic versions of natural opiates. These are drugs like Oxycontin and Fentanyl.


Opiates are natural or slightly modified versions of the opium poppy flower. All opiates are created from this natural resource.

Morphine and heroin are two examples of opiates.


Narcotic is a term that’s been used to describe any drug that alters a user’s mind. Narcotics generally induce drowsiness, too.

The Opiate Recovery Process

If you or a loved one has an addiction, the opiate recovery process can be overwhelming. Where do you start? How do you get started? And how much will it cost?

The bottom line is this – no matter the level of your opiate addition, you will need professional help to overcome it.

The opiate recovery process is different for everyone. These five steps give you an overview of what to expect.

Methadone Treatment

Methadone treatment is one of the more popular treatment options. Methadone is a drug that relaxes a patient. It’s such a potent drug that it helps diminish the effects of opiate withdrawal.

Heroin is one of the most common opiate addictions. Methadone is often used to treat heroin withdrawal. Because of how effective methadone is at alleviating the withdrawal symptoms, it’s utilized to treat other opiate addictions as well.

Methadone Detox and Maintenance

Methadone detox is part of methadone treatment. It’s growing in popularity as the information surrounding it increases. One source even says that a methadone detox is effective 50 – 90% of the time.

Methadone is actually a narcotic as well, but it’s tightly controlled. It’s almost used exclusively for opiate recovery treatment.

However, since it’s addictive as well, a maintenance schedule has to be followed. You’ll be prescribed certain dosages of methadone on a predetermined schedule. These dosages will decrease over time.

Following this maintenance schedule ensures that you get the benefits of methadone detox, without running the risk of getting addicted to another opiate.

Methadone Maintenance Benefits and Risks

While methadone maintenance is a popular opiate recovery option, there are risks too. Let’s start by looking at the benefits first.


The biggest benefit of methadone maintenance is that it’s less severe and painful than withdrawal on your own.

Since methadone has to be prescribed, you’ll likely receive it in some sort of inpatient or outpatient treatment program. A treatment center provides a wide array of resources – aside from using methadone – to help you on your opiate recovery journey.

Going to a treatment center also expedites the process to a recovery center. A recovery center helps you get rid of the habits that caused your addiction in the first place.


There’s always the risk of starting an addiction to methadone. It is an opiate, after all.

You also run the risk of overdosing if you ever relapse. Methadone treatment is effective, but it makes your body less responsive to opiates in the future.

The benefits outweigh the risks of methadone maintenance, and it’s growing in use and popularity because of that.

Opioid Addiction

Opioid addiction is treated a lot like an opiate addiction. However, opioid addiction usually isn’t as severe as an opiate.

Common prescription opioid addictions include Oxycontin and Vicodin. These are available opioids that are prescribed with regularity for all kinds of pain.

Overcoming an Addiction

If you or a loved one is going through the opiate recovery process, you need to be aware of just how much it affects your life.

Everything from family to work and friends will be impacted by your recovery process. Before you start your recovery process, it’s a good idea to set affairs in order.

You’ll want to make sure your friends and family know where you’re going to be, and what you’re getting treated for. Often, we don’t share the details of opioid addiction with many others.

If a close friend or family member is going through the recovery process, it’s important for you to be as supportive and helpful as possible. This doesn’t mean that you enable them to use. Instead, it means that you’re there to remind them they have someone rooting for them.

The road to recovery from addiction to opiates is far from easy, but it’s necessary to avoid an early death. If you’re ready to start your journey to a better life, get in touch with us today.

We’ve got a wealth of information on detox, methadone, and opioid addiction. Check out our articles or contact us at (855) 976-2092 to find help in your home state.


[1] HHS.gov/Opioids: The Prescription Drug & Heroin Overdose Epidemic. (2017, December 21). Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/

[2] NIDA. (2015, February 11). Patients Addicted to Opioid Painkillers Achieve Good Results With Outpatient Detoxification. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/nida-notes/2015/02/patients-addicted-to-opioid-painkillers-achieve-good-results-outpatient-detoxification on 2019, February 18

[3] Holpuch, A. (2017, October 25). Route to recovery: how people overcome an opioid addiction. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/22/opioid-addiction-america-solutions-that-work

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