cold turkey withdrawal

Heroin Addictions – 8 Reasons Why You Should Never Quit Heroin Cold Turkey

Are you or a loved one struggling to overcome addiction and trying to quit heroin cold turkey? Heroin can create such a strong dependence that it can seem impossible to break free. Withdrawal symptoms, like vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, tremors, body aches, and chills can make the process even more difficult.

With all these barriers standing in the way to regaining your pre-addiction life, you may start to feel unmotivated or depressed. However, there are ways that you can quit addiction and get back to living a healthy, drug-free life.

You might want to quit heroin cold turkey, but there are so many risks associated with this method. Instead, seeking professional help is the best way to ensure you safely detox and recover from your heroin addiction.

Do you want to know more? Keep reading to discover the 8 reasons why you should never quit heroin cold turkey.

1. Lack of Methadone

The process of detoxing your body from heroin can be long and awful. Withdrawal can last over a week and include a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms. Among the most common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, and anxiety.

These symptoms can make it harder for you to finish the detox process. But, by seeking professional help, you will have easier access to methadone. This can help dull these symptoms and make it easier for you to complete your detox.

2. Increased Risk of Relapse

Without proper professional help and access to methadone, many people trying to detox end up relapsing. Since taking heroin will stop all the withdrawal symptoms, 40-60% of people will relapse at some point during this process.

However, as soon as you discontinue heroin, your tolerance for it decreases. Many people are unaware of this and jump back into doing heroin at the doses they did before attempting to detox. This can lead to an increased risk of overdosing since your body doesn’t have the same tolerance it did just a few days ago.

3. Increased Risk of Dehydration or Malnutrition

Two of the most common physical withdrawal symptoms of quitting heroin are vomiting and diarrhea. What do these both have in common? They are purging your body.

In the process of trying to detox your body from heroin, you are also losing a lot of liquid. This, coupled with nausea, makes it harder for you to stay hydrated and keep food down. Because of these symptoms, you have an increased risk of suffering from dehydration during detox or malnutrition which could require hospitalization.

Quitting drugs cold turkey could put you at an increased risk for this by not having the proper professional help to ensure that you are eating and drinking enough to stay healthy during your detox process.

4. Increased Risk of Suicide and Self-Harm

While the physical symptoms may seem more frightening, there are also some terrifying psychological symptoms to quitting heroin.

You may feel more emotionally unstable while detoxing. This could lead to suicidal thoughts or self-harm. In fact, substance abuse can make you 75% more likely to commit suicide.

If you try to quit heroin cold turkey, you are putting yourself in danger. With no professionals on-call to help you combat these suicidal and self-harm feelings, you will be more likely to act on them.

However, by checking in to a rehab center, you will have access to counselors who are trained to help you handle these psychological symptoms.

5. More Likely to Partake in Risky Behaviors

But an increased risk of suicide and self-harm aren’t the only psychological side effects if you try to quit heroin cold turkey.

Many people going through detox begin to feel emotionally distraught, and their decision-making skills become clouded. Those who are not in the safe environment of a rehabilitation center, may venture out of their house and partake in risky behaviors.

Sharing needles, taking too much heroin, committing criminal acts, and getting into car accidents are all examples of risky behaviors that you may be more likely to partake in. Not only are they risky, but many could result in disease or even death.

6. Dangers of Staying the Same Environment

One risk of quitting heroin cold turkey that you may not have thought of is the danger of staying in your own home.

Staying at home while detoxing can make it harder to stay clean as you probably associate it with where you’ve done heroin before. The best way to successfully detox is to take yourself out of the environment and away from the people you associate heroin with.

7. Less Support and Professional Help

One consequence of heroin addiction is strained relationships with family and friends. However, when trying to detox and recover from addiction, it’s vital that you have the proper support.

All the of negative side effects we’ve listed above can make quitting heroin cold turkey impossible to do on your own. You will need someone to help you avoid drugs, stay hydrated, and make sure you stay safe during this process.

While you may have family and friends who are willing to help, it’s always best to seek professional help. Your family and friends will be a great support system to help you while you’re in rehab, but they have likely never dealt with withdrawal symptoms.

The professional help that’s available at rehab centers can help ensure that you successfully detox and stay safe while doing it.

8. Less Likely to Seek Long-Term Help

Detoxing may seem like the biggest hurdle to overcome on your quest to get clean and stay clean.

However, it’s just as important to partake in a long-term aftercare program. In fact, people who detox from heroin but don’t try to address their underlying substance abuse issues have almost a 100% chance of relapsing.

People who quit heroin cold turkey are less likely to seek these vital aftercare programs.

Instead, detoxing in a rehab center will give you the motivation to continue your journey to sobriety with either an inpatient or outpatient program to address your problem and learn how to deal with it in your daily life.

Should You Quit Heroin Cold Turkey?

Quitting heroin is a long and difficult process that simply can’t be done alone. When you quit heroin cold turkey, you have an increased risk of relapsing, overdosing, becoming dehydrated or malnourished, committing suicide, partaking in risky behaviors, and failing to seek long-term help.

Instead, you should seek professional help where you can have access to methadone, trained counselors, and a safe environment to ensure you successfully detox. To find addiction help near you contact us at (855) 976-2092.

Did you find this article helpful? Check out our detox blog page for more informative blogs such as this one.



[1] Dehydration – Symptoms and causes. (2018, February 15). Retrieved from

[2] Drug Addiction as Risk for Suicide Attempts. (2015).  Retrieved from

methadone taper

7 Things You Need to Know About Tapering Off Methadone

Over 2 million people in the U.S. abuse opioids. Methadone is used as a prescription drug to fight opioid addiction.

Methadone relieves pain and prevents opioid withdrawal symptoms. Most methadone treatment programs keep patients on the drug longterm. This is because research shows that patients on methadone are less likely to relapse.

But what if you’re ready for complete recovery?

Here are 7 things you need to know about tapering off methadone.

Process of Addiction

Pharmaceutical companies convinced doctors that addiction to opioid pain relievers was uncommon. This occurred in the 1990s. This led doctors to prescribe pain medication at greater rates than before.

This caused an uptick in the number of people using opioid medications. Unfortunately, patients with pain often become tolerant to normal doses of medication. They need higher doses of medication to stop the pain.

When their prescription runs out, many patients turn to illegal opioids for self-medication.

Opioids bind to receptors in the brain blocking pain and causing a dopamine rush. The dopamine rush is addictive because it causes pleasure and relaxation. Over time, brain chemistry alters and becomes damaged.

When it comes to weaning from the opioids, methadone is the drug of choice. It prevents withdrawal symptoms because its effects are slower than other painkillers. Weaning from methadone isn’t easy since it’s also an opioid.

Freedom of Choice

Many treatment programs never mention methadone weaning. They prefer indefinite treatment with methadone so patients avoid relapse. This means patients have no choice when it comes to their treatment plans.

That’s unfortunate since long-term methadone use has potential unhealthy side effects. Methadone is also sometimes fatal with thousands of deaths each year from an overdose.

In studies, methadone side effects show that it can affect both memory and learning. In rats, there were brain cell changes even after the methadone was no longer in the body. Attention spans were also shortened.

Tapering Off Methadone

If you’re ready to taper off methadone, what’s the best way?

Never stop methadone treatment cold turkey. Always taper under the supervision of a doctor.

Although methadone eases withdrawal symptoms from other opiates, it also has withdrawal symptoms.

Methadone withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Difficulty sleeping and insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Profuse sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Shivering
  • Rhinorrhea (a runny nose)

Methadone withdrawal symptoms sometimes last longer than opioid withdrawal symptoms.

1. Find a Counselor

You’ll need a counselor or therapist. Many therapists specialize in addiction treatment. Meet with the counselor on a regular basis. If you don’t have the means for a counselor, get into an appropriate 12-step program.

You’ll need a good support system. Sometimes family members aren’t the best support and can even undermine your attempts at detox. Surround yourself with people who won’t sabotage your efforts.

2. Address Life Issues First

Reduce your stress before tapering.

Focus on life basics such as a job, a place to live, and marriage issues first. Work on healthy habits. Work through emotional triggers such as losses caused by opioid use.

Many drug abusers lose everything before getting off drugs and onto methadone maintenance. If these issues aren’t addressed first, opioid relapse is more likely after tapering.

Address the spiritual and emotional problems caused by drug addiction. Get your finances in order.

3. Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Make healthy lifestyle changes. Increase your exercise. Adopt a healthy eating plan with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein.

Stay hydrated by drinking at least half your body weight in water daily. If you weight 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water per day.

Take a multivitamin.

4. Be Patient

It could take a year or more when implementing healthy lifestyle changes. Be patient. Don’t begin tapering off methadone until you’re ready. Don’t rush the tapering process itself either.

Tapering off methadone takes about three months. To taper means cutting the dose down every week or every other week.

Overall, tapering from methadone has a success rate between 25-50%. The more prepared you are the more likely you’ll succeed.

If you’re taking 10 mg of methadone once per day, your dose is lowered to 8 mg at the end of week two of tapering. At the end of week four, the dosage is lowered to 6 mg.

The dose is lowered to 4 mg, then 2 mg, and then stopped. Most methadone tapers reduce the drug by about 20% every two weeks.

Research shows that slow tapering is more successful than tapering too fast. Remember that methadone stays in the body for as much as two weeks after the last dose.

The process of tapering may take a few months. But the process of being drug-free lasts a lifetime. Be patient with yourself.

5. Use an Experienced Doctor

Use a doctor with experience in addiction and drug withdrawal. You need a doctor who understands the treatment of withdrawal symptoms.

The doctor can prescribe other medications that help ease withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe anti-anxiety medications.

If you’re having nausea and vomiting, the doctor can prescribe anti-emetics. These drugs relieve nausea.

6. Decide Where You’ll Detox

You can detox at home or in a treatment center. There are benefits and risks with both options. The familiarity of home is nice.

But quick access to experienced doctors and nurses in a treatment center is a plus.

Talk to your counselor and doctor about what the best option is for you and your situation.

7. Consider Alternative Adjunct Treatments

Some withdrawal symptoms cause problems of their own. Some patients have trouble sleeping during or after methadone withdrawal.

Sleep deprivation causes its own set of problems. It also sets you up for a drug relapse.

If you’re having trouble with symptoms such as sleeplessness, consider alternatives to drugs. Meditation, prayers, and acupuncture are non-drug alternatives that work well for many patients.

In The End, You Must Persevere!

Detoxing from drugs is difficult. There are no easy solutions or magic pills. Coming off methadone is a process. Set yourself up for success before you start tapering.

Get a good addiction counselor. Address your most difficult life issues and triggers and adopt healthy lifestyle changes. Consider alternative treatments for issues that present during the tapering process.

Now that you’re drug-free, enjoy your life’s journey! Looking for more information about drug addiction and detox? Find more information about opioid addiction here.


[1] American Psychiatric Association. (2017, January). What Is Addiction? Retrieved from American Psychiatric Association:

[2] Medical News Today. (2011, March 24). Possible Harmful Effects From Prolonged Use of Methadone. Retrieved from Medical News Today:

[3] U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2019, January 22). What Is The U.S. Opioid Epidemic? Retrieved from U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:

detox symptoms

Be Prepared: Opiate Detox Symptoms and How to Minimize Them

The United States is facing an opioid crisis–nearly 115 people die every day due to opioid misuse. Opiates are just a subcategory of opioids, and they significantly contribute to the opioid epidemic. If you’re currently battling an opiate addiction, you probably know how detox symptoms feel. And it’s important to start cutting this dangerous habit out of your life as soon as you can.

You might feel trapped when you have an opiate addiction, but there are plenty of ways that can help you quit. As you probably already know, the withdrawal symptoms aren’t pleasant.

Fortunately, your withdrawal symptoms can be reduced with certain treatments and medications. Let’s take a look at the opiate withdrawal process and how you can manage your detox symptoms.

What are Opiates?

Opiates are narcotics made from the poppy flower. They’re typically used as pain-relievers, but they can quickly become addictive. The following list of opiates can result in addiction and dependency:

  • Codeine
  • Darvocet
  • Demerol
  • Dilaudid
  • Heroin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Lortab
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Oxycontin
  • Percocet
  • Suboxone
  • Subutex
  • Vicodin

Causes of Opiate Addiction and Dependence

When you take an opiate, the drug enters the bloodstream. Soon, the opiate’s effects will reach your brain. Opiates are highly addictive due to the fact that they attach to the brain’s opioid receptors.

When the opiate attaches itself to these receptors, it not only relieves your pain, but it also releases dopamine. Dopamine is associated with a sensation of pleasure–this is what makes it so hard to stop taking opiates. The release of dopamine also blocks noradrenaline, making you feel more drowsy.

If you take opiates for long enough, your brain will become used to high dopamine levels and low amounts of noradrenaline. Your brain will soon only be able to function correctly when you take opiates, and you will become physically dependent on the medication.

Over time, your brain will stop responding to the dopamine from opiates. This means that you’ll feel the need to take higher amounts of opiates so you can feel “normal” again. This is a sign that your body has become tolerant of opiates.

Why Does Opiate Withdrawal Occur?

Opiate withdrawal happens when you become physiologically dependent on opiates. In other words, your body won’t feel right if you’re not taking opiates. Withdrawal symptoms usually appear if you stop taking the drug, or if you lower the dosage.

All opiates are processed through your body at varying speeds. This is why it’s hard to predict when your withdrawal symptoms might start–it all depends on what drug you’re taking.

For example, heroin’s half-life can be a few hours or a few minutes. On the other hand, Vicodin and Oxycontin can stay in your body for 4 to 6 hours, while methadone has a long half-life of about 30 hours.

Detox Symptoms

It’s difficult to answer the question: “How long do withdrawal symptoms last?” Your symptoms and length of opiate withdrawal can vary greatly.

The severity of your withdrawal process is related to how dependent you are on opiate drugs, how long you’ve been taking it, how much you’re taking, what opiate you’re taking, and if you have any mental or physical health conditions. Your withdrawal process might look like the following example, but it can change depending on several factors.

Initial Withdrawal Symptoms

You’ll start to feel withdrawal symptoms in about 6-12 hours if you’re taking opiates with a short half-life. Withdrawal symptoms for opiates with a longer half-life begin 30 hours or later. These are some of the symptoms you might experience initially:

  • Anxiety
  • A runny nose
  • Achy muscles
  • Watery eyes
  • Insomnia
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Hypertension
  • Sweating
  • Yawning

Last Withdrawal Symptoms

Your worst symptoms typically happen within three days. These symptoms could last a week or more.

  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Opiate craving
  • Stomach pain
  • Goosebumps
  • Vomiting

It’s common for opiate cravings and depression to last longer than a week. In this case, it’s important to seek out mental health care from a substance abuse program.

Medical Detox Treatment

While some may prefer to stick with natural remedies to cure opiate withdrawal symptoms, others find that medical treatments work better.

It’s important to talk with your doctor first if you want to stop taking opiates so they can provide you with a treatment plan. Remember to never stop taking opiates suddenly, as some withdrawal side effects can be dangerous.

Choosing to undergo medical detox can provide you with pharmacological and psychological support as you slowly wean yourself off of opiates. You’ll stay inside a medical setting where a team of medical professionals can monitor you and provide you with medications to help your detox be as comfortable as possible.

Medical detox typically occurs for a period of 5-7 days.

Opiate Detox at Home

If you choose to undergo opiate or heroin detox in the comfort of your home, your doctor will likely prescribe you with medication to reduce your withdrawal symptoms. Here are some of the medications you can take during your detox and how they can help you:


Methadone is a drug that alleviates the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. You can use methadone for maintenance in order to lessen opioid dependence. Methadone will be gradually reduced over time until withdrawal symptoms are completely gone.


Like Methadone, Buprenorphine can make it more comfortable to withdraw from opiates. You can take this drug for a long period of time as well.


During your detox, you might feel sweaty, anxious, achy, and have a runny nose. Your doctor may prescribe Clonidine to help relieve these symptoms.


Doctors prescribe Naltrexone to help you avoid relapsing. You can receive this medication by mouth or through an injection. It’s not a good idea to take this drug when opiates are still in your body, as it can trigger severe withdrawal symptoms.

Learn More About Methadone

Curing an opiate addiction may be a long, difficult process, but your health will improve greatly once you’re opiate-free. Don’t let detox symptoms make you start reaching for that pill bottle again. There are plenty of treatments that can kill your craving, and make you feel like yourself again.

Methadone is a powerful drug that can help you throughout your detox. Click here to learn more about using methadone for opiate withdrawal or contact us today at (855) 976-2092.


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

[2] European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. (2007, October 15). How does the opioid system control pain, reward, and addictive behavior?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 13, 2019 from

heroin intervention

Help for Heroin Addicts: How to Stage an Intervention That’ll Get Them Back on Track

If someone you love is addicted to heroin, you know how heartbreaking it can be. The cycle of addiction is painful no matter what side of it you’re on, which is why help for heroin addicts in important. You’re probably dealing with feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.

But there’s hope. You’ve already got the tools you need to stage an intervention, which is all you can do when someone you love is in the throes of addiction.

If you’re unsure how to get help for heroin addicts, keep reading. We’ll walk you through what you need to know to stage a successful intervention.

The Truth About Interventions

If you’ve spent any time watching A&E, you probably think you have a good idea of what an intervention looks like. But the truth is, there’s much more to them then what you see on TV.

Interventions are all different and they take a lot more to orchestrate than you would think. It takes a lot of big feelings, and oftentimes big personalities, coming together to make a plan that benefits everyone, but most of all the addict.

Pick Your Partners Well

The first thing you want to consider is who you will be including in the intervention process. You want to stick to the people who are closest to the person suffering from addiction, but you also want to pick people who you know will be able to keep their cool.

An intervention isn’t about making an addict feel guilty or bad. It’s about showing them an outpouring of love and support. If you think there’s someone in the group who won’t be able to do that, tell them they need to sit it out.

Time is of the Essence

You want to also make sure that you pick the right time to stage an intervention. If you know your loved one’s using habits, pick a time that they’re sober. You want them to be as sober as possible when everyone starts to talk.

When someone uses drugs, their ability to think clearly is impaired. But it can also limit the number of violent outbursts, making everyone safer in the meantime.

It’s generally a good idea to go first thing in the morning and, if possible, after a huge incident related to drugs, like a DUI.

Private and Formal

If you can avoid it, don’t hold an intervention in someone’s home. You want your loved one to be comfortable, but there’s something about a formal, public place that could make them think twice about acting out.

If you give an addict an out, they’re going to take it. Something like a bedroom where they’re comfortable could be the end of your intervention before you even start. So stick to somewhere formal and public, like a hotel’s banquet space or a therapist office.

Decide Who Goes First

When you’re planning the intervention, you want to give careful thought to who is going to go first. The intervention is over the second your loved one agrees to go to treatment, so you want to make sure that the hardest hitting people go first.

If you know of friends or people who your loved one doesn’t talk to any more thanks to their addiction, consider asking them to speak too. Hearing from the same family over and over again can make an addicted person irritable.


This isn’t the sort of thing that you want to take lightly. It’s not something that should be ad-libbed. You want to make sure that the exact events are laid out for you, no matter what they are. Know who is going to speak, when, what they’re going to say, what you’ll do if your loved one agrees or refuses, and what to do if a problem arises.

Don’t Deviate From the Script

As much as you might want to go off script, don’t do it. Stick to what you rehearsed. If you decide to change things up, it will throw off the whole thing and could result in disaster.

Be Open and Warm

Again, interventions are about showing an addict how loved and supported they are. You want to make sure that you maintain a body language that spells this out clearly. Make sure your arms and legs are uncrossed and make eye contact with your loved one. Try not to bounce your leg, even if you’re nervous or anxious. Lean in, reach out, let them know you care.

Keep Your Emotions Under Control

It’s also important to make sure that you keep your emotions in check. If you cry, it’s okay. This is an emotional subject and it’s going to take a toll on you and everyone else in the room. But the last thing you want to do is react in anger.

No matter what anyone believes, addiction is not a moral flaw. It’s not a character defect. It is a scientifically proven chemical change in the brain. Try to keep your temper under control.

Likewise, try to keep your loved one away from anger too. Don’t let them start a fight with you or change the subject. Don’t blame and don’t argue.

Have a Plan B

Trying to get help for heroin addicts can be difficult. They can be unpredictable. They might try to leave or scream and cry or tell lies. But you need to be able to prepare, no matter what the situation calls for.

It’s also important to remember that flexibility is key here.

Keep Trying

At the end of the day, if you’ve managed to get your loved one into treatment, you’ve won. However, there’s a very real possibility they might refuse. And there’s also a possibility that they might go to treatment and then fall back to their old habits.

That’s okay. Don’t give up. This is all a part of the addiction and recovery process.

Getting Help for Heroin Addicts

Getting help for heroin addicts can be a difficult process. It’s full of emotion and hard feelings and you never know what you can expect. But it’s worth it.

For more information about helping heroin addicts, take a look at our resources on addiction treatment today. You can also reach out and speak to someone at (855) 976-2092. Get help for heroin addiction today.



NIDA. (2017, April 24). Trends & Statistics. Retrieved from on 2019, February 13

Joel Young. (2014, August 27). Drug and Alcohol Interventions: Do They Work? . Retrieved from Psychology Today :

exercise to overcome addiction

How to Conquer Opioid Addiction Through Exercise

Overcoming substance abuse and addiction is one of the greatest struggles we can face as individuals.

Opioid addiction affects over 2.1 million people in the US. It has the ability to leave individuals feeling alone and powerless. Substance abusers use a huge variety of techniques to overcome addiction, but some of the most effective are also the most basic.

Keep reading to find out how to conquer addiction through exercise.

Realigning Your Mentality

One of the first ways exercise can help with addiction lies in the way it reframes your thinking.

Substance abusers often have a long history of negative thinking. Their brain has spent a large amount of time under the “control” of something other than their conscious thoughts.

Exercise changes this by providing a flow of thought into action. It becomes clear that the individual can choose to take action and see that action play out through an effort of will.

This is in direct contrast to the pattern of addiction, which reinforces negative and fatalistic thinking.

Setting Reachable Goals

Climbing out of the deepest pits of addiction can seem like a struggle toward an invisible speck of light. It’s hard to see where the end-point lies.

With exercise, almost anything can be a milestone. You can set goals from getting out for a jog every day to gaining X amount of muscle mass and anything in between. That retrains your brain to set and meet reachable goals and break distant ambitions down into everyday realities.

That’s an invaluable skill for the addicted brain to learn. It shows that achieving anything is a matter of achieving many smaller steps. You can’t solve any major problem all at once — inching toward daylight is the only way to climb out of the pit.

This also establishes the power of positive reinforcement. By celebrating your achievements rather than bemoaning your failings, you start to see the world in a different, empowering way.

Displacing Opioid Addiction

While addiction is a product of the body and mind, it also has a strong behavioral component. A common example lies in smoking, where smokers often miss the “ritual” of smoking and discover a sense of pent-up energy without it.

Exercise for addiction helps alleviate this behavioral component by turning the pent-up energy into the dynamic energy of exercise. Your exercise regime can also replace the ritual in a literal sense by occupying the same mental “spot” as a regular, comforting activity.

Reduce Stress in Recovery

Exercise is one of nature’s big reliever of stress in early sobriety, making it an effective weapon against society’s modern stress epidemic and all the behaviors, like addiction, that emerge from it.

Stress reduces our ability to tolerate attacks on our willpower. As we grow more stressed, we’re more likely to give in to cravings or “treat” ourselves to work through it. In the case of someone kicking an addiction, this can mean a relapse.

By reducing stress through exercise, a former addict can shore up their willpower. Recovering from addiction is the repetition of a single question: “Can I overcome?”. The better you equip yourself to answer “yes”, the more times you’ll do it — and the more likely you’ll kick the addiction altogether.

Improving Sleep Efficiency

Science shows us that exercise helps us sleep better every night. That’s not surprising. We evolved for movement and our modern lives often constrain that movement. That leaves us with an excess of physical energy (if not mental energy) by the end of the day.

A lack of sleep can cause a wealth of knock-on effects. It damages our physical and mental wellbeing, reducing our ability to resist temptations. It also negatively impacts our mood.

Sleep forms the bedrock of our day, an aspect of our life on which all else depends. By cleaning up your sleep, you can clean up your life.

Strengthening Your Body

It’s no secret that withdrawal can play havoc on the human body. As with diseases, a stronger body is often better placed to resist the impact of withdrawal symptoms.

If you’ve been struggling with opioids, your body might be paying the price. Opioids can have a dramatic impact on the liver and digestive system, which in turn can affect your overall health. Building your physical health back up forms a key part of returning to a normal life.

Studies tell us there’s an innate link between mental and physical health. By strengthening the body, you’re removing physical stress. This improves mental resistances to addictive impulses.

Feelings of Achievement

Perhaps one of the most overlooked interplays between exercise and addiction lies in the sense of achievement exercise can enable.

Overcoming addiction is a process with little feedback. At any point, addicts feel they might relapse in the span of a weak five minutes.

Meaningful milestones can help addicts overcome their feelings. Through exercise, individuals can hit their own targets and discover a system of positive rewards in stark contrast to the negative feedback loop of drug addiction.

Reasserting Control

The most subtle yet powerful aspect of overcoming addiction through exercise lies in the control exercise helps to reassert.

Addiction is a tyrannical force that steals control away from those caught in its web. The best way to deal with a lack of control in life is to take action. Much like regaining the initiative in a sport, you can stop “playing defensively” and start scoring by switching your thinking from passive to active.

Exercise switches up your thinking by showing you that you can control a surprising amount of your day if you set your mind to it. You alone can make the choice to get up and exercise. When you achieve your targets, it’s you who made it possible.

How to Conquer Addiction Through Exercise

Exercise can’t erase addiction overnight or reduce the effort required from someone looking to get clean. But it can provide new levels of focus and clarity to those wondering how to conquer addiction. In a battle of wills, these traits are invaluable and could mean the difference between kicking the addiction and relapse.

Looking for more advice for those suffering from addiction and drug abuse? Be sure to follow our blog.

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] With 175 Americans dying a day, what are the solutions to the opioid epidemic? (2018, January 29). Retrieved from

[2] Exercise & Insomnia: Natural Remedy – National Sleep Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved from

[3] Exercise for Mental Health – NIH. (2016). Retrieved from

methadone pills

What to Expect from Addiction Treatment With Methadone Pills

Opioids claim the lives of 115 Americans every single day. In fact, hundreds of thousands of families in the U.S. mourned the lives of 630,000 people who died from drug overdose between 1999 and 2016.

So, yes, the threat of opioid is real, and it’s as life-threatening as it can get.

Granted, achieving sobriety may seem impossible, especially to those who fear opiate withdrawal symptoms. But the possibility of a losing your life due to overdose is much scarier.

The good news is, you don’t have to become part of the statistics. Treatment through methadone pills can combat narc addiction and let you live a meaningful life once again.

What exactly are these pills though? What can you expect from methadone treatment?

We’ll address all these questions and more in this post, so, read on.

What is Methadone?

Methadone falls under the opiate or narcotic class of analgesic medications. Its roots trace back to the Second World War. Its introduction to the United States led to its wide use as a treatment for people suffering from extreme pain.

In terms of pain treatment, this drug works by altering the processes behind the brain’s and nervous’ system response to pain. To put things in perspective, 31 million Americans are suffering from back pain alone. As if that’s not enough, as much as a third of U.S. adults experience more pain than people from other countries.

No wonder methadone has become a go-to for millions of Americans with chronic pain. But that’s not all that the drug can do.

It now also sees use in the world of addiction treatment. It may sound counter intuitive, but studies confirm its benefits in people recovering from opiate addiction.

How Does Methadone Work?

So… How does methadone treatment help you become sober? First, let’s take a look at how someone feels when on this medication.

As mentioned above, methadone affects the brain’s and nervous system’s pain response processes. These changes then result in relief from pain. Note that the drug needs more time to take effect than more potent painkillers, such as morphine.

Contrary to popular belief, methadone doesn’t deliver “euphoric” effects. In fact, it has the opposite effect; it blocks these highs that codeine, morphine, and oxycodone are notorious for.

It does, however, give similar sensations. But what’s more important is its ability to prevent symptoms associated with opiate withdrawal.

In essence, methadone replaces the more dangerous opioids in a patient’s system with milder or reduced effects. In the world of addiction treatment, this is (or part of) “medication-assisted” or “opioid replacement therapy“.

How Opiate Treatment Works with Methadone Pills

Methadone is available in several forms, with the pill and liquid being the most common. You’ll also find this drug in wafer form.

In most cases, doctors instruct their patients to take the drug once a day. How long before the effects wear off depends on how high the dose is. In general, though, the pain-relieving effects last between four and eight hours.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recommends higher doses of methadone for patients with heroin addiction. According to the organization, higher doses can help them stick to their treatment programs.

Methadone maintenance treatment is more effective when administered as part of a more comprehensive treatment program. That said, it’s best that you also receive counseling and participate in other drug addiction support programs.

You can only receive methadone under physician supervision. This means you can only take the medicine in the presence of a doctor. But once your body has acclimatized to it, such as when you’ve shown consistent progress, you may receive permission for at-home methadone treatment.

Keep in mind that the law only authorizes SAMHSA-certified opioid treatment programs to dispense this drug.

How Long Does Methadone Treatment Last?

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to methadone treatment. You may need the treatment longer (or shorter) compared to other patients.

However, most doctors opt for a 12-month length of methadone treatment programs. There are even some who need to undergo the treatment for longer than one year.

What’s important is to avoid going cold turkey or suddenly going off the drug. Methadone is still a drug, so a sudden cease of its use can cause withdrawal symptoms. That would only defeat its main purpose.

As such, even if you feel fine and ready to stop treatment, talk to your doctor first. Methadone can pave the way for your opiate recovery, but only if you take it as instructed.

Potential Side Effects

Like with any other medication, methadone side effects can still arise. You should take these seriously, as some of they may warrant professional medical help.

Contact your doctor if you or someone you know on methadone exhibits the following:

  • Shallow breathing or breathing difficulties
  • Lightheadedness
  • Rashes or hives
  • Swelling affecting the throat, tongue, lips, or even the entire face
  • Chest pains
  • Racing or pounding heart
  • Confusion or hallucination

Although methadone is safe (doctors have prescribed it for many years now), some people may have adverse reactions to it. So, keep a lookout for these side effects of methadone and react promptly if you notice them.

A Promising Outlook

Without treatment, those who have an addiction to opioid has a 90 percent chance of relapse. Medication, such as methadone pills, cut this rate by half. However, methadone patients need to continue their medication as directed, or they also run the risk of relapsing.

As such, you need to prepare yourself for long-term treatment with methadone. It may take a year or more, but the benefits that you’ll enjoy are more than worth it.

If you’re ready to talk about your opiate addiction or know someone who needs intervention, don’t wait until it’s too late to get help. You should also check out our methadone blogs to find out more about methadone treatment.

You can also give us a call at  (855) 976- 2092.


[1] Understanding the Epidemic | Drug Overdose | CDC Injury Center. (2018, December 19). Retrieved from
[2] Back Pain Facts and Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from
[3] Khazan, O. (2017, December 20). Why Americans Have More Pain Than People in Other Countries. Retrieved from
[4] Bart G. (2012). Maintenance medication for opiate addiction: the foundation of recovery. Journal of addictive diseases31(3), 207-25. Retrieved From
[5] Methadone | SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015, 28). Retrieved from
going through opiate detox

How to Survive Opiate Withdrawal

As a consequence of America’s deadly Opioid Crisis, more than 115 Americans die from an overdose in a single day.

In fact, nearly 66% of drug overdoses happen with drugs that can be classified as opioids.

The takeaway here?

The Opioid Crisis is not only still in full force within the United States, it may actually be getting even more severe.

Luckily, help is available for those who want to break the cycle of addiction and get clean and sober. While many addicts fear the potential social consequences of life without opioids, many also worry that they won’t be able to handle the process of opiate withdrawal.

Looking for advice on how to make it through the difficult, but incredibly rewarding, opiate withdrawal period?

If so, then read on.

A Brief Timeline

To overcome opiate withdrawal, it’s important that you first know what to expect. It is true that, while this class of drugs is one of the hardest to overcome an addiction to, it also has shorter physical effects than the withdrawal periods of other drugs.

However, the mental impact of withdrawal is often severe.

In the first three days of withdrawal, you’re the most likely to relapse.

You may find that you’re overly aggressive, experience serious mood swings, and perhaps even want to become violent.

You’ll also experience the physical symptoms of opiate withdrawal.

These include headaches, sweating, insomnia and nausea, issues with digestion, and aches and pains. Many people may also experience high anxiety and panic attacks.

After you make it through the first three days, you’re well on your way to beating withdrawal without relapse.

You likely still deal with a feeling of the shakes, you may not be very hungry, and you’ll probably deal with exhaustion.

After about a week, it will be time to focus on your long-term recovery process and, most importantly, your overall mental health.

Advice For Overcoming Opiate Withdrawal

Now that you have a better understanding of the timeline associated with withdrawal, let’s take a quick look at the best methods of survival if you’re one of the victims of the Opioid Crisis.

1. Detox In A Treatment Center

The reality is that detoxing and going through the symptoms of withdrawal without professional support and medical supervision can be incredibly dangerous.

No matter how strong you think you are, the truth is that you’re much more likely to relapse, or perhaps even face serious setbacks or death if you try to detox on your own.

If possible, enter a detox and rehabilitation center to make it easier.

Plus, doing so will also increase your chances of staying clean and sober in the long-term.

2. Fuel Your Body

If you’ve been struggling with opioid addiction, then chances are you haven’t been giving your body the nutrition it needs for quite some time.

We mentioned above that you’ll likely deal with a loss of appetite in the first few days of your withdrawal.

However, once you’re ready to start eating again, you need to begin to pay attention to the foods you put inside your body.

Above anything else, make it a point to drink as much water as you’re able to keep down during the detox process. If you become dehydrated, you put yourself at serious risk — and the opiate withdrawal process will only become more uncomfortable.

When you’re ready to take on solid food, make it a point to avoid anything that’s processed and unhealthy. Reach for vegetables, lean proteins, and a few fruits.

This will help to fuel your body without overwhelming your already weak system.

Try things like nuts, olive oil, kale, and other leafy greens, and even salmon.

If you want to take natural vitamins and supplements throughout the process, first, talk to your doctor.

3. Pay Attention To Bathroom Habits

It may not be pleasant to think about, but when you’re going through opiate withdrawal, you may struggle to go to the bathroom.

While some may struggle with diarrhea, others may find that they’re faced with severe constipation. If you experience the latter, then we suggest taking a mild laxative to help get things moving.

Also, be aware that some of the medication you’re given during the detox process may cause you to need a bathroom a little more frequently than you’re used to. This is normal but can be severe for some patients.

4. Sleep, Sleep And Sleep Some More

Our final piece of advice when it comes to surviving opiate withdrawal?

Make sure you’re getting as much sleep as you can. Aim for a minimum of eight hours every night.

In some cases, once you’ve made it past the first three days of withdrawal, you may still experience trouble with sleeping. If this happens, you can speak to medical professionals about potentially using a sleeping medication.

However, you shouldn’t expect to get a completely normal sleeping schedule back until about six months after you’ve stopped using.

Do You Or Someone You Love Struggle With Opiate Addiction?

We know that the thought of going through opiate withdrawal is intimidating.

However, we can guarantee that it’s worth it if it means you’ll live the rest of your life clean and sober.

Remember, during the detox process, get plenty of rest, fluids, and healthy, unprocessed foods. Also, if at all possible, seek the help of a professional medical team or rehabilitation center.

Methadone treatment works and it has been especially helpful in combatting an addiction to opioids.

Looking to learn more about whether methadone is right for you? Ready to find a clinic in your area?

If so, spend some time on our website to set yourself on the road to recovery or give us a call at (855)976-2092. We would love to help you get on the path to recovery. You deserve a better life!


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

[2] Inside a Killer Drug Epidemic: A Look at America’s Opioid Crisis. (2018, January 20). Retrieved from

[3] Library, C. (2019, January 17). Opioid Crisis Fast Facts. Retrieved from

common signs of addiction

The Tell-Tale Signs of Opiate Addiction

America’s facing a serious issue. The opioid crisis is now stronger and more dangerous than it’s ever been. In fact, if something doesn’t change, opioid mortality rates are expected to kill approximately 500,000 people over the next decade.

Opioids are prescription painkillers that have gained popularity as a recreational drug. Unfortunately, due to their powerful addictive qualities, recreational use quickly turns into a serious drug problem.

A person with a dependency may be able to conceal the issue in the early stages. Eventually, they’ll start to show more apparent signs of opioid addiction.

If you suspect a loved one has a problem, it helps to educate yourself so you can spot the problem and get them the assistance they need.

To help you out, we’re going over some details about opioids and the tell-tale signs of addiction.

Becoming Addicted to Opioids

Doctors prescribe opioids for pain related to an injury, illness, or after a surgery. The drug produces artificial endorphins in the brain that block pain and create a feeling of euphoria.

If a person uses opioids for too long, their brain gets used to the endorphins and begins to rely on them. Once this happens, the brain stops producing its own natural endorphins. Therefore, the user becomes dependent on those endorphins created by opioids.

Dependence is a normal part of taking any drug for an extended period of time. However, addiction occurs when a person’s body and mind cannot function properly without the use of a drug.

At this point, the addict requires treatment to get over an addiction. In the case of opioids, this is overcoming addiction by use of methadone maintenance treatment.

Signs of Opiate Addiction

If you suspect a loved one has an addiction, it helps to know if they’ve ever needed a prescription for an opioid drug. They may have needed a painkiller for a medical condition and became addicted while taking it.

Some of the more common opioids include:

  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Morphine
  • OxyContin
  • Meperidine

Any of these opioids have the potential for serious addiction. Even if a person no longer has a prescription, they can find them illegally.

Once dependency reaches the addiction stage, the user will start to show both physical and behavioral signs of opioid abuse and addiction.

Physical Signs of Addiction

There are many physical symptoms of opiate abuse you’ll need to look out for. These symptoms mean that a dependency has turned to addiction and the person’s body needs the drug in order to feel normal and function day to day.


If you notice that a loved one is sometimes euphoric for no apparent reason, this could mean they’ve recently taken an opioid.

Do they seem tired and withdrawn one minute and happy and outgoing thirty minutes later? This is a result of the drug creating a “feel-good” effect by binding to opioid receptors in the brain.

Sedation or Fatigue

A general slowing of reaction time is one of the very common signs of opioid addiction. An addict’s breathing may slow down and their movements may become lethargic. They may even pass out.

They may also frequently seem tired and unmotivated. This is a result of either a strong opiate high or withdrawal-related depression.

Stomach Issues

Opiate addiction sometimes causes the user to experience nausea or vomiting. This is often associated with too much of the drug in their system.

They may also have frequent constipation. This is a side-effect of all opioids as well as heroin.

Changes in Appearance

There are a number of temporary and permanent changes to a person’s appearance that could be signs of opioid addiction. Some could indicate that they’re currently on an opiate or that they’ve been using them for an extended period of time.

Their skin may get flushed from time to time. You may also notice splotches of red where they’ve scratched – opiates tend to make some people itchy.

If you notice constricted pupils, they may currently be on drugs.

Finally, opioid addiction could cause a person to either gain or lose weight. Opiate addicts tend to crave sugary foods, which may cause them to gain weight quickly. They may also lose their appetite altogether.

Behavioral Signs of Addiction

Sometimes the physical signs of opioid addiction are a little easier to spot than changes to a person’s personality. In most cases, an addict will take measures to hide their addiction, knowing the people closest to them will notice a change.

However, if a person is heavily addicted, they’ll eventually start to show behavioral symptoms. If you’ve known them for a long time, these signs should be easy to spot.

Social Withdrawal

If a friend or family member starts to gradually withdraw from social circles, this is a red flag. Opiate use causes a person to alter their routine to fit their addiction. This means more time alone and forming new connections with other users or dealers.

They may also start to withdraw from activities they were previously passionate about. You may notice that when they actually do participate in things, it seems forced.

Nervousness or Irritability

They may start showing signs of anxious behavior. They could also seem self-conscious or secretive around family or friends. This could be a result of the knowledge that their addiction is out of control.

Anger or irritability are also common signs. These outbursts may come out of nowhere.

Criminal Behavior

It’s common for addicts to look for other means of obtaining drugs or money. If a loved one starts engaging in criminal acts such as theft, their addiction has gotten out of control.

As an addiction progresses, the user must take more and more of a drug in order to get high. This means a much bigger need for money. It also means they may take desperate measures to support their habit.

Seek Treatment Sooner Than Later

If you have a family member or friend who you think has an opioid problem, look for the sings discussed above. They most likely won’t show all of them, but any one of these symptoms are indications of addiction.

Opiate addiction is potentially fatal. An addict must seek treatment as soon as possible so the road to recovery can begin now.

For more information on treating opioid addiction, check out our methadone blogs or give us a call at (855) 976- 2092.


[1] STAT forecast: Opioids could kill nearly 500,000 in U.S. in next decade. (2018, April 12). Retrieved from

[2] How opioid drugs activate receptors. (2018). Retrieved from

[3] Painkiller Addictions are the Easiest to Hide? (2017, June 2). Retrieved from