Recovery from Opiate Addiction is Tough but Possible

Addiction is relentless and tough to overcome but addiction to opiates is even harder to recover from. The only thing harder to recover from is alcohol addiction. Opiate addictions have become a growing trend in the United States, yet 90% of opiate addicts will relapse within the first year after completing a traditional treatment program. The World Health Organization estimates that 2 million Americans are addicted to prescription opiates at some level.

Heroin is the most abused opiate but prescription painkillers follow closely behind. Opiates are so very addictive because they attach to specific receptors within the brain and spinal cord. These block the transmissions of pain and a natural side effect of this is a feeling of euphoria. The brain converts heroin into morphine and because it enters the brain so rapidly. Addictions can happen within just a couple months of prolonged use. Many people who take opiates will underestimate the power that these painkillers actually have on their lives.

Treatment for opiate addiction is quite challenging as the statistics are very grim. The relapse rates are staggering for opiate addiction, as well as those who leave treatment before completion of the program. Treatment specific centers that focus on group therapy and prolonged individual therapy tend to have the highest success rates but even their numbers of success are not overly impressive. 

Successful treatment for addiction typically requires continual evaluation and modification as appropriate, similar to the approach taken for other chronic diseases. Success also requires components that focus directly on the individual's drug use; others, like employment training, focus on restoring the addicted individual to productive membership in the family and society.


  • 6 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • @Idededec Hello and welcome to the Forum. Thank you for reaching out. Congrats on your clean time! That's great that you've come such a long ways! I understand that you are concerned, but I do think that because you're so conscious , you'll be all right. It's great that you are staying accountable to your friend and here in the Forum as well. You do understand that the disease of addiction can be cunning. 

    By any chance, do you attend a 12-step group? That's always a great place for accountability as well, as well as getting a sponsor . helps a lot when you are right in the moment and need someone to talk to ASAP. Oftentimes it's not the partner of the addict who is the accountability partner. I've had friends in AA or na that didn't go to their spouse for support , but to their sponsor. It kind of eliminate some issues that could arise.

    I would offer the advice of keeping recovery fresh on your mind everyday. Maybe reading up on it or listen to some encouraging message or watching some sort of video for a few minutes. I think education can be a wonderful tool to empower oneself. 

    We are here to support and encourage you however we can. Hope that you continue to reach out and
  • @ldededec... Welcome to the community. I'm proud of you for coming here and posting about your issue. And I'm proud of you for progress you've made in overcoming your addictions to alcohol and opiates. That's awesome!

    It can be a huge challenge when someone with addiction in their past is injured and in pain. You did a good thing asking your husband to manage the pills for you. I'm sorry he didn't follow through with that, but I'm happy you then enlisted the help of a friend.

    I've never been in the specific situation you're in, but I would just advise you to stay away from the Percocet unless the pain truly is unbearable. I think it's always better to be safe than sorry. Pain will eventually go away. But if you let your guard down, your opiate addiction could very likely rear its ugly head again.

    Coming here and posting to help you with accountability was an excellent thing to do. I am sending you positive, healing vibes and lots of encouragement. And please know that you are welcome to come here anytime you need to for support, help, advice, or just to vent.

    Love and light to you.
  • It's a bit daunting to think Its really hard to quit. I want to quit codeine but I keep stopping and starting. I'm alone and living in a foreign country where it's very accessible. I'm in a high stress job because of my boss so I frequently use it to calm down and escape. I really want to quit. It was suggested I replace my addiction with something like exercise.
  • @Blanche hello and welcome. exercise is a great idea.... won't hurt to give it a try!!  it may be easier than you think to quit...

    we are here to support you however we can!
  • You can quit, @Blanche. I know you can. It probably won't be easy, but if you commit to quitting and are willing to work hard at it, it can be done. Maybe start by cutting down a bit. That would definitely be a step in the right direction. Then maybe you can cut down a bit more. Progress, not perfection.

    We're here to help and support you, my friend. You are not alone!
  • I have had issues with both alcohol and opiate addiction. I have been alcohol free for 3 1/2 years.  I had been opiate free for 6 months. A week ago I tore a tendon in my left shoulder. I was given a prescription for 24 percocet. I asked my husband, who is aware of my addiction issues to mange the pills for me. I asked him to give them to me when I am really aching, and ask for them.  On Wednesday night, he handed the bottle back to me and told me to manage it. (Another issue completely) I have since given the bottle to a friend, but kept 3 for my potential pain. 
    I am so afraid of abusing them again. I can't figure out if I really need them when I take one. I am just scared, and clearly I have no support on the home front.
    My husband has a bottle here also, and I do not want to dip into his, but the addict in my brain is often more powerful than my will. 
    I just need to be accountable, so I am leaving this here with the hopes that someone will be able to give me a tool or two to be able to get through this. I also need something to look back on to remind myself when the wolf is at my door, I really do not want to take an opiate.
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