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How I Feel About Tapering off of Opiates

Disclaimer: This article is strictly my opinion from my own personal addiction as well as witnessing many others who were/are addicted to opiates.

On a daily basis I am asked for advice on how to be successful in the recovery of opiate addiction. Many addicts or family/friends of addicts ask about tapering. Tapering is the process of manually lowering the dosage of opiate intake on a day to day basis, until one is no longer using.  This is a great way to get off opiates while lessening the withdrawal symptoms.  The problem is tapering requires extreme dedication and focus.  When one decreases their opiate intake, they will not be getting the extreme high that many addicts are looking for.  In theory, the idea of tapering is ideal.  In reality, it's very difficult to achieve. The bitter truth is that it's extremely hard for many addicts to successfully taper off of opiates.  Many opiate addicts are addicted because they can not control their desire to take opiates. Therefore if they are unable to control their cravings, they are going to have a hard time lowering their dosages. 

Through my personal blog and website, I have spoken with and talked to thousands of people in recovery. I can say with all honesty that I have met very few people who were successful in tapering.  I have met plenty of people who have told me they were going to try tapering but were unsuccessful at doing so. Opiate withdrawal is both physically and mentally difficult, which is why tapering is so hard.  Addicts may be successful tapering for a few days, but all it takes it one slip up to be back on the path of addiction.

If you do plan on tapering or stopping any medication, seek professional treatment or talk with your doctor or health care provider.  If you are a parent or significant other of an addict looking to get clean, make sure you are prepared for what they will be going through  Educate yourself by speaking with a medical professional who can explain what the addict will be going through.  Most importantly, make sure that the addict is ready to get clean for themselves.  If they are doing it for anyone but themselves, their chances of success are going to be less.  An addict must be ready to quit in order for their chances of sobriety to be successful.


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