Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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self tapering off drugs

Does anyone know the best way to taper?  10% per day?  5%?  Any ideas?  What is the average time it should take to taper off of opiates?  Thanks........
51 Responses
Avatar universal
It definitely depends on wut u r tapering from.  Can u give us more info plz?
But...Most of us addicts can not taper period!  Unless we have someone hold the drugs for us and dole em out as planned.  I know i could not!
Avatar universal
I am now on day 19 of the chains being released. I posted a thread to my fellow addicts on oxycontin about three weeks ago. This has not been easy by any means. However, with the love and support of Narcotics Anonymous I have been able to do what I thought I could never do. Now I know why some want Methadone after being on Opiates for so long. Only, I know how good having a couple of months clean can be. Even better what it feels like to have a year clean! You see, this was a wicked relapse for me after surgery that lasted nine miserable months of using Opiates around the clock - Oxys and Percs. I was snorting a 20mg Oxy every hour hour in the end.But alas! I have 19 days free today.

If in fact you are seriously taking the meds for pain, let your Dr describe your taper. However, if you are fooling yourself, and are an addict, then get into treatment and stop the viscious cycle before it is to late! This is a progressive disease! I used right up until the time my wif drove me to treatment. However, I requested the treatment, and was a lucky addict who wanted help, and not forced into treatment.

While the last 19 days were no picnic, I definetly feel the worst is behind me, physically speaking. I will have to deal with the mental aspect of addiction for the rest of my life while working the Twelve Steps of NA.

Good-Luck and I will prey for you!
Avatar universal
The best way to taper is slow. Depending on the drug a 5% decrease per week will get you where you want to go. During that time you can seek councelling or support groups. If you are truly an addict then you have your whole lifetime to deal with this.  There is absolutely no point in rushing the detox at the risk of failure.
Avatar universal
Is there any difference in tapering off of oxycontin, fentanyl, Subutex, or heroin for that matter?
Avatar universal
Hi I am new here, this is my first post.  I have been a narcotic abuser, just for the high it gives me, not pain, for about four months.I have used on a daily basis since about Dec 27.  Oxys were my favorite high , I would normally snort 2 to 3 40's a day.  When I couldnt get oxys I would use vics, percs or morphine sulfate pills.  I got engaged friday to my girl friend who has no idea about my problem.  She is my whole life and I love her and my mom more than life itself.  I am 22 years old.  I have a good job and make a good salary.  Nobody knows about my drug problems.  Friday I used in excess of 200 mg of Oxys.  Now I pledge to quit.  I refuse to let drugs ruin my life.  I dont need to get high, and I am as determined to quit as I have ever been determined to do anything in my life.  It was curiosity and experimentation that got me into this and now I am gonna get myself out.  Yesterday orally I took only 2o mgs and felt a bad but survived.  Today I took 10 mgs six hours apart and I feel not so bad. I have 3 Oxy 40's left in my supply.  I am gonna take 20 mgs six hours apart tommorow.tuesday I will take 20 mgs and then a 10 six hours apart. wednesday I will due the same, and thursday I will take 10 and then 10 six hours apart.  Friday I will take nothing.  I have klonopin to help with anxiety and I am taking the anti depressent effexor.  I feel very strongly about my ability to beat this and I am not scared.  I dont need to be high.  I love the people in my life who love me and I feel very good about my chances.  Any comments or feedback would be greatly appreciated.  I have nobody to turn to about this, so I am glad I found thid forum.  THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!
Avatar universal
Hi everyone! I am still tapering down from ultram. I switched over to tramadol because my insurance dosen't cover ultram anymore and it is also easier to cut them into quarters. I went from dosing 3x's a day to dosing once a day. I was taking 4 a day and my doctor moved me up to 5. I just decided to do my own thing and cut back until I got down to 3 a day .... then took 3 in the morning and that was it. I cut down to 2 3/4 about 10 days ago and tommorrow I go to 2 1/2 .... wow! I can't believe it! I have heard from so many people concerning this drug. They can't get off of it. The secret here is to go very, very slowly. Cut it a tiny bit every 10 days. I am taking my vitamins every day. Cod liver oil, vit E, a mild B complex with C and zinc ... and of coarse my Citracal. I finally found the best vitamins on the net. Absolutely pure. I can't name names here, but I will be happy to give this information through email .... I also found a steam distiller for making pure water. I have been buying mine in the supermarket and it's so heavy to drag home. Drinking water is my hobbie. I am so happy I found this place ... I'm supposed to have foot surgery ... but I am too scared of the vocodin monster, so I'm going to hold off on it ... I know I have a ways to go .... but I will NEVER give my soul to a drug again. Those RAT BASTIDS .... all they care about is money. The baby boomers are becoming a generation of perscription drug addicts!! Well I'm sorry charlie, not this cow girl. "I shall be released" .....  ***@****
Avatar universal
congrats on the engagement! The good news is you've only been using for 4 months. You have an excellent chance of getting your old self back. The bad news is, you don't have enough oxy to taper and are about to go cold turkey. I'd prepare for that. You'll be visibly ill and will need a cover story. The flu works well for these things. Good luck. The recipe is published in one of these recent threads. It may have some techniques you'll want to know about. If you can't find it, write me at ***@****

Avatar universal
How much more do I need for tapering?  I figured if I can feel ok on 10 mgs twice a day I could do ok on nothing.  What recipe?  Please explain more about what helps with this.
Avatar universal
I just did I nice little relapse starting with 5-10 norcos a day and then got a hold of 60x 40mg oxys...did a 3 day bs taper but then slept for most of the last 3 or 4 days on 30- 40 mg. per day of valium....very groggy...but very effective....granted, I'd love to do some more narcs...but I'm feeling ok....a little depressed...but ok.    If you go to detox like I did last year...they basically dose you with even more valium along with a clonodine patch (BP medication)...supposed to help....but I was at about the same level...roughly 60-80....sometimes 100 mg. a day...I'm a chewer...but valium and cable and sleep.....good Idea to have someone check on you though....It wasn't as bad as I thought.  The depression , I'm sure will last a few weeks at least.  Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
there's an infinite difference between 10 mgs and NOTHING. As far as how many you need to taper, I don't know. But I'd think a 10% reduction per week would be sufficiently uncomfortable. If you do go cold turkey, there are some things you can do to make the experience bearable and successful. The following is a roadmap to self detox off opiates. There are other techniques, including medically supervised detoxes, but this one would be doable without everyone knowing about it. Good luck.

Thomas Detox Recipe

PLEASE NOTE: I am not a doctor, simply a long-time Rx opiate junkie who has had many opportunities to develop a way to detox. This is a recipe for at-home self-detox from opiates based on my experience as well as that of many other addicts. It is not intended as professional medical advice. It is always wise to make sure none of the recipe ingredients or procedures conflict with medications you may be taking. Likewise, if you have any medical condition, disease, allergy or any other health issue, consult your doctor before using the recipe. Thanks, Thomas

This recipe is designed for cold turkey opiate detox. It assumes that you can get about 5 to 7 days away from your job or household responsibilities during which you can sleep, veg and act as miserable as you feel. Opiate WD mimics the symptoms of the common flu, so, if you need a smokescreen, hide behind a bad case of the flu.

If you can't take time off to detox, I recommend you follow a taper regimen using your drug of choice or suitable alternate -- the slower the taper, the better.

For the Recipe, You'll need:

1. Valium (or another benzodiazepine such as Klonopin, Librium, Ativan or Xanax). Of these, Valium and Klonopin are best suited for tapering since they come in tablet form. Librium is also an excellent detox benzo, but comes in capsules, making it hard to taper the dose. Ativan or Xanax should only be used if you can't get one of the others.

2. Imodium (over the counter, any drug or grocery store).

3. L-Tyrosine (500 mg caps) from the health food store.

4. Strong wide-spectrum mineral supplement with at least 100% RDA of Zinc, Phosphorus, Copper and Magnesium.

5. Vitamin B6 caps.

6. Access to hot baths or a Jacuzzi (or hot showers if that's all that's available).

How to use the recipe:

Begin your detox with regular doses of Valium (or alternate benzo). Start with a dose high enough to produce sleep. Before you use any benzo, make sure you're aware of how often it can be safely taken. Different benzos have different dosing schedules. Taper your Valium dosage down after each day. The goal is to get through day 4, after which the worst WD symptoms will subside. You shouldn't need the Valium after day 4 or 5.

During detox, hit the hot bath or Jacuzzi as often as you need to for muscle aches. Don't underestimate the effectiveness of hot soaks. Spend the entire time, if necessary, in a hot bath. This simple method will alleviate what is for many the worst opiate WD symptom.

Use the Imodium aggressively to stop the runs. Take as much as you need, as often as you need it. Don't take it, however, if you don't need it.

At the end of the fourth day, you should be waking up from the Valium and experiencing the beginnings of the opiate WD malaise. Upon rising (empty stomach), take the L-Tyrosine. Try 2000 mgs, and scale up or down, depending on how you feel. You can take up to 4,000 mgs. Take the L-Tyrosine with B6 to help absorption. Wait about one hour before eating breakfast. The L-Tyrosine will give you a surge of physical and mental energy that will help counteract the malaise. You may continue to take it each morning for as long as it helps. If you find it gives you the "coffee jitters," consider lowering the dosage or discontinuing it altogether. Occasionally, L-Tyrosine can cause the runs. Unlike the runs from opiate WD, however, this effect of L-Tyrosine is mild and normally does not return after the first hour. Lowering the dosage may help.

With breakfast, take the mineral supplement.

As soon as you can force yourself to, get some mild exercise such as walking, cycling, swimming, etc. This will be hard at first, but will make you feel considerably better.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have any medical complications, first check with your doctor before detoxing to verify that this regimen is safe for you.
Avatar universal

Your post made my day.  I am on day 69 opiate free and in the process of recovery in NA.  It is the only program that has given this addict freedom from active addiction for 7 years.  Pride, ego and choosing to stop NA because I thought I was cured and thought I could drink socially, created a relapse that went on for three years.

Drug free, what a concept.  I am just grateful that I don't need opiates for legitamate pain or to just feel normal.  My prayers go out to those who have to use as prescribed after crossing that invisible line of addiction.  That is what is great about this board.  There is wisdom and love for the suffering.  Good luck to you a day at a time.
Strength and Honor
Avatar universal
Well put! Don't screw around with this ****. Either you stop it or it will stop you... Best to jump off now...because if you keep this up, the train might be moving too fast for you to jump.

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