How to Taper Off Opioid Painkillers, Heroin and Narcotics At-Home

How to Taper Off Opioid Painkillers, Heroin and Narcotics At-Home

anxiety after addiction

How to Taper Off Opioids and Detox At-Home

Your Timeline to Quitting Prescription Opioid PainKillers and Ending Addiction in 12 Steps

By: Reilly Johnson

prescription pain pills

Prescription pain pills have created a nationwide drug addiction epidemic.

In 2017, addiction to opioids, heroin, hydrocodone, percocet, oxycontin and many other prescription opioid pain relievers was at an all time high.

Opioid addiction has destroyed millions of lives and taken over almost entire US states riddling them with crime, pain and problems.

We found out one of the biggest stumbling blocks to a lasting recovery was the terrible opiate withdrawal symptoms.

A very big reason why addiction is such a problem is because withdrawal symptoms last a long time and are very painful, which often leads to relapse.

Which is why when you are preparing to withdrawal off opiates you have a far greater chance at success if you create and follow a treatment plan for freedom from addiction. This is why learning how to taper off opioids could help you so much.

And tapering off opiates is one of the only ways to quit without nasty withdrawal symptoms making your life nearly unbearable. But it’s not easy to wean off opiates because addiction is complicated.

Stage 1 – Choose How You Will Quit Opiates and Detox

Opioids include: Hydrocodone (Vicodin), Tramadol, Oxycodone (Percocet), Oxycontin, Heroin, Morphine, Opana, Fentanyl and Other Drugs.

#1 – The Cold Turkey Quit (quitting instantly) – This is where you go cold turkey into withdrawal because you run out of opiates or you decide to quit immediately or something happened that forced you to quit (like jail).

#2 – The 7 Day Get Off Fast Taper Off Opiates – Taper just fast enough to give yourself a cushion for when you come completely off.

#3 – The 30 Day Take it Slow Taper Off Opiates – Gradually over a long period of time. If you have the self control to do this, a slow opiate taper can really reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and the length more than any other way.

Once you’ve assessed how bad your withdrawal symptoms will be you need to understand the different phases you’ll past through when you quit narcotics for good.

Stage 2 – How to Taper Off Opioids At-Home

But first, you need to learn how to taper off opioids, and develop your own opioid withdrawal timeline for success. Here are four important questions you should be asking before deciding to taper off heroin and prescription opiate painkillers.

1. How bad will my withdrawal symptoms be immediately after I stop using opiates?

2. How long will my opiate withdrawal symptoms last?

3. What’s my withdrawal timeline and treatment plan?

4. How long will It take to feel healthy again and back to my old self?

In order to survive percocet withdrawal you need to find answers to these critical questions, because they strengthen your chances of a lasting recovery dramatically.

Suffering-from-withdrawalsStage 3 – How long will opioid withdrawal last? 

Opioid withdrawal length depends on many questions you’ll have to ask yourself. For example, if you wean slowly off opiates then your recovery could last much longer but your withdrawal symptoms would be much less severe. There are also other factors like the type of painkiller or opioid you are addicted too.

Depending on the Type of Opiate You’ve Been Using The Half Life of Will Vary, Which Means it Will Effect How Hard Your Narcotic Withdrawal Symptoms Will Be.

Some narcotics are short acting. some have longer half lives, some are more powerful and some aren’t as powerful. Often the more powerful the opioid, the harder the narcotic withdrawal symptoms will be. but this isn’t always the case.

For example methadone withdrawal and suboxone (subutex) withdrawal symptoms usually lasts much longer because they have a longer half life, thus taking longer to exit your body’s system.

  • How long have you been using narcotics for?
  • How often do you use narcotics on a daily basis?
  •  How much do you have to use each day to feel the effects? (what is your opiate tolerance?)

The more you take it, the higher tolerance for drugs, and the harder and longer your narcotic withdrawals usually are. But every ones body and chemical make up responds to drugs and opiates differently. So your symptoms and detox might be totally different that someone else’s.

Stage #4 – Develop an Opioid Withdrawal Timeline to Detox That is Realistic

Is it 1 week, 1 month, 1 year, 5 years,  10 years, etc.? The longer you’ve abused them, typically the harder your withdrawal.

Each of those 3 factors will determine how easy and fast you’ll be able to taper off opiates. Each one is critical for how to finally get off opiates and narcotics like oxycontin, hydrocodone, oxycodone:

This 4 stage detox timeline shows a path to recovery from addiction to Heroin, Prescription Painkillers like Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, oxycontin, morphine, tramadol, etc.

Stage #5: Research Your Options, Evaluate Your Personal Needs, Gain Valuable Information for Quitting

opiate treatment checklistHow long does learning about addiction treatment last?

Start to seriously study 1 – 4 weeks BEFORE opiate withdrawal begins so you can find information useful to your recovery. Develop a custom Game-Plan for withdrawal relief, detox and long term recovery treatment.

Can you honestly slow taper off drugs like hydrocodone, percocet and oxycontin?

If you have the self control then you can ease opiate withdrawal symptoms dramatically. But to taper off opiates successfully, you MUST have the self control to stop taking prescription pain pills to get high, and only taking enough to slow symptoms and make the comedown from opioid withdrawals easier.

Game-Plan your opiate recovery treatment now, before you start to withdrawal.

You need to seriously plan exactly how you’ll get off and stay off. Write everything you need down. Get any items that’ll make your withdrawal easier, buy your vitamins  and supplements. Get the food you’ll need. Plan out healthy meals. Who’s going to stay with you for support? Who can you count on  to help you out?

Stage #6: Take final opiate pill and start detox off opiates. Manage withdrawals without relapsing. 

This stage start when?

This stage starts when you take your last pill. And it lasts from days 1 to days 7 coming off opiates.

How long does this phase last?

Here’s what you can expect week 1 off opioids:

Days 1, 2 & 3 off opiates – Withdrawal symptoms usually begin 6 – 24 hours after your last dosage and they will start with a vengeance. Your body will begin to ache and throb, your stomach will twist and turn into knots. Diarrea and nausea is a certainty. You’ll experience extreme tension, anxiety, and stress. You’ll want to to do anything to stop this. But you just got to get through the first few days the best you can.

Days 4, 5, 6 & 7 off opiates – You should begin to feel better at this point. But your body will still feel very weak. You need to focus on nutrition and health. Eat healthy food and vegetables. Begin to take a daily walk outside. Keep following your game-plan and stay motivated.

opiate treatment recoveryStage #7: Your Early Recovery Treatment from Opioids, Narcotics, and Painkillers is Critical to Your Success

This stage starts when?

Weeks 2 – 4 off heroin, opiates and prescription drugs

What Should I be aware of?

The most painful withdrawal symptoms should have subsided by now. Now’s the time to detoxify your body and to begin to develop new positive habits. If you’ve made it this far, you should feel hopeful you can stop. You should begin to feel better each day.

Stage #8: Week 2 Coming Off Opioids

Withdrawal symptoms linger into this week. Many symptoms you’re probably still feeling. But you have to persevere and refuse to give in. Make sure you don’t do anything stupid like hang out with some drug using friends. Be smart and focus on your health.

Stage #9: Weeks 3 and 4 Detoxing Off Opioids

This period can also be tough because the user can get bored. Life can begin to get back to normal and if that normal is the same as the old normal, then recovery won’t last.

Weekly Goal: Stay strong, stay away from bad influences. Develop new good habits. Talk to someone about the emotional reasons why used.

Starts when?

From 12 months+ off opiates

What to expect?

This is where you begin to live a new and successful life with the habits you’ve planned out. Must be able to deal with cravings and impulses, eliminate any source of narcotics, heroin, pain killers, etc.

Stage 10: Months 2-6 Off Opioids

Hopefully you’ve mapped out and are currently acting out your new success habits. You should be exercising, learning new things, staying focused on goals and try to be the best you can be.

Stage 11: Months 6-12 Off Opioids

Do not let yourself slip up during this period. A lot of people will have something happen to them, and they will allow that event to derail their success and it will lead to their relapse. Don’t let this happen to you. Be aware of who you hang with and when you’re most vulnerable. Try to prevent tough situations from happening.

opioid addiction treatment sunburstStage #12: 1 Year Off Opioids

This is about living the life that you always dreamed of. This is the time when you want to enjoy the good things in life. Find fulfillment and help others.

So what are you waiting for? Now you’ve seen the plan and you can finally learn how to taper off and recover from prescription opioids at home.

TO DO: Stick to your new life habits and live the life you always wanted.

Start Your Home Recovery Today

Feel Better Faster
Reilly Johnson
Reilly Johnson
President and Founder of the Opiate Freedom Center. Author and Speaker committed to providing straightforward insight and actionable steps to help you recover. Email me anytime at, or Like us on Facebook!

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