If you or someone you know is hopelessly addicted to opioids, like heroin or fentanyl, give me a few minutes of your time, and I will show you how it’s possible to stop using them without the withdrawal symptoms becoming unbearable. Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I am offering general advice on how I was able to use this technique to stop using opioids. Nobody should stop using opioids, or follow this technique, without first consulting with a qualified medical professional. This article is to show in detail how one might go about ending their dependence on opioids using kratom while minimizing withdrawal symptoms. If the person ending their dependence wants to follow this procedure, please make sure that they discuss and follow this procedure under a doctor’s supervision. This article will help explain how to reduce withdrawal symptoms using what I call the “Step-Down Technique and kratom for opiate withdrawal”. This technique involves very gradually reducing the dose of opioids to nothing, over an extended period of time, to reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptoms, and using kratom because kratom can help when withdrawal is unbearable.
This technique should be followed while under the supervision of a doctor, if possible. Some of the information here is provided to help in areas outside countries like the United States where access to a doctor, or any qualified medical professional, is not always possible. There are many remote countries in the world whose governments don’t have the resources to provide doctors and medical treatment for those addicted to opiates.
There are other countries that either harshly punish drug addiction, or refuse to admit that their country contains any addicts at all. The president of the Philippines for instance has recently started executing people for drug charges, and not just the real traffickers. I think everyone, everywhere in the world, should have an equal opportunity to end their dependence on opioids, and thankfully the internet allows this to happen. The number one reason people stay on opioids, even after they are only using to feel normal, is because of the fear of the painful and debilitating withdrawal symptoms. Anyone using opioids for an extended period of time will have experienced withdrawal symptoms at one point or another. In severe cases, just several hours after use, the withdrawal symptoms can be so severe that the thought of undergoing it for days or weeks is unthinkable. Most don’t know that slowly stepping down the dose over an extended period of time can reduce the symptoms enough that anyone can do it. If someone using opioids says to themselves or others “I just keep using so that I feel normal”, then it is time to stop, and this is how you could successfully do it.
The longer a person uses opioids, the longer it will take for the brain’s chemical balance to return to normal, and the longer the withdrawal symptoms will last. The severity or intensity of the withdrawal symptoms are largely dependent on what’s called the biological half-life of the opioid the person was taking. This is the time it takes for the body’s biological processes to eliminate half of a dose of a substance.
Opioids with a short half-lifes like Heroin, Dilaudid, and Vicodin will produce very intense acute withdrawal symptoms, but they will only last a few days or weeks. Opioids with a long half life like Methadone, Levorphanol, and Suboxone will produce slightly less intense withdrawal symptoms, but they will last for an extended period of months. Some opioids have a much shorter half-life when used Intravenously when compared to oral administration. This is why withdrawing from IV drugs can so much more intense than oral pills. Switching from IV to Oral administration before starting to step down is very important. One of the best ways to reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptoms is by slowly reducing the dose over a period of weeks or months using what I call the “Step-Down Technique”. What this means is that the person will standardize on a dose, then slowly reduce the dosage on regular basis until they no longer have the need to take it.
Tips for success. If someone has been using opioids for decades, after making the decision to stop, they may want to get off them as fast as possible, and they may want to go faster than this procedure shows. This will likely result in failure. Resist the urge for a quick fix, as it will all but guarantee failure. The longer the tapering off period, the less the shock will be on the brain and body, and the less the effects from withdrawal will be.
If someone is using opioids intravenously, they should consider switching to oral administration of the opioids before starting the step down process. IV opioids enter the body faster, which causes a more intense effects over a shorter period of time. This makes both the high and the dangerous side effects more intense. IV opioids are metabolized faster, which requires more frequent dosing, which causes them to be more addictive over a shorter period of time. Always measure the dose of opioids accurately with a milligram scale to reduce the risk of overdosing. If splitting the pill into pieces, make sure to always use a “pill cutter”. A milligram scale and a pill cutter can be purchased on Amazon. Stopping the use of opioids requires strong will and determination, but don’t get discouraged. Everyone can get off opioids, even you or your friend, the only question is what technique will work.
Let’s take a look at how we would go about using this “Step-Down Technique and kratom for opiate withdrawal”.
Step 1. The first step in ending addiction, no matter what form it comes in, is to make the decision to stop. This may sound obvious, but when I ask people if they are ready to stop, the most common answer is “I have to”. If they can’t say “I am ready to stop”, and mean it, they will likely fail. If this applies to them, stop here and get them to the place where they are truly ready to quit, before moving forward. If someone is quitting for someone else, they will likely not succeed. This can often be the most difficult step for people, and is so often overlooked. Making the decision to stop is the first step to successfully ending any addiction.
Step 2. Now that the person dependent on opioids has decided to stop, we need to figure out what dose is going to be the starting baseline dose.
The starting dose could be the same as their current daily dose, or it could be slightly less. It should be a large enough dose to prevent withdrawal symptoms, but not so much as to cause euphoria and nodding. For the next week the same mg dose should be given at the same times each day. This will give time for the brain to get used to the new regiment before starting the step down process. It is vitally important that they get the same dose every time during this step down period. To be able to get an accurate dose each time, it is highly recommended that they get a milligram scale. This is a scale that is able to measure in milligrams. There are 1000 mg’s in a gram, so eyeing 100mg will be hard. You might get 80mg one day and 100mg another day, which will make this step down procedure almost impossible.
A milligram scale can be found on Amazon or from another online retailer. They are available for around $50. If someone doesn’t have the money to buy one, ask a friend or relative. Good family members would likely jump at the chance to help someone they care about to stop using opioids. If the pills are going to be broken down into halves or quarters, it is highly recommended to get a pill cutter. This is a small device that uses a razor blade to cut pills in half. They can be purchased at the local pharmacy or on Amazon for about $5.
Step 3. Now that we have determined the starting dose, we need to determine the dosing interval. This is how many times a day opioids will be administered during the step down period. Depending on the opioid that someone has been using, they will need to redose at different intervals. Each opioid has a different half-life, which tells us how long it takes for each opioid to reduce its levels in half after taking it. Here are some examples of duration. Heroin lasts about 4 to 5 hours so a typical number of doses a day might be 5 to 6.
Fentanyl last about 3 to 6 hours so a typical number of doses a day might be 4 to 8. Oxycodone last about 6 to 8 hours so a typical number of doses a day might be 3 to 4. There are online charts showing the duration for any opioid not listed here. I will link one below in the description. Determine what is the minimum number of doses a day they need to keep from getting withdrawal symptoms. They want to dose as few times a day as possible, but not so few that they experience periods of the day with withdrawal symptoms. Dosing will end up being somewhere between 3 to 8 times a day depending on the opioid, dose, interval, and administration method. If using pharmaceutical drugs, the dosage will be the same each time, but if buying powdered street drugs, they will always be different.
This can make it difficult to get an accurate dose. If they are using street drugs, and it is financially possible, the opioids that will be used in this procedure should be purchased in a large enough quantity to allow the entire step down procedure to be completed with it. Depending on the dose this could get quite expensive. If this is not possible each batch will need to be evaluated and the dose adjusted accordingly. Anyone using street drugs should be familiar with testing new batches.
Step 4. For the next week we will take the exact same dose in milligrams, at the exact same times each day. This means we will take the dose determined in step 2, the number of times determined in step 3, for 1 week.
For this example we will set the dose at 25mg of oxycodone 4 times a day for a total of 100mg daily. This number was chosen because it is close to the average dose of Oxycodone in the United States, and will give us easy numbers to work with. This is just an example, and this procedure should be custom tailored for the individual. It is helpful to make a chart showing each day with the dose amount and times. This can be checked off as each dose is given to make sure they stay on schedule. I will link to a Google Doc Template that can be used to track doses in the description. Many of the step down techniques i have read say that once the starting dose and interval are determined, no changes should be made. I think this is counterintuitive and is setting up people to fail.
The reason this technique is so effective is because the withdrawal symptoms are so minimal. If they start stepping down and find that on the first or second day they are having withdrawal symptoms that are very severe, they should make slight adjustments now. Once they can get through the entire week period without severe withdrawal symptoms, then no increases should need to be made to the dose. Flexibility is a key to success. After a week of the same dose the body should become accustomed to this dose and interval.
Step 5. Step down the dose by 10% for the next week. Slide11A Someone with a baseline dose of 25mg of oxycodone 4 times a day for a total of 100mg, would reduce the dose by 10% to 22.5mg 4 times a day for a total of 90mg. If they take this new daily dose and find that they get severe withdrawal symptoms, then they should go back to the previous daily dose of 100mg(example) for the rest of the day, and the next day try less of a reduction.
If 10% was too much, then try reducing the dose by 5%. Finding the step down dose may take several days, but once it is determined, the same number can usually be used for most of the rest of this technique. The last few steps down are usually slower than the beginning. After the step down has been set, keep at this new dose for the next week. If they can stay at this new dose for a week without severe withdrawal symptoms, then we have found the correct numbers for them, and it is just a matter of time before they will be opioid free. One week might not be enough time to get accustomed to the new dose for someone who has been using opioids for years. If this describes the person being helped with this procedure, they might want to reduce every 2 weeks instead.
Remember going to fast will result in failure. If they have already had a problem for years, a couple more months for a lasting recovery is well worth it.
Step 6. Continue stepping down the dose by 10% every week, until they are at 10% of the original dose. Keep going like this and step down the dose on their schedule. Nothing is too slow as long as downward progress is made over time. Failure means going back to high levels of potentially lethal opioids, so any decrease or standardization of dose is a good thing. Let’s take a look at what most of the rest of the weeks in the step down process would look like.
In our example the individual started at 100mg of oxycodone a day, taking 25mg 4 times a day. In this example they have already spent one week standardizing the dose, and one week making the first step down to 90mg. This is now the beginning of Week 3. Each week in our example 2.5mg is removed from each of the 4 daily doses. This reduces the overall daily dose by 10mg each week. If they were able to handle the reduction in dosage the first few times without having unacceptable withdrawal symptoms, then future reductions in this step of weeks 3 through 10 should be no worse. Now that the dose, step down amount, and step down interval have been determined, it is just a matter of following the dosage schedule week by week. And remember, use kratom for opiate withdrawal if it is unbearable.
Week 3 of this example procedure has them taking 80mg daily. By week 10 of our example the individual has reduced the total daily dose down to 2.5mg 4 times a day for a total daily dose of 10mg of oxycodone. They have now reduced the daily dose by 90mg. Congratulate them for making it this far. It took a lot for them to get to this point, and they will need the motivation to make it through the final phase.
Now that they are at only 10% of the starting dose, it is time to step down the last doses at a slower rate to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
Step 7. Further reduce each of the 4 daily doses down to around 1 mg or ¼ pill. Depending on the starting dose some may already be at around 1 mg per dose at this point. If this is the case they can skip this step. Once we get down to around the last 10% of the dose, we will further reduce it to around 1 mg or ¼ tablet per dose. The goal is the smallest dose you can accurately measure and weigh. This will be the final dose amount. After this we will be eliminating the complete dose times from the day. Having as small of a dose as possible for these final dose reductions will minimize withdrawal symptoms and risk of failure. In this example we will discuss reducing the dose by breaking the tablet in half or in quarters. In some cases the numbers may not work out to an even half or quarter dose. In most cases it will be easiest to round up or down to the nearest ¼ or ½ tablet.
As mentioned previously, if the pills are going to be broken down into halves or quarters, it is highly recommended to get a pill cutter. This will allow for more accurate dosing. If ¼ of a tablet is still well over 1 mg, then it might be necessary to crush the pill, and then weigh it accurately with a milligram scale. The crushed pill can be placed in a gel capsule that you can purchase on Amazon or get in a local healthfood store. This should go without saying, but make sure that the pill being used can be crushed, and that it is not a time release medication like Oxycontin. In the last step of the example they were taking ½ pill, 4 times a day for a total of 10mg. Reduce each of the 4 daily doses to ¼ of a tablet or about 1 mg, one week at a time. Week 11. Any one of the 4 daily doses is fine to reduce first. It is recommended that they reduce the 2nd dose of the day, so that they get the levels back to normal after sleep with the first dose, before the reduced dose.
The new daily dose is 8.75mg. Week 12. In week 11 we reduced the 2nd dose of the day. In this step we will reduce the 4th dose of the day. This way we will alternate ½ and ¼ tablet doses to spread more evenly over the day. The new daily dose is 7.5mg. Week 13. Here we will reduce the 3rd dose of the day. This still leaves the largest dose at the first dose of the day. The new daily dose is 6.25mg. Week 14. We will reduce the last dose of the day to ¼ tablet, or 1mg. All four daily doses are now at the minimum amount possible. This will help make the final step where each dose is individually removed, as easy as possible.
Step 8. Eliminate the 4 daily doses one at a time. After making the decision to stop, these final dosage eliminations will be the hardest part of their acute physical recovery. This is another time when they could really use some extra help and support from friends and family. Slide14A By the end of week 14 of this example step down technique we will have reduced the dose to only 5mg of Oxycodone, which is a 95% reduction.
If this was done right, the individual should feel the same at this 5% dose as they did at the beginning of this technique where they were taking 100mg daily. Week 14 ended with four 1.25mg doses each day with a total daily dose of 5mg. So far for this entire example procedure they have been at 4 doses a day. Oxycodone last for 6 to 8 hours, so taking 4 doses a day was enough to cover a 24 hour day. Week 15. Now that the total daily dose is so low, and each dose is around 1mg, it’s time to start removing doses one at a time. Extra care should be taken here to ensure that withdrawal symptoms don’t increase to unacceptable levels. Even though the dose is now very low, the brain has come to expect a dose of opioids 4 times a day for the last 17 weeks. Some people may adapt to reduced dosing frequency without any problem. Other people may have a difficult time here. For the first time since the beginning of this procedure they will have periods of the day where there are no opioids in their system. We will start by removing the 4th dose of the day that was taken at 12:00AM.
This dose was removed so they can have uninterrupted sleep during normal sleep hours. If they take the 6PM dose and then go to bed around 8PM, they should be asleep by the time the minor withdrawal symptoms start. They are now only taking a total of 3.75mg of Oxycodone a day. Week 16. Let’s now remove the PM dose for week 16. This will evenly space out the 2 remaining doses of the day to 6AM and 6PM. There will now be 2 periods of the day where they may experience minor withdrawal symptoms. With Oxycodone lasting 6 to 8 hours, they will start experiencing the minor symptoms starting between 12AM to 2AM and lasting until 6AM, and again from 12PM to 2PM lasting until 6PM.
They are now only taking a total of 2.5mg of Oxycodone a day. Week 17. Let’s now remove the AM dose. This will leave the final dose at PM. The dose should be so small at this final step that the removal goes almost unnoticed. If they are going to have any minor withdrawal symptoms at all, it will start sometime after 12AM to 2AM and last until they take the only dose of the day at 6PM. This will allow the individual time to get used to getting up first thing in the morning, and not immediately taking an opioid. This can be difficult, but there is still one dose left in the day. The difficulty with the removal of the first dose of the day is mostly mental. At the end of week 17 they are now only taking a total of 1.25mg of Oxycodone a day.
This is 1/80th the starting dose. Week 18. Here it is. This is the week we have been working to get to for so long. It’s now time to stop the final dose of the day at 6PM. The withdrawal symptoms that might happen when removing this final dose should be no worse than when we removed any of the other daily doses during this step. Starting today, no further opioids will enter their body. They will be opioid free, but not completely recovered yet. Post acute withdrawal syndrome affects people after the acute physical withdrawal symptoms end. To understand this and other aspects of how opioids affect the mind and body watch my article entitled “How Does Addiction Work?”. A link is available in the description, or in the cards. A future article will discuss techniques for dealing with this often forgotten part of addiction recovery. If this was followed slow enough the individual should feel just as good, if not better, than they did when we first started this journey together.
Tips & Tricks. Remember to review this with a doctor, or other qualified medical professional, if access is available. Having someone that can help during the withdrawal and recovery period will be very beneficial. Some people need someone to help with measuring the dose and keeping track of times administered, while others might just need someone to talk to during this time that can provide encouragement. Use a milligram scale and pill cutter if necessary. In this example we were using 5mg tablets and started from 100mg, so it was easy to work with the numbers and break the 5mg tablet down as low as ¼ of a tablet. Any time a tablet is broken, it should be weighed with a milligram scale to ensure accuracy. You can get a milligram scale from Amazon for about $50. If the procedure requires cutting pills down in size, it is always advisable to use a “Pill Cutter”. Remember, use kratom for opiate withdrawal, use it 5-8 gram to help ease your pain and it is natural.
No matter what someone has done to their family while addicted to opioids, if they see that someone they care about is putting forth the effort to change, they will likely want to help. Just ask, you never know. What’s the worst they can say, “No”? If they do, that says a lot more about them than it does about you. Encouragement & Understanding Is Vital When someone stops using an addictive substance it takes months or years for brain chemistry to return to normal. Stopping the artificial source of dopamine often results in crippling depression that can last months or years. This is the time when family and friends are most needed.
If they are present, it can help make the difference between success and failure. If they are not present, they could turn a potential success, into a failure. Now is the time to praise their effort toward recovery, not the time to scold them for historic wrongs, there will be time for atonement later. Drink lots of water and eat food. Make sure to drink plenty of water or other fluids throughout the recovery period. Fluids will help the body more quickly clean out opioids and other toxins building up in the body.
Eating during opioid withdrawal is not always possible. Eating whenever possible will help the body rebuild itself. Tolerance drops very quickly. Getting to this point takes so much effort that the person’s support system might think that they would never go back to using opioids. It is very important that the person understands that once they start dropping down the dose their tolerance will drop very quickly. This means that if they slip up and go back to the dose they were using before starting this procedure, it could be fatal, even though this was the dose they previously used daily over an extended period of time.
Everyone can do this, no matter how much they use opioids, or how long they have been using them. As long as they want to quit, they can successfully do it. If you found the content helpful please give this article a thumbs up. If you like what you see and want to see more, please support this channel by selecting the Subscribe button. If you know someone suffering from addiction, or close with someone addicted, please share this article with them to help.
This article should have helped to explain how to use the “Step-Down Technique” to stop the use of opioids while minimizing the painful withdrawal symptoms using kratom that so often cause people to fail. Do you have any questions that were left unanswered? Do you have any suggestions for changes that could help make this article even more helpful, clear, or informative? Do you have a personal experience with ending addiction that you think would help others? If you successfully used this technique to stop using opioids, please let us know about your starting dose, the number of weeks spent stepping down, and a little about how easy or difficult it was for you. I would love to hear from you in the contact us page.