Top 10 Reasons to Quit Opiates

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Focused Treatment Options Overcoming Opiate Addiction

Opiate addiction has been impacting the United States for a number of years, leading to innumerable cases of addiction and countless untimely deaths. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “In 2019, an estimated 10.1 million people aged 12 or older misused opioids in the past year. Specifically, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers and 745,000 people used heroin.” There are numerous types of opiates, including prescription painkillers like morphine, oxycodone and hydrocodone, synthetic opiates like fentanyl and illicit opiates like heroin. Opiates are drugs that work with opioid receptors in the brain to produce calming effects on the central nervous system while actively relieving moderate or severe pain. Sadly, it is currently estimated that only around 10 percent of people who are struggling with opiate addiction ever seek the professional help they both need and deserve. This doesn’t mean that help isn’t available. At Guardian Recovery we have extensive experience working with individuals of all ages and walks of life who have been struggling with opiate use disorders of all types and severities. We understand that quitting isn’t easy, and that maintaining sobriety cannot be done without extensive emotional support. If you or someone you love has been battling an opiate addiction, it is never too early or too late to get help. If you’re still on the fence about recovery, remember this: no one can make the decision to get clean and sober but you.

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Do I Have an Opiate Use Disorder?

How can you tell whether or not addiction treatment has become necessary? It can be difficult to diagnose yourself, considering substance use disorders and denial often go hand-in-hand. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) lays out a specific set of diagnostic criteria you can utilize to help you determine whether or not treatment has become necessary. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I often use more opiates than intended for longer periods of time than intended?
  • Have I attempted to cut back on my opiate use but found myself unable to do so?
  • Has my opiate use started to result in negative consequences in my day-to-day life?
  • Have my interpersonal relationships been impacted by my opiate use?
  • Have I been neglecting hobbies and activities I previously enjoyed?
  • Has my performance at work or school been suffering as a direct result of my opiate use?
  • Do I continue to use opiates despite related consequences?
  • Do I spend a great deal of time obtaining, using and recovering from the effects of opiates?
  • Have I been engaging in a greater amount of risk-taking activities?
  • Have I developed a physical tolerance to my drug of choice?
  • Do I experience withdrawal symptoms when I attempt to quit opiates or cut back on the amount I’m taking?

If you answered “yes” to two or more of the questions listed above, there is a good chance treatment has become necessary. Contact us today to learn more about the treatment options in your immediate area.

Top 10 Reasons to Quit Opiates and Enter Addiction Treatment

Reason #1 – Addiction Recovery Improves Your Quality of Life.

Part of being authentically happy is being able to enjoy the little things in life. When you’re completely consumed by opiate addiction there is no way you’ll be able to stop and smell the flowers or sit on a park bench and simply enjoy the breeze. Once you quit opiates and get clean and sober you’ll find the beauty in day-to-day life. You’ll genuinely laugh at stupid jokes, you’ll smile at strangers just because you can and you’ll notice things that you never noticed when you were getting high – things like cute dogs and the taste of fried chicken. You name it, you’ll start to appreciate it. Being present for your life and appreciating everything in it is an unmatched gift of recovery.

Reason #2 – Your Friends & Your Family Want to See You Thrive.

Even though those in active addiction might think they’re successfully hiding their problem from everyone, this is never really the case. Chances are your friends and immediate family members have been worried sick about you. Addiction is a condition of denial and self-centeredness. Even if your family expresses concern, you’ll try as hard as you can to convince yourself and everyone around you that things are being blown way out of proportion. “It really isn’t that bad,” you might say. “If I need help, I’ll get help. I’ve got things under control.” When you quit opiates and get sober your loved ones will be overjoyed. All they really want is to see you do well and live up to your full potential.

Reason #3 – Recovery Improves Your Mental & Emotional Health.

Active addiction devastates mental and emotional health. You start to feel hopeless, isolated and overwhelmed. Your self-esteem suffers immensely; you might wake up in the morning feeling like a failure or simply wanting to hide away from the rest of the world. Once you make the decision to get clean and sober and attend a multi-staged program of addiction treatment, your mental and emotional health will begin to improve dramatically.

As you begin to heal on a comprehensive level you will remember how much you have to offer the world and other people. You will start to find joy in living once again, and you will be able to address whatever chemical imbalances in your brain have resulted from months or years of opiate use. While mental and emotional recovery might seem like an unattainable ideal while you are in the throes of active addiction, it is entirely possible.

Reason #4 – You Will Be Able to Achieve Your Personal Goals.

Maybe you have always dreamed of starting your own business, but a prescription painkiller addiction has rendered that dream all but impossible. Maybe you have made it a personal goal to travel to Europe at some point in your 30s, but all of your vacation funds have gone to heroin. Whatever your personal goals once were, there is a good chance you have abandoned them entirely. Trying to accomplish things in life is next to impossible when you are simultaneously struggling with a substance use disorder. Committing to a life of recovery allows you to rediscover — and accomplish — personal goals you might have abandoned long ago.

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Reason #5 – You Will Overcome Financial & Legal Issues.

Opiate addiction can be an extremely expensive habit. Opiate addiction also has the potential to get you into quite a lot of trouble. Addictive disorders completely hijack your brain, and you begin to prioritize obtaining your drug of choice over your personal safety and security. If you have been struggling financially as a direct result of your addiction, or if you have repeatedly gotten in trouble with the law, Guardian Recovery is available to help. We often assist our clients in working through debt or legal problems, so by the time they leave treatment they feel confident in their ability to navigate the consequences of their addictive disorders with ease.

Reason #6 – You Can Start Helping Others.

When active in your addiction you don’t have a lot to offer other people – that’s just the way it is. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so to speak. When you get sober you’ll realize that sharing your own personal struggles has the amazing ability to help other people who are where you once were. One of the greatest gifts of recovery is sharing your experience, strength and hope with others who have been struggling with opiate addiction. It might not feel like it now, but you have the ability to change a lot of lives for the better.

Reason #7 – Life Won’t Be So Difficult.

Active addiction is absolutely exhausting. Even the most menial daily tasks become all but impossible to carry out. Once you commit to a life of sobriety you will be amazed by what you can accomplish in a given day. As it stands, you might feel completely overwhelmed by the consequences of active addiction. You might be juggling legal and financial problems, struggling to keep a job for more than several days at a time, and attempting to keep your interpersonal relationships as your friends and family members consistently push you farther and farther away. At a certain point it will all seem insurmountable. While you are in treatment you are given an extended break from your personal responsibilities, and you are allotted the opportunity to focus solely on restoring your physical, mental and emotional health. When you leave treatment you will feel ready to tackle whatever tasks lie ahead of you. You will have an entirely new lease on life, and things won’t seem (or be) nearly as difficult or overwhelming.

Reason #8 – Your Physical Health Will Improve.

Like other drugs, opiates have serious negative effects on the body when they’re abused. Some of the physical symptoms of ongoing opiate abuse include insomnia, constipation, nausea and vomiting, weight loss, exhaustion, muscle spasms, itching, profuse sweating, seizures, respiratory depression, coma and death. Once you quit opiates and get sober your body will no longer ache, you’ll be able to sleep and move freely and you won’t feel as if your body is going to completely shut down at any given moment.

Reason #9 – You Won’t Run the Risk of Overdose.

Opiate overdose is exceedingly common and completely preventable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “More than 760,000 people have died since 1999 from a drug overdose. Two out of three drug overdose deaths in 2018 involved an opioid.” Since 2018 the number of opioid-related overdoses has only continued to increase. Many recent overdose deaths can be attributed to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid which is between 80 and 100 times more potent than morphine. Many drug dealers have been cutting heroin with fentanyl with the intention of increasing its street value and its potency. However, even an exceedingly small amount of fentanyl can lead to overdose-related death. Overcoming an opiate use disorder completely eliminates the risk of overdose.

Reason #10 – Life Will Become Worth Living.

If you have been struggling with opiate addiction for an extended period of time, the sad truth is you have likely lost some or all of your will to live. What’s the point of dragging yourself out of bed in the morning just to repeat the vicious cycle of finding your drug of choice, getting high and dealing with the consequences of your addiction? When you commit to addiction recovery something completely miraculous happens. For some people it happens rather quickly, for others, the miracle takes place slowly over time. One day you wake up with a smile on your face. You feel amazing; physically healthy, well-rested and ready to take on the world. As they say, “Don’t quit before the miracle happens.” A life beyond your wildest dreams is waiting for you on the other side of opiate addiction treatment.

How to Get Treatment for Opiate Addiction

If you have decided to reclaim your life and commit to opiate addiction recovery, which steps should you take to receive the professional care you need? Getting treatment for opiate addiction is often as simple as picking up the phone and asking for help. A recommended first step is determining which level of care is right for you.

Treatment Options for Opiate Addiction

Most individualized journeys of opiate addiction recovery begin with a short stay in an inpatient detox center. While in medical detox a person undergoes a safe and pain-free opiate withdrawal under the close supervision of a team of medical professionals. Once the person has been physically stabilized they often choose to transition into a residential inpatient rehab, where they stay for between 30 and 90 days. Because the psychological drug cravings that often accompany early opiate recovery can be severe, inpatient treatment almost always comes recommended. However, there are other treatment options available, including partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient treatment. To learn which treatment option is the most appropriate for your unique case, contact us today.

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If you or someone you love has been struggling with a substance use disorder of any type or severity, Guardian Recovery is available to help. We provide individuals across the country of all ages and walks of life with a network of professionally developed and orchestrated treatment options. We offer several levels of clinical care, catering to the unique needs of each individual client. Opiate addiction can be particularly difficult to overcome without professional help. The good news is that help is always available. The moment you make the decision to reach out you will be put in touch with one of our experienced Treatment Advisors, who will walk you through our simple and straightforward admissions process. We begin by conducting a brief pre-assessment which consists of several questions geared towards helping our clinical team determine which level of care and which treatment methods will prove most beneficial to you or your loved one. We then offer a free, no obligation insurance benefit check, and help you work through additional coverage options if you are underinsured or entirely uninsured. Finally we arrange local transportation to one of our facilities. Contact us today to learn more about the effective treatment options provided by Guardian Recovery or to get started with our simple admissions process


Do I have an Addiction issue?

Disclaimer: Does not guarantee specific treatment outcomes, as individual results may vary. Our services are not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis; please consult a qualified healthcare provider for such matters.

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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave


Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

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Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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