Most People Relapse During First Week

It is true that 9 out of 10 people who enter Opiate Drug Rehabilitation end up failing within the first week.  If not during the first week, then all others relapse within weeks.  Why is this so?

When I went into rehab I was completely broken.  I was embarrassed to say the least.  I was on top of the world prior to this.  Well, prior to being prescribed and using Fentanyl for over 5 years.  Originally, I had a shoulder and neck surgery that was botched by an incompetent surgeon.  I blame myself for NOT doing my homework to begin with.  I had a severe injury to my neck and shoulder that had healed wrong over many years.

My first mistake was not seeing a Doctor and getting the help I needed for my injury on day 1.  I should have sought treatment within weeks of my fall.  I had fallen up-side-down on my left shoulder and head from about 35 feet in the air.  I fell onto a snow-packed ice landing. 

I was a good snowboarder, and I still am.  I started snowboarding at the time they invented it.  I owned one of the very first Burton Snowboards with the jagged tail.

As a matter of fact, myself along with my best childhood buddies who also ride, just got back from a snowboard trip at Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole Resort.  We had tons of snow and fresh, untouched powder to ride on all week long.  It was incredible.

However, I am off subject now.  Getting back to my point, I was 22 years old and in my mindset at that age…I didn’t need a Doctor.  The ER that I drove myself to was enough.  My neck was not broken, nor my back.  It should have broken based on the mega, epic fall that I endured.   I had conquered that massive table-top jump all day long.

Until, for the last run of the day, I had not noticed that skiers were hitting this jump and creating ruts on the take-off ramp which was about 20 feet long with a perfect release angle.  Ruts are a bad thing when it comes to snowboarding.  Because if your edge gets stuck in one of them, it throws you off balance and makes it difficult to recover from.

This is exactly what happened to me.  I took off the ramp going faster than I had gone all day.  I was immediately thrown side-ways and then rolled up-side-down slowly through the air.  I was about 40 feet high flying over the top of the “table” or “Gap”. 

Not only did the ruts cause me to go into an unintended back-flip, but I also misjudged my speed.  This put me far past the landing strip which was designed to ease your landing in a downward slop.

Of course you never want to land on something flat.  That hurts.  But, to land on something flat, up-side-down and from about 35 feet in the air onto your shoulder and head…..well “hurt” just is not a good enough word for that.  I blacked out for only a few seconds.  Then, the ferocious pain immediately hit me like a brick-wall. 

I had never felt physical pain this bad.  It brought tears to my eyes as my senses were going nutty.  All I hoped was that the pain would ease, or else I was going to pass out.


I knew that I had to at least scooch over to the side.  I did not want some other Rider or Skier to land on my head since they could not see me laying there on the downward landing stip.

Eventually, I walked down the remainder of the hill and over to the lodge, then to my car and to the ER.  I knew it was bad.  However, at the ER they were nonchalant.  They took X-Rays and could tell that my AC joint was damaged along with my clavicle (collar bone). 

They told me to go see an Orthopedic Doctor and sent me on my way.  They said that there was nothing they could do for my injuries at that time.



Well, my first mistake was that I never did go see an Orthopedic Surgeon.  It was not until years later when I started having chronic pain that I finally went to a Doctor.  This would be the start of an epic 10-year battle for my life.

I was operated on for the first time and this surgery failed within the first week.  The Doctor performed an old procedure that he had no business performing.  He did not know what he was doing when it came to my injury which had healed wrong for many years.  I needed a specialist.

I ended up getting 4 more surgeries from a shoulder specialist whom I did trust.  We even flew to NYC to get a consultation from my Specialist’s mentor-trainer Surgeon who gave some good advice. 

They ended up using my tendons from my hamstring and wrist to secure my AC joint as well as putting rods into my clavicle to repair the fractures.  Other procedures were done to try and fix my main shoulder joint and labrum tears.  It was a mess.

However, I continued having severe chronic physical pain before, during and after all of these surgeries.  I was referred to a pain management Doctor who began prescribing me all kinds of hardcore opioids including the now infamous ‘Fentanyl’.

Because our bodies become tolerant to opioids quickly, you have to take twice as many of them to get the same pain relief that you had last week.  I succumbed to this and began abusing my opioids.  I would finish my prescription two weeks early every month and go into terrible, deathly withdrawals. 

This went on for many years and tore me down.  My Opioid addiction broke me down and controlled me like I never thought was possible.

Prior to this, I was a disciplined and highly successful businessman.   I was on top of the world in my career and personal life.  I lost all of this over a decade and today I am still dealing with the aftermath.

I say all of this, to say that when I first entered rehab and detox I made a decision to learn all that I could about addiction and rehabilitation so that one day I could make some use out of my situation.  I was NOT the type of person that you would think would end up in rehab.  I could not believe it myself.  Not that I was better than anyone else.

heroin and opiate treatment options


This just goes to show that opioids and opiates (pills and heroin) can lock on to anyone regardless of status or upbringing.  Opium Addiction has no favorites.  It attacks and kills anyone it comes in contact with.  It takes full control over every grain of your being.

If I didn’t make sure that some kind of good came from my horrific experience, then it would have all happened for nothing.  It would become a complete waste of time and energy.  My addiction and withdrawals nearly killed me. 

I almost took my life on several occasions just to put myself out of the misery I was feeling from opioid withdrawal.  I also had the chronic physical pain going on in my shoulder and neck to cope with.

Both of these things happening many different times caused me to almost give up.  I went as far as to write several suicide notes explaining that I was not a mental case, but that I just could not take the pain and discomfort anymore.  I could not see a way out of it. 

By the Grace of God, I am still alive today and helping countless people on this blog by fighting Opium Addiction with Information.  Thank you for supporting us and sharing our posts.

When I first realized that most people relapse during the first week in rehab, I was astonished.  They basically expected me to relapse as well.  I never did.


Opiate addiction

What I did do is try to figure out what was wrong with rehab and why so many people were failing and going back to using hardcore drugs like Heroin and Fentanyl.  I was in this thing.  I was in the same boat as these other needle sticking heroin addicts. 

We all got there the same way.  Our opium addictions got us there.  Whether you got addicted from legally prescribed opioid pills, OR, you bought illegal heroin off the streets….we were one in the same unfortunately.

I began researching the reasons why so many people relapse.  Having first-hand knowledge and experience with Opium, I had a hunch why this was happening.  But, I needed more technical information.

So, I went to my trusted Primary Care Doctor who was down to earth and a “DO”.  Not an MD.  A Medical Doctor usually only patches the problem with more drugs.  Whereas, a D.O. strives to fix the core problem.

My primary Doc explained what happens to our brain chemicals when we use opium for a long period of time.  It all has to do with our brain chemicals called Neuro-Transmitters.  These are known as Dopamine, Serotonin, GABA and a few others.  Dopamine and Serotonin being the most important. 

These are the chemicals that give us feelings of pleasure, happiness, well being and a general stable mind.  Without them, or with an imbalance you get depression, feelings of despair, panic attacks, sleep issues and suicidal thoughts.

When you stop taking an opium drug, your brain just does not start producing brain chemicals at the proper level.  Instead, your brain does not produce any brain chemicals.  You see, when you were taking Fentanyl or Heroin or Vicodin for a long period of time…your brain shut-off its production of Dopamine and Serotonin. 

Your brain did not need to produce it any more because the opium was directly giving your brain and body similar affects.

It is the same thing when a man takes pure Testosterone via a skin gel, his body stops naturally producing any testosterone.  It is a “catch 22” or a double-edged sword.  On one hand you are getting what you need to help you.  However, this does not come without negative side effects.

The reason why so many people relapse is because their brains lack the proper amount of brain chemicals.  Therefore, when they stop using opium…they are not getting any dopamine from the drug, nor is their brain producing it. 

The good news is that eventually over time the brain will start naturally producing these important brain chemicals again.  But, it takes time.  Months to years depending on how long the person was using opium  (opioids and opiates (pain pills and heroin).

No one wants to feel depressed all day.  No one wants to live in despair every day.

Memory kicks in quickly.  Our memory is part of the problem why so many relapse.


opiate addiction


For example, when you stop taking heroin and therefore have no dopamine and begin feeling the worse kind of depression you have ever known….you quickly remember how good the heroin felt when taking it.  You now know that within an instant you can make all these feelings of despair and depression go away.  You can make yourself feel much better immediately.  So, they relapse.

It is extremely difficult to refuse the memory of how good those drugs felt in your system.  They gave you euphoric sense of life.  They physically made your body scream with pleasure.  You have no depression or bad feelings, you had no chronic pain, you had no despair, you had no nothing!  You were numb and it felt good.  This is a fact.  This is the truth.

drugs heroin and opiates

However, it is a big deception and a lie.  This is exactly what the opium drug wants you to think and feel.  This is how the opium takes control of your thoughts.  It uses your memories to get back into your life.

If we could somehow quell these memories and destroy them…then we would never remember how good the drugs felt.  Taking Opium again would not be an option because we would never know that it was in the first place  (this is another Post in and of itself that we will safe for another time).

The idea is that if we can speed up the brains natural production of dopamine and serotonin, then opiate drug addicts entering rehab might just stand a chance of avoiding relapse.  If they can feel normal without massive depression and despair once they quit taking opium, then maybe they can hold on and get through their detox and treatment without failure.


We have numerous pages and posts dedicated to educating people about their brain chemicals.  We are teaching people how to figure out which brain chemicals they are most depleted of and how to get the brain to naturally start producing the right amounts again.  Instead of waiting for the brain to heal itself over a long period of time, we can essentially jump-start this process by taking the proper supplements.  These are known as pre-cursors and they are natural.  They help the brain naturally produce dopamine.

And, it works!  I am living proof of this.  I followed my primary Doctors teachings and I took supplement boosters which helped me avoid the feelings of depression and despair that all opium addicts get when they first detox.  Believe me, we are NOT trying to sell you supplements on this site.  NO WAY!  We are not selling anything.

We are giving away information in the hope that it helps to fight Opium Addiction.

We encourage you to click on the link below and take the Brain Chemical Test.  This will help you determine which of the brain chemicals you may be depleted of.  Then, based on that information you can take specific supplements (vitamins and minerals) that are proven to be pre-cursors which help the brain naturally produce dopamine or serotonin etc.

Neuro-Transmitter Chemicals



Heroin Addiction


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