What Is Real Opiate Recovery?

Medications such as Methadone and Suboxone are the gold standard for opiate dependence.  They allow the person to cease drug use and return to a normal level of functioning.  However, opponents of medication assisted treatment believe that these medications numb emotions, and therefore prevent them from addressing core emotional issues in recovery.  Furthermore, other opponents believe that an addict is replacing one drug for another.  Taking Suboxone, for example, is basically replacing one drug for another.  Suboxone also has side effects like dependency.  You cannot stop Suboxone ‘cold turkey’ or else you will experience the same withdrawal symptoms that come from any other opiate drug.  The withdrawals may not be as bad, but they happen none-the-less.

In our opinion at HEROin Me,  we believe that taking addiction treatment drugs is an effective way to fight opiate abuse.  I myself, took Suboxone for several years after I completed drug rehab.  I became addicted to my chronic physical pain medication after being prescribed it for nearly a decade.  I was given high doses of opioid pain medications before, during and after 6 different surgical procedures to repair much damage in my shoulder and neck.  I had nerve tumors removed from under my shoulder blade that were causing excruciating pain for decades.  However, this still did not eliminate my pain and today I suffer daily from physical chronic pain.  

I choose NOT to take any opiate pain medications even though it would be justified in my case.  I have a family history of addiction and I am pre-disposed genetically to addiction.  I began to abuse Fentanyl during this period of time.  My body became tolerant to the opiates and therefore I needed more of this drug to get the same pain relieving effects that I was getting the weeks and months before.  This caused me to take more of my prescription than prescribed and I would run out weeks early.  My Doctor would NOT refill my Fentanyl early, therefore I would go into terrible withdrawal lasting weeks.  This happened more times than I would like to think about.  I should have asked for help much sooner than I did.  But, my hope was gone concerning my chronic pain.  All the relief that I had was coming from my Fentanyl.  It was a mess, but I RECOVERED.  This brings us to the topic of recovery.  This group session consists of real opiate addicts who are in recovery just like I was.  It is very interesting what they each have to say.  A lot can be learned from looking into their minds.  

opiate addiction recovery
 Opiate Recovery Is Hard.

Now, listen in to a group of former opiate addicts who discuss what they believe constitutes “truerecovery.  We bring to you another PODCAST from Gail Gabbert’s group sessions.  Gail is founder of the website www.opiatesupportgroup.com and she does outstanding work.  We have joined forces in order to create more awareness & prevention about the heroin & opiate epidemic which is slaughtering our country right now.  More must be done.  More should have been done a decade ago and then we would not be seeing 52,000 dead Americans from over-dose deaths like we saw in year 2016.

Listening to these Podcasts and learning about the minds of recovering opiate addicts is a sure way to discover how and why addiction exists.  The more we can learn, the better we can create treatments and improve recovery.  Statistics verify that 90% of all opiate addicts  (heroin and prescription opioid pain medications like oxycontin) relapse during their first week of rehab.  This means that basically every person who enters rehab for opiate addiction fails.  Why is this?  How do we fix this?  All of these questions are bettered answered if we can learn from the exact source of the problem.

Discussion Guide:

  • How do you define recovery? 


  • What are the necessary components of recovery?


  • Has your medication (Methadone, Suboxone, Vivitrol) blunted your emotions and ability to examine the cause of your addiction?


  • Have you addressed the core issues that may have led you to opioid dependence, such as trauma and emotional distress?


  • Do you believe that you have to stop your medication in order to address these issues more fully?


What is “True” Recovery?  —->  Click on this link. Once on Page click:   “Play In New Window”

heroin podcast Podcasts are brought to us by:  Gail Gabbert from www.opiatesupportgroup.com

Heroin AddictionPlease Comment Below

We would love to hear from you or answer any questions you may have.


8 thoughts on “WHAT IS TRUE RECOVERY?

  1. Hey,

    I appreciate this article. It really speaks out to me. I don’t like telling myself that I’m an addict, but I know I am one for cigarettes. I was given the nicotine patches, but I never liked it. I had recently quit, but there are those times when I feel the urge to smoke again. I don’t take the patches anymore or smoke anymore. I feel I have recovered, but true recovery is still in progress.

    – Jason

    1. Hi Jason, I totally understand what you are saying. Perhaps we are all still addicts to whatever it is that we were addicted to. Cigs, or beer, or drugs, or porn, etc…but I guess its a “Statement of Faith” or better way of thinking about ourselves if we consider us RECOVERED (rather than constantly in recovery). Its more about being positive or positive thinking when it comes to labeling ourselves as recovered or having beat our addiction. This is rather than thinking and being called ‘addicts’ even though you quit smoking or I quit opioid drugs. Saying that I will always be in recovery and always be an addict just leaves me an out to relapse or a reason to start the addiction again. Its as if everyone expects us to relapse on our addiction if we are always in recovery or always thought of as addicts. Stay strong and never give up. If you cheat and start smoking again, try stopping again and stop. NEver give up. Eventually you will be quit for good. Have you ever tried vaping? It is suppose to be much less harmful and an easier way to stop cig smoking than stopping cold turkey or using patches of nicotine. Just a thought. Thanks for sharing. http://www.heroininme.com

  2. I lost a close friend to heroin overdose last month. We had all thought she had come off and was clean a couple years ago, but I guess she was in a constant battle of withdrawal, detox, and falling weak to it once more. It was a constant cycle and ended up taking her life over. I hope your website can help those who need it before it’s too late.

    1. Gulsah, thank you for sharing. I am so sorry about your friend and the loss of life to heroin addiction. I cannot tell you how much that hurts me to hear about another special human life that was destroyed by opiate addiction. It almost cost me my life. It wasnt heroin for me, but Fentanyl after becoming addicted from prescription pain medications from multiple surgeries. In the end, its all the same. Opiates are opiates. They have the same addictive qualities, the same detox, the exact same withdrawal feelings, and ultimately the same devastation whether they are street heroin, prescription drugs like norco or vicodin, or heavier pain drugs like Fentanyl and Opana. We are all in the same boat.

      Your friends story sounds much the same. It can be a constant battle and horrific cycle of detox, withdrawal and then relapse again. The problem is that if you detox and go clean for a period of time (months and months) and then relapse….many people start taking the same dosage that they were taking at the time at which they stopped taking the heroin and began detoxing. After months, the tolerance drops significantly as the opiate receptors in the brain stop receiving the heroin chemical. Relapsing and taking the same high dose that your body was use to before you detoxed can be overwhelming and too much. This is usually what happens and I am sorry to even bring you these details. I am sure you are still hurting as is her family. This is exactly what motivates me to continue with our awareness and prevention efforts as well as better treatments & recovery.

      In your case, this sheds light on the greater need for much better treatment methods to help people avoid relapsing again and again. Your friends is NOT alone. 90 % of heroin addicts relapse. I relapsed too many times to count. But, I never gave up and got professional help and sought out family support. Not, that your friend didn’t do this…as I am sure she tried everything. Heroin addiction is a beast…it is the worst kind of addiction that a person can experience. It is also genetic and runs in families. It is very possible that your friend never received much awareness or prevention support in the first place. Meaning that today…there is still NOT enough done to prevent people from trying or experimenting with opiate drugs. There is not enough speaking out against this horrible drug that is taking 52,000 lives a year because of over-dose. There is not enough war on drugs with passion by our government to stop the flow of heroin into our country and readily available on our streets. Heroin is cheap and its everywhere from high schools, to corner blocks, to bars and nightclubs, to colleges and corporations.

      To be successful and reduce the 52K of dying of heroin drugs…we need to increase the war on drugs in addition to the stopping of the making of a ‘customer’. No customer, No Cartel. The best remedy is for people never, ever to try heroin or any other opiate drugs in the first place. For those who this is too late for…we need the best, most effective detox treatments and therapy available. To recover best, I have found that we must take natural supplements to get our brain chemicals back in balance.

      You see, after using heroin for some time….your friends brain stopped producing dopamine and serotonin (since the drug chemical was providing it). Therefore, when one stops using heroin…the brain does not start producing the right amount of natural dopamine or serotonin immediately. It takes a lot of time (months/years) for the addicts brain to start naturally creating these good brain chemicals. So, when you stop heroin (I know this from experience of my own) you have an imbalance in your brains neurotransmitter chemicals (dopamine etc.) To go without these chemicals or the correct levels and balance means that you get depressed, in a state of despair feeling, lack of energy, fatigued, unable to feel the pleasures of life in general like other ‘normal’ peoples brains do, among other terrible effects. To not feel pleasures or natural happiness and to be depressed feeling 24 hours a day because you dont have enough dopamine (because of the drug usage) can break people down quickly. This causes them to relapse just so they can feel better again.

      I am probably not helping how you feel. But thank you for the support of this site in order to prevent this from happening to others. The best we can do is not forget your friend and allow her life to shine as an example. To make some ‘good’ come out of her life by telling her story and warning others. Regards, Matt B.

  3. Thank you for a great post. Like you mention addiction is very individual. I believe anyone can become addicted to something but for for some people addiction comes very easily.

    I was myself drinking far more than should have for many years but fortunately for me I never went overboard and became alcholic. I simply cut down on drinking (for the sake of my health) and that is it. Some people can’t do this, they have to stop completely. If they replace one drug with another then still have and addiction problem.

    What do you think of trying to stop drug addiction by replacing it with something else? I mean a passion of some kind (like sports or something) would this work?

    1. So true, that its very based on the person as to how addicted or IF they ever become addicted. Personality and genetics play a huge role. Lifestyle and environment also. I remember meeting many others in my rehab class that were raised in horrific family environments. One guy said that his entire family was using heroin, so it was impossible for him not to. Another talked about sexual abuse and dysfunction that led her to stay addicted to cover up the pain.

      YOU ARE STRONG! To be able to cut back on your drinking and pull it back under control is amazing. Many just cannot do that. You must not have had that chemical reaction take place in your body that switched you over to a full fledged alcoholic.?

      This is an outstanding idea. I have several Posts that talk about replacing your addiction with activities that actually help produce endorphins and give people a natural ‘high’. This is what I did to help my addiction. Exercise, socializing, certain foods and diet, being productive with projects or careers, good sleep…there are many things people can do to feel good and have their brains release good chemicals like dopamine via endorphins. We highly encourage this as part of all Recovery and Treatment. Thank you very much and PLEASE share in case anyone you know or friends of friends need help. We need more exposure to help others. – Matt B.

  4. I appreciate your website so much. Thanks too for directing me to the podcasts. It really helps to listen to people in recovery.

    While I have plenty of issues, fortunately, addiction is not one of them. However, my ex-wife is an addict. She started with cocaine and meth but was snorting heroin when I last saw her.

    I visit your website and listen to the podcasts to help me understand her. Thank you.

    1. Gary thank you sir! I remember you and your profile picture. You have commented before on other Posts and I really appreciate that. I hope that we can help people like you by educating and informing them. You have gone through what so many others have as far as dealing with a loved one who had addiction issues. I pray for your Ex. Is she still addicted or do you not speak to her anymore? Sorry for asking, but we are hoping people get the right help and end their addictions to live much better lives and heal relationships.

      What is interesting is that the loved-ones who are dealing with someone who is an addict are the ones who suffer the most. And, there are many MORE of these people on the sidelines trying to help addicts. Think about this: For every one addict, they probably have 5-10 people who know and love them that are having to cope with THEIR addiction. Friends, family, co-workers etc…its very hard to hide most major addictions. Therefore, people know what is going on. The addict is effecting many peoples lives around them, but its hard for them to worry about this when they cannot even help themselves. They need this support.

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