The Top Ten Reasons To Stop Taking Opiates

As you read the top ten reasons to stop taking opiates, please keep in mind that I am not trying to be judgmental with this list. Some of the reasons to top taking opiates may apply to you and some may not. My hope is that this list will help you be honest and objective with yourself about your opiate dependency and why you should stop. This is your life.

  1. The Highs Are Getting Lower And The Lows Are Getting Longer

    As your body has become tolerant of the drug, a good “high” or that feeling of contentment is getting harder and harder to come by. And you know what? Even if you take more pills, you’ll never get it back. What you will get is depressed…those shorter and shorter moments of euphoria aren’t worth the longer and longer bouts of depression, irritability and fixation on the next dose.

  2. Your Work Is Suffering

    Taking opiates/painkillers has an insidious, negative impact on your train of thought and your ability to perform. When you take pain killers, you may even feel a rush of energy and what seems like “focus.” It’s not really energy OR focus, it’s more “inhibition.” The opposite is actually happening and most of the time when I was taking Vicodin at work, I was doing crappy work and also not completing what I needed to do in a timely manner. In short, while you may think you’re doing just fine at work, you’re probably not doing half as well as when you were sober.

  3. You Can’t Remember All The Good Stuff

    I don’t know about you but my opiate dependency turned my brain into oatmeal. My short term memory was lousy! It has been proven that cognitive and executive function is reduced when taking opiates so this makes sense. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched a movie and woken up the next morning not knowing how it ended…or even what the movie was about. Now think about how many memories you have lost that really mattered! Maybe it was a great time spent with a loved one or a great conversation you had with your kid…don’t let these pills steal all of your great memories!

  4. Your Children Know, And They’re Concerned

    It’s amazing how much even 2 year-olds can pick up from their parents! They feed off your energy and take their cues from your moods and everything that you say. I’ll never forget reading a bedtime story to my 5 year old daughter after I had taken my customary night time dose of 5 Vicodin 10/325′s and guzzled about 5 glasses of wine (Woodbridge Chardonnay…gag). I was really “high” and I was having a hard time reading Green Eggs and Ham! I looked up from the book and my daughter was just staring at me as if to say “Dad, what the #@%&?” She didn’t have to say anything, she knew…

  5. Your Friends Miss You

    Since pills (or your opiate of choice) are your priority #1 right now, everything else suffers. Do you spend as much time with your pals as you used to? Talk on the phone much? Face it; if they aren’t involved in your drug use in some way, chances are that they are slowly fading off into the distance. In other words, you’re quickly becoming really lame.

  6. You’ve Lost Your Passions

    Do you have any passions? Or rather DID you have any passions? Was it gardening, reading books, hanging out with friends, golf or just a general hobby that helped you escape? How much time do you spend on your passions now? If you’re hooked on pain killers, THEY are your passion.

  7. Your Body Has Officially Stopped Loving You

    After all, if you’re taking large quantities of liver-shriveling pain killers and generally not taking care of your most precious asset, your body is not going to reward you with its best performance. I know this may come across as holier than thou and agonizingly obvious but it has to be stated that these medications when taken incorrectly are just plain bad for you.

  8. Got Mood Swings? Pain Killers Bring Out Your Dr. Jeckyl and your Mr. Hyde

    Opiates affect the neurotransmitters that control (along with many other things) the mood centers (Dopamine and Serotonin levels) in your brain. Along with that euphoric feeling when you take pills comes a healthy dose of rage, depression, anxiety and other moods that make you a generally unpleasant person to be around. When I was in withdrawal, I was particularly unpleasant and nasty; for good reason of course. If you sense these moods and feel like you can’t control them, you’re not imagining it…the drugs are having their way with your mojo and you’re just along for the ride. I can tell you with relative certainty that your friends and family never know what “You” is going to show up when you’re on these drugs. I can remember at least 5 times when my withdrawals (due to running out too soon!) ruined family vacations, get-togethers and other things that should have been fun but became hell.

  9. Your Love Life Probably Sucks

    If you’re addicted to pain killers, they not only hamper your physical ability to “perform” they also probably lessen your libido. Take Cialis or whatever you want but you’re not going to want to engage in any sort of intimacy of any kind; even holding hands becomes irritating.

    Want to hear the cruel irony of it all? One of side effects of opiate withdrawal that you may notice -if you decide to quit- is that you become extremely amorous (in thought)…yes, it can happen. But if you are actually having sex while you are in opiate withdrawal then you probably aren’t in withdrawal.

  10. You Are Liable To Do Some Really Stupid Things

    This is true for alcohol or any intoxicant. If you’re inebriated and uninhibited on pain pills or booze or both (which was my personal preference), you’re inevitably going to do some really stupid things. It’s as if you all of a sudden, you time-warped back to when you were 14. There’s a whole myriad of stupid things to do when you’re on pain killers: “heroic” physical feats of strength or courage (i.e. things that could get you killed), saying really stupid things to the wrong people, stupid decisions with money, stupid decisions with the opposite sex and perhaps most of all, the really, really stupid idea that taking five more of those Vicodin will make you five times higher!


First published: Jan 2009

Edited: April 2016