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Thread: How long does it normally take for opiate tolerance to go down?

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    How long does it normally take for opiate tolerance to go down? 
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    Bluelighter blueeyes26's Avatar
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    I've been taking Norcos for about 3 years. Had a bad addiction to them. I stopped taking them about a week ago and I was wondering how long does it take for tolerance to go down? I was taking up to 15-20 a day. I go back to see my PM in about 2 weeks and im hoping I don't need that many to "feel good".
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    #2
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    A long, long, long time. Think months to years for any significant reduction.

    There's no way a sane doctor would prescribe 15-20 norcos a day, so presuming you took that many "to feel good", your tolerance might go down a bit after stopping for 3 weeks. Unfortunately any decrease in tolerance will be extremely temporary and short-lived.
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    #3
    Bluelighter blueeyes26's Avatar
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    Oh no my dr prescribed me only 2 a day. I took it upon myself to take more. And had other ways of getting them when I would run out of what dr prescribed. It really depended on what time of day I was taking them. If I took them in the morning on an empty stomach I didn't need that many to feel the high. But as soon as I had anything in my stomach food wise, it would take more. Even after fasting for 4 hours or more. Now what about withdrawal? I had horrible withdrawal coming off of them. Clonidine and xanax helped a little. Will I have terrible withdrawal again when I stop taking them for the 2nd time?
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    #4
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    For withdrawals, I suggest you read this thread, and of course, the opioid withdrawal megathread.

    I also get better effects from taking oxycodone on an empty stomach in the morning, and a light meal doesn't ruin it for me, usually I'll take the pills first and then eat a bit later.
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    #5
    Bluelighter blueeyes26's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info! I looked at the withdrawal mega thread and there is so much advice on there. I will definitely refer to it again if my w/d comes back full force again
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    #6
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    I hope you are CWEing if you are taking 15-20 Norcos because that amount of tylenol will do some damage to your liver.

    As for getting through the 2 days, you should be fine with what you have. At your prime? I'd suggest a definite 'No'
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    #7
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    Yeah the liver damage would be substantial if they aren't doing a cold water extraction.
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    Bluelighter blueeyes26's Avatar
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    I actually never tried cwe. But I plan on doing it from now on. When I went to get blood work done my dr was surprised that my liver was perfectly fine. And I would like to keep it that way...I guess I got lucky this time. Im not taking as many as I use to since now im also on nucynta and that seems to help with not craving a norco every damn hour. Im actually starting to think I MIGHT like the nucynta better. But damn is it expensive! I don't have insurance so I pay<No price discussion > per month. Thanks for all the advice/tips I really appreciate it
    Last edited by Coraline; 26-08-2012 at 11:54.
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    #9
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    It took me 13 months to drop my tolerance to almost baseline levels. Great?
    Nope, it lasted a week and my tolerance was straight back.
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    #10
    Bluelighter *samsonite*'s Avatar
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    Sorry to say, a week off won't do a thing for your tolerance level. Been there, done that. Even after taking a significant amount of time off, as soon as you start taking it again, you basically pick up where you left off. IME after going back on them it took a while before I would wd from not having them but my tolerance remained the same. Sorry
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    #11
    Its about a week for every month you have been using. But that is very broad, but its a range widely accepted. It mainly depends on your body, metabolism a bunch of different factors. But even after that amount of time, you can still feel out of it, as it takes years to be fully there... Or so Ive been told.
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    #12
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    You need way more than a week per month of continuyous use to reset your tolerance. It's the other way around as a rule of thumb, if you use opis everyday continuously for 5-7 days it will probably take you upwards of a month to dissipate most of your tolerance.

    But it's highly variable on the drug, genetics, diet, frequency & size of dose, RoA et cetera. Generally shorter-acting drugs like Opana/oxymorphine, Dilaudid/hydromorphone, heroin are all easier to "shake off" than drugs like extended release oxycodone4 or methadone.
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    #13
    So your saying that I would need to be off drugs for 16 years if I was using for four years? Sorry dude but your wrong. Its a week per every month before you start feeling normal.
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    #14
    Sometimes never...especially in people on massive methadone amounts for years...so glad I never went that route...
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    #15
    Bluelighter Znegative's Avatar
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    I kicked a year long 100mg methadone habit and managed to stay clean before relapsing six months later on some heroin which I got very high off of. I was able to even nod off of a matchstick sized bump for hours. It's highly possible that the dope was really good but I Imagine that at the time, six months was all it took to get my tolerance back to baseline again.

    After that relapse I stayed clean for nearly nine months, when I relapsed off of 15mg of hydrocodone, which also got me high as all hell. This time however, I continued to use, and the next day I picked up a few bundles of heroin. While it only took me 15mg of hydro on Day 1 to get a nod going, by day 3 I was shooting 2 bags, and by day 5 I was shooting 3 and not even getting that high anymore. I then took a weeks break (not intentionally, but rather due to the fact that I was forced to visit my relatives in the midwest where I didn't know where to cop), and when I got back to the city, my tolerance had once again dropped to the point where I could sniff a bag and be stoned for six hours straight. But just like before, it was really only two days before I was shooting upwards of three bags to get high.

    Like others have said, you can get your tolerance back to baseline. But I don't think that you can ever get to a point where you can consistantly get high off of the same dosage for any sustained ammount of time like one can when they first start taking opiates.
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    #16
    The tolerance may go down but it comes back so fast once resuming the drug. I started with hydrocodone(norco) at one point I was eating 30 and not feeling anything at all same with oxycodone got to a point of rediculous tolerance. Thats when I switched to H and everything became so much worse.
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    #17
    Bluelighter blueeyes26's Avatar
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    You guys are absolutely right. It usually takes at least 15 norcos for me to feel anything. I took 6 the other day and got a slight buzz. Today that definitely didn't work. I had to take 13-plus a nucynta to feel anything at all. The only difference im noticing this time is that I can go a day or two without taking any and I don't go through w/d. But I think that has to due with the fact that I have the nucynta and tramadol so perhaps that's making the w/d stay away. I really wanna stop taking them for good but my mind plays tricks on me...its like I have someone in my head telling me to go get more because you need to feel good. For mr this might br worse than the physical dependency.
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    #18
    Bluelighter shreddedlettuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueeyes26 View Post
    its like I have someone in my head telling me to go get more because you need to feel good. For mr this might br worse than the physical dependency.
    This is the case for most people, not only you.
    Quote Originally Posted by blueeyes26 View Post
    The only difference im noticing this time is that I can go a day or two without taking any and I don't go through w/d. But I think that has to due with the fact that I have the nucynta and tramadol so perhaps that's making the w/d stay away.
    No doubt about it.
    You have to quit 100% if you want to make it work.
    Remember that this can have a huge positive psychological effect in reaching your goal (thinking that you need something else to get through w/d's is just "treading water" and relapse is inevitable, but getting out of the "water" 100% is the only way to stay dry.)
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    #19
    Bluelight Crew Sepher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SproutOnSmack View Post
    It took me 13 months to drop my tolerance to almost baseline levels. Great?
    Nope, it lasted a week and my tolerance was straight back.
    ^This^. I'm not sure you ever get back to baseline once you've had a habit for any time. It gets pretty close but might take a year to get there after a few years daily use. Tolerance and physical addiction reestablish themselves very rapidly though once you've had a habit and start using again. A matter of days with daily use, right back to square one. You're almost certainly not gonna find you only need half as much of your average intake within only a coupla weeks or so.
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    #20
    Bluelighter deeSUHAL's Avatar
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    here is my personal experience with tolerance. Now, this strictly speaking for heroin. If you wait 3-5 days without use your tolerance will go down maybe a bag less: you will catch the same high minus a bag. So, for me that would be 5-6 bag normally and after that 3-5 day clean period 4-5 bag would give me the same high . After maybe 2 weeks you could probably do half so the 5-6 bag shot would be 2-3 bags. From then on it kinda decreases really slow. Maybe a 2-3 month and you would be at the 1 bag level. To get to pre-opiate level I am not sure because I never got there or been clean long enough to find out. However, the longer you have been on dope and more dope you use the longer it takes to lower your tolerance. I remember when i first start shooting/ I would do a 3 bag shot that would get me in such a serious nod that it was close to od'ing; thus, I stuck to 1-2 bags shot exclusively . Fast forward a about a 1 & 1/2 years during my peak here a minimal shot is 4 bags and really good shot is 7-8 bags. So, in that time of 1 & 1/2 years my tolerance tripled . But there are other aspects: the high I would catch in the begging would last for like 8+ hours, Now that the 7-8 bags shot might only be for 5 hours, at most. Plus, the rush isn't as good. So, if your just trying to get your tolerance to a reasonable and affordable level stop for 2-4 weeks and it should be cut in about 1/2. But after that 2-4 weeks period the decline seems to be exponential and not linear. At least, that is how it works for me.

    Ohh and you can't forget about craving during my peak I was using 25-50 bags a day, but during the beginingg I was using half a bun. The more you do the more you crave(^cubed).

    Anyways this is my personal and subjective experience "so, don't quote me, boy!" j/k
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    #21
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    As just about everyone has said already, any reduction in tolerance is usually very short lived, so if you wish to keep your tolerance down you have to take a break, and then use like once every 10 days to keep your tolerance about the same.

    Since most people aren't going to abstain from using drugs that much the more realistic approach is to take 1/4 of your normal dose on most days, and then take your "high dose" once every 7-10 days.

    Quote Originally Posted by blueeyes26 View Post
    The only difference im noticing this time is that I can go a day or two without taking any and I don't go through w/d. But I think that has to due with the fact that I have the nucynta and tramadol so perhaps that's making the w/d stay away.
    Depending on your habit, it can take a while to feel withdrawals from a reduced dose, whether it be taking a lowered dose of the same medication, or stopping one opioid while continuing to take others.
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    #22
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    NMDA Antagonists can help slow down the normal speed of progression in regards to tolerance but otherwise, as the AMA has defined, Addiction is a PROGRESSIVE disease. You can take long breaks but use for a few days in a row after not using, and your old tolerance will catch up with you rather quickly. There is no end-run-around it....
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