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How long does it take for opiate tolerance to disappear?


May 6, 2016
Not a long term non-stop user. If anything use of opiates never exceeds 2 weeks of duration, then there's a month or longer break. Oxycodone IR is the DOC and dosage is now at 90-120 mg..
Dosage skyrocketed seemingly over night from 30-60 mg at a time to 90-120 mg at a time... How long will it take for tolerance to go down enough so 30-60 mg can be taken at a time and get the job done again? Thanks!
It's really not something that can be predicted with any accuracy, although 2 weeks should be enough to reduce your tolerance to the lowest point that it can return to.

By "that it can return to" you mean tolerance never returns to the state before you even had used an opiate?

I don't remember where I took this from, maybe even from this forum, but when I started doing heroin I had made a research about it and I recall if you use every couple of weaks you won't build a too big tolerance, but Im not sure if tha would be enough for someone that uses regularly for a desent period of time.

Generally Im very intrested about this and Im looking forward to more answers.
i recently took a month break - totally clean, and then smoked about .2 of h
it was a rush for sure, way better than when i was on it all the time, but it wasn't as good as before i caught a habit; it never will be either
never gonna be the same as the first hit, no point chasing it (easier said than done lol)
its just something you gotta accept ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
For me, never. No joke.

When I was on Hydrocodone years ago, for 2 years, I got clean for a year. My tolerance didn't drop, it surprisingly went UP. Hydro's wouldn't get me high anymore.. I needed Oxycodone in higher doses too.
The longer the better! and then start super low and work your way up to the sweet spot so that you can Harm Reduction better and also save your stash/money.
Fully? Not very long. Even if you're decently addicted, slamming atleast 5 bags of good dope a day just to get by (not getting high) 2 weeks cold turkey will make 1 bag twice as strong to you. But you'll get a tolerance much much faster.

You can pretty much lose all your tolerance in just about a month of NO use with all opiates, but your tolerance will return much faster then original and the longer you wait the longer it will take to get a tolerance the second time.

Edit: you may have a mental tolerance that could NEVER go away, or go away in just a few days. mental tolerance+addiction is an odd subject.
i recently took a month break - totally clean, and then smoked about .2 of h
it was a rush for sure, way better than when i was on it all the time, but it wasn't as good as before i caught a habit; it never will be either
never gonna be the same as the first hit, no point chasing it (easier said than done lol)
its just something you gotta accept ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Never going to be EXACTLY the same as your first hit, of course, because things have changed in an individual's life and environment and all that, but with a long enough period of abstinence you can get back to where you started approximately, IMO/IME. (If your first experience was even that good, personally my first experiences with many hard drugs were initially underwhelming)

My opiate tolerance usually resets in 7-10 days or so.
I don't like this question because it creates a grey zone for overdoses, but for me I have found a month to give it a pretty decent reset. The thing is though, once a habit is developed it will never return to baseline.

Just some personal experience, I had a 90-120 mg a day oxy habit, got clean for 6 months off of all opiates, and when I relapsed I snorted 60 mg (2 blues) and still wasn't as high as I would have liked to have been. Maybe individual genetics differ and you could be different from me, but my tolerance has never really gone down significantly from the amount I was previously using at my peak the time before. (I hope that wording makes sense).

So for example, If I was a daily user of a gram of heroin, quit for 6 months, the first couple time I got high again would probably only take around .2 - .3 of a gram, but within a few day of repeated use I would be back up at a gram quickly.
Yeah I've had that problem in the past, went from 480 MG of oxy for 6 months and when I tried again, tolerance was basically the same.
I think this is one of those things that varies from person to person. I was on 8-12 mg Dilaudid HP q 4-6 hours for over a year. Last month I had a bad, super challenging month owing to a lot of factors, and I nearly ended up running out with a week to go. Luckily, I caught it in time and started adjusting my doses. I kept parsing them lower and lower until I was taking 3-4mg IM every 4-5 hours for 10 and a half days of hell. I just barely made it to my pain management appointment, I swear if it had been even an hour later I couldn't have driven. My doc stared me on a line with 2 or 3 mg Dilaudid before the appointment even started and scolded me like a child for not calling and telling them I was in so much trouble. Even used the word "dopesick" to my face, which was as humiliating as it sounds. There are 2 nurses at that clinic who were students of mine, so I was properly embarrassed. ��

Anyway, to the topic at hand... as soon as I filled my HP, I sped off a few blocks from my pharmacy (it's my own issue, I know, but I feel like they judge me and I refuse to bust in to my meds with them right there), pulled into a parking lot, and drew up 2 amps of 4mg/ml and took it right there in front of Starbucks. I was only 20 minutes from home so I decided not to wait around, and thank goodness I didn't. By the time I got near my house, I was terrified I was going to wreck. Or at least I should have been. For the first time in over a year, I was high. It was scary and uncomfortable.

During that time, I didn't actually go cold turkey either. I had significantly reduced my dose and was in excruciating pain - I wasn't taking enough to relieve the symptoms of my RSD/CRPS (it's a painful, degenerative nerve condition caused by crushing trauma to the body), just enough to keep me out of full fledged withdrawals. It suuuucked. But that was two weeks ago, and I'm only taking 4mg/ml every 4-6 hours during the day and then 6mg/ml at bedtime. That's precisely half of what I was taking 30 days ago.
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To answer what seems to be the ultimate question here, tolerance doesn't seem to ever fully disappear. Maybe someone with more technical insight can explain the phenomenon, but that's the way it is. It's not like I don't enjoy Heroin a lot, but it's not the "Everything is rosy and I'm riding my unicorn into the magical forest of infinite pleasure" like that first time. I feel it's complicated, but it's just like anything else in life really.

Pembroke, I apologize for this, but it's extremely irresponsible to take high doses of Opiates and then get behind the wheel of a car. In this setting, think of a car less as a means of transportain, like from point A to point B and more of a 2,000 pound killing maching capable of murdering dozens of people in mere seconds, ruining your and their life in the process.

Part of us being respected as a community is keeping the negative effects of our drug use to ourselves. When we start pushing our negativity onto others, say in the form of intoxicated driving, we can no longer claim moral innocence. I know it sounds corny, but every Opiate-intoxicated driver who kills another person is a shot to the community as a whole. It perpetuates the stereotype of a "say anything, do anything, fuck anybody" image of the addict.
There's no need to apologize. I made a poor choice that afternoon. Additionally, I understand this sentiment - especially coming from an outside perspective in a forum that largely focuses on recreational usage. I certainly won't take a dose on my drive home again after a break in dosing like that, or possibly ever again as I'm generally well medicated before leaving for my appointments anyway and this rarely require additional doses before returning home. This was simply something I didn't expect.

When I was first placed on oxycodone, I didn't drive for about a week while I learned how it impacted me; when they switched me to Dilaudid, I took similar action, and then again when I went from Dilaudid to Dilaudid HP and then to Levorphanol and other synthetics. The big issue here was my failure to recognize what a huge impact that forced taper would have on me. It was stupid and it didn't occur to me in the slightest that what only 10 days prior constituted wholly regular dosing would do that to me.

Now that my dose has been reduced and re-adjusted, though, I do drive on it. There are copious studies supporting the fact that, when specifically talking about chronic pain patients on therapeutic doses of opioids in the long term, driving improves at best and has no adverse impact at worst when the patient is medicated at their usually level. Within one study that claimed otherwise, the study related all participants who had drugs in their system in the same way, including those with multi-drug toxicity, recreational drugs, and mixed medications which were not prescribed and monitored. Even the studies and guidelines that seem to not support allowing opioid tolerant pain patients to drive, the closing guidelines repeatedly refer to discouraging patients from driving "for 7-14 days or until dosing is appropriately adjusted to provide relief without sedation". This isn't like the anecdotes of people who claim they drive better after drinking or smoking pot, it's based on the long term study of opioid dependent pain patients. We are more dangerous on the road when our pain is not well managed than when it is. That is why my anesthetist let me drive out of his clinic less than an hour after having 2-3mg IV Dilaudid. He's not an irresponsible or rash doctor - he's following a protocol supported by the available evidence.

Being that I expected that to be my "normal" dose - which I had been stable on for over a year - I did not expect it to hit me like that. I failed to achieve appropriate relief without sedation. That doesn't make it okay and it doesn't mean I didn't royally fuck up that day. That is all on me. In the future, especially after changes in dosage or brand or after tapering like I did, I'll wait to take my first dose until I'm at home for the day to avoid a similar issue because it was scary, I really didn't like it, and I recognized as soon as I pulled into my driveway that this was an aberrant event that I don't wish to repeat. However, to suggest that I shouldn't drive at all if I've taken a medication I take about every 4 hours every day of my life and with literature supporting the fact that most long-term, opioid-dependent pain patients are as safe or safer on the road when taking regular doses of medication doesn't make sense. Outside of this one event, which I won't repeat, there's truly no reason for me (and other opioid dependent patients with chronic and severe pain) not to drive on my regular doses of opioids.

TL;DR: I agree that I messed up by not anticipating the impact of the medication change (which rendered me above a herapuetic dose), but also like to share the available information which is generally supportive of pain patients driving on our long-term medications at therapeutic doses.
Pembroke, there's zero judgment here. That paragraph was for everyone and anyone who may have been looking in on us. Society seems to think we're a bunch of degenerates out to unintentionally murder as many drug users as we can. I'm trying to make sure we present the right face, basically.

I have been behind the wheel of a car, driving down winding country roads while I was quite literally falling asleep and waking up with my care in a different position on the road. I knew I was fucked up and I still got behind the wheel. Why? My parents would be pissed if I was late getting home. That was excuse enough to potentially murder who knows how many people through my irresponsibility. I ended up getting home anyway, completely rocked and unable to stay awake, so was it worth it?

It honestly makes me doubt my "goodness" after reflecting on it. How can I be a good person if I'm willing to take people's lives in my hands for something as trivial as upsetting my parents. It's crazy.

I don't want you to think that I'm implying I'm better than you Pembroke. Hell, I'm probably much worse! Everyone needs to hear it about driving. We don't condone it and when it's mentioned we do a miniature safety lesson just to hammer the point home.
Oh, yeah, I wasn't offended at all. I did fuck up majorly and had zero business driving. All the excuses in the world wouldn't have mattered if I'd killed someone.
Well there really isn't a timeline to these things. For that kind of toleramce to go down it would take quite awhile of some clean time from opis as well as your DOC. But I find that even when you do take a break and get your tolerance down that first dose may be low, but its like the next time you go to do it again after like 2 times it just jumps right back up to where it was sk the break really isn't all that worth it. To get your type of tolerance down to a decent place were talkin a month or two maybe three. But to get it down and to stay down for awhile 6 months or a year. But again it jumps back up quickly regardless.

Doing drugs a lot just stops becoming fun man and just turns to an expensive habit. Your tolerance never really leaves man. When you really think about it thats why people get clean man cuz they cant afford to keep up with their habits and thats when you start doing bad shit. If everyone could afford their habit you wouldnt have to lie,cheat,steal and end up in jail. We could just be high and happy. I like to say I have a money problem not a drug problem lmao.

Bottom line lowering your tolerance doesnt really do much and isn't really worth all the time you wait to get it down decently.
There is nothing wrong with driving on copious amounts of opiates so long as it's your REGULAR dose. I'm on 120 MG of methadone a day and I drive to work then work for 12 hours a day using heavy equipment and assorted tools ( I'm a mechanical fitter at a industrial plant that manufactures cyanide) and I'm absolutely fine. It's when your taking the shit to cook yourself it becomes a problem. I wouldn't be too hard on yourself mate, you fucked up, it's a mistake, not a deliberate, your aware you fucked up, u know it was bad, end of story. No need for a hundred and fifty lectures and finger wagging and listen here young whipper snapper, you bloody flamin shouldn't have..blah blah blah. Your aware how potentially catastrophic it could of been so Shit happens man just don't make a habit out of it.