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Home » Opiate Addiction » The agony of opioid withdrawal — and what doctors should tell patients about it | Travis Rieder

The agony of opioid withdrawal — and what doctors should tell patients about it | Travis Rieder

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The United States accounts for five percent of the world’s population but consumes almost 70 percent of the total global opioid supply, creating an epidemic that has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths each year. How did we get here, and what can we do about it? In this personal talk, Travis Rieder recounts the painful, often-hidden struggle of opioid withdrawal and reveals how doctors who are quick to prescribe (and overprescribe) opioids aren’t equipped with the tools to eventually get people off the meds.

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In an effort to combat the growing epidemic of prescription drug and heroin abuse, the DEA and FBI have released “Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict,” a documentary aimed at educating students and young adults about the dangers of addiction. For more information for parents and educators, visit getsmartaboutdrugs.com. For teens to learn more, visit justthinktwice.com.
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40 thoughts on “The agony of opioid withdrawal — and what doctors should tell patients about it | Travis Rieder

  1. hoot1141

    What would fix this crisis is legalizing all drugs. It’s that simple.

  2. helium 30

    Try getting off a 15 year heroin and methadone habit,I tried cold turkey 3 times and ended up in hospital each time with dehydration and psychosis,this guy's story is overdramatic for somebody with such a short habit.

  3. TJ Michael

    My ex went thru what this man did but did not make it ..no one helps you and I drove him one night into a park because he said he wanted to die there in nature…I did this because I thought I could reason with him during the ride…he said he would be ok and become calm so we returned home where I fell asleep….the next morning he left me a note saying goodbye

  4. Carnal Carnage

    Much love and strength out to anyone out there suffering right now. I've never shared my story before, as it's not terribly interesting, doesn't favor or really even involve any side of the whole opiate crisis debate, and I just didn't think sharing it would amount to anything. I've dealt with a lot of different pain for a large part of my still quite young life now. What those pains could be, however, I can't tell ya. I've gone a long time without hospital care, doctor visits, or anything of the like for any reason. I've only ever been ER'd once for specifically a pain issue, and when I got there I told them "no opiates, just put me to sleep." Now I've had my fair share of play on both sides of the fence. I've taken large doses of opiates before recreationally because I do, in fact, enjoy the buzz. I also self medicate with low threshold hydro and oxy based products for what I would call a mild to moderate chronic pain with occasional spikes into severe territory. I've never asked a doctor to prescribe me anything once for a plethora of reasons, but mostly, I just don't want to get caught up in all that bureaucracy and have my fate hinge on someone else's decision. I don't know if any of that will ever change, I don't know if I'll stop taking, and I don't know if I'll stop hurting either. It doesn't seem like it. I just wanna say I've been there and I understand. I've been up and down on every ride and felt every bump along the way. I don't care what your situation is or who you are, how you got there, whether it was your doctor's fault or yours, whatever. Just know, somewhere out there, across the endless sea of people weathering everything life can throw at them, one lone little oddhead is sitting here wishing you the best, hoping you make it through whatever it is that ails you, whether it's the addiction itself, your next withdrawal along the way, or anything else for that matter. Chin up and try to stay positive, it's all we got in the end.

  5. BS in The Shop

    buprenorphine is a miracle drug for withdrawals

  6. Simon Oliver

    CBD is what you need to help ween and reduce the dependency

  7. lex mark

    That's because he got reprimanded by the DEA saying he was over prescribing to his patients and so he had to tell all his patients that he was on he was prescribing too much

  8. Carolyn Rempel

    My story….secondary to a catastrophic injury and healing I went from 160 mg morphine per day to none with no withdrawal issues. As a 30 plus year paramedic who does side research, I knew how to taper down effectively. I sent my info and experience to every Canadian provincial health minister, plus about 30 governors in the US. This isn't rocket science. 10% reduction every 3-4 days from the current dose you are on. I had to divide capsule contents to achieve this. Hope this helps others.

  9. Meschach Horne

    I'll never forget it. The most horrible time of me & my dad's life. I had to stay in the shower for long periods of time to cool myself down, cant sleep so spent hours in the shower, modilating my bodies tempature. God be with anyone getting off this Drug.

  10. Yes I’m Blessed

    Thank you for sharing your story. In 2009, my cousin’s beautiful son lost his life to an opioid overdose. It began when he was hurt in a car accident. Also, my sister was addicted to opioids for decades. I’m not sure if she still has this problem or not, as she lives 1200 miles away. She took them as recreational drugs though and has always been somewhat of a selfish person. Still, though she almost died more than once, I’m very glad she’s still here. Like car accidents, this has become a large contributor to the loss of so many people.

  11. Anna Green


  12. Palaven

    Been on Tramadol (synthetic opiod) for approx 12 yrs. started with 2 and ended up on 10 pills of 50 mg a day. Been through withdrawal during the last yr. I managed to reduce Tramadol to 2 thanks to weed and microdosing mushrooms. The only thing I miss about Tramadol are the extremely lucid dreams I had and the seemingly endless amount of energy I seemed to have.

  13. Elizabeth Di Francesca

    And this guy is in great condition, but the doctors ignored him too.and no one can use insurance for any alternative care and treatment

  14. Adam Guest

    Look out for counterfeit pills, they almost killed me and they did kill Prince.

  15. PurePessimism

    I WISH I got this guys taper!! At the rehab I went to I got a 9 day suboxone taper from a HEAVY smoked fentanyl addiction and my withdrawal was nothing in comparison to what this guy is talking about

  16. PurePessimism

    I swear there is something mentally/neurologically wrong with this guy. His withdrawals, especially the fact he was was having such bad withdrawals WHILE he was still tapering and ON the drug, is just… WHAT!? I'm an ex fentanyl addict (the most powerful opioid) went cold turkey a number of times, no where NEAR as bad or long term as the withdrawals he talks about having

  17. Marcus Schmück

    Try cold turkey withdrawal from Klonopin after 10+ years of being prescribed it.

  18. Shirley B

    I can relate oh so well my friend, thanks for sharing God bless to all those innocent falling victim to the so called opiate/ opiods war. Your not alone Mt friebd, cheers.

  19. Dave Snyder

    U should tried valium and blood pressure pills plus kratom, would have been alot easier.

  20. Dee Lish

    Such an accurate description of opioid withdrawal.

  21. Bonnie Wells

    EPIC FAIL F.B.I. Weed never has been a gateway. But I back you up full force on the opiates. They truly are a problem and my family has been affected. Thank God I'm allergic to opiates else I'd be a statistic

  22. Zach Schaut

    This is the conversation that is used to have with your parents

  23. Salah Udeen

    When they say "real people…. good people" what they mean is white kids.

    When these same racist cia cunts filled black neighbourhoods with crack it was all good. Karma bitch

  24. Light is greater than darkness

    Don't ever FORCE an addict into jail or rehab to get them off the drug, it WILL backfire in such a huge way. While you think all they need is time away from the drug and they'll come home and be that same ol 16 year old you knew, they are thinking EVERY…SINGLE…DAY… About when they can be free to feel happiness on their drug again. That is what killed that Sierra girl. Believe me, I know what it feels like to not be able to feel happy every day, but knowing after a certain amount of time you can once again be reunited with peace and joy. A decision to get clean MUST come from WITHIN the person themself or all you are doing is putting the addiction on "pause"… That mother controlled that girl to her death…

  25. Remy Grunge

    Yeah, but big pharma is blameless, right? Cause its not they're fault if you get addicted to the drugs they made and pushed on us…"it started with pot" bullshit!!! Propaganda, don't buy this crap!!!

  26. Jonathon Zion

    I’m a recovering addict trying to start a business designed to give back to the community that got me clean! Please check out the link

  27. keeranimal8

    This shit is heart wrenching…yeah, I know there is some level of propaganda here, but the truth is is that opiates are fucking powerful. I had three surgeries this past summer… I have been knocking back percocet with what feels like a damn pez dispenser…doc keeps giving me more, but I save em now. Thank god I they don't grab me the way they do some…unfortunately, alcohol is my demon. I would choose a shot of Jack over a bucket of Oxy any day…

  28. JC C

    Lets spread knowledge and harm reduction, not paranoid. Fear is not going to steer someone from using drugs.

  29. Loving Vancouver Media

    Fuck you James.

  30. Joseph DuPont

    How about telling the truth about the likes of Dr, Like Dr. David Dao. Dr. David Dao was charged in 2005 with 98 felony drug counts for illegally prescribing and trafficking painkillers. Prosecutors claimed Dao fraudulently filled prescriptions for hydrocodone, Oxycontin and Percocet.

    Dr. Dao was also convicted on 6 felony counts of obtaining drugs by fraud and deceit and in 2005 was given 5 years probation.

    Dao was also convicted for writing prescriptions and checks to a patient in exchange for sex.

    In medical board documents … Dao denied paying for sex, but indicated he accepted sexual favors from an associate in exchange for reducing a debt that associate owed him.

    In February, 2005, Dr. Dao surrendered his license to practice medicine in Kentucky. In 2015 the medical board lifted the suspension and allowed him to practice medicine with some restrictions. Last year, the medical board imposed even more restrictions — now he can only practice internal medicine in an outpatient facility one day a week.

    Interestingly, and relevant to the United incident, one doctor assessing Dao's case said he had interpersonal problems, noting "… he would unilaterally choose to do his own thing."

  31. Yako G

    fuck outta here…Fbi n dea brought it here n keep it here u two r the problem

  32. block Chaine


  33. Pierre Jefferson

    Drugs are a easy way to try and escape reality! They can turn you
    into a zombie and destroy your life.

  34. marky mark

    opiates are awesome but u have to b strong and limit yourself to one 10mg norco every couple weeks like when u have to go visit yr mother in law .

  35. Jade Lilly

    This is such lunacy. The kid saying he couldn't get pot, so he panicked and did ocycoton instead!? Are you kidding me!? This whole video has less to do with actual opioid addiction and more to do with the FBI and the DEA trying to keep pot illegal. This is absolutely NUTS!!!

  36. pcross84

    What if they're addicted to, say, adrenochrome?

  37. pcross84

    Comey: Today we are facing a crisis, one that is killing far too many people.

    Didn't know Hillary Clinton was in this…

    #arkancide #qanon #MAGA #wwg1wga

  38. pcross84

    Didn't realize that lying sack of shit Comey was in this.

  39. LaLaObeRoT

    Most people get started on prescription drugs. Legally.
    The responsibility is with the companies, that knowingly manufacture opiates in quantities that for sure are way beyond health applications.
    The responsibility is with doctors that prescribe opiates knowingly in quantities, that can only lead to addiction.

  40. oldman baller50

    Weed is not a gateway drug thats bullshit there are more than a dozen scientific studies that prove its not.

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