Does opioid tolerance last a lifetime? More specifically if someone was regularly taking opioids for years, developed a high tolerance, but was able to withdraw and stay off for several years – would the tolerance remain? Or would it return more quickly than in someone who never had a tolerance?
Tolerance does not last a lifetime. Depending of family of substances it lasts more or less time. For opiates, it is necessary weeks or months to significantly reduce tolerance. In some months tolerance diminish practically to levels of people who never had used substance. In persons with a previous history of tolerance or antecedents of opiate abuse/dependence it is typical that the phenomenon (tolerance) develops more quickly when re-using opiates.