How to stop withdrawals from Hydrocodone and Oxycodone Naturally
Hydrocodone and Oxycodone belong to a wide group of drugs called opioids that are used to manage moderate to severe pain. They are commonly used to treat chronic or acute pain or as ingredients in other drugs used to manage specific medical conditions in patients. Despite their efficiency as painkillers, these opiates are highly addictive and are regularly listed as leading causes of addiction-related vices in many states across the U.S. They are both listed as Schedule II drugs because of their potential for abuse.
Addiction to drugs like Hydrocodone and Oxycodone cost the American taxpayer billions in revenue annually in losses related to healthcare costs, crimes, and labor-related issues. To the individual, addiction to such opiates results in a loss of social and economic function as the addiction takes over one’s life. Despite the negative impact of opiate addiction, most people still have difficulties making the decision to quit, largely due to the addictive nature of the drug and the fear of withdrawal symptoms. So how do withdrawals develop and can they be managed for a smoother outcome? The following section looks at the intricacies of addiction and withdrawal from these opiates.
Addiction and Dependency to Hydrocodone and Oxycodone
Hydrocodone is prescribed for moderate to severe pain and is only available as a prescription by your doctor for acute or chronic pain events. It can also be combined with antihistamines to provide relief from pain associated with coughing. In the U.S., it is the most abused opiate and thus must be prescribed by a doctor (Holland, 2015). Oxycodone is also a Schedule II drug that is prescribed for moderate to severe pain. Like Hydrocodone, it has a high potential for creating a dependency when used for extended periods of time.
Both Hydrocodone and Oxycodone act on the central nervous system to alter the way the brain receives pain signals. Nerve endings transmit signals from adjacent nerve cells through chemicals called neurotransmitters. One such neurotransmitter, endorphins, is responsible for suppressing some amount of pain by binding on specific sites on the nerve endings. Opiates such as Hydrocodone and Oxycodone bind on to these sites and enhance the pain relief qualities of endorphins.
With time, the body drastically reduces its endorphin production and becomes fully dependent on the synthetic chemicals. With dependency, you will find that you will always need more of the drug to numb the same amount of pain. At this point, your doctor should start reducing your dosage or advise you to stop using the drugs altogether. If the trend continues, addiction sets in and you will find it extremely difficult to function without your daily dose.
Withdrawal from Hydrocodone and Oxycodone
When you skip your daily dose for as little as 10 hours in some cases, your body responds with adverse reactions that are characteristic of withdrawal symptoms. Your muscles, often numbed by the opiate drugs for the duration of use, will start transmitting pain signals again. Without endorphins or the opiates to suppress this pain, you will experience muscle pains, aches, and strains within the first few hours after you stop taking the drugs.
Within the next couple of hours, you will begin experiencing symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, agitation, leg cramps, cold chills, hot and cold sweats, runny nose, and other flu-like symptoms while your body reacts to the deficiency. As the body begins adjusting and balancing its endorphin supply, symptoms tend to become more psychological in nature. They will include insomnia, confusion, mood swings, anxiety, depression, and in some cases, hallucinations.
Managing Withdrawal Symptoms Naturally
There are a number of substances that you can use to reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms. Some people will use other less potent drugs to wean off Hydrocodone and Oxycodone. Still these drugs will have their own withdrawal symptoms and you will need to taper from them too. The best way is to withdraw by gradually reducing your dose while managing withdrawal symptoms as they come. You can manage your symptoms naturally using a number of items that can be easily obtained from the store. Basic items like sanitary paper, towels and tissues should be readily available at home or from the nearest convenience store. Others include:
Healthy, Balanced Diet
When withdrawing, eating will be the last thing on your mind because of constant nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that will keep your appetite low. However, you should always ensure you eat a lot green leafy vegetables and fruits to keep your body from total collapse. Try light, healthy snacks on the first days when the symptoms are at their worst. You can try other food like grilled chicken when your digestive system can handle heavier food.
Take In Lots of Fluids
The role of fluids during the withdrawal period can never be overemphasized. A majority of the withdrawal symptoms, for instance, sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea will quickly deplete the water reservoirs in your body, leaving you dangerously dehydrated. Stock up on enough energy drinks, fruit juice, and water that has been enriched with electrolytes to help you replace lost vitamins and minerals.
Before you start the withdrawal process, talk to a doctor about the best medication to help you overcome some of the withdrawal symptoms. Drugs such as Imodium AD for reducing diarrhea, Tylenol for muscle aches and cramps, and Pepto Bismal for cramps and nausea will be good companions during the withdrawal. Always ensure you take non-addictive drugs during this period.
Keep Yourself Preoccupied
One of the best ways to naturally endure the symptoms of the withdrawal period is by keeping your mind busy. This is one of the best times to discover a new hobby or watch that blockbuster movie that you have always been keeping off. If you are lucky enough to have a friend or family member help you through this period, find something that you can both do like challenging them to a video game or taking a walk around the neighborhood. Whatever you chose to do, make sure it is interesting enough (and legal) to keep your mind away from withdrawal symptoms.
Natural Withdrawal Aid
Withdrawal aids are important additions to your withdrawal program. When added to your tapering schedule, withdrawal aids such as CalmSupport help you to naturally overcome some of the worst withdrawal symptoms. CalmSupport, for example, has active vitamins that are quickly absorbed for immediate relief from many withdrawal symptoms. Active vitamins are vital because most supplements use the inactive forms. When you use the active form, the body does not need to use its energy to break down the vitamin. The active vitamin is ingested and immediately absorbed for maximum benefit which is crucial for someone going through withdrawal and already extremely weak. The organic herbs contained in CalmSupport help to keep you relaxed and provide your body with multiple benefits that help the body through the traumatic experience.
It is always advisable to overcome withdrawal symptoms naturally. This will go a long way in helping you build a strong mental foundation when it comes to your thoughts on addiction and recovery. Always strive to build a strong support network of friends and family that will help you through withdrawal and the life that follows.