Natural Ways to Help Ease Opiate Withdrawals from Vicodin and Percocet
The global burden of drug abuse is an ever-growing problem that continues to affect many countries across the world. In the U.S., the drug problem has negatively impacted the American economy and society because of its direct link with crime and other socioeconomic vices. Most drugs at the center of the problem fall under the general category of painkillers, where opiates, NSAIDs, and combination drugs are the main contributors. Combination drugs are increasingly becoming a central part of the problem because they are easily accessible. Drugs such as Vicodin and Percocet are some examples of combination drugs that are becoming common among drug addicts.
Vicodin is a schedule II controlled substance in the U.S. that consists of the opiate Hydrocodone and acetaminophen. It is regularly prescribed for moderate to severe pain in patients with chronic or acute pain, for instance, after surgery. Percocet is also a schedule II controlled drug that is prescribed for moderate to severe pain. Percocet is a combination drug by virtue of containing two painkillers: the opiate Oxycodone and acetaminophen.
Addiction to Vicodin and Percocet typically happens within a short duration of continued use of either drug. Both drugs have analgesic properties that are mediated by the opioid component of the drugs. When using the drugs to manage pain for over six months, you will increasingly find that the normal dosage is insufficient to relieve the pain. This marks the beginning of tolerance and eventual addiction and dependence on the drugs.
Cold Turkey Vs Tapering
Once you decide that you want to stop taking your daily dose of Vicodin or Percocet, there are several options you can choose from. You could stop taking the drugs immediately and bear the full brunt of withdrawal symptoms that accompany this procedure. Alternatively, you can choose to taper off by gradually reducing your doses until you stop taking the drug altogether. Some unpublished studies seem to indicate that choosing to stop an opiate addiction abruptly is connected with high relapse rates among former drug addicts. Therefore, tapering not only presents the opportunity to quit as painlessly as possible but also offers the best chances of success after withdrawal.
Common Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms vary from one individual to another, with some individuals reporting the absence of any symptoms. Once you begin your Vicodin or Percocet taper, you may start experiencing the first set of symptoms within 24 hours after your last dose. These symptoms may include muscle aches, pains, and strains, abdominal pain, stomach aches, flu-like symptoms such as fever and a runny nose, heartburn, fatigue, restlessness, and excessive sweating. These symptoms further progress 72 hours later to include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hallucination, confusion, depression, panic attacks, and other psychological symptoms.
Depending on the individual, the symptoms may last anywhere between a couple of days to more than a week in some circumstances. Therefore, it pays to be prepared when doing a Vicodin or Percocet taper from the comfort of your home.
Managing Withdrawal Symptoms Naturally
While most of the symptoms of withdrawal from any opiate can be difficult and painful, there are several safe and natural ways to handle them, especially when you are tapering from home. Some are discussed below.
1.Ensure you are Hydrated
Most withdrawal symptoms are usually a call for help by your body when it lacks some elements, such as when you lose water and electrolytes through vomiting, sweating, and diarrhea. Dehydration is a serious issue that could lead to more serious health issues, especially when tapering alone at home. Ensure you are fully stocked with sports drinks such as Gatorade, fresh juice, and electrolyte-containing water to replenish your reserves during this stressful period.
2.Eat a Balanced Diet
Most people who go through withdrawal symptoms normally identify lack of appetite as a recurring issue during the process. However, you should always strive to eat a balanced diet throughout the taper period. During the first few days when the symptoms are severe, eat light food and advance to heavier food when your symptoms start dying out. A balanced diet will help your body to replenish some of the lost dietary nutrients such as vitamins and minerals that are essential for the rebuilding process. Avoid fatty food or other types of unhealthy food that may destabilize your weak digestive system.
3.Clothing and Comfortable Environment
Tapering at home is most effective when it takes place in a quiet and serene environment. When choosing what to wear, bear in mind that you will be constantly wearing for cold and warm chills that come about with withdrawal. Dress comfortably and ensure your home is not noisy, which may only serve to add stress and exacerbate your symptoms.
4.Keep yourself Busy
Before beginning the taper, ensure that you have enough tools to distract yourself during the withdrawal process. This might be the best time to discover a new hobby or finish that home improvement project you have always been putting off. When symptoms subside, take a walk around the neighborhood or do some light exercises. Just remember not to overexert yourself. If you are more of an indoor person, get your favorite movies or video games to keep yourself preoccupied.
5.Get non-addictive Painkillers
Some of the withdrawal symptoms that you will experience can be easily managed by weaker, over the counter medications. Ensure you speak to your doctor about any painkillers that you want to include as part of your taper regimen. Drugs such as Imodium AD for diarrhea, Pepto-Bismol for stomach cramps, and Advil or Aleve are good options to include in your taper regimen. Always remember to avoid opiate-containing drugs that might be addictive or habit-forming.
Once you make the decision to stop taking Percocet or Vicodin, develop a plan on how to wean yourself off of these opiates. If you have been on them for a short time, you can even continue with day-to-day life while tapering. However, always remember to carry water, an energy drink, or any other fluid that you can use to stay hydrated. Once you are clean, join your local chapter of Narcotics Anonymous or other support groups in your community.
CalmSupport is an excellent addition to your tapering schedule. As a withdrawal aid, CalmSupport offers vital nutrients that the body needs to help return to a natural healthy state. This is because, CalmSupport contains active vitamins, amino acids and organic herbs that are absorbed using less of your body’s energy. The body of someone who is going through withdrawal will already be lacking energy and we find it necessary to provide bioavailable nutrients that allow your body to rest and still be absorbed fully. As a plus, CalmSupport offers a free Lifestyle Guide with every purchase. The Lifestyle Guide is filled with helpful content geared toward providing the person going through withdrawal with the most tools and is packed with solid advice for how to increase your chances of getting your body and your back to a healthy and happy place.