Stop Opiate Withdrawal Naturally With Over The Counter Meds & Home Remedies
For the millions of Americans addicted to opiates, the thought of seeking treatment is scary. Not only will they be forced to admit they have a problem, but they have, undoubtedly, heard horror stories about the withdrawal process. While opiate withdrawal is not a pleasant experience, it is possible to manage the symptoms associated with it. The following include ways to help ease and stop opiate withdrawal symptoms including common physical and mental symptoms, as well as ways they can be minimized to increase the chances of a successful detox and recovery.
What is Opiate Withdrawal?
Opiate withdrawal is a complex process, with a wide range of symptoms that the body goes through after a person dramatically decreases and/ or completely stops opiate use. This includes Methadone, Morphine, Oxycontin, Dilaudid, Codeine, heroin, and others. The symptoms of opiate withdrawal can start as soon as 12 hours after the last use of heroin or as long as 30 hours after the last pill has been taken.
How Long Does Opiate Withdrawal Last?
How long opiate withdrawal symptoms last typically varies from one person to another. It is usually dependent upon what they were using, the amount they were using, and how long they have been using. However, most individuals report withdrawal symptoms last anywhere from one week for physical symptoms to one month for mental symptoms.
The best way to stop opiate withdrawal symptoms is to provide the body with plenty of rest and healing time, as well as proper nutrition. You get out what you put in, so providing the body with plenty of nutrients will help speed up recovery.
Physical Symptoms of Withdrawal
Withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person. However, the most commonly experienced physical symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Muscle aches, pain, and tension
- Hot and cold sweats, cold chills, and/ or the appearance of goose bumps,
- Quivering/ shaking and/ or jitteriness
- Upset stomach including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping
- Runny nose and increased tearing from the eyes
- Excessive fatigue and constant yawning
- Restless Leg Syndrome
Treating the Physical Symptoms of Withdrawal
There are plenty of treatment options available to help relieve opiate withdrawal symptoms. The following tips will help alleviate muscle aches and pain.
- Take Advil, Tylenol, or Aleve per the manufacturer’s instructions. It is important that you only take medications that are non-addictive.
- Take hot showers/ baths to help aching joints and muscles. If taking a bath, add Epsom salt for an added boost of pain relief.
- If certain parts of your body are greatly impacted, apply a heating pad for 20 minutes at a time.
- If you are experiencing muscle cramping, you may be lacking potassium. If you can, try to drink orange juice and/ or eat a banana to help relieve the pain. Also, gently rubbing the cramped muscles may help.
The following tips will help relieve an upset stomach caused by opiate withdrawal. It’s important to note that there is a possibility of dehydration when going through withdrawal. This is also discussed here.
- Take Immodium AD per the manufacturer’s instructions to help lessen diarrhea. You may want to use diaper rash ointment to soothe any discomfort felt in the perianal area. (It works!)
- Take Pepto Bismol per the manufacturer’s instructions to help relieve stomach cramping, as well as nausea and diarrhea.
- It is important to make certain you drink plenty of fluids while experiencing opiate withdrawal because you can easily become dehydrated. However, you should stay away from caffeinated beverages, which have the potential to act as diuretics. Instead, you should focus on drinking sports drinks that provide electrolytes such as Gatorade or Powerade
- It may be very difficult to eat during the first few days of your withdrawal. First and foremost, be certain you are drinking plenty of fluids. However, it is also important to eat, even if you truly do not feel like it. To obtain nutrients, you may want to stick to bland foods, such as saltine crackers, rice, cream of wheat, yogurt, oatmeal, and chicken broth. In addition, mashed bananas are easily digested and are a good source of potassium. Eat small quantities throughout the day.
- As you begin to feel better, incorporate light protein, such as turkey or chicken, into your diet, as well fruits and vegetables. (The fruits and vegetables should be in a variety of colors. That’s a good way to know you are getting an assortment of natural vitamins and minerals.)
- While going through withdrawal, it is best to stay away from fried, spicy, and greasy foods, such as fast food. Not only do they offer little nutritionally, but they can wreak havoc on your sensitive digestive system.
The following tips are designed to help alleviate hot and cold chills, as well as the discomfort they may cause.
- Wear clothes that can easily be layered and taken off. Also, keep plenty of cozy blankets close by.
- Take frequent showers. Due to the toxins leaving your body, it is not uncommon to sweat during withdrawal. This will allow you to stay comfortable.
- Try going outside and taking a short walk. This gets you out of the house and your normal environment, will help warm you up and get your heart moving, and will assist in stretching painful muscles.
The following tips are designed to help you cope with a runny nose, as well as the sleep disturbances that are common while going through withdrawal.
- An antihistamine, such as Benadryl, can help relieve a runny nose and watery eyes, as well as help combat insomnia. It may also help decrease anxiety.
- Often a runny nose is inevitable, so be sure to keep plenty of tissues or toilet paper nearby.
- Rest when you are tired. When you are going through opiate withdrawal, it is important not to schedule anything else of any importance. You should be able to sleep when you are able to, regardless of whether it is day or night.
Mental Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal
Mental symptoms of opiate withdrawal also vary from one person to another. However, the most commonly experienced mental symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Mild agitation
The mental symptoms of opiate withdrawal can be difficult to manage. However, it is not impossible. The following tips are designed to help you decrease the psychological symptoms of opiate withdrawal.
- It is a very good idea to have a loved one who can stay with you during the first few days of withdrawal. This person should understand what to expect and what experiences you may go through during the withdrawal process. Not only can they provide emotional support, but they can help you through the physical symptoms as well, such as making certain you stay adequately hydrated.
- Stay focused on your sobriety. Now is the time to let go of your past and concentrate on your future. However, it is not the time to start making amends for your previous actions. This can wait until you have completed the withdrawal process and achieved your sobriety.
- Stay busy to keep your mind off the symptoms you are experiencing. Watch a lot of TV and movies. Play video games. Check out some funny or interesting sites on the internet. Write. Go outside and take a walk. Your options are endless, but you should find something to do that occupies your time and keeps your from dwelling on what you are going through.
- Opt for a change in scenery. An important part of recovery is going to include getting away from the places you used to use, as well as the people you used to use with. Consider going to a relative’s house, a friend’s home that does not use, or check into a hotel. If you choose to go through withdrawal in one of your past haunts, it will likely intensify the mental symptoms you experience.
- Meditate to release positive thoughts and energy inside your head. Positive thoughts are great way to reduce the depression and anxiety you may be experiencing.
- After the physical symptoms of withdrawal have subsided and you feel comfortable leaving home, join a support group, such as Narcotics Anonymous. A strong support system is absolutely essential to overcoming an addiction to opiates. Opt to do 90 meetings in 90 days, if at all possible. This is also a great place to meet new acquaintances that have the same goals in mind.
Take Up a New Hobby
Once you get clean, one thing addicts now have is time. It's important to find something new to take up your time. Something you enjoy. Walking, reading, exercising, art, music, computers. Anything that you are interested in and something you want to do. Healthy hobbies are good. Exercising, reading, learning, etc.
- While you are going through the withdrawal process, it is critical that you seek help if you begin to have thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else. Never attempt to wrestle with these feelings alone.
CalmSupport is an all natural opiate withdrawal aid made with active vitamins and organic herbs that was specially formulated to help ease the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. Thousands of people have used CalmSupport during their withdrawal process with great success.
The thought of going through the symptoms associated with opiate withdrawal can be scary. However, the results will be well worth it in the end. You owe it to yourself and everyone who loves you to get clean.