Stop Using Codeine at home without the horrible Withdrawals
In recent years, opiate prescriptions have gone through the roof. A study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found out that over 250 million opiate prescriptions were written in 2012 alone. Those statistics strike closer to home more than we would like to admit. Opiates are by far one of the most effective pain medications in the market today. It is more likely, therefore, that most of us have at some point received an opiate-containing product to manage pain.
Codeine: The Silent Killer
Codeine is one of the most common opiate painkillers prescribed to manage mild to moderate pain. It is also an effective cough suppressant and is commonly found as an ingredient in many cough syrup formulations. Due to its highly addictive nature and potential of abuse, the government classifies it under Schedule II controlled substances. Still, codeine remains one of the most commonly abused opiate drugs in the market, largely due to easy access.
Cough syrup formulations containing codeine offer a high potential for fatal health complications among users. In many cough syrups, codeine is normally included in minimal quantities to reduce the changes of users becoming dependent. This forces many people to take codeine-containing formulations in excess so that they can consume sufficient quantities of codeine to produce a good “high.”
Cough syrup formulations that include promethazine have been known to cause fatalities associated with overdose. In a 2014 study, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that codeine cough syrup formulations containing promethazine accounted for high numbers of fatalities caused by heart, lung, and CNS (central nervous system) failures.
Codeine Withdrawal Symptoms
Like other drugs in the opiate class, codeine is highly addictive and has a high potential for abuse. It confers its painkilling effects by altering the way the brain perceives pain signals, thus resulting in a reduction of pain. When used for prolonged periods or outside the instructions of a medical practitioner, nerves become over-stimulated and unable to function without the drug. Missing a single dose may result in terrible withdrawal symptoms for the individual.
Codeine withdrawals typically resemble symptoms caused by other opiates. When you abruptly stop taking codeine after months or years of taking it, you will begin experiencing general body aches, particularly around the joints, abdomen, and back muscles. This usually happens within the first few hours after your last dose.
Symptoms tend to get worse the longer you go without taking the meds. Symptoms become more aggressive as the body responds to an acute shortage of both natural and synthetic opiates within the nervous system. You may start vomiting, with diarrhea and nausea developing shortly afterward. At this point, your body will be very shaky, with heavy swearing and cold chills being the order of the day.
The next 24 hours are usually the most critical. During this period, individuals experience a seemingly endless barrage of symptoms, including fatigue, excessive yawning, insomnia, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), runny nose, and extreme chills.
Individuals will also experience a myriad of mental symptoms that often include anxiety, agitation, depression, and stress. In a large number of cases, Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS) usually persist for months after physical symptoms have run their course.
The length and intensity of the withdrawal symptoms are direct factors of the duration of codeine abuse, dosage, and individual biochemistry.
Quitting Codeine without the Withdrawals using Home Remedies
Stopping any opiate addiction is an uphill task. Period. No one should ever tell you that there are shortcuts or easy ways to stop an opiate addiction, even from seemingly “lighter” opiates like codeine. That said, there are simple and effective ways to stop the addiction with little or no withdrawal symptoms. Most of these can be accomplished from the comfort of your home, though it is always advisable to inform your doctor about your plans to quit.
1. Make a Detox Plan
This is the first crucial step for breaking an addiction. Quitting and going clean is a long process that starts with a strong mind and a solid mental resolve. This should be followed by designing a taper schedule that will ensure you gradually reduce your dosage until it is safe for your to come off the drug without withdrawals. CalmSupport, a company that offers quality products and services to help with opiate addiction, offers a comprehensive tapering guide for various opiate drugs, including codeine.
2. Stock your Fridge and Shelves with 2-weeks’ Supply of Healthy Food and Drinks
The importance of a healthy diet can never be overemphasized. Even though codeine is not as potent as stronger opiates such as heroin and morphine, it still takes a toll on the body as it gets flushed out. Stock up on some light foods to munch on during the first days of the detox. Some energy biscuits, fruits, and steamed vegetables will go a long way in helping you stay energized during the course of the detox. Light servings of fish or chicken will help restore your body’s protein reservoirs and help in the healing process.
Hydration is also a key element during the detox. In addition to fresh water, stock up on sports drinks that have a high concentration of electrolytes. These will help replace fluids and electrolytes lost because of diarrhea, sweating, and vomiting.
3. Stay Comfortable
Find some loose-fitting clothes to wear during the taper. This will help you manage the fluctuations in cold and hot chills and will also help with the excessive sweating. Additionally, get some blankets and jackets to help when the cold chills hit.
4. Prescription Medication
Pain medication can prove extremely useful when detoxing, especially when muscle cramps and joint pains become too much to bear. Tylenol and Advil are good options for managing the pains and aches that come with withdrawal.
Immodium AD and Pepto Bismal are also good choices for persistent diarrhea, stomach aches, and vomiting. Still, always make sure you check with a medical practitioner before taking prescription medication to ensure the meds are safe for you.
5. Keep Yourself Distracted
Withdrawal symptoms can take a toll on your mind and body. Find something to keep your mind off the withdrawals, like a good movie or a video game. Relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation have also been shown to be effective at helping people cope with stressful situations.
Remember that you still need to rest up to allow the body to detox. Do not overexert yourself when performing any of these activities.
6. Use CalmSupport Withdrawal Aid
CalmSupport offers a wide array of services that are geared towards helping opioid abusers who are looking to come off the drugs. The CalmSupport withdrawal aid program is a helpful companion through the withdrawals that contains organic herbs, amino acids, mineral, and active vitamins. During the detox, the digestive system functions well below its normal potential, which makes it difficult for the body to obtain the necessary nutrients required for the healing process. CalmSupport offers vitamins and minerals in an easy-to-digest form which takes very little energy from the body to digest as opposed to in-active ingredients that make the body work hard to digest and in doing so absorb very little. Knowing that your body is absorbing all of the bio-available ingredients will be a comforting feeling during your withdrawals.