Home Remedies to Ease Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms
Over 12 million Americans used prescription pain medications (such as oxycodone) for non-therapeutic purposes in 2010.
It’s not just the opioid addicts who get addicted. Opioids affect everyone, including healthy people.
After stopping drug use, most addicts suffer from some pretty unpleasant withdrawal effects. However, if they continue using, they may be able to avoid these side effects by continuing their abuse.
Opioid addiction doesn’t usually kill people but it can be dangerous. Your opioid addiction may also vary depending on how dependent you are. Withdrawing from opioids can sometimes result in severe side effects that can be quite uncomfortable.
It’s hard going through withdrawal from something that has become an addiction. However, the best way out of that situation is to start taking steps towards a healthier lifestyle.
How does withdrawal work?
Using opioids for an extended length of time has the potential to cause tolerance, which means you may need to take more than usual to achieve the desired effect.
Over time, long-lasting opioid drugs change the structure of nerve cells in your body. When you stop using them, your body begins to experience withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal from opiates usually involves two phases. The first stage includes a number of symptoms such as:
- muscle aches
- tearing eyes
- runny nose
- excessive sweating
- excessive yawning
- low energy
The second phase is marked by:
- abdominal cramps
- nausea and vomiting
- dilated pupils
- rapid heartbeat
- goose bumps
During these initial stages, which may last for weeks or months, there are short-lived effects such as cravings, fatigue, irritability, mood swings, etc. But during longer periods of time, there are usually fewer physical side effects but rather emotional or behavioral ones, some of which can be quite serious.
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If you’re addicted to opioids, your body has become accustomed to them. You could also develop a tolerance for their unpleasant effects. Cutting back suddenly could be too much.
If you’re addicted to opiates, slowly tapering down your dose may be helpful in reducing the severity of your withdrawal. However, given the compulsive nature of addiction, most people who are addicted to opiates find regulating their own use impossible. They often end up experiencing full relapses back into an active addiction.
During your detoxification process, you might experience a lot ofnausea, stomach pain, and sweating. These symptoms can make you feel extremelydisoriented and dehydrated. Your body needs water to flush out toxins soyou’re advised to drink lots of liquids throughout the day. You should alsoconsume electrolytes such as Pedialytes if you suffer from nausea and/orvomit, because these drinks contain sodium and potassium salts.
You may want to use OTC medications when needed. For example, if you’re having diarrhea, you might want to take Imodium. If you’re feeling nauseous, you might take a pill such as meclizine (Bonine or Antivert), dimenhydrinem (Dramamine), antihistamines such as benadryl (Benadryl) or diphenhydramine (Benadryl), or pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tilidine or Tylenol) or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin). You should not take these products for longer than they were prescribed or in larger quantities than recommended.
When preparing to withdraw, it’s important to think about how much medication you’re taking and if there are any withdrawal side effects. You maybe able to get through withdrawals without having to take a full week’s supply of medication.
There aren’t any scientific studies showing whether vitamin supplementation helps people who are withdrawing from opioids. However, some studies looked into complementary medicine, including acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbal medicine.
Many scientific reports have shown that acupuncture may be an effective treatment for opioid dependence. However, some evidence suggests that Chinese medicine has been more successful at reducing withdrawal symptoms than conventional pharmaceutical treatments.
Examples of Chinese herbal medicines used for treating opioid addiction involve:
- Tai-Kang Ning, which is believed to be effective for moderate severity opiate addiction.
- What is u’finer?, which is a Chinese herbal blend believed to help repair opioid addiction damage.
Stay comfortable and safe
If you’ve been through withdrawal before, stay as comfortable as possible. Don’t let yourself get too bored! You can do things such as watch TV shows or read books. Also, make sure you keep your body warm. Use an electric blanket if needed.
Before attempting any withdrawal method, make sure your partner/spouse/significant other understands that they might not see you again after doing so. Most people who attempt an abrupt detox experience emotional pain because they do not understand why they feel bad. You may also experience physical changes due to withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. Do not read about or try any methods without consulting a medical professional. These methods should only be attempted under supervision.
You should always keep your mind busy and involved so that you don’t get too bored. Doing things you really like increases your levels of happiness and reduces stress, which both help you perform better at school.
Treat yourself to some good chocolate. Go for a walk outside. Even if it’s only a short one. Regardless of whether you’re currently in recovery or struggling with opioid withdrawals on your own, stay positive and believe that you can beat your addiction.
Don’t attempt to deal with withdrawals by yourself. Try to get help from your doctor or other medical professional. They can even give you prescriptions for medication to help alleviate some of the symptoms you might feel during the withdrawal phase.
You can use detox facilities to monitor your progress and make sure that the treatments are safe and effective. A custom detox plan gives you an individualized approach. If you’re having severe symptoms or dangerous side effects, medical professionals may be willing to treat you. Your program will also help you keep your recovery strong.
A detoxification treatment program can administer medication to facilitate the withdrawal from drugs. Clonidine, an antihypertensive drug, can lessen certain withdrawal symptomatology. Librium is often prescribed to patients who experience agitation during the early stages of withdrawal. Chloral hydrazine or trazodone can soothe anxiety and promote sleep. If you do not seek professional care, you will be unable to access these helpful tools.
Food and drink may not seem attractive during severe withdrawal. This can lead to dehydration and other problems. You should contact your physician if you’re vomiting or unable to consume food. It may be impossible to complete withdrawal at your residence.
Finding support groups for drug addicts, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA), can help you deal with addiction issues. It may be helpful if you’re struggling with an opioid addiction.
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When to call a doctor
Withdrawal from opiates can be an unpleasant process with symptoms that aren’t necessarily dangerous but can be uncomfortable for some people. Your doctor can provide counseling and prescriptions to relieve these symptoms.They can also run tests like blood work to assess any damage to your body caused by the opiates.
Treatments for opiate withdrawal
- Methadone, which relieves opioid withdrawal syndrome and makes detoxification faster.
- Suboxone, which can speed up the detox period and lessen withdrawals,
- Clonidine (also known by its brand name Catapres) treats symptoms such as anxiety, agitation, and muscular pain.
If you’re worried about your symptoms or think that you might not be able to handle them without medical assistance, talk to your doctor. You may want to consider finding rehab facilities for support during withdrawal.
If you feel nauseated or vomit, it’ll help if you drink some water. It’ll also help if you go see your doctor. Vomiting can sometimes cause dehydration, which could be dangerous for your health.
Symptoms of dehydration include:
- extreme thirst
- very dry mouth
- a little or no urine.
- irritability or disorientation
- rapid breathing
- Sunken Eyes
If you’re going through an opiate detoxification program, you should not attempt to do so at home if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.
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Opioids are powerful substances that can change lives in both positive and negative ways. They can ease chronic pain and give people more energy. However, they can also create dependency and even addiction.
The best way to avoid this problem is to take only what you need and stop taking opioids when you’ve reached your desired dosage level. If you’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms, speak to your doctor.