Getting through opiate withdrawal is really only the first step in your recovery, but it is a tough one. Many users have found themselves relapsing and get even deeper into their opiate addiction because they weren’t able to get through the withdrawal. Getting through the first few days are the most critical and below are a few remedies that you can use to help make those first few days more bearable.
Taking Over-the-Counter Medications
You can use over-the-counter medications to reduce the severity of the withdrawal symptoms as they come up. Purchase medications that will last you for about 2 weeks because you should expect that you will be too sick to go out and replenish your supplies once the withdrawal symptoms set in.
- For body aches and pains, you can use acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Antihistamines have sleep inducing effects that can help you address insomnia during detox.
- Medication such as Imodium can help reduce the runs that are pretty common during withdrawal.
Medications for Withdrawal
If you have been using opiates for a long time, you may want to consider talking to your doctor about getting a prescription for medication that was especially formulated for use during detox. Withdrawal symptoms will be more intense for long time users, and often times life-threatening. The use of medications such as Clonidine, Suboxone, or Methadone will help manage the extreme highs and extreme lows during opiate withdrawal. They help reduce the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms which in turn increases the rate of success of one’s recovery. Be aware that these are synthetic opiates. Many physicians feel that these are easier and safer to taper off of, but you are still taking opiates. These medications run the same risks of abuse as any other opiate you might be taking.
Being familiar with what to expect during withdrawal will help you prepare yourself with remedies that will counter those symptoms even before they show up. Please understand that nothing is going to completely relieve your symptoms.
Before going into detox make sure that you have prepared a comfortable environment if you intend to have your detox at home. Have some of your favorite videos on hand and make sure you have your TV and gadgets nearby to keep you occupied. Make sure that you have clean and soft sheets and blankets available, and make your room temperature comfortable.
If you will not check yourself into a detox facility make sure you have someone with you during your detox because you will not be well enough to look after yourself. The entire detox period will take about 2 weeks so make sure you make arrangements to take time off work or school.
Also, after going through the withdrawal period, ensure that you have signed up for individual therapy and support groups. This will help reinforce your recovery and will help you identify the root cause of your addiction as well as triggers that can send you back into your bad habits.