If a person has abused pain Pills or heroin for some time, they will have serious withdrawal symptoms when quitting opiate painkillers. If someone wants to withdraw from them at home, there are some potential treatments they can try to help relieve the accompanying symptoms.
As well as being illegal drugs, opiates such as Percocet or Vicodin are sometimes prescription medications that act on opioid receptors in the body. They can relieve pain while causing a high feeling when taken orally.
When a patient uses them as prescribed by a doctor, and ideally short term, opiates pain medication can be beneficial to their recovery from injury or illness. When used illegally or excessively, they are very addictive and overdose can be life-threatening.
While opiate withdrawal symptoms are not usually life-threatening, they can be uncomfortable and difficult to overcome.
We will list the common symptoms of opiate withdrawal and suggest medically reviewed herbal and natural treatments for substance abuse issues . Opiate withdrawal can cause symptoms that are similar to having the flu. These include fever, chills, and sweating.
Best Opiate Withdrawal Remedies
Taking opiates can make the muscles and limbs feel heavy. When people withdraw from opiates, they have the opposite experience where they may shake and experience muscle pain.
People experiencing shaking should remember that the tremors will subside with time. Kratom is by far your best option to detox from pain pills or quitting heroin at home.
How Long Does Opiate Withdrawal Last?
If you use opiates for an extended period of time, your body becomes desensitized to the drug. This means you’ll need more of it to feel its effects.
Extended use of opiates changes the structure of nerve cells in your brain. These cells will begin to need the drug just to function properly. When you stop using opiates abruptly, your body will react, leading to symptoms of withdrawal.
Opiate withdrawal occurs in two phases. The first phase 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
These initial phases, which can last anywhere from a week to a month, can be followed by long-term opiate withdrawal symptoms. Long-term symptoms are often less physical in nature and may involve emotional or behavioral issues.
At Home Options For Withdrawal Symptoms
When you’re dependent on opioids, your body is used to having them in your system. Your body might also build up a tolerance to many of the drug’s side effects, like skin dryness and constipation. Suddenly cutting yourself off from opiates may cause a strong reaction.
If you try to go through withdrawal from opioids on your own, you’ll need to be prepared. Try to slowly taper off opiates before you go off them completely. This might limit the intensity of your withdrawal. However, given the compulsive nature of addiction, most people find self-regulated tapering to be impossible. It often leads to a full relapse into addiction.
Dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea is common and could lead to serious health complications. Many people end up in the hospital with dehydration when they’re going through withdrawal. Drinking plenty of hydrating fluids during withdrawal is very important. Electrolyte solutions, such as Pedialyte, may help keep you hydrated.
Opiate Withdrawal Supplements
Using the correct doses of over-the-counter (OTC) medications can help. Consider loperamide (Imodium) for diarrhea. If you’re experiencing nausea, you might try medications like meclizine(Antivert or Bonine) or dimenhydrinate (Dramamine). You can also try antihistamines like Benadryl. Aches and pains that seem to crop up everywhere can be treated with acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil). Never use any medication for longer than its recommended usage or in larger doses than recommended.
Preparation can be essential. Withdrawal symptoms can last from days to weeks. If you have a couple weeks’ worth of medications, you can avoid the need to go out for more. But be careful not to use these medications in amounts greater than the recommended dose. If the regular dose isn’t helping, make sure to discuss the issue with your doctor.
Though there isn’t much evidence regarding the use of vitamins and supplements in treating the effects of opioid withdrawal, some studies investigated complementary medicine, such as acupuncture Trusted Source and Chinese herbal medicine Trusted Source.
In the case of acupuncture, several mental health studies demonstrated reduced withdrawal symptoms just as well as opioids like buprenorphine when combined with certain medicines. The report of studies on Chinese herbal medications found that the herbs were actually more effective at managing withdrawal symptoms than clonidine was.
Examples of Chinese herbal medications used to treat opiate addiction include:
- Tai-Kang-Ning, which is thought to be effective for moderate to severe heroin withdrawal and cravings
- U’finer, which is a Chinese herbal blend thought to repair the damage opiates may do to the brain
Kratom comes in powder or capsule form it is an herbal extract that comes from the leaves of an evergreen tree grown in Southeast Asia , a member of the coffee plant family, can be chewed, and dry kratom can be swallowed or brewed. Kratom extract also can be used to make a liquid product or tea.
Kratom is a natural alternative as an aid in overcoming cravings for opioids and withdrawal from opioid medications. It’s also sold online as an energy booster; treatment for inflammation associated with cramps, mood enhancer for depression; appetite suppressant; , remedy for panic attacks and diarrhea; and a pain reliever. Some herbalists who practice Asian traditional medicine consider kratom to be a substitute for opium.
But some mental health research suggests that it can lead to health problems but not more than it solves.
“It’s unregulated, so it can’t be prescribed by a health care provider or substance abuse treatment program, and the doses are all over the map,” says Dr. Kevin Kline, a university of memphis Health System psychiatrist and chemical dependency expert. “You need to consult an experienced kratom user because Just because it says a certain dose on the package like any supplement , this doesn’t mean that’s the dose you’re actually getting, nor does it mean that’s the actual substance that you’re getting.” We find it more effective than buprenorphine
At low doses, kratom provides pain relief and also can act as a stimulant, making users feel more energetic. At higher doses, it reduces anxiety and may bring on euphoria. At higher doses, it acts as a sedative, The main thing is that you can’t overdose on kratom.
“kratom does have some opiate properties and, so, you’re replacing the stronger more dangerous opioid with an opioid like substance,” says Dr. Kline. “If you take a substance that activates those opioid receptors, the receptors say, ‘OK, we’ve got our opioid again. Just like prescription subutex without the high dangers associated with suboxone It can be addictive but relative to heroin there is no discussion necessary” For some people with opioid use disorder (the new terminology instead of addiction), the beginning of drug treatment is detoxification — controlled and medically reviewed opiate withdrawal at a substance abuse treatment program. By itself, this is not a solution, because most addicts resume taking the drug unless they get further help. The withdrawal symptoms — agitation; anxiety; tremors; muscle aches; hot and cold flashes; sometimes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea — are not life-threatening, but are extremely uncomfortable. The intensity of the reaction depends on the dose and speed of these symptoms of opiate withdrawal. Short-acting opiates, like heroin, tend to produce more intense but briefer symptoms.
No single medical advice or approach to detoxification is guaranteed to work well for all patients. Many regular heroin users are switched to the synthetic opiate methadone, one of the approved pain relievers that can be taken orally or injected. Then the dose is gradually reduced over a period of about a week. The anti-hypertensive (blood pressure lowering) drug clonidine is sometimes added to treat opiate withdrawal shortening the time and relieve physical symptoms.