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 home remedies and natural treatments to help with each one.Withdrawing from opioids 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 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 opiates, 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 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.
Best Opiate Withdrawal Remedies
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 acupunctureTrusted Source and Chinese herbal medicineTrusted Source.
In the case of acupuncture, several studies demonstrated reduced withdrawal symptoms 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
- U’finer, which is a Chinese herbal blend thought to repair the damage opiates may do to the brain