Home Remedies for Opiate Withdrawal: Addiction to narcotic painkillers- derived or synthesized from opium poppies is a rising problem in today’s times. These painkillers include heroin, morphine, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone or hydromorphone. When the continuation of these drugs is abruptly stopped, an increasing need for higher doses surfaces, which can result in a great deal of discomfort. This is often associated with intense craving and physical sickness. Ending the use of opiate after a prolonged period of depending on it can cause quite a few problems, which aren’t life-threatening, but definitely a cause for worry. Before we proceed to the home remedies for opiate withdrawal symptoms, here is what you should know about the condition.
Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal
A part of the opiate crisis springs from the challenge of overcoming opiate addiction in itself. There are a number of symptoms to watch out for such as:
- Extreme cravings and excessive irritation.
- Chills, shakes, and hot and cold flashes.
- Diarrhea, queasiness, and nausea.
- Depression and uncontrolled anger.
- Muscle pain, cramps, and bone and body aches.
- Insomnia and restless leg syndrome.
- Flu-like symptoms, e.g., feeling sick all over.
- High blood pressure
If you are someone who uses opiates for an extended period of time, your body becomes desensitized to the drug. This means that you’ll need to increase your dosage of it to feel its effects.The extended use of opiates changes the structure of nerve cells in your brain. These cells will start to need the drug just to function properly. This is where the problem arises. When you abruptly stop using opiates, your body reacts, leading to symptoms of withdrawal.
Phases of Opiate Withdrawal
Opiate withdrawal occurs in two phases. The first phase includes a number of symptoms, such as:
- Excessive sweating
- Low energy
- Muscle aches
- Runny nose
- Tearing eyes
- Excessive yawning
The second phase is characterized by:
- Dilated pupils
- Rapid heartbeat
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal cramps
The initial phase lasts anywhere from a week to a month and can be followed by long-term withdrawal symptoms. Long-term symptoms are often less physical in nature and may involve emotional or behavioral issues. Having said that, there are however a few home treatments that you can try to relief yourself from the effects of the withdrawal. Here is a look at few of the home remedies for opiate withdrawal:
Top 7 Home Remedies for Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms
1. Adequate Hydration
Dehydration is a cause of worry in opiate withdrawal. It has been noted that a number of patients experience frequent diarrhea due to constipation when addicted to the opiates. Because of diarrhea and increased sweating, you lose a lot of liquids- dehydrating you in the process.
All patients need to increase water as well as electrolyte intake during this process. Make sure that you stock up on minerals such as calcium, potassium as well as magnesium which are depleted in addicts.
Diet is one of the most crucial home remedies for opiate withdrawal. This is because most withdrawal symptoms start to show within two days of discontinuing opiate use and can last for many days. Chances are that the patient might not be able to make it through a withdrawal without relapsing. Patients in withdrawal generally experience nutritional deficiencies of magnesium, calcium, and potassium, as already mentioned, which is why it is important to increase the portion of these minerals in the diet. You could do this either by eating foods containing high doses of such minerals or taking them as supplements.
- Magnesium can be absorbed directly through the skin, so bath salts are a great way to replenish the lost magnesium in the body.
- Calcium and potassium can be taken in the form of a supplement.
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3. Green Tea
Green tea is also great to get rid of opiate withdrawal effects. It comes loaded with wide range of benefits, and it can help to lower the stress that is associated with withdrawal from opiates. It also detoxifies the body naturally, flushing out harmful toxins that accumulate in the body due to opium intake.
Drink 3 or 4 cups of green tea every day for best results, you might want to opt for decaffeinated ones.
Lime is rich in Vitamin C, which detoxifies the body, stimulating the immune system in the process. Anyone who’s going through withdrawal symptoms can incorporate lime into their diet to gain the relief they seek. Lime is most effective by itself, though it can be mixed with water as well. Excess fat, mineral waste, and toxins can be ridden off as well.
Extract the juice of three or four fresh limes. Consume this on an empty stomach on waking in the morning.
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Ginger is also one of the most effective home remedies for opiate withdrawal effects, particularly nausea. It effectively treats pain to a certain level as well. The strong taste and smell of ginger works on the nerves, redirecting its focus away from cravings.
You could either:
- Sip ginger tea right through the day
- Boil a crushed piece of ginger in a cup of water.
6. Orange Juice and Bananas
Muscle cramps are a symptom of opiate withdrawal, thus food rich in potassium can alleviate the symptom. Orange juice, as well as bananas, are a rich source of potassium, making them effective home remedies for opiate withdrawal symptoms. Also, they help prevent cravings, fighting cramps in the process.
Make sure that you add these foods to your diet in a high quantity.
7. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory properties as well as calming effects making it a great home remedy for opiate withdrawal. Anyone who’s going through opiate withdrawal symptoms will benefit from chamomile tea. It helps to relieve diarrhea, nausea, and dysentery which are all a symptom of the condition. Also, anxiety and tension are kept at bay with the help of consistent consumption of chamomile tea.
Drink about four or five cups of chamomile tea every day.
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People who have gone through withdrawal need to stay comfortable and occupied. This can include movies, books or other such distractions. Make sure that soft blankets and extra sheets are at your disposition. There might be a requirement to change your bedding due to excessive sweating.
Ensure that a friend or family member knows that you plan on undergoing the withdrawal process. Beyond the obvious support, you will need someone to check on you constantly.
Also, treat yourself every now and then. Try to get outdoors and exercise, even if it’s just a walk in the park. Whether in a treatment program or battling withdrawal on your own with these home remedies for opiate withdrawal symptoms, stay positive no matter what because you can get through this!