There are various ways to find relief from the withdrawal symptoms of opium, but not every user responds to them in the same way. Withdrawal symptoms are not life-threatening, but can be very hard to endure, and there are many:
- Nausea, vomiting and sweating
- Stomach cramps
- Muscle and joint pain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Irritability, anxiety, twitching
- Mood swings, particularly depression
- Loss of appetite
- Fever and other symptoms similar to the common cold
Symptoms can start within 12 hours of the last usage of opium and can remain quite strong for 3-5 days before lessening. It is during this time that it is crucial to find ways of reducing the severity of the symptoms to prevent a relapse.
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Medication Assisted Treatment
For many, it seems that some type of medication assisted treatment is necessary to get through the first, and worst, part of withdrawal. Drugs like Suboxone, Buprenorphine, Methadone and Clonidine work to lessen the duration of withdrawal, while Naltrexone helps to prevent relapse. Not every drug works the same way for every person, so there is no single approach that can be used, and expected to work, for every user going through detox.
One user in an online chatroom who has been through detox and withdrawal more than once stated that the worst thing to do is to quit cold turkey, because it will make your withdrawal symptoms much more severe. She suggests reducing your typical dosage on a daily basis, until you feel ready to make the big jump. She also points out that as you reduce your dose, you reduce your tolerance, which makes it easier to take less and less.
Some lessen the harsher effects of withdrawal with natural and over-the-counter remedies. Multivitamins can provide your body with all the nutrients it needs, especially the ones that have been missing from your system due to drug use, and often a subsequent poor diet. Antihistamines can help with sleeping troubles as taking them often causes sleepiness. Herbal teas also are rumored to be very helpful with anxiety and agitation.
Behavioral Therapy Treatments
Behavioral therapy also can lessen the blow of withdrawal by having a counselor to help you identify your triggers and the things that are tempting and making everything more difficult. That counselor can then help you face those triggers and learn how to counter-act them so that they don’t put a negative spin on your world and make you feel like everything is impossible.
At-Home Remedies for Easing Opium Withdrawal
For those looking for an alternative to help from medication, there are plenty of things you can do for yourself, mostly relaxation-related.
1) Take a hot bath or shower. Hot water can relieve many withdrawal symptoms, such as body aches, tension, anxiety, muscle spasms and much more.
2) Get out into the bright sun for just 15 minutes. Bright sunlight produces the key neurotransmitter, serotonin, which plays an important role in controlling moods, especially depression, and sleep. The sun also provides Vitamin D, the lack of which can produce depression. Finally, just soaking up the warmth of the sun can energize you and make you feel better about yourself and the world around you.
3) Get a full body massage to help relieve the same tensions and body aches that a hot tub or shower can help you with.
4) Sleep. Allow your body and brain to heal.
5) Eat right. Stay away from processed foods, and concentrate on eating proteins, fruit and lots of vegetables.
6) Get moving! Exercise has been proven to improve one’s mood, as well as help to get your body into a healthy shape that you want to maintain.
7) Find something you like to do and keep doing it. Learning never ends, and it doesn’t have to feel like punishment.
We can help you find treatment. Call 800-584-3274 toll free anytime.
There are always those who won’t make it through the withdrawal stage and will slip right back into their old ways of using. For some people, withdrawal is just too hard. It is not worth it to them when they can have the euphoric feeling that opium can supply. They have not yet fallen to the possible, severe consequences of their actions. Some of those people may try again, and even again to get clean. Maybe one time they will be strong enough to weather the initial intensity of withdrawal and come out the other side.
Recovery is different for every person, and only that person knows what will work for them, and when they are ready to face it. The recommendations in this piece are but a sampling of the options out there for recovering opium addicts to take advantage of. If a person really wants to shake that weight off of his or her back, he or she will find what they need to pull through.