September is National Recovery Month. And Google introduced “Recover Together” tool. It is a set of resources for those who wish to alleviate opioid withdrawal symptoms or struggling with opioid addiction.
With the said tool, patients can find recovery support meetings nearby. They can also discover local pharmacy that dispenses naloxone without a prescription. Naloxone is a drug that can prevent opioid overdose.
In the US, over 12 million are using prescription painkillers but for nonmedical uses. Prescription painkillers are opioid pain relievers. These would include oxycodone, hydromorphone, and hydrocodone, among others.
They are effective in relieving pain. However, they are also prone to addiction and abuse. Some patients who are addicted to opioids are also addicted to other illegal narcotics, like heroin.
Unfortunately, if you suddenly stop the use of opiate after a long period of usage, you will experience opioid withdrawal symptoms. The good thing is most of these symptoms are not life-threatening. Nevertheless, some patients find it difficult to manage. The symptoms could cause serious medical complications.
How severe the symptoms are will depend on your level of dependence. But there are ways to get you out of such ordeal.
1.) St. John’s Wort
In an animal study, scientists found that this herb could reduce shaking in rats. Shaking is one of the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Scientists also found that this herb could lower the incidence of diarrhea.
What is St. John’s Wort? It is a yellow flower that is used to treat depression, insomnia, and other medical conditions.
You can easily purchase it online. However, you must remember that this herb could interact with antidepressants, digoxin, blood thinners, and some HIV medications. In that case, you should use it with caution.
2.) Give Up Caffeine
Some patients experiencing opioid withdrawal find that they shake less when they do not drink coffee, soda, and other caffeinated drinks. Caffeinated drinks can cause tremors. However, they typically happen when you consume large amounts of caffeine.
Yerba mate is also good. It does not have the heavy crash that coffee can cause.
Coconut water contains bioactive enzymes and rehydrating electrolytes.
Sparkling water can also be a refreshing alternative. It is not only delicious but it is also hydrating.
Even if you are drinking organic coffee, you must give it up if you are shaking after drinking it.
3.) Eat Bland Foods
Another opioid withdrawal symptom you must know is nausea. You can fight it by eating bananas, apples, and other bland foods.
You should also opt to consume small meals, rather than large ones.
Since nausea and diarrhea typically go together when you have opioid withdrawal symptoms, you should drink lots of water to help you stay hydrated. Water replaces fluids that you have lost with nausea and diarrhea.
4.) Fighting Cravings
Strong cravings are also expected. They are part of withdrawing from opioids. To overcome your cravings, though, you may wish to write down the reasons you are stopping yourself from taking this drug. Revisit the list if you are tempted to go back to using opioid.
You should also learn to recognize your negative thoughts. In that way, you can focus on more optimistic thoughts.
Now, if you have intense cravings, choose to be distracted. You may go out for a brief walk. Listen to music. Classical music typically helps. Or you may wish to engage in other activities that will surely take your mind off the craving.
In some studies, acupuncture is stated to help individuals in their opiate cravings. The said study is done with opiate-addicted rats. The animals were given acupuncture and they exhibited less morphine-seeking behaviors.
This method affects the release of dopamine in the brain. As it counters the effects, it also diminishes your cravings to utilize opioids again. Acupuncture is also useful in helping you feel relaxed. It may also lessen the level of discomfort associated with opioid withdrawal.
6.) Food to Fight Opioid Withdrawal
There are no cure-all foods to fight against opioid withdrawal symptoms. But the best food options you can try are those that can restore the nutrients in your body. You should also consider the food that can help with proper digestion.
Opiates are known to affect the digestive system. Thus, it would be beneficial to eat high-fiber foods, like green leafy vegetables, beans, etc. You must also properly hydrate yourself and replace your electrolytes, especially if you vomit and have diarrhea.
Withdrawing from the use of opioid medicines can be a complex process. But it is the right thing to do.
There are psychological and physical symptoms that must be alleviated. You must talk to your doctor on how to relieve yourself from the clutches of opioid addiction. Although you can do at-home opiate detox, you must always talk to your doctor to ensure that relapse will not occur.
You may browse our online shop to help you find some supplements that can make opioid withdrawal symptoms more manageable.