5 Opiate Addiction Detox Tips
There are many reasons why you might become addicted to opiates, but not all of them revolve around illegal or recreational drug use, as one might suspect. In fact, many people recovering from illness, injury, or surgical procedures find themselves dealing with an opiate addiction after the fact due to prescribed medications. It’s really not that uncommon and there’s no reason to feel ashamed. But you will have to go through a period of detox in order to get back to normal and learn to function again without the opiates. Here are just a few tips that could help you through the process.
- Don’t go cold turkey. Once you have become addicted to opiates, it’s not advisable to simply stop taking them, especially if you’re detoxing on your own rather than with medical assistance. The reason is because your body has become dependent upon these substances, and stopping cold turkey can send your body into a kind of shock. It could not only be uncomfortable, but it might actually be dangerous, perhaps even landing you in the emergency room. Most doctors will recommend a schedule to wean yourself off of opiates, perhaps with the assistance of OTC medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen that will reduce your discomfort throughout and help you stick to your detox schedule.
- Treat insomnia. When you’re dealing with the achiness, anxiety, and other side effects of opiate withdrawal, it’s really not that surprising that sleep doesn’t come easily. And of course, insomnia is also a symptom you’re bound to suffer during detox. Unfortunately, your doctor might not want to give you a prescription for sleeping pills, which could become just as addictive as the opiates you’re weaning yourself off of. However, an OTC antihistamine like Benadryl could help. This medication will not only make you drowsy, potentially taking the edge off enough that you can grab forty winks, but it also works as an anti-nauseant , helping to settle your stomach in the meantime.
- Treat digestive issues. During opiate withdrawal it’s not uncommon to experience a slew of digestive issues, including intestinal spasms that can lead to diarrhea. For this reason you might want to take an OTC product like Immodium AD that will stop the spasms, slow digestion, and help you to stay hydrated. The last thing you want when you’re trying to detox is a trip to the hospital because of your digestive issues.
- Ask your loved ones for help. No matter how well you plan, you’re bound to run out of essential items like food and perhaps other medications during the course of your detox. And while some people wean themselves off slowly enough that they can basically function normally, you might have days where you simply don’t feel well enough to get up and run errands. Your family and friends no doubt support your decision to detox, so don’t hesitate to ask them for help in this area. They’re probably looking for the opportunity to do whatever they can for you.
- Get professional help. Going it alone is not an option for most people when it comes to treating addiction to opiates. You can either get help from your primary physician, who may refer you to a specialist, or you can enter some kind of rehab facility like a rapid detox medical clinic. These medical professionals are qualified to give you the treatment and guidance you need to purge opiates from your life and get back on track. You don’t have to do it alone.