Opiate withdrawal symptoms can develop when stopping drug use as well as in cases of long-term drug use where symptoms come and go in-between “highs.” In either case, opiate withdrawal symptoms come with a considerable degree of discomfort that can make everyday life unbearable.
According to the California State University-Long Beach, opiate withdrawal symptoms account for why it’s so difficult for people to stop using these drugs, making ongoing abuse and eventual addiction inevitable. Ultimately, coping with opiate withdrawal symptoms has as much to do with relieving physical discomforts as it does undoing the mindset that drives drug-using behaviors.
For anyone considering stopping opiate use, here are the 10 best tips for coping with opiate withdrawal symptoms-
1. Over-the-Counter Remedies
Once a person stops using opiates, the brain is left with the task of restoring the body’s chemical balance back to normal. Until that happens, withdrawal effects will ensure.
Over-the-counter remedies can work wonders at relieving many of the physical opiate withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
2. Get Adequate Rest
Insomnia, another opiate withdrawal symptom, can actually intensify withdrawal discomfort. Cutting back on caffeine-loaded foods, such as coffee and chocolate can help in restoring the body’s natural sleep cycle.
3. Eat Healthy
Long-term opiate abuse impairs the body’s ability to metabolize food and extract essential nutrients, creating a state of malnourishment. Eating lots of nutrient-rich foods can help in restoring the body’s overall health.
4. Daily Exercise
During the withdrawal stage, the body has a chance to flush opiate materials out of the system. A daily exercise regimen can help this process along. The sooner opiates are out of the body, the sooner withdrawal effects will pass.
5. Avoid Old Hangouts
Once opiate addiction sets in, a person develops a mindset that’s come to depend on the effects of the drug. Avoiding old, drug-using hangouts can go a long way towards avoiding an untimely relapse episode.
6. Attend Support Groups Daily
While physical withdrawal symptoms can be difficult to bear, it’s the psychological dependency that gnaws away at a person’s resolve. Attending support groups on a daily basis can help a person maintain focus on the goal at hand.
7. Get a Sponsor
Having someone to talk to when the urge to use is strongest can prove invaluable when opiate withdrawal symptoms are at their worst. A sponsor can offer timely advice on how to best cope with withdrawal distress.
8. Stay Busy
Once drug cravings kick in, staying busy can provide a much needed distraction from thoughts about using.
9. Medication Therapies
People coming off chronic, long-term opiate addictions may want to consider medication therapies, such as methadone and buprenorphine. These medications help restore normal brain chemical balance, which offers considerable relief from withdrawal and cravings effects.
10. Detox Progam
For some people, the severity of opiate withdrawal symptoms can be too much to bear on one’s own. Under these conditions, entering a detox program may offer the best and only chance of making it through the withdrawal stage.