Easing Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

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Opioid pain medications include hydrocodone and oxycodone. Many patients become dependent on them, even after short-term use. When you stop taking opioid medications after becoming dependent upon them, you may experience severe withdrawal symptoms.

A drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility can help you gradually detoxify from opiates so that your withdrawal symptoms are kept to a minimum; however, if you plan to detoxify at home, you'll need to know how to ease your withdrawal symptoms. Here are some things you can do at home to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. 

Non-Prescription Pain Relievers

Opioid withdrawal symptoms can cause severe muscle pain, chills, nausea, and insomnia. To help relieve pain and chills, take an over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen. Antihistamines containing diphenhydramine can help ease nausea and vomiting while easing anxiety. They can also help you get a good night's sleep so that you can cope better with your addiction challenges.

Opioid withdrawal symptoms can last for weeks, so make sure that you have enough non-prescription medications on hand so that you don't have to leave the house to restock your medicine cabinet. If your medications are not helping to ease your withdrawal symptoms, do not take more than the recommended dosage on the packaging label. Instead, call your doctor, who may refer you to a drug and alcohol treatment center to detoxify from opiates safely. 

Occupy Your Mind

When you're going through the withdrawal process, try to keep yourself as comfortable as you can. While it may be challenging, try occupying your mind by reading books, watching movies, or interacting with your pets.

If you live alone, be sure to stay in close contact with your family and friends, which will not only occupy your mind, but may provide you with the support you need to overcome your addiction. Interacting with people you care about and enjoying your favorite pastimes helps your brain release "feel-good" chemicals.

Also known as endorphins, these chemicals can help relieve anxiety, quell intrusive thoughts, and may lower your perception of pain. If you are able, go outdoors and enjoy the fresh air. Take a leisurely stroll, which will help further promote the release of endorphins, keep your muscles from becoming rigid, reduce your risk for blood pressure spikes, and oxygenate your blood. Whether you're in a substance abuse treatment program or trying to detoxify from opiates on your own, maintain a positive attitude and have faith that you will overcome your addiction. 

If you are struggling with drugs or alcohol abuse and you are unable to manage your addiction, make an appointment with a treatment center. Speaking with a counselor will help you make the decision that is right for you so that you can regain your health.