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10 Alternatives to Prescription Drugs for Opioid Withdrawal

10 Alternatives to Prescription Drugs for Opioid Withdrawal

Opiate withdrawal is a mental and physical struggle, and nobody experiences it the same way. While there are prescription medications to deal with the side effects, not everyone can or wants to go down that road, especially if dealing with more than just the addiction itself. These are some tips and tricks that have made their rounds and are considered decent alternatives to the widely used prescription drugs that fight withdrawal symptoms.

1. Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water to cleanse the liver and kidneys naturally.[1] Water detoxifies and hydrates, and sports drinks like Gatorade help with dehydration as well. Staying sufficiently hydrated helps the body to heal the way that it is supposed to, rather than pulling resources from already strained organs. Simply aim for the daily recommended amount of water consumption per day.

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2. Over-the-Counter Products

Over-the-counter products can provide effective opiate withdrawal relief effectively. Those that will work include ibuprofen for aching in the body and muscles, Benadryl will aid in relief of watery eyes and itching, and Immodium to help prevent frequent visits to the bathroom. All of these products are safe to use when the instructions are followed, and can really curb some of the withdrawal symptoms.

3. Get Lost in a Book, Movie, or Show

Really, the trick here is to find an alternative to obsessively (not really) think about. There are so many ways to get caught up in any form of media, and the time will just fly by. This is especially great on days that you are not feeling up to tackling the outside world, like if you are recovering but also pregnant[2]—as opiate treatment is more complicated for those who are expecting.

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4. Take Advantage of Water

There’s no doubt aches are a serious sign of withdrawal, so use something that is at your fingertips all day at any time. A hot shower can give immediate relief from anxiety, tension, headaches, muscles spasms, and more. Simply being in water like swimming, can improve your mood immensely and provide therapeutic relief for the body.

5. Change Your Diet

Health is usually neglected when using opiates, so many people dealing with withdrawal also need to look at their diet. An appetite may not be present, but light and healthy meals will be easily digested to provide energy and nutrients to help the body heal. Soups are great for those with a low appetite, as well as vegetables, fruits, crackers, and eggs. Junk food should be avoided.

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6. Go Outside, Take a Walk

The sun is necessary for most living things to thrive, this is why it is important for those who are dealing with opioid withdrawal symptoms—the sun helps to get you feeling better faster. The shining sun will help to produce serotonin, the neurotransmitter that plays a vital role in both sleep and mood. The sun is also an important source of vitamin D, and a lack of vitamin D can lead to depression.

7. Alternate Heat and Cold

Withdrawal symptoms include rapidly changing from having the chills to sweating, so you will need a cold compress as well as a heating pat to help cope with these quick changes. A moderately warm heating pad will do, as will a cool wash rag.

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8. Get Plenty of Sleep

When you are initially detoxing, plan to sleep a lot. This will allow the body to heal much more and deal with less pain. Sleep lends itself to healing[3] and not hurting. Just like when you exercise, the body heals while you’re sleeping, not while it is being stressed. It has the chance to rebuild and be stronger than it was.

9. Exercise Daily

Exercise will be hard when first detoxing, but once you are feeling better, light exercises are ideal. This can be simply walking or a light jog to reduce stress and aid the body to heal. The blood will start circulating and help to heal.

10. Find Peace and Quiet

Withdrawal is frustrating and challenging as there will be feelings of being uncomfortable, soreness, fatigue, and uneasiness. The last thing needed is unnecessary noise. Let anyone close to you know that you need peace and your own time when dealing with the withdrawal symptoms.

Reference

[1] http://www.liversupport.com/for-your-livers-sake-the-best-times-to-drink-water/
[2] https://www.safeharbourrecovery.com/opiate-addiction-and-pregnancy/
[3] http://greatist.com/fitness/18-scientifically-proven-ways-speed-recovery

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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