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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 December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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