Three Tips For Making Life Less Miserable During The Opioid Withdrawal Stage

Over 115 people die every day from opioid addiction, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Although people who overuse and abuse these substances know how harmful these drugs are, many fail to overcome their addictions because they can't deal with the withdrawal symptoms. Here are three tips for managing this stage of your addiction treatment to increase your chances of successfully kicking this disease.

Take a Break from Life

The first mistake people struggling with opioid addiction make is assuming they can continue about their daily lives while going through withdrawal. Since symptoms are fairly mild in the beginning, it's understandable why people would think this. However, the severity of withdrawal symptoms increases significantly after a few days, and your ability to perform in all aspects of your life will quickly tank.

Taking time off to focus solely on getting through the withdrawal stage is crucial to your victory. Schedule a vacation at work, get someone to mind your children, and don't plan on participating in any life activities (e.g., birthday parties) for at least a week. The withdrawal stage is mentally and physically exhausting, and you'll need to spend most of that time resting and dealing with your body's reaction to being cut off from opioids.

The longer you have used opioids, the worse your symptoms will be, so you may actually need to check yourself into a hospital or have an in-home nurse attend to you during that time because withdrawal symptoms can actually be life-threatening. Discuss the issue with an addiction specialist and follow his or her advice to ensure your safety.

Drink Plenty of Water

Runny nose, teary eyes, sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea are all symptoms you'll likely experience while going through opioid withdrawal, and the rapid loss of fluids associated with them can cause you to become dehydrated. This, in turn, can compound any health problems and general malaise you're already feeling, so consuming plenty of water and other hydrating fluids (e.g., Pedialyte) is important.

However, it's also a good idea to avoid foods and drinks that can further stimulate fluid loss. Caffeine, certain vegetables (e.g., asparagus, celery, and artichokes), and sugary drinks have a diuretic effect on the body, and you can hasten the onset of dehydration by consuming them when you're already suffering from other issues that cause water loss. If you absolutely must have your daily cup of coffee or soda, switch to a caffeine-free and sugar-free version until you've completed the withdrawal process.

Do Basic Exercises

As noted previously, the withdrawal process can be physically and mentally exhausting. Although you'll want to spend most of your time sleeping to allow your body to heal, doing a basic exercise routine can help you in a variety of ways.

Exercise causes your brain to release serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of happiness and well-being. Getting just enough exercise to trigger the release of this natural chemical can help counteract the anxiety, depression, and negativity you may feel during the withdrawal stage. It can also help you sleep better and may alleviate head pain.

Second, talking a walk or lifting light weights can provide a much-needed distraction from the temptations you will feel to indulge in your drug of choice. Just be sure to not overdo it or begin using exercise as a substitute for your addiction. Additionally, since opioids can do a lot of damage to the body, have your doctor evaluate your health first to ensure it is safe for you to engage in exercise while going through withdrawal.

To learn more about opioid withdrawal treatment or to start a treatment program, contact an addiction specialist.

About Me

Preparing for a Stem Cell Transplant

About six months ago, my wonderful father discovered he had an aggressive form of lymphoma. At this time, his doctor informed him he would need to undergo six rounds of chemotherapy. My dad’s physician also told him he would need to have a stem cell transplant immediately after he completed the chemotherapy. To prepare for the stem cell transplant, my father was put on a special diet. His doctor recommended he eat a lot of protein. My dad was also told to drink plenty of water and exercise regularly. On this blog, I hope you will learn smart tips to help you or one of your loved ones prepare for a stem cell transplant. Enjoy!


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