Opiates, whether illegal or prescription based, are highly addictive on many fronts. If you are suffering from severe pain, particularly nerve pain, opiates can provide relief. They can also make you feel extremely positive emotionally. Unfortunately, maintaining that high level of pain control and that good feeling will take more opiates over time, quickly leading to a dangerous addictive cycle. Getting out of the cycle will be tough.
What Is The Best Way To Detox Off Of Opiates? Opiates trigger a release of endorphins, the neurotransmitter in your brain that makes you feel good. Exercise can trigger endorphins, as can sex and chocolate. The big boost of endorphins released by a dose of opiates is one of the things that make this drug so highly addictive. It’s easy to build up a tolerance. In fact, regular use of opiates quickly negates the benefits of a regular dose. Not only do you need another dose of the drug to feel just as good as the first dose, but you need more in the next dose. If you have have been on opiates for two weeks, you could be heading into a very dangerous situation for your body and brain.
What Happens During an Opiate Detox
Your body may react by increasing the pain response of nerves that have been dulled by the drug. Your body needs more medication. Many who are prescribed opiates for pain quickly discover that regular pain medications don’t work or are much less effective on their pain. You may also struggle with
- goose bumps
- a rapid heartbeat
- blood pressure changes
Your gut will also be very unhappy during an opiate withdrawal. Nausea, constipation and diarrhea are all possible. Staying hydrated during a tapered withdrawal is critical to protecting your gut and your cardiac health.
How to Support Your Body
To keep your body as comfortable as possible during your detox, lay in some supplies. You will need comfort food that you can easily heat up and enjoy. Make sure you have plenty of water and consider getting some sports drinks to keep your electrolytes in balance. To keep nausea under control, lay in a supply of unsweetened applesauce to soothe your tummy. Get body wash that can help you feel fresh, such as peppermint. Make sure you have extra sheets and towels; detoxing is a sweaty business. Comfortable clothes, extra blankets and a fan will also be helpful. Detoxing can give you the shakes, which can make staying clean a challenge. Lay in a supply of disposable body wipes you can use instead of a shower if you are dizzy. Make sure you have alcohol-free mouthwash at hand so you can rinse your mouth if your hands are shaking too much to safely brush your teeth.
How to Support Your Mind and Spirit
Detoxing is very hard on your mind and your spirit. If you hold to the belief that addicts are weak, you may be ashamed of your need to undergo detox, which can make it very difficult to reach out for help. Depending on the length of your addiction, you may feel that your friends and family will no longer support you through this difficult experience. Once you have set up a safe space to detox, stock up on movies, audiobooks and podcasts based on themes that you find funny or distracting. Lifting your spirits with a good laugh can release endorphins that you will need to find mental clarity as you work through the detox.
Connecting with another person in recovery can help. Involve your physician in your detoxing process and ask for recommendations on setting up some connections you can reach out to for support when you are feeling especially low or anxious. Opiate withdrawal can lead to thoughts of suicide. Setting up these supportive connections before you start your detox is critical. An empathetic ear who can both understand just how lousy you are feeling and remind you of what you are working toward can save your life. A cold turkey detox is dangerous. A tapered detox is safer but will still mean a lot of discomfort and hard work. Your future is well worth the struggle! Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 844-639-8371.