Withdrawal from opiates can be stressful and painful, but is rarely life threatening, says Drugs.com. This makes withdrawal at home an option in those cases where medication and professional help are not an option. Withdrawal at home can be demanding, and you should expect it to be very difficult, especially if you or your friend has been addicted to opiates for a long period of time.
Perform research on opiate addiction. Private organizations, such as SMART Recovery and Narcotics Anonymous, and governmental agencies are often great ways to compliment research done online. These groups are a great source to turn to after some time spent online. However, you should always remember that nothing beats talking head-to-head with a medical professional.
Plan the time for withdrawal. The average time you or your friend will suffer withdrawal symptoms will depend on what type of opiate the addict is dependent on. You should reserve at least a week of free time from work and relatives for rest. This time can be demanding, and having to deal with family or work problems at the same time is never smart.
Consider traditional flu remedies. This may seem like a very strange way to manage something as severe as opiate withdrawal, but according to Drugs.com, some of the symptoms of opiate withdrawal resemble the flu so much, that some addicts undergoing withdrawal thought they had the flu or a cold. The site also includes runny nose, trouble sleeping, nausea, weakness, diarrhea, and increased activity of the tear canals as symptoms of opiate withdrawal. Try thinking of this time just like a simple cold. Stock up on fluids and other natural remedies, like chicken soup and fruit rich in vitamin C.
Sleep. Many drugs cause disturbances in the body’s natural rhythm of sleep. This causes many addicts to sleep too little, which has many negative effects on the body. Sleeping full nights and taking regular naps allows the body to rest and recover.
Have a friend or relative on hand. You never know how bad your withdrawal symptoms will get, and if you have to contact medical help, you want someone there to help you get to the hospital. A friend is also very helpful in managing and taking care of the house and other everyday things, since you will likely be unable to take care of things like cooking and the laundry.
Research relapse. Sites like Relapse-Prevention.org offer extensive lists of things that increase your chance of relapsing after you have made it through withdrawal. Many of the things they list, like spending time with current drug users and hanging in places you used to do drugs at, may seem like common sense, but it is still a good idea to go and look at these resources.
Consider medication. Drugs like methadone have a well researched past and are generally considered safe and effective in managing opiate withdrawal, says the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Although rare, withdrawal from opiates can result in death. Talk to a doctor to see if you are in good enough health to attempt this process.