Opiates and opioids, also known as narcotics, are the strongest pain relievers available. They are also some of the most widely abused and addictive substances known to man. Abrupt cessation of the use of these substances leaves the user in great physical and psychological pain. The symptoms can include watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, yawning and sweating at first. They are sometimes followed by restlessness, irritability, loss of appetite, fever, tremors, severe, severe depression, vomiting, diarrhea, elevated heart rate and blood pressure, chills alternating with flushing, excessive sweating, pains in the bones and muscles of the back and extremities, and muscle spasms. The acute portion of opiate withdrawal typically lasts 3-5 days.
- Remember, you can do it. No matter your age, your brain is flexible - just as it adjusts to opiate use and you need more and more opiates, it also adjusts to the lack of opiates by making more of its own good stuff.
- Do not get on methadone unless you've used drugs for a long time. It is a nightmare to kick. If you are on methadone, consider reducing your dose slowly to 30mg and switch to Subutex then kick that way.
- Consider the idea that getting off long term opiates (methadone, subutex) requires planning. You are more likely to be successful with a sane, long term taper. Impulsively jumping off at 20mg methadone or 6mg subutex may cause extreme, unnecessary misery and leave you at increased risk of relapse.
- Tell yourself you are doing ok, the pains you are going through are merely labour pains, you are giving birth to a new you.
- Make sure the fridge is filled with easy to eat things like yogurts, mousses, things that are soft and sweet.
- Make sure you have a stack of clean cotton sheets and towels and loose comfy cotton garments nearby - you may need to change everything often because of sweating.
- Keep the room well ventilated, consider a fan, and have a soft warm blanket to hand.
- Make up some fruit flavor rehydration salts and keep a big jug of the stuff nearby. Dehydration (from sweating, vomiting etc) with make you feel even worse. Keep some good tasting juice handy too.
- Have a stack of light hearted comedy DVDs to watch. Nothing heavy at all! Nows the time to watch re-runs of "The Waltons", "Happy days", "I love Lucy", etc.
- Keep a laptop handy so you can get support from on line forums - worth their weight in gold.
- Marijuana and benzodiazepines can help control your symptoms without posing a serious health threat. If you do overdo it, and take a rather large dose of benzodiazepines, your overdose symptoms can include drowsiness, double-vision, amnesia, and more seriously, coma or death. Benzos are also addictive, so don't hop from the frying pan into the fire. Marijuana can be a great comfort during these dark days - there is a reason that more and more US states are legalizing marijuana for its medical potential.
- Write a notice saying "I'm a fantastic person, and I'm doing something amazing" and leave it where you can see it. While alcohol does in fact help ease with the symptoms for very short periods of times, it will further dehydrate your body, pollute your system, and leave you with a hangover.
- Each step of the ladder can leave you in the same spot you're in now, but if you have really decided to quit you must first realize that anything from cheeseburgers to sex can lead to a self destructive lifestyle.
- When you are feeling a little better, have non-druggy friends around to talk to and spend time with, especially the kind that forces you to discuss any aspect of your life except drugs. Your mind will be safe, away from dwelling upon your habits, your last hit, or people you used to get high with. Those kinds of thoughts can cause your brain to release some of the same exact endorphins it released when you were high. You are then that much closer to losing your sobriety.
- A little, light exercise - walking, housework will help. Don't overdo it.
- Keep your surroundings fresh and pleasant to keep your spirits up.
- Plan a little treat for yourself to look forward to each day to reward your success.
- Know you are doing something noble - its worth it and so are you.
- Be Gentle with yourself, and give yourself a lot of love.
- Order some Kratom online if you are in North America or most of Europe (it is illegal in Australia). It is an opioid-like substance, but very short acting. If you absolutely HAVE to do something, you can take small amounts of it to ward off the withdrawals temporarily without making it too much worse for yourself. Be careful--it too is an addictive substance, and should be used only to do things you absolutely cannot miss and then should be discontinued afterward.
- Keep plenty of sweet stuff around just like quitting smoking, your body is going to crave something to fill that "hole" with. After about a week you'll start to have an appetite again and snack cakes, candy, or anything else you like to munch on will be helpful. You may go through the withdrawals and try to eat everything in the house from kids cereal to everything Little Debbie cakes, but just keep your head up and focus on the aspects of life you personally deem valuable. Don't forget about even the small, seemingly inconsequential things that bring you joy. They make the longest days go by more quickly.
Its very hard to find any free drug treatment programs, but, its not impossible. In order to find free treatment near you, you will need to look to county resources. Places such as mental institutions often have free rehabs that they will send there patients to after they finish mental treatment. It may sound odd but if you are having trouble finding a free DRUG treatment program it may serve you well to call the closest Mental Institution to you. Ask them who they refer there patients to. Another thing you can do is an internet search for free rehabs in your area. Often times the ones you find on those list have long waiting list. A way to get around the long waiting list is to find out who that treatment center takes referrals from. Referrals get first priority when a bed becomes open in a rehab. Some places that often send referals are mental institutions, welfare, agency's that deal with homeless people, jails, and probation and parole officers. If its as important to you as it was to me, you will have no problems checking with places like these. With any luck you will have a bed in a good drug treatment center within a couple of days. I personally went as far as to turn myself into a mental institution just to be able to have access to there resources. I spent a few days in the mental institution, then was moved into a great drug treatment facility.
Those who have the money or health insurance to get into a rehab will have less of a problems finding one, but, take caution in what treatment facility you pick. Do lots of research, the odds are already against you, so make sure you find a place that will give you the best possible treatment available.
AS SOON AS POSSIBLE I WILL ADD SOME RESOURCES FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE SEARCHING FOR TREATMENT. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND TREATMENT WILL MOST LIKELY DO YOU NO GOOD UNLESS YOU ARE AT A POINT WHERE THE DRUGS ARE NO LONGER FUN TO YOU. YOU WILL GET TO A POINT WHEN YOU HATE THE DRUGS THEMSELVES AND OUR ONLY DOING THEM CAUSE YOU ARE SCARED TO COME DOWN, OR MAYBE YOUR JUST NOT IN THE RIGHT CIRCUMSTANCES TO BE ABLE TO QUIT. ITS UP TO YOU TO MAKE THE CIRCUMSTANCES RIGHT!