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Getting Over Opiate Withdrawals and Making it Through the PAWS
A while ago Swim was researching all over the place for things people have found helpful in helping them through their withdrawals/PAWS.
Swim collected all of the data he could and put it all together and thought he'd post it here for anyone interested to take a look at.
This took Swim a lot of time to put together so maybe it can save others some time.
Please remember, Swim is not a doctor and is in no means telling anyone to use these things.
Swim is on Methadone maintenance right now and was simply preparing himself as much as possible for when he finally jumps off at 0.
This is NOT medical advise.
If anyone is choosing to use any of these hebs/supplements to help them through their own recovery, they should research them first and see which ones would work best for them and what effects they would have. And also if they would be safe to use by themselves/together in their own situation.
Also, Swim is not listing all of the side effects so make sure to check that out as well when doing your own research. This way you have more accurate information and are on the safe side.
Please use caution if considering and be as safe as possible.
Here's what Swim put together:
- Lofexidine A.K.A. BritLofex is suposed to help alleviate Opiate withdrawal symptoms(prescription only).
- Quinine can help for RLS(prescription only).
- Clonidine is a blood pressure medication that is said to help with some of the creepy crawlies. Some have found this medication very useful, but it should only be used if you are a healthy individual and your blood pressre is in the right place. Check with your Doctor before considering and make sure you are a healthy candidate(again, prescription only).
- Advil helps for pain. If one doesn't have access to that, Tylenol or Aleve can also be of help. However, Swim has always found Advil to work best for aches and pains.
- Loperamide(Imodium) can help for the stomach and diarrhea especially. Swim has also heard that large enough doses of Loperamide can work sort of like Methadone does(without getting you high, but filling the receptor). But Swim has never taken a large enough dose of it to test this theory out before. It is said that taking this supplement can set back your recovery from Opiates and make it even longer than it had to be. It is also said that Loperamide can be addictive like Opiates are so be careful. Swim suggests looking into a different supplement to help with the runs instead of the Loperamide(Remember to try not to substitute one addiction for another; Time is the best medicine).
- Pepto Bismol might be a better substitute for many to use instead of Loperamide, and it should still ease the stomach and help prevent diarrhea.
- Eating fat and water soluble foods(OATS) is good for you when recovering. As well as stimulating foods(such as ginger or chili, etc).
- Make sure you are eating right(NO JUNK FOODS).
- Nigella Sativa Oil is said to help with aches/pains.
- Drink LOTS of water throughout.
- Tonic water is said to contain a small amount of Quinine which can help ease restless legs.
- Taking Multi-Minerals and a good Multi-Vitamin(some have both) each day is good for your health. Remember to check the ingrediants in both and make sure you are not taking too much of anything(to much of anything is not good).
- Vitamin B6 can help for depression/mood and the production of Serotonin. Vitamin B is also good for stress.
- Vitamin D is good for your mood and helps to reduce depression(we recieve this from the sun. Using Vitamin D during the winter time can help avoid seasonal depression as well.)
- Eat LOTS of bananas(they contain Quinine which will help ease Swims restless legs. They have as potassium in them as well and are easy to digest.
- Ginger can help settle/ease the stomach. This can be found in a supplement or in ginger tea, etc.
- Drinking herbal teas is good for you and doesn't contain caffeine.
- Antihistamines(diphenhydramine, etc.) work great to make you less irritable and more calm. They also can help put you to sleep(if they're the drowsy kind).
- Neurontin can help take the edge off(but it is only prescribed and stopping it suddenly can cause a withdrawal similar to Benzos and Alcohol, so be very careful).
- Drinking Gatorade or Powerade is good as well(they contain electrolytes).
- If you really think you absolutely need one, you can ask your Doctor about some kind of anti-depressant to help with your mood/depression(Lexapro is said to help some people, etc.). However Swim thinks that natural anti-depressants, herbs and supplements like 5HTP, Sam-e, etc., would be much safer to use and wouldn't cause withdrawals when stopping them either. Some anti-depressants that are prescribed can make things worse in people and even go as far as creating suicidal thoughts if they are not the right kind for that person. They can be very dangerous, and if one is already feeling bad from an Opiate detox that could make things a lot worse in some situations.
- Eat LOTS of protein.
- Check out something called Amino Acid therapy. You can buy supplements with a variety of Amino Acids all in one or seperately.
- Omega 3,6, & 9 is also good to take(they can be found in flax seed oil, plus it has more goodies, or even just in a supplement form with all three in one). These are extremely good for the brain and can help with your neurotransmitters(also found in certain fish).
- SAM-e can help with an individuals mood and depression(it can be dangerous to take if you are bi-polar, so read up on the supplement before using and check if it is right for you).
- Alphaloic Acid and Milk Thistle helps to rebuild the liver.
- Some very helpful herbs that one can use are: Passion Flower, Californian Poppies, Skull Cap,Blue Lotus, Hops, Cayenne, Wild Daga, and Kava-kava. A lot of these herbs are said to be relaxing and can help with anxiety. (Caution: using Kava too much or too often is not good for your liver, use it in moderation). Kava is also a muscle relaxant.
- Ashawagndha is also said to be good for anxiety. It is also said that it can help recover from an Opiate addiction faster and return to homeostasis.
- An individual reported Calamus to be of some help. The person mixed the Calamus with Valerian Root and found it to be helpful when in withdrawal.
- For sleep, Valerian Root and Melatonin can be of help. These are natural, non-addicting sleeping aids. Valerian Root can help with anxiety and calming you down as well.
- The supplement GABA also can help with anxiety. But it is said that is doesn't cross the blod-brain barrier, meaning it might not be very effective. However, Swim has always found it to be pretty helpful for his anxiety in the past(before tolerance kicks in). But sometimes Swim thinks that his anxiety may have gotten worse form taking the GABA so he usually stops taking it and doesn't use it for long periods of time, which seems to make things better. For this reason, Swim suggests alternating between different supplements or herbs for anxiety, instead of just using one of them for too long of a time frame.
- L-Theanine(an amino acid in green tea), is said to be relaxing and can help with anxiety to. This one actually does cross the blood-brain barrier and effects a chemical in our brain known as GABA.
- Check out something called d- phenylalanine. It basically slows down your body from breaking down endorphins. So it can help with a persons pain, mood and withdrawal symptoms.
- Zinc is very good to take as well.
- Drinking cranberry juice is also very helpful to detox.
- If Swim has access to Seroquel, it is extremely good for sleep(precription only). Plus it’s an anti-psychotic in higher doses so it can help ease some of the craziness and is also said to lower anxiety.
- Drink health supplement drinks throughout.
- Taking L-Tyrosine and/or L-Dopa can help(these help create dopamine and other chemicals in the brain). They both are amino acids. However, L-Tyrosine is said to convert to L-Dopa in the body so Swim isn't sure if it would be better to just get the L-Tyrosine, the L-Dopa or both. L-Tyrosine can cause anxiety in some people, especially in high doses.
- L-Tryptophan AKA 5HTP helps create Serotonin and can help for your mood/depression.
- Taking potassiumsupplements is also good(if not bananas or for some even both).
- Vitamin V8 V-Fusion is a very healthy and good tasting drink(there's different flavours to). V8 Splash is also very tasty and good for you. Swim doesn't like the original V8 so this is why he chose these two. They are both full of goodies.
- A calcium/magnesium supplement is very good. Magnesium is said to be helpful for anxiety.
- Vitamin C is also said to be very helpful for any drug withdrawals or detox.
- Gravol/Dramamine can be helpful for your stomach and can make some people fall asleep(unless it is the non-drowsy kind).
- Ginger ale is good to drink(just like when one has the flu).
- Lemon Balm and Passion Flower tea can ease discomfort in the stomach and digestive system. The lemon balm may also help reduce heart palpitations that can accompany withdrawal symptoms. And like Swim said before, the Passion Flower can help with anxiety, mood and also acts as a muscle relaxant. Passion Flower is said to contain a very mild MAOI. It is not suposed to be taken with SSRI's and some other medications/supplements because of the MAOI. It can be very dangerous to take with some things and can even cause serotonin syndrome. Swim doesn't know if it's that safe to mix Passion Flower and 5HTP or L-Tyrosine because of the MAOI effect. So one would have to do his or her research first and use caution.
- Taking Antacids can be of help to.
- An Adrenal Supplement can be of help, for the stress the Opiates put on ones adrenal glands which can results in adrenal fatigue.
- Having a high carb diet.
- Drinking Detox Tea.
- Ribose is a supplement often used by athletes. It is also used in the treatment of chronic fatigue, so it does wonders for a persons energy levels. The person who used this supplement took three doses of 5 grams each/a day(in powder form). They said that they would usually just put a scoop in some juice and drink it down.
- Fasting for a few days before you come off of the opiates is a good way to eliminate toxins that have built up over the weeks/years.
You could take a Laxative Tea at night and do a Hot Salt Water flush in the morning. This gets everything out of your system while you're still on Opiates, which = less uncomfortable stomach cramps when in withdrawal. Someone Swim read about did this and said they recovered quite fast from a high level Methadone addiction.
- St Johns Wort can help with depression/mood but can be dangerus to take with some medications/supplements(research beforehand).
- Baclofen is a helpful muscle relaxant(prescribed).
- You could try taking a strong thermogenic to boost your metabolic rate and get the Opiates out of your system quicker and speed up the withdrawal symptoms. This will also give you more energy than any Energy Drink or any other products you could take for energy. You can find thermogenics at any GNC or Smoothie King, etc.. Each day you should drink at least two smoothies with protein and antioxidants.
- AVOID caffeine while recovering.
Some natural things One can do to help ease withdrawals and some other tips:
-Stretching helps, as well as whatever exercise possible(releases natural endorphins).
- Hot showers/baths help tremendously(while you are in the bath). And if you have access to a hot tub they are supposed to be really helpful as well. In previous detoxes, Swim would take multiple baths each day.
- Tanning can also help you feel better. You could go to a local tanning place and use their tanning beds whenever you feel like you need a boost in your mood(if you have the energy). This supplies you with more Vitamin D which is what we normally recieve from the sun, which is why the sun puts us in a better mood.
- Lavender Oil and Salts in a bath will help.
- If you have access to a Sauna they are good to help you sweat out a lot of the toxins in the body.
- Acupuncture is supposed to help to.
- A Chiropractor is reported to be helpful as well.
- Swim read of someone saying that they found driving or being driven around helped them. The engine motion/vibration is said to be very soothing.
- Putting on some Calming Music.
- Doing natural stuff that would usually make you feel good(reading, music, biking etc.)
- Try NOT to replace one addiction for another. Just try and get through it and stay SOBER. In Swims opinion, other drugs might feel like they help you for the couple of hours you feel the high(like getting baked, etc.). But they will only make things feel worse in the end.
- If it's bad enough or you can’t do it by yourself, get supervision to avoid a relapse and get real help. Take away your cell phone and all possible connections to the drug. Delete all of the phone numbers, etc.
- Surround yourself with NON-users and positive REAL friends. DON'T hang out with junkies.
- Once you feel able to, attend NA meetings, work the 12 steps, and maybe even check out a program in some kind of Addictions Foundation or something similar, if it’s available to you(you may want to book ahead if that is your plan).
- Swim has found that in order to STAY sober for good, you have to WANT to quit for yourself. And not be doing it for anyone or anything else. Otherwise Swim has found that it will NEVER work out in the end. Not to sound negative or anything.
- Also, this can happen to anyone. DON'T be to hard on yourself and make it even harder than it already is or has to be. And DON'T let it be your ghost! Forgive yourself and move on.
- Keep moving forward and DON'T look back.
- If you believe in him, praying to God will help you A LOT!!
- Prepare yourself for the worst beforehand.
- Try reading of others going through similar times or even watching Intervention or something like that. Anything to help you realize are not alone can help. And once you are going to NA meetings or something similar, having others around that you can relate to will help as well.
- Write your thoughts out, vent etc.
- Make a plan and stick to it!!
Most of the stuff on it is similar to what is listed here but Thomas explains things in more detail. He also uses Benzos in his recipe.
But like Swim said earlier, Swim wasn’t looking for any other addictive substances when Swim made this list. And he does not want to substitute one addiction for another.
Some have also said that smoking Pot helps them and some have said that it makes things worse.
Swim can see it maybe helping a little bit for the couple of hours that you’re baked. But generally, Swim would think it would make you feel worse in the end and wouldn’t be worth it.
Swim personally loves life without pot. But evey individual is different.
Swim has also read that Kratom helps tremendously for some, and is also legally attainable. It still causes withdrawals though, but are said to be a lot less severe than some Opiates.
However, Swim read of someone who ended up going on Suboxone maintenance for a Kratom addiction because of how bad things got for them. So Swim really doesn't think that Kratom would be the best choice.
Also in Swims position, Swim hasn't felt the high of an Opiate for about a year now(so far), and Swim thinks that if he used Kratom to come off of his Methadone, Swim would probably get a little bit of a buzz off of it at first(especially compared to the Methadone). Which Swim thinks would remind him of things too much. This would be terrible and could ruin ALL of Swims progress. And he would probably end up being hooked on the Kratom itself or even worse, going back to his old ways. Which would be a very stupid and careless decision. After all this work Swim is not going to go back to square one, that's for sure.
One of the reasons Swim thinks Methadone has helped him as much as it has is because, after being on it as long as he has Swim doesn't feel any euphoria or anything like that whatsoever from it.
So that is why Swim didn’t list Kratom in the list either.
Once again, Swim is not a doctor and is not telling anyone to take these things to help them when detoxing.
Plus, this would be A LOT of stuff for one person to take, so please don't get the wrong idea here.
If you want to, do your research from this list and decide what would work best for you.*
This is simply just a list that Swim wrote for himself. With ALL of the stuff that he could find that others have used to help them in their journey of recovery. It wasn't just from one indivdual.
Swim also wanted to add that, Swim has found that when recovering from ANYTHING he's found that drinking Alcohol has always made things worse for Swim. There will be a time when the alcohol will wear off and you will have to return back to reality. And when returning, Swim found that things felt worse than they did before he drank. And sometimes this could lead to a relapse(even when recovering from Swim's previous Pot addiction). Swim also found that while drunk, sometimes Swim would have a lot of stronger cravings for things than he usually would have when he was sober. And would sometimes even think of things that Swim was able to steer clear of when he was in his sober mind. Swim thinks this is because it lowers one's inhibitions.
The day after drinking Swim finds himself extremely depressed and doesn't think being drunk is worth the way it makes him feel afterwards whatsoever. Even if Swim doesn't plan to become an alcoholic and is only drinking for one night to try and help himself feel better, Swim finds that alcohol can really make things a lot worse.
Swim has also gotten some advice from quite a few others and was told that for especially as serious of an addiction as Opiates, it is a really good choice to abstain from EVERYTHING through recovery.
So this means NOT using ANY drugs.
They have found that this is the BEST way to stay sober and NOT relapse.
So this goes with the "not substituting one addiction for another" part.
Which kinda makes sense, because drugs will eventually make Swim feel shittier than he felt before he used them. And feeling shitty can lead to a relapse on Swims DOC.
Even if Swim is smoking Pot and in the beginning months it doesn't feel like anything too bad is happening, and Swim thinks he has things in control. Eventually(because Swim is smoking pot), it can lead to a relapse on Swims DOC.
Now a days, Swim finds that even drinking coffee can make Swim feel worse than he has to feel afterwards. And why feel worse than Swim has to?
Swim plans stay sober from EVERYTHING and be as safe as possible throughout his recovery. Swim takes his recovery VERY seriously.
This is just Swims two cents .
Every individual is different.
If there are ANY things that are not on here already that you have done to help in your recovery, feel free to contribute. That would really be a big help!
Last edited by natey7; 17-10-2011 at 15:54.
Reason: Automerged Doublepost
Re: Getting Over Opiate Withdrawals and Making it Through the PAWS
While this is an older post, someone thinks it is very clear and valuable information that is very helpful !!! The person put a lot if effort in this , a lot of energy and was very kind to do so - wish he knew how much it is appreciated!
Re: Getting Over Opiate Withdrawals and Making it Through the PAWS
Just spotted a possible deadly combination in the first couple of lines.
Do not use Lofexidine and Clonidine together. Both drugs are Alpha-Blockers, have similar effects and work to reduce adrenal action and noradrenaline. Both are great for taking away the pain in knees back or where ever, the kicking part of kicking the habit. They will also stop hot flushes and general combat many physical syptoms. Although not Narcotic they will help relax you by lower heart rate and adrenaline.
But DO NOT use these drugs together as there is no need and it could lead to overdose. Alpha-Blocker overdose can kill you quickly and if mistaken for opiate overdose Naloxone may be administered which would do nothing. Also rick of black out would be high.
A very good list of meds and sups to help WD's, but just wanted to point that one out as they are both listed at the top