Tips To Make It Through Your First Few Days Of Opioid Withdrawal

The primary reason why opioids are so difficult to wean yourself off of is the withdrawal symptoms. Within hours of quitting, you'll feel miserable -- nauseous, irritable, and dizzy. Taking a withdrawal treatment that your doctor prescribes can really help. But you will still want to follow these tips as you navigate your first few days without opiates. 

Keep diphenhydramine on hand.

One thing that can really help when you start to feel nauseous is taking a dose of diphenhydramine. This medication is easy to find over the counter since it is used as a non-habit-forming sleep aid and as an allergy treatment. Do check with your doctor first to ensure it won't interact with any other withdrawal treatments you're taking.

Prepare a comfortable spot.

Don't plan on moving from the couch too much in the next couple of days. Prepare a sofa with lots of pillows and blankets. Put the items you might need or want, like movies and books, within reach so you can entertain yourself without getting up. You may want to also put some bottled water, Gatorade, and any medications you're taking within reach.

Gather items to attack cravings.

The hardest part of withdrawal is resisting the urge to turn back to opiates when you know doing so will ease the sick symptoms you're feeling. Having plenty of items on hand to distract you from the cravings will help. This could be sunflower seeds, which can keep your mouth busy, gum, candies, or anything else you like to eat. Some people like to distract themselves physically by knitting, drawing, or making jewelry.

Have a friend on hand.

While you may be embarrassed and tempted to go through this process alone because of your embarrassment, that's not a smart idea. You will want someone there to reassure you through this process and keep you from turning to opiates when symptoms are at their worst. Talking to someone is also a good distraction from the symptoms you'll feel. And sometimes, you will want someone to listen -- as going through withdrawal can bring up a lot of emotional trauma that you were initially handling by taking opiates.

Withdrawing from opiates is taxing, both mentally and physically. It's important not to let withdrawal scare you away from getting clean. Talk to your doctor for more tips on Non-Addictive Opioid Treatment, and to make sure that the measures you take are compatible with any meds you take for withdrawal.