Anyone who has gone through with narcotics withdrawal, especially when it comes to opiates, knows how challenging it can be. The physical, emotional, and mental toll that it takes on individuals can be excruciating, which is why it’s so important that they have the right tools and support to get them through it safely. Depending on the severity of the addiction, the withdrawal can last up to three weeks long, so it’s crucial that they’re prepared for what is in store for them.
If the individual isn’t properly prepared for the challenging days and weeks ahead, the physical discomfort and pain can be so severe that they may consider using opiates again. This is so why many people with substance use disorders will seek out professional treatments in specialty clinics or hospitals that are able to provide them with specific medications to ease the pain. They often turn to supplements and vitamins to help with withdrawal symptoms.
However, many of these drugs that medical professionals will provide can be just as addictive, and transferring from an opiate to something else may seem like it’s helpful, but it really can lead to additional problems. This is where the usage of supplements and vitamins come in.
Let’s look at some of the most popular supplements used when individuals are going through an opiate detox, and how they can assist during this challenging process.
This vitamin is known for helping to relieve anxiety and stress in everyone, but especially helps in calming the nerves of those going through opiate withdrawal. Since opiate withdrawal can cause a lot of excitement within the nervous system, B-complex can assist in bringing balance to the nervous system and overall calming the body. It’s recommended to take 100 mg at a time in order to feel an effect, and make sure that the vitamin is pure and high-quality.
When going through a detox, it’s very common for opiate users to participate in uncontrollable picking of the skin and infected abscesses that are caused by opiate injections. In order to repair the damaged skin, many take Vitamin E. It works as an antioxidant that minimizes the damage caused by free radicals and anxiety and restores damaged blood cells. Most medical professionals will recommend that one takes anywhere from 100 to 400 International Units every day.
Passion Flower has less medical evidence than other supplements in terms of its effectiveness for opiate withdrawal, but many will swear by its effectiveness. One particular study conducted by the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics demonstrated that it can assist with unstable medical symptoms associated with withdrawal. It’s also known for helping with insomnia, severe stomach aches, nervousness and anxiety, pain relief, and high blood pressure, which are all common symptoms that those with an opiate use disorder face when going through a detox.
While it’s less common in Western culture, Kava is a plant commonly used in the Western Pacific for its calming and painkilling effects. It’s also known to bring more clarity to the mind and increase brain function. Its also known for improving one’s mood and level of depression, but it can also cause liver issues, so it shouldn’t be used for a long period of time.
Calcium and Magnesium
Since a major symptom of withdrawal is severe anxiety, it’s common to use magnesium and calcium which help relax the central nervous system. It’s also known to help with cramps and twitches and help with other muscular issues that are caused by withdrawal. Although you can take pills for calcium and magnesium, you can also find it in common foods such as leafy vegetables, grains, and dairy products. If you are going to take a supplement, it is recommended to take 2,000 mg of calcium and 1,000 mg of magnesium a day.
A Change In Diet
It’s true that a change in diet is different from taking various supplements, but eating the right foods can have a tremendous impact on decreasing negative symptoms and ending an addiction once and for all. When going through opiate withdrawal, the University of Maryland Medical Center specifically recommends that you specifically increase your consumption of low-saturated fat, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. Foods that have these components are known to decrease the liver’s load. Since the feeling of craving an opiate is similar to the feeling of hunger, instead of seeking the drug, seek food instead—this can help with your recovery in the long-run. Specific foods such as broccoli, kale, fish, and artichokes are known to fill that craving.
If you’re living with an opiate use disorder and are looking to quit once and for all, consider taking these supplements in addition to a medically supervised detox program. It’s important to note that they should not be taken independent of other treatments, and you should always consult with your doctor before beginning the process.