Kicking it from Home
The opioid epidemic is surging through the United States and many families are left not knowing what to do. Treatment centers are making a ton of money detoxing patients only to leave them in great amounts of debt. Families that don’t have private insurance are left paying heavily for these detox centers. Some patients have no insurance what so ever and are stuck on the waiting list to even get into treatment or detox. If you don’t have insurance or are sick of waiting, there is another way. Detoxing on your own can be scary but as long as you have someone to monitor you, it is possible. You can detox from home with the utilization of over the counter medicines, a strict healthy diet, and a good support group.
Undervalued Over the Counter
Many people choose to go into detox due to the fact that they can give you controlled substances and other medications, which greatly reduce the side effects of withdrawing from opiates. However if detox is not an option there is always a ton of great over the counter medications that can help ease your pain. Motrin and Tylenol are good at reducing fever and can help with headaches or migraines.
Mucinex works well in decreasing the amount of mucus in your throat and stopping a runny nose, it can also clear your sinuses. Benadryl is another great way to dry up your nose, it also stops watery eyes and it works great for sleep. If Benadryl isn’t enough to help you fall asleep, Unisom tablets can be used instead. Aleve is going to be your saving grace during an at home detox. Medline Plus recommends Aleve to get rid of muscle aches and cramps, alternatively an ice pack and heating pad should be used as well to increase blood flow to sore muscles.
Imodium works to stop diarrhea and it may help you feel slightly better because it mimics the effects of an opiate. The hardest symptom to treat is nausea, which can be treated with motion sickness medication or natural medicines. It is important to have someone monitor the dosing and frequency in which these medications are given because too much of any medication can have severe side effects and may make some symptoms worse.
Food for Thought
Other than a variety of over the counter medications there are many foods that help with opiate withdrawal. While in active addiction most people do not eat the best foods for their body. During opiate addiction we flood our brains with serotonin and dopamine, therefore when we go through withdrawal we tend to lack “happy juice” so to speak. Hard candies are good way to bring serotonin and dopamine levels back up, small amounts of sugar can really improve mood.
Chocolate is considered one of the most effective remedies for increasing dopamine levels during a detox. Alternatively, non-caffeinated low sugar sodas, such as ginger ale, are a good way to help decrease nausea and are easy on the stomach. Bananas are another great food for detox, they are soft, easy to digest and the high levels of potassium do wonders for muscle aches. It’s important to note that sugar intake must be kept low, as too much sugar can cause sour stomach or make nausea worse. Eating clean during a detox is a great way to speed up recovery.
There are some foods that can make detox symptoms worse such as spicy foods, processed sugars, and fried or fatty foods. They may make you feel better in the short run but they are difficult for the body to process and they end up leaving you feeling much worse.
We all Need Somebody to Lean On
Besides getting better physically there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in order to feel better emotionally and spiritually. During a detox, no matter how light the symptoms may be, it is always important to have someone there to monitor you. Even if they don’t necessarily help you physically, they can definitely be an emotional support while you are in a state of weakness.
Smart Recovery found that people who had a large support group much more successful in sobriety than those who had little to no support group. Detoxing is easy once the symptoms subside but staying sober is hard and many people have no idea what to do once their detox is completed. The first step is finding a safe place to go, whether that is a meeting hall or a friend’s house, somewhere where you can be sober and comfortable. Meetings are the best place to meet new people and get that support group started.
While it may be difficult, you should try to go to one or two meetings before you are fully finished detoxing. The reason is that once you feel really great again you may forget why you decided to detox in the first place. If you can build your support group while you are still weak, you are more likely to turn to those who helped you get through the fight. Having friends who understand your situation, are willing to help you and not enable you, is the best way to stay sober.
Family is also important, during our using we may have damaged relationships with our family but letting them know that you’re on a path to change your life and you would love their support can really go a long way.
While it may not be the ideal situation it is possible to have a successful home detox. With the right medication and the proper diet your detox can go smoothly. Some people prefer to detox at home while they can be comfortable and recover at their own pace.
Check out some websites and ask for help before you start so that you can be sure to have everything you need. The most important element is aftercare. Whether you detox in two days or two weeks you can’t be successful without a plan of action. So get out there, get some numbers, find sober friends, stock up on food and medicine and get on the path to a better life today.