When someone you love is abusing opioids, it is hard on everyone involved in their life. When the person decides they are ready to quit, it can be even harder on everyone. The symptoms of opiate withdrawal need to be taken seriously. Depending on how much the person was using and for how long, the process can take months or longer, can be dangerous to their health, and is definitely going to be mentally and emotionally devastating. Choosing the proper way to come off the drug is very important and will play a part in the symptoms the person goes through. Here are a few options to consider.
Medical Intervention with Drugs
If the person is a threat to themselves or other people or has needed to be hospitalized for their use, they may be given another drug to help cope with the withdrawal symptoms as the original opioid is reduced. However, it is important that you understand what drug is being given. Quite often, the new drug will be just as addictive as the originally abused one. Basically, your loved one may end up trading off their drug of choice. They may even be given another opioid. While this option may be the best for a dangerous situation, do not consider it to be the only one, or the one that will rid them of an addiction completely. There is also a non-addictive drug now available to help with withdrawal symptoms. You should discuss this with your doctor to find out how you can give it a try.
Non-addictive Opioid Treatment
Hopefully, your loved one will come to you and ask for help with their addiction before it gets to the point of a true medical emergency. This will allow you to use a non-addictive opioid treatment to help with the withdrawal process. However, it is going to require a lot of work and dedication. The patient may get physically sick and require over-the-counter medications to help with pain, diarrhea, insomnia, cramps, and agitation. You should think of the patient as having the flu and treat them accordingly. You may also find a combination of herbs and other natural remedies can help. Try to keep your loved one comfortable, encourage them to eat and sleep, and make them get out of bed every day.
Opioid addiction can be overcome with a lot of work and dedication. It is not going to be pretty, and you may want to give up at times when your loved one's temperament changes. However, if you stick with them, in the end, they will be back to the person you know and love.