Opiates are one of the most difficult drugs to quit. While opiates and synthetic opiates, known as opioids, are some of the most effective medications to treat moderate to severe pain, they are also highly addictive, and many patients find themselves dependent on their effects. Opiates also have a high street value, making them more popular for drug abuse. For those who decide to separate their lives from the daily habit, withdrawal symptoms are imminent.
Loperamide is the generic term for popular anti-diarrhea medication, Immodium AD. Opiates cause severe constipation especially for long-term addicts. After quitting opiates, diarrhea is an uncomfortable symptom that occurs for about a week. It is especially frustrating at night since it interrupts sleep patterns. Loperamide should be taken sparingly, because it can cause severe constipation.
Recovering opiate addicts are able to get very little sleep. It is suggested that opiate addicts try to take several days off from work to rest as much as possible since they will be unable to get a decent night’s sleep. Two types of drugs are beneficial for sleep loss–benzodiazepines and diphenhydramine. Using benzodiazepines should be done with extreme caution. They are also addictive, but some psychiatrists will prescribe them for drug addiction withdrawals, sleep deprivation and anxiety. Diphenhydramine is a drug found in antihistamines. It is considered a better alternative than benzodiazepines because of its absence of addiction.
Aches and Pains
Muscle aches and body pains are a part of opiate withdrawals. Although the opiate addict may want to reach for pills, recovery is about cessation from opiates. Ibuprofen is the only thing recommended for pains that isn’t a narcotic. Reaching for another narcotic will only prolong recovery.
Energy and Depression
After the initial physical side effects of opiate withdrawals, lack of energy and depression linger. The number one way of combating both these conditions is exercise. A run, weight lifting, swimming and biking are all ways to increase energy and rid get the natural endorphins running through the body. Exercise boosts moods and makes a person feel 100 percent more confident after recovering from opiates.
Additionally, the amino acid tyrosine and Vitamin B6 helps with the depression. Tyrosine is a precursor to dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine, which are energy boosters for the body. Vitamin B6 is a co-factor in the creation of serotonin, which is the “happy” neurotransmitter. Increasing serotonin levels is the method of action for anti-depressants.