How to Deal with Opiate Withdrawals

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For most addicts, opiate withdrawals become the single biggest obstacle to taking back their lives from addiction. Opiates take a toll on brain function over time causing fundamental shifts in the brain’s chemical activities, according to Bryn Mawr College. These changes account for the distressing symptoms experienced during detox.

Figuring out how to deal with opiate withdrawals can mean the difference between breaking an addiction and teetering on the brink of relapse for the duration of a detox period. While some people may be able to go it alone, others may well require professional treatment to make it through this difficult time.

Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

opiate withdrawal

Opiate withdrawal symptoms can be both physical and emotional.

Knowing what to expect along the way can help relieve some of the anxiety associated with detox, and give a person a head start on how to deal with opiate withdrawal. Opiate withdrawals effects take the form of physical and psychological symptoms, both of which can take a toll on a person’s resolve.

How to Deal With Opiate Withdrawals: Remedies

Restless Legs Syndrome/Sleep Problems

As one of the more distressing withdrawal symptoms, restless legs syndrome is not only uncomfortable, but also makes it near impossible to get a good night’s sleep. Remedies to try include –

  • Soaking in a hot bath before bedtime
  • Getting daily moderate exercise
  • Leg wraps, such as a tension bandage or compression stockings

Muscle Aches & Pains

As chronic opiate use impairs CNS nerve signal transmissions, planning on how to relieve constant muscle aches and pains offers another means for addressing how to deal with opiate withdrawals. In this instance, over-the-counter pain relievers can eliminate much of the discomfort along the way.


Depression symptoms experienced during detox can greatly aggravate the process as a whole. When considering how to deal with opiate withdrawals, make sure you have this particular symptoms covered. Remedies to try include –

  • Staying busy
  • Getting daily exercise
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Socializing with non-drug using friends

How to Deal With Opiate Withdrawals: Get Professional Help


Opiate detox treatment programs not only help addicts overcome the body’s physical withdrawal symptoms, but also help with how to deal with opiate withdrawals on an emotional level. Since underlying emotional turmoil often drive a person’s need to escape through drugs, talking through these issues enables addicts to address the problem at its roots.

Medication Therapies

For people coming off chronic opiate addictions, the severity of withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings will likely be too much to bear. In these instances, detox programs can administer medication therapies, such as methadone and buprenorphine, which work to support damaged brain functions.

Support Groups

Detox treatment programs place particular importance on the value of support groups in helping addicts get through the detox stage. Support groups may take the form of group therapy meetings as well as 12-Step support group meetings. When considering how to deal with opiate withdrawals, the support and guidance available through support groups can go a long way towards getting a person through this difficult stage in the recovery process.

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