Can Vitamins Ease Opiate Withdrawal?
Opiate withdrawal can be painful and potentially debilitating, and many people are likely to turn to whatever might help this uncomfortable process.
While there are always benefits from taking vitamins and supplements, the effectiveness of taking vitamins to ease opiate withdrawal hasn’t been studied enough to reach a definitive conclusion.
Opiate withdrawal occurs when a person develops a dependence to opiates or opioids, and then abruptly stops use of the drug. Once a person is addicted to opiates, they may look for any home remedy to help them quit so they can avoid treatment.
Avoiding professional treatment is likely a mistake. Opiate addiction makes it incredibly hard for a person to stop on their own. Choosing to avoid treatment and trying to undergo opiate withdrawal without help can be both difficult and dangerous.
However, with proper medicine and a strong support system, it’s possible for a person to deal with opiate withdrawal at home. This is very difficult and can take much longer—as well as be far more painful—than getting professional assistance to help ease the discomfort of withdrawal.
Before a person decides if taking vitamins to ease opiate withdrawal is the right choice for them, they should consider the symptoms of opiate withdrawal, and acknowledge the potential dangers of the process.
Symptoms Of Opiate Withdrawal
Opiates and opioids are commonly prescribed and used to treat severe pain. They may also be referred to as narcotics, and include drugs like heroin, fentanyl, morphine, and hydrocodone (Vicodin).
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Misusing any opiate or opioid will likely lead to tolerance (requiring more and more to achieve the desired high), dependence (when the body and brain become used to having the drug), and finally addiction (when drug-seeking behavior takes over all aspects of life).
Opiate withdrawal occurs because the body has expected to have the drug in its system, and when it doesn’t get it, it needs time to adjust and recover; this is the period of sickness that happens when a person stops using opiates.
Some symptoms of withdrawal that may occur shortly after last use include:
- muscle and bone pain
- runny nose
- strong cravings for opiates and other drugs
- trouble sleeping
Other symptoms of withdrawal may occur later and can include:
- abdominal cramping
- cold flashes and chills
How long and severe withdrawal symptoms are depend on the person, how much and how often they took opiates, and which opiate they usually took.
Taking vitamins to ease opiate withdrawal may, or may not, help reduce some of the discomfort of these symptoms. Research is still seriously lacking, but many people believe the following vitamins can help with withdrawal.
Vitamins Believed To Ease Opiate Withdrawal
The three most common vitamins associated with easing opiate withdrawal include vitamin C, vitamin B, and multivitamins.
Vitamin C was actually studied in the context of opiate withdrawal in the 1960s. Twenty men addicted to heroin participated in the study, and the authors claim that the men taking large doses of vitamin C experienced less severe and painful withdrawal.
There have been a few more studies regarding vitamin C and opiate withdrawal, but none of them hold up as reliable for easing the pain of withdrawal. Medical professionals do not recommended taking vitamin C to ease opiate withdrawal because further research is needed to be conclusive.
While vitamin B is an effective supplement for human health and energy, research is also needed to determine its effectiveness for treating opiate withdrawal. Some medical professionals are likely to advise taking vitamin B during withdrawal because they believe many people suffering from opiate addiction are nutritionally malnourished, and taking vitamin B can be improve general health.
Multivitamins may be recommended in medical settings during opiate withdrawal because they help when the body is under extreme physical stress. Although multivitamins can be useful for the physical stress caused by withdrawal, and to help with nutrients if the person isn’t properly nourished, there is no research to indicate taking multivitamins help ease the discomfort of opiate withdrawal.
While vitamins can help with nutrients and physical stress, there is little to no research to back up claims that taking vitamins ease opiate withdrawal, and it may be more myth than fact.
The Vitamin Myth
In 2017 the federal trade commission (FTC) took a company to court that sold supplements advertised as treatments for opiate withdrawal. Although the company claimed their supplements helped ease withdrawal symptoms, there was no credible research or evidence to back up those claims.
A person struggling with opiate withdrawal may be tempted to believe what they read on the internet, like how the products Withdrawal Ease and Recovery Ease could help lessen symptoms of withdrawal and overcome a physical dependence to opiates. The FTC found these claims to be false and without merit.
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While vitamins can improve a person’s health, there is no actual proof that taking vitamins to ease opiate withdrawal can help with painful symptoms. However, there is available and effective treatment for opiate withdrawal.
Effective Treatment For Opiate Withdrawal
If a person is suffering from opiate addiction, they should seek professional treatment immediately because opiates are both dangerous and highly addictive.
Effective treatment for opiate withdrawal may include a medically-supervised detoxification at an inpatient treatment center. A medically-supervised detoxification allows the use of medications to actually help decrease the pain of withdrawal, and is not a myth.
Methadone can help relieve symptoms and make the detoxification process easier. It can also help reduce drug cravings. Buprenorphine is also effective for reducing cravings and treating withdrawal symptoms caused by opiates, and may even speed up the detoxification process. Clonidine may be used reduce symptoms of cramping, anxiety, runny nose, and agitation, but does not help with drug cravings.
Successfully managing the opiate withdrawal process is the first step in drug addiction treatment. Taking vitamins to ease opiate withdrawal is not only ineffective to relieve painful symptoms, but also misses the point when it comes to treating addiction and the fight to remain sober.
Call now for more information about effective measures to treat opiate withdrawal, and begin the process of healing and recovery.