Opiate and heroin withdrawal is one is one of the most difficult withdrawals to manage and it’s even more difficult to watch a loved one go through the experience.
Helping a loved one through opiate detox might change their life forever, and it will certainly give them the boost they need to begin real recovery. But each person is different. We hope that these steps to helping a friend or family member though detox make the difference.
Be Sure They Are Ready
It is not easy to detox from opiates. It takes some people 2 weeks before they feel better. Be sure to have everything ready for an extended stay detox. Take time off work or school, cancel all prior commitments. Be there for them.
Don’t Attempt Opiate Detox at Home
It’s in their best interest to find a medically certified and safe opiate detox center that can help them manage their withdrawal symptoms. Most facilities provide both inpatient and outpatient options so there as well as financial options that almost any family can receive the treatment they need.
Understand That This is the Beginning
Detox is the first real step in the process of recovery. When you help a loved one through opiate detox you are helping them take that first step.
After detox is rehabilitation and then sober living. At meeting, they will learn that addiction never goes away, and that cannot be cured. They will have a life time of vigilance ahead of them. That means the same applies to you.
You Don’t Have to Do It Alone
The same thing goes for you. If you are helping a loved one through opiate detox, you might need a little help yourself. Ask other family members to help where they can and enlist the help of friends and confidants.
Addiction is a disease beaten by many and a strong network is an indicator of long term success in recovery from heroin and other opiates.
Drug Detox & Healthy Detox
Symptoms of withdrawal are eased by the right diets and constant hydration. While their body deals with withdrawal symptoms, you can arm it with the vitamin and minerals it needs to function at peak physical condition.
The most common symptoms of opiate detox are:
- Cold Sweats
- Stomach Cramps
- Severe Cravings
- Erratic Behavior
Though opiate withdrawals usually affect appetite, be sure to give them plenty of fluids. Vomiting and diarrhea cause major loss of fluids that can get dangerously low.
Be Present but Give Space
Patience is key to surviving long term drug addiction. You need patience and your patience will teach them patience. Opiate addiction can bring out the worst in people and detoxing from opiates even more so. Remember to be present and aware but to give them the space they need as well. Take a step back and regroup if you need to.
Remember to Take Care of Yourself
Helping a loved one through opiate detox is all consuming and it’s easy for friends and family to forget about themselves. Though that kind of thoughtlessness is courage, it is not helpful. Families must be strong for each other and you cannot help a loved one through opiate detox if you are too exhausted mentally and physically.
Be sure you take time for yourself and eat, rest, and relax. You need to ensure that you are in your best shape to help them too.