Protocol for unassisted opiate withdrawal Revision 1 Created by: Quack Healer ***@****
This is a work in progress that was thrown together rather quickly. I intend to make revisions as soon as time permits. However, I do believe you will find this information helpful. Also (Disclaimer) I do not posses a medical doctorate although I have a large background in advanced chemistry and other relevant fields. Please do not take this advice without first consulting your doctor.
The following document has been drafted for the purpose of detailing the most comprehensive opiate withdrawal strategy ever created. This procedure is intended for the opiate abuser who either cannot seek medical assistance or chooses not to do so. I have taken special care to word this procedure in the least technical way I know how. The actual science behind this method is very intricate and will be appended to the document at a later date.
*NOTE* PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE BEFORE ENDEAVORING THIS TASK!
Although it is an extremely difficult task to detox from opiates\ opioid formulations, it is not impossible and can be done within the comfort of ones home. In order for this procedure to work, one must completely decide without a doubt to forever abstain from taking another opiate medication ever again in their life. Once you have become an addict, there is no way to be a casual user ever again.
In preparation for quitting, one should complete the following task and secure the following items. It may be best that you secure these things while you are still using as it will be VERY difficult to perform these basic task while in the midst of withdrawal. Please make sure to read this entire document before endeavoring on this task as the information is spread about.
1. Clean your living area. The psychological effects of a clean living space will help tremendously to raise your spirits. 2. Clear yourself of all responsibilities for one week starting the day after your last dose. 3. Stock your fridge full of food In addition to your favorite food items make sure to have the following on hand a. ginger ale (helps with nausea, use as needed) b. crackers and toast (if nauseated, eat a light snack) c. fruit juices d. green tea (helps with detox and purification) e. vegetables f. Sport drinks with electrolytes (pre sauna drink)
Obtain as many of the following medications as possible. It may be difficult to obtain some of these, as a few are controlled substances. Towards the end of this document, I will detail ways to obtain these or recommend substitutes. Ideally, you should obtain exactly what is listed below.
4. Imodium AD (liquid form preferable but pill form will work fine) 5. A short supply of any benzo (one of any variety listed below) a. Includes such medications as Valium, Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin (Diazepam, Alprazolam, Lorazepam, Clonazepam) ßChemical names
6. Phenagram (Also known as Promethazine) 7. Multi Vitamin supplement (Centrum makes a good one) 8. Ibuprofen or other preferred OTC pain reliever
This next part is THE most vital part of the whole plan. 9. Sign up for a trial membership at a local health club or gym that has a. Sauna (The sauna is VITAL to this procedure) b. Jacuzzi c. Steam room (nice to have but not necessary) d. Pool (Preferred, but not necessary)
If you cannot find a place that offers a trial membership, then just sign up for a month to month agreement. This is extremely important and I will explain more about this later. Whatever the cost, it is going to be worth it! This entire method relies on the sauna for rapid detoxification.
Now having secured and completed all of the previously mentioned task, we will now go into to detail on specifics and preparation for detoxification.
With this method, there are one of two ways to go. Preferably, it is best to taper your medication down slowly over the course of a few weeks. Doing this will SIGNIFIGANTLY reduce the pain and suffering that is to come. However, for some people this will not be possible. If you do not have the will power to taper slowly and methodically (which many people do not), you will have to just quit cold turkey. If there is any way that you can taper, then by all means do so. In comparison to the shock it will bring upon your body to quit abruptly, the mild pain of gradual reduction pails in comparison.
Now its time to begin the process. At this point you should have picked quit date and scheduled one week off from all responsibilities. Whether you have tapered down slowly or decided to go cold turkey, the time has come to get down to it. Having secured all of the aforementioned supplies and signed up for your gym membership it is time to proceed.
This will be a very difficult process, but you will make it through. If you have any left over opiate-based medications now is the time to flush them down the toilet. This act is symbolic as it solidifies your desire to rid yourself of your addiction.
This next section will break down the process day by day and starts the day of your last opiate dose.
-----1 Day before quitting ----- Its time to prepare yourself mentally and physically for what is to come. On this last day you should eat a large portion of food and treat yourself well. At some point you will need to go try out your gym membership on this day. What you want to do is drink TONS of sport drinks until you nearly burst. Once you have sufficiently hydrated yourself, go to the sauna and stay in there until you cannot possibly stay in any longer. This will induce MAJOR perspiration and begin to speed up your metabolism that will be vital for shortening the length of your withdrawal. The sauna will also help expel some of the opiate medication that has bonded to your fatty tissues. Many users will report that they actually experience a mild opiate high from a long sauna session after prolonged use. These are the residual drugs in your system being flushed out of your fatty tissue. Over the course of the next 8 days you will need to go to the sauna AT LEAST once a day. It may be hard to motivate yourself to get out of the house, into the car, and drive to the sauna, but you must do this at all cost as it will shave down the length of time you are in detox. In addition, the warmth of the sauna will help to alleviate some of the cramps and pains that you will begin to experience over the course of the next few days. It is also a good idea to work out as much as possible. Swimming always seems to be a good way to get your blood pumping and increase your metabolic rate. If swimming is not your cup of tea, try to run, walk, or do any sort of physical activity that you can possibly bear to do.
------Day 1 of no opiate use----- Today is the day that you will mark on your calendar and forever remember as the day you stopped using opiates. As the day progresses you will begin to enter the first stages of withdrawal. It is a good idea during this calm before the storm to load up on vitamins and eat well. Like the day before, you will need to drink many fluids and make your way to the sauna for a LONG sweat session. By going to the sauna to sweat it out, you are going to be saving yourself from many of the involuntary sweats associated with detox. If you begin cramping at this time, try sitting in the hot tub for a while. Force yourself to do at least some type of physical activity as this will begin to retrain your body to produce natural endorphins and assist with your overall recovery process. While at home, take as many hot showers or baths as your hot water heater can provide.
During this time, you will no doubt begin feeling the effects of opiate cessation. After you have gone to the sauna and worked out (despite how hard it may have been), you will need to begin preparing yourself for the night to come. Sleep will be very difficult during this time, but with the help of a benzo and OTC pain reliever such as aspirin or Advil you should be able to make it through the night and get a full nights rest. Even if you have not yet experienced diarrhea it is a good idea to begin lightly dosing on Imodium AD that will help facilitate intestinal paralysis as the opiate medications you have been on before have done for so long. In short, this will keep you from running to the toilet 10 time’s day. Do not be afraid to take double or even triple the recommended does of Imodium AD. During this whole process, you will benefit greatly from getting a full nights sleep. It is during the sleep stage that the reconstruction of your brain and opiate receptors will be in full swing. This is not to say that this does not occur throughout the waking day, but it is more so prevalent during sleep. Dose yourself accordingly only taking what is necessary to help sleep and NEVER exceeding the recommended dose. If you were unable to obtain some of the medications as detailed above, please see the bottom of this article to find good OTC substitutes.
Although in many cases it is uncommon during day one to experience nausea (this will be coming soon depending on your level of use) you may start to feel the urge to vomit. Before this sets in, take a dose of phenagram (promethazine) which will greatly reduce the nausea you are experiencing. Be mindful that mixing this will a benzo could potentiate the effects of both medications and lead to a state of extreme intoxication, death or coma. Make sure to go easy on these and if in doubt ask your doctor if they can be mixed.
------Day 2 of no opiate use------ It is very likely you are going to wake up and be in a world of hurt this day. Repeat all of the steps from the previously mentioned day one. You must try to make it to the gym (as you should everyday of this recovery). Try to avoid taking a benzo before you go to the sauna as it could cause you to pass out. If you must take one, just be extremely careful! You should likely be beginning to feel the full effects of withdrawal at this time. If you encounter other people in the sauna and you do not wish to interact with them, simply close your eyes (but do not fall asleep). Most people will not engage you in conversation if your eyes are closed in the sauna. If you have followed this method you should be nearing the peak of symptoms as day three approaches.
-------Day 3 of no opiate use------ Today is a special day for you. As bad as it seems, you have actually made it through the worst of it. This will likely be the day of peak WD symptoms for you. It is important to understand that this will be the worst day, and from here on out things should only get better (although this may vary from person to person as everyone is different, this is simply the most common time frame for this milestone). Like the days before, despite how hard it may seem, you MUST make it out to the sauna and fill yourself with fluids. If you have to, spend the whole day in the hot tub going back and forth between the sauna. Make sure to keep hydrated! You will likely be loosing a lot of fluids between diarrhea, vomiting, and sweating in the sauna. Drink as much as you can and eat as much as you can. You are almost through the worst of it. Like the days before, dose yourself with enough benzo to sleep through the night but do not exceed the recommended dose! Even if you wake up every 3 – 4 hours as the benzo wears off, simply take another and go back to sleep. Sleep as much as you can! Tomorrow when you wake up your going to be feeling bad, but it is going to be better than day 3 was!
------Day 4 of no opiate use ------ Congratulations! You have made it through the worst of it. Although you are still going to be feeling bad a few more days from here on out it is going to be easier and easier. Keep going to the sauna and sweating, working out, and eating. By tomorrow, you should be feeling notably better. Everyone is different, but by following this method, you have surely sped up the process of WD compared to someone who has not followed this method. As like the days before, take vitamins, liquids, and eat as much as possible. Try to get a good nights sleep and on day 5 you will begin cutting back on the benzos.
----- Day 5 of no opiate use ----- On this day, you are surely feeling better than the day before. Continue the sauna treatments and workouts. Keep filling yourself with fluids and eating healthy. This evening when you go to sleep try to cut back on the benzos and take only what is necessary to help you sleep.
- Day 6 of no opiate use ----- At this point, you should be feeling a lot better than before. Continue to do all of the previously mentioned activities and keep cutting back on the benzos. Tomorrow will be your last day of taking benzos. It is very important to not take any after day 7 as you can easily become addicted to these things and trust me when I say if you think opiate withdrawal is hard you have no idea what a benzo WD is like. A benzo WD will require hospitalization and can result in death.
-----Day 7 of no opiate use ----
While you may not feel like your old self yet, you will be pretty much ready to return to normal activities by this point. You may think its time to stop going to the sauna and working out, but it is most certainly not. Without releasing it, you have replaced your addiction with a new activity that is highly beneficial to your health. Keep going to the gym, working out, swimming, and going to the sauna. At the very least, I would recommend doing this as long as your membership is good for.
----- The days to come ----- Every day is going to get easier and you have made it through a very difficult trial of will and determination. You may experience what is known as PAWS (post acute withdrawal syndrome) for weeks or even months to come. However, in comparison to the acute stage of withdrawal that you have successfully endured, these attacks of PAWS will pale in comparison. Keep eating right, working out, and in time you will be rid of your addiction forever.
----- Dealing with lingering effects of WD ----- You may still experience cravings for a long time to come. When a craving hits you, try working out until it is gone. You will effectively become addicted to a healthily life style that has no detrimental effects at all. There is no such thing as being too active.
Some people may experience continued sweating especially under the arms for weeks to come. This is a normal effect of opiate cessation. To combat this you can try one or both of the following fixes.
Firstly, try a prescription strength deodorant. If this does not work, you may have to resort to the following, or just endure this for a few months until it passes.
If the prescription strength deodorant does not work for you, you may try this costly fix. In looking at the money you have spent on your addiction, this is a small price to pay.
Botox, when injected into the offending sweat glands will effectively paralyze them for 3- 6 months which will result in virtually no sweating at all. This procedure may cost anywhere from $300 - $1500 and is usually not covered by insurance. However, as previously stated, compared to what you have spent on your addiction, this is a small price to pay to be able to feel confident and function normally.
It may be several months before your sleeping patterns return to a pre-addiction state. You must not use benzos to assist in sleeping. Instead, try using melatonin or diphenidryne (Benadryl) or other non-addictive over the counter sleeping medication.
Time is the answer to any opiate cessation related symptoms. You did not acquire your addiction over night, and you will most certainly not rid yourself of it over night. Stay positive and persistent and never use again. Keep in mind that if you do relapse (which you will if you use again) that each subsequent withdrawal period will become exponentially worse than the one before. IF you thought this was bad, than you are in for a shocker if you have to go through it again as it will be MUCH worse than before.
At this point relapse is the biggest concern. Do whatever it takes to stay clean. This is your life, and you can no longer let it be controlled by a substance. Do not associate with users, and cut off all ties with former drug using friends\dealers.
---- Medication substitutes and strategies for obtaining the aforementioned medicines ----
Of the medications listed in the beginning of this article, some are not easily available without a prescription. These medicines are listed below…
You may try asking your doctor for a small prescription of each of these. This may require lying, or stretching the truth, but this is likely something you have done in the past to obtain your medicines so this is one case when you can put your skills to use. I would not condone obtaining these illegally, but do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. In other words, do it if it suits you.
As for substitutes, although not as effective you can try subbing OTC meds for the following…
Benzos: OTC Sleep aids (Tylenol PM, Simply Sleep, etc) Phenagram: (anti nausea) try ginger caps or ask your pharmacist for a good OTC remedy
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