Tips For Helping A Loved One Through Opiate Detox

Drug rehabilitation programs are often necessary to help addicts recover from their addictions. These facilities provide the addict with counseling, as well as a safe and drug free place to reduce drug dependence. Group therapies, family counseling, and sober living encompass a huge part of the rehabilitation process. If you have a loved one who wants to see out drug treatment, then he or she is part of the 11% of individuals with substance abuse problems who seek out assistance. This is definitely a good start, but detox will need to occur first. If your loved one is an opiate addict, then the detox process can be extremely difficult. Most drug treatment facilities suggest detox within the facility itself. If your family member is adamant about completing detox at home, this can happen as long as there is a trained professional to oversee the process. Your support will also be required, so make sure that you consider doing the following things to help your loved one through the process.

Offer Nausea Assistance

Your loved one will go through several stages during the detox process. Nausea will be felt at the beginning, and this will occur around 12 hours after the opiates are stopped. As the detox progresses, vomiting and diarrhea will occur and abdominal cramps will likely be felt too. These symptoms occur as the body goes through withdrawal and physically and psychologically reacts to the abrupt stop of opiate use. Since symptoms are likely to worsen, it is wise to treat nausea as soon as it starts to help keep vomiting at bay for as long as possible. This is wise, since dehydration may occur, and this is especially true when tearing and sweating start to develop.

Treating Nausea and Vomiting

To help soothe the stomach, offer your loved one a cup of ginger tea. Ginger contains substances called phenols that can reduce gas, relieve nausea, and soothe abdominal cramps. Not only will the tea reduce discomfort, but it will also provide fluids. Peppermint tea may be helpful too, but try to stick with water once your loved one starts vomiting.

If water cannot be consumed, then try to provide ice cubes. Ice cubes can help to bring down high fevers that may occur. Your loved one may complain that they feel cold and you may see him or her shivering from the chills. However, this is often caused by the fever itself, so do not supply blankets instead of ice cubes, or dehydration is likely to be a serious concern your loved one will face.

Provide Some Sweet Treats

Most individuals who go through opiate detox will eat very little, due to the nausea and vomiting. Unfortunately, withdrawal symptoms can last an entire month. Emotional symptoms are likely to last the longest, but your loved one may experience bouts of nausea for some time. Although this is normal, your loved one does need energy to help the body through the detox process. Sugar can actually help you to keep your loved one healthy. Sugar has been shown to reduce opiate withdrawal symptoms for a short period of time.

Good Food Offerings

During the first 24 to 48 hours, your loved one will likely eat almost nothing due to the severity of symptoms. After the first 48 hours have passed, offer a sweet hard candy. If the candy is eaten, then try to offer a bland food like dry toast or chicken broth. Plain vanilla yogurt and cottage cheese are good choices as well.

Once your family member starts to eat, then offer some fruits that contain natural sugars, like apples, pears, and bananas. Try to pair these fruits with healthy vegetables as well, like broccoli, carrots, or lettuce. White and sweet potatoes are also a good option, because the starchy foods can help to bulk up loose stools. 

You can click here for more information and tips, or contact a local rehab facility near you.