how to fight opiate withdrawal

Keep Yourself Hydrated

Dehydration due to diarrhea and vomiting is a common symptom of opiate withdrawal, causing many people to end up in the hospital. Drinking plenty of fluids is the first step toward healing.

. Exercise Daily

As is the case with any substance abuse, the drug interferes with the body’s normal functioning. Drugs, especially opiates, mimic our brain’s neurotransmitters.

Opiates most commonly mimic endorphins – the pain- and stress-fighting neurotransmitters. Over time, the brain gets used to these artificial endorphins and stops making its own.

During withdrawal, the body has a hard time adjusting back to supplying its own endorphins. This leads to an endorphin deficiency causing severe emotional and physical pain, such as mood swings, anxiety and unbearable muscle pain.

Physical exercise like running, jogging, swimming, aerobics and weight training helps the body create endorphins in abundance. A daily exercise routine can help fight both physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms.


For years, aromatherapy has been used as a holistic body treatment. It is especially effective in relaxing, calming and destressing those suffering from opiate withdrawal.

Flowers, leaves, bark, stalks, roots or rinds of plants and herbs are used to extract essential oils, which are then mixed with lotion, oil or alcohol. These concoctions can be sniffed, applied on the skin, added to bathwater or used in body massage.

When the nerves in the nose encounter the distinct fragrances of these essential oils, they send impulses to the brain that causes it to produce endorphins. These endorphins reduce anxiety and depression, and calm strained muscles.

In a bathtub full of warm water, add 10 to 15 drops of vanilla, lavender, peppermint, rosemary or ginger essential oil (or a combination of them). Soak in it for 20 to 30 minutes, a few times a week.
You can even put a few drops of any essential oil on a tissue or handkerchief and inhale it to fight stress and anxiety.

Soak Up the Sun

What better way to get plenty of vitamin D than basking in the warmth of the sun each morning?

According to a 2008 study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, the sun’s rays help produce vitamin D in the body that boosts the production of serotonin – the happiness-inducing neurotransmitter.

Regular sun-exposure is strongly advised for those suffering from drug-abuse withdrawal, which can cause severe depression. The boost of serotonin enhances the mood and releases stress.

Sun exposure also promotes the production of endorphins in the body that help combat muscle pain.