Enrolling in an inpatient rehabilitation program is usually last resort for confronting a debilitating
addiction. The circumstances pushing you toward recovery may swing a wide spectrum but
once your rehabilitation program starts, the first challenge will be overcoming the inevitable
withdrawal symptoms experienced as your body detoxes from the abused substance.
The physical impact of this process is one of the reasons many addicts find it so difficult to change their dangerous habits without professional help. Debilitating physical symptoms can be so severe that even in a rehab program, you may require some sort of treatment to counter the effects on your body. There are medical prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs you can use to ease the process such as sedatives or narcotics. These will help to relieve anxiety, counter insomnia and dull the senses. But they are not without setbacks. Not only can extended use be damaging to your body and nervous system, but they can also lead overdose and result in developing a new dependency.
The recovery process is a fragile one and if you are committed to developing a more wholesome lifestyle, it is prudent to consider healthier, natural remedies for dealing with withdrawal symptoms while in recovery.
Let’s have a look at some withdrawal symptoms associated with common addictions and natural
remedies for coping with them.
Natural Remedies for Opioid Addiction
Opioid addiction has escalated to epidemic proportions in the USA. The Colorado Health Institute recorded a total of 504 opioid-related drug overdose deaths in the state in 2016. That figure
amounts to more than 55% of all drug-related deaths and shows a steep rise from the 32.5%
recorded in 2001. Between 2015 and 2016, the opioid overdose death toll in Colorado rose to
8.8 deaths per 100,000 persons. Although this is below the national indicator of 13.3, it is still a
Heroin is probably the most infamous opioid, but this category also includes legal prescription drugs
such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl and tramadol which are equally addictive and just as
Let’s look at some heroin addiction withdrawal symptoms, which are amongst the most physically
traumatic and present excessive discomfort in for recovering addicts in the early stages of rehab.
Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms and Natural Remedies:
● SYMPTOM: NAUSEA AND DIARRHEA
REMEDY: Bland foods such as bananas, rice cakes, apples, toast can help to settle your stomach.
Drinking small sips of water throughout the day will help you stay hydrated while going through withdrawal. Steer clear of energy drinks and try drinking electrolyte-replacement beverages such as Pedialyte.
SYMPTOM: SHAKING AND TREMORS
Using opiates causes your muscles to feel heavy. While in withdrawal you can expect to experience the
opposite sensation either through tremors or uncontrollable shaking. Many recovering opiate
addicts also experience excruciating muscle pain.
REMEDY: St. John’s Wort has been shown to reduce opium-induced withdrawal syndrome in rats,
treating shaking and diarrhea. Many people also use this herb to counteract insomnia,
depression and promote healing of wounds.
WARNING: Use this herb with caution as there is also research which shows that the herb may also
interact adversely with medications such as birth control pills, digoxin, antidepressants and
certain HIV treatments.
● SYMPTOM: FEVER AND SWEATING:
Heroin users experience acute flu-like symptoms such as fevers, sweating, and chills while in recovery.
REMEDY: Wear light, loose-fitting clothes if you are experiencing sweats. Also, try cold compresses to
help reduce body temperature.
Natural Remedies for Alcohol Addiction
Although alcohol addiction shows a downward trend amongst teens in Colorado, the NIDA reports that
the total national cost of alcohol abuse related crimes, health issues and loss of work
productivity amounted to $224 billion in 2010.
Outside of the economic impact, excessive alcohol consumption has serious health implications and has been shown to cause hypertension, heart disease, liver disease, and cancer. Although alcohol is not an illegal substance, withdrawal symptoms can prove equally debilitating while recovering.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms and Natural Remedies:
● SYMPTOM: SUGAR CRAVINGS
When alcohol metabolizes in your body, it is turned into sugar. After extended abuse, your body will
hanker after the large amounts of sugar it has become accustomed to and this will result in
cravings for starchy foods and sweet things.
REMEDY: Include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet, as well as lean proteins that are low
in saturated fats such as beans, nuts, and tofu.
Natural Remedies for Methamphetamine Addiction
Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment reported a surge in methamphetamine-
related, drug overdose. Meth fatalities have increased from a relatively stable state rate of less
than one death per 100,000 population in 2011 to a spike of 5.2 deaths per 100,000 persons in
- The surge puts the methamphetamine death toll for 2016 at 299 fatalities, placing it
squarely ahead of the 224 heroin fatalities for that year.
Crystal meth withdrawal symptoms begin about 24-hours after the last dose and usually starts with
acute exhaustion followed by depression, anxiety, paranoia and sometimes insomnia. A
recovering meth addict needs lots of sleep and ample healthy foods in the first two weeks of
rehab. Long-term side-effects such as the condition anhedonia may last up to two years and can prove particularly challenging to overcome.
Methamphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms and Natural Remedies:
● SYMPTOM: MUSCLE PAIN
REMEDY: Yoga, acupuncture and massage.
These alternate therapies offer excellent natural relief for muscle pain as they promote detoxification,
blood circulation and muscle relaxation.
● SYMPTOM: ANHEDONIA
Research findings show a 20% improvement in anhedonia patients who were treated with two strains of
● SYMPTOM: FATIGUE & LISTLESSNESS
In complete contrast to the boundless surges in energy which methamphetamine addicts experience
while using, withdrawal from this drug can be quite crippling. Many people recovering from
crystal meth experience acute fatigue and exhaustion in the early days of recovery.
REMEDY: Rest, routine and exercise.
Don’t fight your body’s need to rest as it is an essential part of the healing process. At the same time,
balance this out with sufficient exercise and try to establish a healthy daily routine to support
your new lifestyle early in the recovery process.
Holistic Rehab Treatments
If you opt for a traditional rehab program, the natural and homeopathic remedies discussed here
offer healthy supporting alternatives to treating addiction withdrawal symptoms with chemically
invasive, narcotic or sedative prescriptions. However, you should always consult a medical practitioner or professional therapist to discuss supporting treatment approaches before embarking on your rehabilitation program.
You may prefer a more rounded rehab approach and there are many inpatient rehabs in Colorado which offer holistic rehab programs. These alternative practices provide a more natural course of action for recovering from addiction and promote the treatment of the body, mind, and spirit through integrated therapies that include:
● ACUPUNCTURE: involves inserting thin needles through the skin at a specific pressure point on the body.
● MASSAGE: rubbing and kneading muscles or joints to release tension, ease pain, and
● YOGA: spiritual ascetic practices which include breath control (pranayama), specific postures (asanas) and meditation.
● MEDITATION: mindfulness practices.
● ART/MUSIC THERAPY: clinical and evidence-based application of art or music as a
● PSYCHOTHERAPY: psychological treatment for mental addiction disorders.
● FITNESS: physical exercise as a supporting treatment.
● NUTRITION: approaches recovery from a dietary perspective.
● NEUROFEEDBACK: a computer-based therapy that assesses the addict’s brainwave
activity and then uses sound or visual signals to retrain these brain signals and facilitate
● BIOFEEDBACK: a non-drug treatment which teaches patients to control involuntary
bodily processes such as muscle tension, blood pressure or heart rate.