Helping Addicts

Getting through Withdrawals

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“What are some ways to help with getting through withdrawals?”

person being carried on a stretcher

(Disclaimer: if you happen to be withdrawing from alcohol, stop reading this and go to the ER. Alcohol withdrawal is extremely dangerous and it can KILL YOU)

1. Sleep - this should be a complete no-brainer. If you are going through some really crappy withdrawals, then the preferred method of coping with it is to sleep right through it. When I finally managed to kick cigarettes successfully, I pulled a little trick on myself where I stayed up all night and got really, really tired, and I timed it so that I would be starting to go through the worst of my withdrawal symptoms right then. It was a piece of cake at that point to fall asleep and stay down for a good twelve hours. When I finally woke up, I showered and grabbed some quick food, then managed to fall asleep again. After waking up that second time, I was well on my way to being through the worst of my nicotine withdrawals.

2. Burn off nervous energy – If you can’t sleep, the next idea on the list is to find creative ways to encourage sleep. You can stay up all night and try to time your withdrawals accordingly, like I did with cigarettes, or you can also try other things to help you sleep. Depending on what substance you are detoxing from, you might very well be wired wide awake, and full of nervous energy. If that is the case, try taking a really long walk, say for a couple of hours. This will burn off a lot of that nervous energy, and also facilitate the detox process by producing some sweat. You’ll also develop an appetite, which will come in handy later so you can eat a big dinner. The extended exercise (nothing to strenuous, just long and consistent) combined with a fairly big meal, should do wonders at producing some level of sleepiness in you.

3. The Power of Distraction – If you just can’t figure out a way to sleep through the worst of it, then the next best thing is to not think about it. That’s right: you have to find some creative ways to distract yourself from the misery that you are going through. One popular method of doing this is to lay on your couch all day and watch television or movies, although this is not necessarily recommended. If you are well enough to move around, then getting out and moving around is going to benefit you much more in the long run. Go to the mall or take a walk in the park. Chances are good that you can burn up some energy and hopefully be able to do a little sleeping when you get done moving around.

4. Medically supervised – If you can afford it or have it arranged, then try to get into some sort of medically supervised facility for your detox. This is definitely the safest route to go, and is absolutely essential if you are coming off of alcohol. There are other benefits to going to a treatment center detox as well, and the medical staff can usually give some sort of non narcotic medication that will ease your withdrawal symptoms, depending on which substance you are coming off of. Out of all the detox centers I’ve seen, they only make you do one thing: sleep. That makes this the safest and most comfortable route to go.

5. Take a Vacation – This one might sound a bit bizarre, and it certainly doesn’t fit for every detox, but planning and taking a major vacation can be a huge opportunity to make it through your withdrawals. Another interesting idea is to time it so that you go through the worst of your withdrawals at home, and then immediately following that, you leave on a vacation. The power of distraction comes into play here, and the excitement of going on a trip can help to offset what you are no longer doing/using/drinking. It can also feel like a reward for yourself to be on a major vacation, as you are starting out on a new healthy lifestyle.

6. Ween Yourself Down – There are bound to be lots of mixed results and opinions with something like this, so always shoot for a fully medically supervised detox if you can. Barring that, attempting to ween yourself off of a substance can sometimes yield good results. But again, this method is controversial at best, and can be somewhat dangerous, so always try to encourage a medical detox instead. Remember, getting through the withdrawals are just the beginning….they are the key to your new life. Now you have to learn how to live and be happy without chemicals. (It’s possible, I promise!)

Finally, I want to remind everyone out there to be especially cautious regarding alcohol withdrawal symptoms, as they can be fatal. I urge you to seek medical help if you or a loved one is detoxing from booze.

First time here? Be sure to check out these posts:

How to Achieve Long Term Sobriety 97% Usefulness Rating

The Secret to Beating Addiction and Alcoholism 92% Usefulness Rating

The Simplicity and Power of Gratitude 87% Usefulness Rating

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  • Jessica

    I am currently going through withdrawals off of Effexor or Lexapro (was on effexor and switched to lexapro for a week, now weening off) and it is hell for me. I’m not sure how I’m going to do this.. I’ve had symptoms of withdrawal for two straight weeks now – needing to take a pill when they get too bad. I just don’t know how to handle it anymore. I hate being on medication!

  • Patrick

    Hang in there Jessica. Maybe you could call the prescribing doctor and ask them for advice about how to get off of those specific meds. I really think you should seek medical advice on this one…..good luck to you.

  • Alex

    I’ve been going through withdrawals from oxycodone and oxycontin. The bad thing is I need them for pain. I had a serious back injury and had to have surgery this past may. The surgery got rid of the numbness in my leg but didn’t do anything for the pain. I’ve been on those meds for 8 months. I’d rather deal with the pain than be addicted to those meds. I can’t do it by myself. Tonight has been the worst night. I’ve been going through it for 3 days and I’m going crazy! I’ve thought I don’t know how many times about ending my life but that’s no good. I NEED HELP!!! Someone please email me with some comment and more tips on how to help me.

  • Alex

    I forgot to say, I’ve been praying my heart out! I’ve prayed to every religious figure I can think of! My mom passed away and I’ve been praying to her and asking her for guidance!

  • Patrick

    Check your email Alex.

  • alicia

    I quit taking oxycotin for the first time in months yesterday and I cant figure out how to go about this. What can I do to get tbrough this?

  • Patrick

    Hi Alicia

    Your best bet is to get in to a drug rehab with a full detox center. They can help you through the withdrawal in a medically supervised setting.

    If that’s not an option, you might find a doctor who has experience in this sort of thing, but that is probably harder to find than a treatment center. Anyway, I recommend that you find help somewhere, because withdrawal from Oxycontin can be very uncomfortable. Good luck to you Alicia

  • Evey

    I have been withdrawaling from roxicodone and oxicontin for more than 13 days. I tried one day cold-turkey and thought I was going to crawl out of my skin so In the middle I did a methdone step-down to ease the discomfort. That really did help. But now I’m off everything and I’m having mild symptoms again: sleeplessness; horrid leg cramps; stomach cramping; general malaise; and a serious tightgness in my chest.
    I just want to know when this will end? I have spoken to several friends who have gone through rehab—and are now back on the pills—and they say to curtail a step down as quickly as possible so that you do not get addicted to the alternate pill. They say you just have to ride it out—hold fast—and one morning you will wake up and just feel better. But there is always the temptation and you just have to stay away from anyone who has pills.
    My husband is withdrawaling from methadone at the same time. And he has had a much more difficult time. He did 8-days cold-turkey and that morning I found him curled-up in the fetal position and vomiting. I shoved 20 mg of methadone down his throat and started him on a step down – just a five day one.
    Yesterday was the first day of sobriety for both of us. I keep telling myself its for the right reasons. We need our lives back, we need to go out into the world again and reconnect with our loved ones. For me, my need started after a surgery. After they cut me off I began buying off the street. And then shame of it all is that three years ago we were off everything—we had a mild pill problem but had no trouble quitting—then I started taking percocets after my surgey 1 year ago … from there it just escalated. I got weak and I felt like I couldn’t live my life without it. I needed a pill to do laundry or wash the dishes.
    One thing that is really helping me is my 2 years of sobriety. It was the best two years of my life. I remember being really happy. I know I can find that happiness again. And a life worth living with friends and vacations. We haven’t left the house since we started taking pills. All that money wasted.
    But I feel like 7-days from now I will be in a new world and everything will be better. Thank you for listening – any advice?

  • Patrick

    Hi there Evey

    I think you are on the right path. You already know what you need to do it is just a very hard thing to do. But once you are through the nasty withdrawal symptoms it gets much easier. Methadone is quite “sticky”, much more so than Heroin, and so the detox takes longer. You are right to be careful with a step-down pill.

    The best one to use by far is known as Buprenorphine and if you can get this from a doctor then it can really help you to step down off an opiate addiction.

    But it sounds to me like that might be a step backward for you at this point. You are through the worst of it and you’re about to come out the other side and be completely free from chemicals. Just make it a few more days and you’ll be feeling tons better. Good luck to you and your husband!

  • Jen

    I just quit taking norcos last Monday, cold turkey, after taking them regularly for only four months. I have degenerative spine disease and protruding disks in my back, which is how it got started. I was the same way, I had felt like I needed the norcos just to survive the day. I got to where I was taking way way way too many and then when I’d run out of my prescription, same as others have said, I’d get them from the street. I put my family in complete financial ruin (temporarily thank god) but I realized I needed to stop.

    It’s been 7 days. I didn’t think it would be this bad. The first three days were terrible, then the fourth day I felt great all day! It was amazing. But the night of the 4th day I couldn’t sleep at all, restless leg syndrome kicked in and there was nothing I could take to make me sleep. After four days of only sleeping a combined 18 hours, I’m exhausted. I have stomach cramps, diarrhea, and just general overall exhaustion, which makes it very difficult to take care of my three kids. I’m so frustrated. I also have anxiety pretty bad. I tried smoking pot but it didn’t help, just made me out of it.

    I got on here to see what advice others had to give. It sounds like you just kinda have to go through it. I tried the “thomas recipe” (look it up online) and it helped a little, but i’m still miserable. I feel so alone because my husband doesn’t understand and it’s horrible to have so many things to do but feel like this. I’m going to do my best to start exercising.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Jen

    Yeah I think you are through the worst of it though. You are right, you kinda just have to go through it if you cannot go to a drug rehab and be tapered off of opiates using Suboxone. Even then you will have some discomfort, so don’t feel too bad. Sounds like you are miserable too just from a lack of sleep, really. So hang in there, you are definitely over the hump now, should be smooth sailing at this point…..

  • Venus

    Hey I am go through withdrawals of off Norco, vicodin, ultam and the worst thing is that i am pregnant and very scared. i would take about 5-7 pills a day. I just want some help on how to do this like a pattern or something. This is my first day so far and i was wondering you can tell me how i am going to feel the next couple of days or 4or 5 days. I want to know what to expect! Because i have so much to live for and i have to little daughters i haven’t seen in months just started seeing them again and my 4 yr old asked me why i didn’t want to see her or why i didn’t love her. I will get through this ! venus

  • Patrick

    Hi there Venus

    Yeah you can try to taper down, like reduce by one pill each day, but really if you are pregnant you should probably go cold turkey out of interest for the health of the baby. Yes you can expect some withdrawal symptoms for a few days but you can get through them if you just take it easy and sleep through most of it.

    If you are pregnant then you should try to get into treatment, they might be more likely to try and work you in to admission if they know you are pregnant too….

  • jeannine

    i was sober for almost 18 mos i relapsed mostly just drinking.(took an ativan here n there .. and did tiny bit of coke) .. but i ve had seizures prior when i stopped cold turkey(but i used to take a lot of benzos and percocets also)… i am on lamictal, zoloft and topamax… been seizure free for two years… this passed two mos i have been drinking but really heavily for the passed 10 days.. starting yesterday i am slowly decreasing .. i do not want to have a seizure… how long should i do this for.. i started going back to aa meetings .. and really want to stop .. do not want to go to detox.. been through this before…

  • Anonymous

    also .. how should i decrease.. space it out ? thank you so much for any suggestion.. supplemet and vitamin …

  • Isaac

    Hello All,

    I have had quite a rough year to say the least. Beginning the year with the loss of a job, legal squabbles and mortgage woes as surface issues. Nearing the end of January, I was rushed into the ER in an effort to safe my life from a colon obstruction. I had two open surgeries and a stint in a coma. I lost forty lbs. in about a month and a half; I was a skeleton with skin.

    I spent the next 4 months of my life in the hospital.
    The pain from those 2 open procedures was INDESCRIBABLE! It was months before I realized “pain” was a personal thing and no could understand it!
    I was in a pharmaceutical daze with all the pain meds that they administered. For those four months, I was given automatic IV administrations of morphine and dilaudid in addition intravenous breakthrough administrations. With all of the pain, I was given 2 or 3 milligrams of dilaudid by the end of the hospital stay. The damage was unimaginable.
    I was still very sick by the end of my hospital stay, still nutritionally depleted–and still I had a slew colon/bowel problem.
    Upon discharge, I was given 30 mg of MS Contin. I was a mess. I was going through withdrawals and didn’t even know it since they mimicked my illness.
    I’ve gotten through those violent withdrawals and remember the horror that they were. Six months later today, I am still on pain meds, though I’ve been on 60 mg Oxycontin for 3 months.
    I don’t know. I shake my head as I write this.
    I feel like I live a life I cannot claim. I spend most of it in bed. I am still very ill with my colon and am just so very frustrated with my illness and not having a clear diagnosis. The thing is, I am still surgically healing after all this time and still need the pain medicine. I HATE that!
    I still need it for the pain, but I think what bothers me is that it elevates my mood and until I take my dose, I can be a real dick.
    I am so very torn.
    I remember the withdrawals and I fear them and after all this time of taking these drugs I can feel this dependence.
    My body feels better when I take them; I can move better–it just washes the pain away.
    I understand that I am one of the population with chronic pain at this point but that prospect of addiction frightens me.
    At the beginning of this year I couldn’t even pronounce Oxycontin. I don’t like something have so much control over my sense of “well-being” and my moods.
    I need some guidance. Please can someone offer some much needed clarity.
    I thank you so much.

  • Andy

    Hi Jen,
    I found your letter and it really hit home. I have a sister who i am really worried about. She has been taking pain pills for a couple of years now and it started from back pain and partly from the occasional use of cocaine with a friend when it became no longer a secret between friends. She went from one drug to another.I know my sister well and when somethings not right. We lost our father 12 years ago to a massive heart attack, my sister has never been the same without him here. I am aware of her pill usage and she has tried to quit taking them before. She has just about cut me out of her life, and to be honest i want my sister back ! one way or another this way of life has to stop. I saw her today and dropped in, needless to say she was not thrilled to see me i woke her up. But my trip was not in vain, she told me that after spending all of her money on pills that someone stole them and she has to quit now that there’s no pills. She has no choice. I told her that this is a blessing the best thing. She can’t continue this taking pills and smoking its not good. Today is the first day, I know that her with draws are soon to come, and i am worried for her if she can not only do this alone but also leave these people out of her life that she thinks are friends. I think the worst of it is going to be sleeping or trying. I hope she can do this with out a doctors help. I hope. After all it was with a doctors help that got her onto this road, She was willing but I don’t know why these doctors prescribe these highly addictive drugs to begin with. (the money) instead of really helping people with their pain they give them pills to mask everything. Anyway I wanted to let you know that you are not alone! and i know life is not easy but you have to know that this way of life is not for you. Life is so short and to live it with drowned in pills is no way to live. I wish you well and stay with it ! Don’t ever give up. Do it for your kids , but most of all DO IT FOR YOU!!! keep in touch

    Your friend , Andy

  • skinny

    today is my first day….went to the er wanting to go to a detox center no beds so im trying out outpatient. they sent me home with nausa meds and something for my nerves and advice of how long withdrawls last for 10-20 tabs daily….thanks skinny

  • Anonymous

    I was a hardcore user of pills for a year and a half,
    and finally put myself into suboxone treatment and 4 months
    later I am clean still till the date I walked into treatment! I have
    been off suboxone with a good taper for
    4 going on 5 days now, and tonights my first night that I can’t
    sleep. Any thoughts,

  • Patrick

    @ Anonymous – One night without sleep might be the price that you pay. At least it is a self-correcting problem, if you stay up for 36 hours, sleep will come easier tomorrow night. I know that is not a great comfort but you are so close to being completely clean, you just have to stick it out at this point.

    Any other approach means putting more opiates into your body (either real or synthetic). Not good. Stick it out man! Good luck….

  • Anonymous

    i went to detox and got out after 5 days this is day 7 at home and im still battling wdrals with no sleep. i need to stay strong for my family. please God heal me and let me rest. ms cotin 30s for 24 straight months.

  • http://don'thaveone John

    I was taking 180mg (3-60mg pills)of Oxycontin a day for several years. When I switched to a new Dr. wanted me to get off the oxycontin or any opioid completly so my opioid receptors could get back to normal and react to milder medication. What we did is switched to 8-20mg tablets a day (1 every 3 hours) for 2 weeks and then 7-20mg tablets a day for 2 weeks. 6 for 2 weeks then 5 for 2 weeks and so forth. When I got down to 3 my headaches started uo get worse and at 2 they grew. The Dr. changed some other meds hoping to help. At 1 tablet a day, where I am now and about ready to go to Zero a day!! BUT I am starting with withdraws mainly in my legs. Keeps me awake at night (forget #1 above! and #2 how do you time your withdraws? They just seem to happen by themselves!) Anyway, what I really wanted to do was show you how I slowly came off Oxycontin with no problems.

  • http://google Jim

    John: Was your reason for taking the pills to start with over come? I have been on oxycodone for 14 years, and my reason is still there Im afraid, I will find out after the withdrawl though. However for years 3-5mg did the trick. Make a long one short, I am now up to 12-14 10’s a day. I too, have to come off the pain med, this has taken over my life. I tried the long release also, but my schedule was 2-40’s a day. I found it worked great, except that I needed to take 3 a day to stay sane. So after 3 weeks Im out and trying to scury around to find other stuff to make up the 4th week. What I found out, is that the long lasting works some how so that when I do take a percocet, they dont work. I really want to get off this stuff, but 10 years ago when I was on only 3-5mg aday I did withdraw, only to hobble around for two months in pain. It was awfull for two days, and really the nights were the worse for me by far. After 3 days though I was feeling better. However today taking 10 times as much I have no doubt that all hell will break loose, and to be honest Im not sure if I can cope going cold turkey. What I had the most problem with going cold turkey, was bladder problems with spasms and the feeling of having to urinate 99% of the time. Your post and treatment sounds like it is something I could do, for the month deals are just too long for me. How did you do after you went off the one a day? Believe me, if i can get down to one 20mg a day going cold turkey would be a blessing.

  • Patrick

    @ Jim – your last sentence there about getting down to 20mg per day and then cold turkey being a blessing….that just made me jump right out of my chair and say “no! It’s a trap!”

    I did this thing once when I quit smoking cigarettes…. what I did was I was smoking 20 cigs per day at the time, and I cut it down to 18 the next day. Then 16 the next, and 14 the next, and so on.

    The thing is, even when I got down to 2 cigs on the last day, I was still lighting them up and putting them out all throughout the day….all I did was to reduce the amount of the drug, but I was still dripping it in continuously. And guess what? Going cold turkey after that was…..pure hell.

    It was no easier. Not at all. In fact, it may have been even worse than trying to go cold turkey from a pack-a-day habit.

    I’m not sure if that applies to your situation, but I thought I would put it out there as a cautionary tale. Reducing intake does not seem to help much.

    I have spoke with people kicking methadone in detox and they tell the same story: getting down to a lower dose before detox does not seem to help them much. They all say it seems to suck just as bad.

    Food for thought anyway. It’s like ripping off a band-aid, real slow…..

  • http://google Jim

    First, thanks for the reply. And after thinking about it, your probably right with the band=aid deal. I just know how bad it was 10 years ago, and lookin back I could kick myself for calling in for a refill a few months later. But the bottom line is that my knees were hurting and swollen so bad that it was affecting my work. Im a contractor, and you can imagine some of the stuff I have to walk through. So now I am going to have hurt knees and not be able to take anything for them! BTW I do smoke cigs also, and boy thats another section all together, one the possitive side though I dont drink or do anyother drugs!:)

  • MiKayla

    I know this may sound stupid and ridiculous, but I’m 14 and have been taking over the counter sleep aids (Equate) since I was four, and I haven’t taken them in two days, and those days have been crappy to me. I have bad insomnia, nausea that comes and goes, and loss of appetite. Do you think it’s just a cold, or am I really going through withdrawal from a stupid over the counter pill?

  • Patrick

    @ MiKayla – I think Equate is just the brand name, no? Not sure on that. I know there are some OTC medications that can definitely be abused, such as Benadryl, Nyquil (this is alcohol), and also any medications with Dextromorphan or whatever in them.

    I have seen people who preferred Benadryl as their drug of choice. Same with the other two. So it is not unheard of.

  • peter

    Hi I’m 22 yrs old and I been taking ocycotin for about 4 to 5 months stright…the doctor didn’t even give them to me I just started gettin them from a friend that hhas them and he wasn’t really taking them but I did and got very addictted. Now I wanna stop doing them cuz all I wanna do is stay home and relax and I just wanna get on withh my life. The whole day yesterday I didn’t take any ocycodin but then when it came to the night I took some vicodin and felt better but then all last night I could sleep having bad pains in my stomach like butterflys just keep tickleing me and it hurts really bad. Now its 8 am in the morning and I feel like crap my stomach is turning my head is pounding and I’m so tired but can’t sleep, what should I do and will it get worst and how long will I go threw this for??please help the best you can, thank u for listening

  • Patrick

    @ Peter – If you stop taking ALL opiates then detox will probably last from 3 to 5 days.

    If you take an opiate (like Vicodin) then you start back over from scratch, and will prolong the agony of withdrawal.

    Sounds like if you are really miserable then you are almost through the worst of it. Tough it out and you can be free again. If you fail, ask for help and go to rehab…..just my opinion. Good luck.

  • peter

    Is day 2 as worst as day one or does it get easile?? Does anyone know??

  • mateo

    i have been taking roxycotins for the past year. I take anywhere from 1 to 4 a day.. I buy them from friends that has a script. There has been days that i havent had any and i break out in cold chills and we i go to bed ill take a ambien to sleep but when that wears off i wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning. I went out of town for 10 days and ran out of pills, which i was wanting to quit them while i was gone. I ate methadones the last 3 days i was away. I ate one day and felt actually ok when i ran out of them. But when i got back home i started getting the roxys again..BIG MISTAKE. I know im better than this and need to stop and starting today i am. To much money and time running around trying to find them. I have found if i smoke a joint or a bowl it will help me out alot. Maybe its just me bu if anybody is going through what i am maybe you should try, hell its cheaper and better than pills right? if it dont work then what you loose? If anybody has any other helpfull ways plz let me know

  • Patrick

    @ Mateo – That is a tough situation and I would encourage you to try and get to rehab to try and get off of all opiates.

    I have heard some people say that the weed eventually leads them back to their drug of choice, and I experienced this myself before I really got sober a long time ago. But whatever works for you is great, stay safe….

  • mateo

    will you have withdrawl symptoms from methadones if you just take one a day for 3 days? im trying to get off roxys?

  • Patrick

    Less withdrawal symptoms if you have used it for less time, of course, but Methadone in particular is a VERY sticky drug to get off of, much worse than the Roxy’s. That said, if you were using heavy amounts of the Roxy’s for a very long time, compared to just one Methadone pill, then the Roxy withdrawal would be worse of course.

    I would recommend detox in a drug rehab and to be treated with Suboxone or Subutex to get off the stuff….good luck.

  • dolly

    I’m going thru withdrawals from perk 10s but I took like 6 a dayeveryday for almost a year. I quit 2days ago. Constant diarhea and I can’t sleep much, cold then hot sweaty and noo energy, head leg pains. I stand up n wana suck back to the bed, but I can’t sit still! Yepp we all wana crawl out of our skin, its soooo tempting to just take a pill. I need to get thru this dammnit! I don’t wana take a lil piece cuz I want it allout of my system! Hottshower running over me, taking tylenol and vitomens, nyquil for sleep, prayer, tears, sweat and I don’t wish this opon nobody its so sad and terrible. :( I know I just have to go through it, I’m alone, home. I gota get through this!

  • Stef.

    I have been reading all of these emails and I never thought in a million years this would be me. Coming to terms with my pill addiction is the hardest thing I think I will ever have to overcome. I am a single mom of two wonderful boys and how am I any example for them if this is what I am doing. I started on percocets for severe headaches and jaw pain i suffer with. My doctor perscribed them, but if I dont get them from her I get them off the streets. I dont want to feel the pain, but i also dont want to have this running my life like it does. Im so careful about hiding it because I am so embarresed about what people will say about me. I dont want this to be put on me as a label or who I am. I’m very scared of the outcome of it all and I just hope I can get through it.Have to for my boys. They deserve to have there mom their, and I deserve to be honest with myself and healthy. Thank you for listening.

  • locklynn

    I have been on tramadol for maybe 6 months for migraines but I decided I didnt want to take them daily anymore I just want to take them when I have a migraine but when I stopped taking them I started to withdrawl, it’s been 8 days is it to soon to take one for my migraines or will I go through withdrawls again?

  • Krislyn

    For all those going through opiate/pain pill withdrawals, I have found that what works wonders is a heating pad on the stomach, under the legs, and under the back (I know this is a lot, and you’ll need an outlet, but I promise this eases the pain). Drinking plenty of milk and vitamin C also are helpful. Taking long hot baths, and getting massages help tons! Put an ice cold wash rag over your head because opiate withdrawals can cause a feeling of heaviness in the head. Rubbing yourself down with a de-stress oil works too, such as lavender. Make sure to put a bath oil that promotes relaxation in the bath as well. And, to rush detox along try to sweat it out and drink plenty of fluids. Prenatal vitamins can help women especially, even if they’re not pregnant. Turkey is also good to eat b/c as we all know it makes you tired. It will take a while (or maybe not) to get your endorphins back depending on how long you were addicted so you may feel depressed for a while, but your endorphins should start becoming normal around the 1-2 yr. mark. Good luck to all and it is very possible~!

  • jennie

    I have diabetes and hypertension on top of the constant pain and fatigue from lupus. About 2 yrs. ago my Dr. put me back on Percocet again after 4 years of trying about 20 other different meds, one at a time, and realizing that it is the only thing that works for the pain. Then I can be more active, more productive and my self-esteem goes up and the depression lessens because I get out and do things again. [I’m actually back in college] But I’m having the same problem again, I start running out a few days before my next prescription is due and have to go through withdrawals, and my whole life comes to a halt. I hate living like this, but I don’t know what else to do? I need something for the pain, but I can’t stand getting sick from withdrawal all the time :'(

  • jennie

    oh sorry, I just wanted to ask, what else could I possibly take for joint pains over my entire body, especially hands, wrists, fingers. And for the depression & fatigue that seems to go along with getting off of it? Any advice of any kind would be appreciated at this point, I really just don’t know what to do.

  • chris

    I have read everyone’s story and tried to detox like 4 diff times in the past 5 yrs let’s say I should b clinically dead I was taking 40-60 loratab 10s, 20zan barz . And drinking a half gallon of vodka a DAY, id wake up take 20 within 6 hrs id be goin thru withdraws and I grew such a high tolerance that that’s what I had to have to survive and function during the day sad and sick story . One day I took 132 blue 10s.that was a year ago .make a long story short as I am writing this I am goin thru withdraws I am having seasures and no sleep for four days I took 15tz 7 days ago I’m still taking bars only one a day and went cold turkey on the alcohol still smoke a pac of cigs a day and all I’m sayn is this shitt sucks I need help to sleep before I go to rehAb I have a high tolerance I don’t know what to do anyone;????

  • Matt

    the best thing to do is go through the hell of withdraw so you know that hellish feeling so you never get back on the drug. you know what will come if you do them again.

  • Spinster68

    I unfortunatley am addicted to Oxycodone, I was in and out of hospital for 2 years having operations etc., and that was what I was given, when I didnt have any I thought I was having a breakdown, I soon realised that it was the withdrawal symptoms from not taking the oxycodone. Thanks to the health trust I am now addicted and feel ashamed and like a scumbag. If I had gone to a dealer and stuck a needle in my arm I could say well I deserve the mess Im in, but I didnt. I was never even told that it was habit forming, now Im stuck in HELL and need to get out. Ive tried tapering, but the cravings and withdrawals are terrible, I feel really down and get fed up real easy, my life feels like its gone down the pan. I was I had the money to go and pay to have the opiates flushed out of my body while being sedated but I cant afford it. What should I do ?

  • Donna vanHorn

    I was wondering after taking percocet if you can develop offbalance when quitting them but after quit taking Sat evening unyil Monday is when I got up and couldnt walk wihout getting pulled over to the left! How long does it take to get better? Please let me know!!!!

  • anonomous

    Just hang in there guys. I know you all are feeling pain right now but I promise you will have healing. The solution is time. Keep yourself sober. You can do it. You are strong. The pain will gradually start to decrease until you start feeling normal again.

  • Angel

    I am on my third day of wd’s. I used Kratom to stop using vicodin. I’ve taken Kratom for 6 months and now this is the end of this chapter of my life. Prayerfully I’m getting through this. I have slight cold symptoms, a little dirreah, one night was sleepless. If you have been on narcotics for a while this may be the way for you to go. Not to take them forever but just a little while. Without me crying out to the Lord I wouldn’t be able to do this without Him.

  • So Scared

    I’m So Scared Right Now. I’m 26 Years Old And Have Been Struggling With My Addiction For Alomost 5 And A Half Years. I Took My Last Pill About 7 Hours Ago. I’m So Scared. My Boyfriend Is Tryin To Stay By My Side But He Has To Work. I Can’t Sleep For Nothing. My Legs Ache So Bad That I Can’t Hardley Stand It. I Have Been Takin 20 To 25 A Day. I’m Loosing Everything And Need To Stop. Just Scared Of What’s Goin To Happen To Me. So What Can I Do To Make This Not So Hard. I’m Inspired By Readin All Ur Storys. Thanks Everyone

  • Matt

    I’m on day four of Subutex withdrawals, and I’m at work (physically). I have been on Subs for two years and have tried to stop numerous times. Now I’m done, I WILL NOT take any more opiates period… I’ve tried all manner of things to ease the pain, so far DXM (12-hour Delsym) is the ONLY THING THAT HELPS (along with Benadryl and Immodium).

    I feel weird (never tripped on DXM until lastnight, took too much and had immediate body-high like LSD) but I am just sticking to 2.5x the normal dose and I’m still crawling out of my skin every few minutes or so. The main problem is my stomach. I can’t eat ANYTHING, my throat is shut tight.. Food goes into my mouth, gets chewed, but then nada.. Can’t swallow.

    I just want to go home and sleep but I can’t miss work… And I can’t sleep. The circles under my eyes are so black people are looking at me weird.

    Luckily I have a three day weekend in two days, and a trip to Disneyland with the family in a few weeks. Just want to be done. Hurts so bad. I pray tomorrow I can feel normal again… But I’m not counting on it.. Almost 3 pm.. Two hours til I can lay down.

    No one to talk to that understands… Won’t go back to 12 steppers.. But reading ur posts helps a lot. Good luck everyone.

    “The body’s a beast, and I am a rider..”

    “this pain is an illusion…”

  • Matt

    Still hanging in there, couldn’t sleep at all lastnight, just tossed n turned on the bed, then the couch, then the bed, etc.. Ended up not going to work and practically begging my boss not to fire me. I did manage to make it down to my dr and get a prescription for clonodine, I just swallowed it so we will see.

    Today s day 6 and it’s the worst yet. I hope, pray, wish this to go away now. I haven’t eaten anything solid in 4 days. Ensure and Slim Fast are my only friends.. Of yeah, I’ve lost 12 lbs too. That can’t be healthy.

    Not going to take any opiates though. Period. I’m done. I used H when I was a teenager, who would’ve thought the little white pills could make you so much sicker (and I’m 34 now not 18, my body doesn’t bounce back as fast).

    For anyone that tells you to ge on Suboxone or Subutex: BEWARE- Buprenorphine is an opiate, it is NOT A WONDER DRUG. It’s another addiction. And it hurts to get off of. Glorified Methadone I’m telling ya.

    Must sleep soon or I’ll lose it..

  • Matt

    I’m still hanging in there. It’s day 7, still no marked improvement.. Only blessed moments of lucidity and giggling while watching my 4 year old play transformers. I hope it ends, really soon, but it makes sense that if I’m still this sick- I will be for a few. I’m starting to become very very weary, still have not been able to eat much more than bananas, fruit, slim fasts by the case.

    I think I’m through the “medicate it” phase though? Like maybe I need to only take the clonidine at night? Anything I take during the day except alcohol and thc are making me even more groggy. I have managed to sleep through two nights, although waking up twice (at the same times, 1:30, 5:30.. Weird?) both nights. I also was able to scrape a nap together today around 2.. I can tell my fiancée is getting fed up. I never told her I was on this medication.. I’m a liar and deserve this, because I should have known…

    I have hope. My head keeps playing games… “just a little.. Maybe a couple percocets? A vike or six? But I know better. This is bad. And it should be.

    Keep me in your thoughts for awhile.

  • Matt

    I realize that no one is going to read these for years, and the chances of that are even slimmer, but if my experience can help one person who is going through it- then I’m glad to suffer… Well.. Gladder..?

    Day 8 or 9? Woke up feeling great, then slid backward into the usual cramping, no energy, etc.. But I think I’ve passed the going to feel like crap less stage.. So that gives me hope that tomorrow, being the 4th of July, my very own Independence Day… I will feel even better..?

    I ate breakfast, have to keep my stomach fullish.. Or it starts to cramp and hurt like nobody’s business. I can sit still for longer, read a book, listen to music. I’m not debilitatingly sick anymore… Still no energy, bathroom all the time, but I’m getting better finally. I can feel it like a sneaky happy seed in my heart… Waiting to flower in a few more days and grant me the peace and serenity I’ve been craving (bodily anyway).

    The mind? Well… Let’s just say:

    “my soul will have to wait..” -sublime

  • Matt

    I’m still so weak! Man it’s crazy how much effort it takes to rise… But I feel ok. Other than that. :)

    Sleep is still troublesome, and my stomach is in knots (cause I’m hungry, yay) but oter than that I think I’ll live. Thank frak.

    Coffee this morning. Hope it helps. Happy independence day everyone!

  • Patrick

    Hang in there Matt. Sounds like you are through the worst of it.

    Keep it up!

  • Matt

    Wow. So it’s been a week and a half.. Almost two weeks, and today I woke up feeling 85% “normal.” besides the occasional weird scents, stomach issues, and weakness (chalk it all up to general dysphoria) I can honestly say: I am so grateful to be done with that shite. The past two days have been beautiful and 85-87 degrees, vacation coming up next week… Life is beautiful.

    So again starts the reset in my brain that usually heads into positive places. When I cleaned up in my 20s I went back to school and got my degree… Maybe this time I’ll be able to finish my book and get a dang life. One that isn’t ruled by the whims of a maniacal addiction..?

    I’m 34, and I cantrun from my demons as fast as I used to be able to. Looks like it’s time to see how bad they really are…

    Thanks for being here. Good luck to all. :)

    7/7/11 and i am free…

  • http://spiritulriver John

    Hey Guys how do you even remotely get to the stopping point when you haven’t felt pain in over 9-10 months its one of the hardest things in my life that i have ever had to do… Another thing is that its not just me its my wife too. we want to do what we have to and all that but this has definitely put a damper on a lot of things and if i dont want them she does when she doesnt i do thats whats making it so hard and all the stress that comes with the relationship already we are intensifying it by 1000 ya know so if anyone has any tips just give us a shout i appreciate it

  • Matt


    In my experience, when two people are faced with the situation we’ve gotten ourselves into, it can either be the greatest asset or the worst nightmare… I’ve been there, albeit we weren’t married, we lived together, and we couldn’t quit together. It took her getting clean and going to tx then me pulling my head out and doing the same. (we were using H, back in the day when I was 22).

    It was hard.. And in the end we didn’t last, I had to choose between her and staying clean. It sucked. But that was 12 years ago, in another life…

    I don’t envy your situation, but I know how hard it can be to want to get off the opiates and feel trapped.. But i do know that you can’t make that decision for anyone other than yourself, and if you do, then it’s the first step in the right direction that any of us will take.

    I’m two weeks off of Suboxone and today is the best day yet. There is light at the end ofthe tunnel, and it’s not just a headlight coming right at me.

    Good luck.

  • Clint

    It pisses me off! the last times and only times I’ve gone thru withdrawals is due to my best friend for life. (hydrocodine). I am also an alcoholic and a smoker but Those are the least of my worries right now!!! These withdrawals are the worst!!! I have an addictive personality! X, coke, meth, and acid, he’ll you name it ive been addicted to it (with the exception of H and crack). I’ve always managed to say “I’m done!” And I was.
    I was one another path not too long ago, well a little longer then I realize now. I was about to stop dunking. But something woke up in! The urge to splurge, my last horaah. I feel in love with the feeling of taking 6-8 10mg and drinking and the the cherry on top of course a smoke!! After enough cigarettes my body would shake and sweat. I would get the urge to throw up! I couldn’t move I just wanted to curl up in the fetes positions, a sip of water and a fan pointed at me!
    I Have never concisely ever thought of the possibility of suicide ever! I think it’s wrong! It’s for the weak! and that “we all have to earn our right to die!!”
    But here I sit with the conflict and option to purchase some pills. $5 a pop, and I usually buy by the 20’s if not more! But my sub concise is saying “your committing suicide, only in a slower sense!” I was told I Am a phene to something greater like heroin, but I believe it’s something more sinister, like a addiction to death, I’m seeing how close to death I can get by taking 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 pills. Eventually until I cam take no more in a literal sense! I mean after all the reason of ODing is because it’s never enough. So ultimately I know what I want and what I want for those around me! It’s not a distant faded memory, it’s that I want to live! But not this life, not like this anymore! So I’m going to try to ween off the self prescribing. I will get passed the WD’s as I did before and hopefully have the knowledge to say no next time!!
    I AM GOING TO DO THIS! hopefully I can eventually even stop drinking. But as I said before that’s the least of my worries right now! I’ll keep you posted. But if you do not see a post it is because I have givin in to a life I don’t want and youll never see me again!

    (PS I have 3 halfs of 10 mg skittles as I like to call them, either I ween of, take em all at once and buy more, buy more and more, or stop being a hypocrite and start living!)

  • Clint

    PSS…. I know I didnt run a spell check on that last post, but I can barely control my arms and thoughts. It’s a bunch of jibber jabber but honestly it kept my mind busy and I almost forgot about the withdrawals!!!!! Feeling a Lil better already!

  • Clint

    Its night two, I feel like shit about last night after I made that post I took 4 Tylenol pms trying to sleep through the withdrawals when normally I can take two and I am out, it wasn’t working so I started drinking and took one half of a 10mg, wasn’t working so I stayed up drinking until my sister who also struggles with drug abuse walked in and saw the state I was in and offered up another half to calm me down and just talked to me! About life
    About drugs about change, about power of the mind, about “the secret” the book, and of course my favorite the power of suggestion during sleep! I’ve heard if it before, like with babys, u play classical music or whisper in there ear while there asleep and change eventually comes.
    We talked until I finally got sleepy, the whole while I was drinking, so I don’t know if it was the beer the Tylenol pm, the 10mg a mix of all of it or exhaustion but I actually sleep not good but better then I usually do, I remember my dreams, vivid dreams which
    Is highly unusual when i drink, take pms or the dones. So very suprising after it all.
    I mean when i usually go thru withdrawals I have those eternal nightmares, the ones that feel like in reality you litarally have a blink of sleep but your stuck in a nightmare that lasts for 10 mins.
    But the ones last night weren’t that bad I vividly remember my sister talking to me in my ear in my dream giving me advice , I don’t know if she actually took the time to whisper in my ear while I was asleep or if it was all a dream, but I actually woke up in a good mood today!! I asked her is she did and she says as she always does about everything ” it is what you think it is” which is not the answer I wanted but something I understand more when she is the one saying it! (another story that’s creepy that I can’t really explain)
    The first thing I think about when I wake up is “where are my pills, how many do I have and do i need to get more!” today was different and I blame my sister, but I realized when I was at work that I hadn’t even thought about my pills (and then for a breif moment i was mad at the fact that not only did I not bring any with me to work but then I realized i was tryig to quit and only had one whole 10 mg pill and that I can’t buy more cause I told my self I wasnt) but then I was like wow this is a good thing! I’m one the right path ( did I mention I went to the dentist yesterday, and due to my sister referring me to that dentist ((that dentist was suppling my sister with pills until she knew she was an addict and cut her off, so after the fact my sister was talking down on her but I had already been going to her, but knowing who my sister was she would not prescribe me pain pills unless I went in and had a valid reason of pain to give em to me)) well she actually offered to prescribe me pills without me even asking! It was like the devil popping up! Pills wonderful pills that are only $20 for 30 instead of $5 a pop?!?!? And I actually said no?!?!?)
    I know I might have lost you there but I’m just rambling, Today was a good day I thought, it was so easy! Until around 9 pm! I could feel my body starting to ache, I could feel the restlessness, the mood swings, the heat the cold, and of course my Gage reflex return when I smoke or smell something that just doesnt sit right. I realized the only thing I’ve eatin in 2 days is a salad so I try to eat and that’s not happening, wtf happen I was doing fine all day!?!? (I honestly think it was because I lost my joy, I woke up in a good mood, kinda happy and the more I thought about no more pills the less happy I was as if they are making me happy in the first place?) I found some stairs and ran up and down them at work, I did push ups, it helped while I was doing them nothing really more then that!
    So all I know now is the WD’s are back! It’s hard to explain but probably not to anyone reading this, the “restless arm syndrome” like my arms have there own brain and are trying to escape my body, like terrets, like I have no control over them, I can honestly say to someone that actually would!, cut them off!! Please!! So here I am on the couch so I don’t beat up and keep up the wife thru the night! It F*%#ing sucks, the worst feeling I have ever had, and I have experiences alot of pain in my life, physically and mentally, but this right now is the worst.
    I have 4 beers I plan on drinking, with another 4 pms and one half of the 10 mg, and I really dot care if anyone reads this but
    Once again it does distract me while I’m writin this, but I know when I stop I’ll be shadow boxing the couch and walking around the room like a mad man lol but I AM GOING TO DO THIS!

  • Clint

    PS… I DO NOT RECOMMEND drinking and taking any kind of pills, I hate doctors! But now that I’m not taking the pills as much, I can feel this pain, a pain that I assume I couldent or cant feel while on pain pills! but there’s something serious going on in my liver or bladder or kidney I don’t really know but I’m thinking about going to the doc to of course hear of all the fun damaged I have done to my system! (90 % of my mouth is fake due to a Lil candy when I was younger but mainly crystal meth when I was addicted to it, my sister lost all her teeth!) So please if there is actually someone reading this that hasn’t done drugs or hasn’t done as
    Much drugs, listen to reason and JUST SAY NO!

  • Clint

    Night 3
    I kinda said f it Friday right? Not really, all though I did give in to temptation I took two 10 mg when I only had one half left, lol wtf happen?
    Either way I really have none left, I can get more I realized for $5 for $3 or $2, I can get 30 for $20, i can get em for free! But I told my self I wasn’t and now that I am out I will not ask for more, I told anyone an everyone around me I don’t care how I look or what I say DO NOT GIVE ME ANYTHING!
    So right now all though I didn’t take 5 or 6 pills, I did take more then what I was weening off of! So I know I only hurt myself more, I know my withdrawals are going to be worse even then what they were, but I kinda felt like I could keep finding and getting halfs and halfs and halfs and I was tired of it, it’s hypocritical because I am now feeling fine and f’d up. But I know after this it’s no more! Its like being in a Long term relationship knowing the whole time it’s going to come to an end you just love every min of it, you take any second you can, the hurt the pain! The make up sex the arguments anything that you can to hold on to this feeling! But it’s going to end and it’s going to end in a very bad way!!
    So here I sit f’d up, like the last love making session, and knowing the worst is about to begin again, but this time I wont let her back, she fucked me over tooo many times! I used to love the feeling of pain, I would cut myself for some kind of release. So she made
    Me numb to the feeling of life, like she’s more important then it, and that is not the case at all, so as any first love relationships gos, I’ll view it now like she was worth it like I’ll always love her and hopefully, shell hurt me so much with the withdrawals that a year down the line I’ll be like damn! I USED TO LOVE THAT GIRL!?!??? And shell be like all the x’s, just another chick in Texas!!!

  • Clint

    I can’t even say anything I came home last night like I was on top of the world I didn’t want a pill I didn’t think about a pill I actually wanted to go out and have a good time. I told the wife let’s go out tonight she said okay, shell round up the peeps.
    Well one of the peeps was of course a close friend but currently one of my many dealers, it’s funny how the prices are hiked up until your number one customer is on the brink of sobriety lol, hell the first ones always free right? !? Well turns out the last several are too, i know this will come as no surprise but I took advantage of that, I know he was just doing his job and is awaiting a phone call! And right now I’m thinking I might just call him tomorrow! Wtf happen?

  • Clint

    Haven’t had anything besides a smoke, started running, still no appetite, in the past 48 hours I’ve gotten about 6 hrs of sleep, I’m starting to get these headaches but hoping theyll pass

  • Cat

    What happened to Clint? Where did you go? How are you doing?

  • Jennifer

    I can totally relate to Clint and at first I was actually hoping you can get through addiction. I have been on Vics and Somas for the last 10 yrs due to a car accident and have been taking more then I should these past few months. I’m out and have told anyone I’m around not to give me anything no matter what I might say…its hard…I been running to the bathrrom it felt like every 2 mins and haven’t wanted to eat. I’m shaking and yesterday I did the hardest thing, I called my mother. The look in her eyes to see me this way was heartbreaking. I will get through this I pray. I’ve tried to keep myself busy. I find myself looking in the same places where I used to hide my pills over and over again. Sleeping isn’t an issue but wish I could just stay asleep to by pass tthese symtoms. My moods are up and down and at times I just cry. This isn’t who I want to be nor who I will be. Thought about drinking but don’t want to rely on that..this site has made me feel I’m not alone

  • Keyosha

    Today was my last day of taking vicodins .im jusst so tired of it all. hope i can make it through my withdrawls. ive decided to go cold turkey i will keep updating.

  • Keyosha

    so today is the first day i went hrough all without taking any narcos.but i know the wors t is just about to start. everyone thatreads this post please say a prayer for me.Iknowi can do it

  • Patrick

    Hey Keyosha check out the forums, lot of support there…..

  • Matthew

    I’ve gotten off many things but getting off heroin was the hardest thing I’d ever done in my life. I tried buprenorphine and short term de toxes. After this work I went straight back to shooting up. I loved it that much. I had to change my way of thinking. It was so hard to change my ingrained love affair with fits. I went into long term re hab. That was great for me. They know how to work very hard and cure hard core drug addicts. Yes there are other people out there who have made a very poor decision and we can work together and emerge far better people. I suggest that other people who are thinking of getting off the hard core drugs to be truly honest with yourself and reach out for the help that is there. Stop lying to yourself and get the help that you need.

  • Tanya

    I’m very excited to have found this site. I’ve been taking morphine for 10 years now for back pain. I am on zero mgs – day 8. I only know its getting better because I have been writing it down. Not all of it because that would be like double torture. But enough that I can see a difference. It is so very hard, but I know the reward on the other side of this torture will be worth it. I have been living a half-life at best for the last 14 years. I am excited to see what that looks like and even more excited to see what it feels like! Acupuncture has changed everything for me. It is what is making this even possible. It has also helped ease some (it can’t work miracles tho) of the withdrawal symptoms. It’s been the only thing to really give me any relief. It just doesn’t feel like its quite enough, but idk that anything could be at this point. I’m in the rambly part of w/ds so I’ll stop myself here. Good luck to everyone. It is quite a journey, I hope you make it

  • EiLeen

    I want help but I don’t have insurance! I don’t know what to do!! I feel like dying!!

  • Eileen

    If anyone has any suggestions please contact me! I am more than willing but I don’t have insurance! This sucks!!

  • Ted

    I been taking hydros for 2 years 5.5 a day now I’m trying to stop and I feel like crap. I need support but I can’t tell anyone close to me what’s going on. Help !!!!