The Opiate Withdrawal Survival Kit Part 2: Drugs for Detox
The Kick Pack
I remember when I was younger, there was a clinic by my house that would give patients an opiate withdrawal “kick pack” to help them with their detox. You had to sign all of this paperwork, much like the methadone clinics of today, and then they’d give you this little kit full of drugs that you could use to detox with. I personally never got the thing, but I’d heard that it had stuff in it like, Darvocet (warning: do not use Darvocet/Darvon/Propoxyphene), Clonidine, and maybe some Valium or other tranquilizer. Ideally, you want to get through your detox without having to resort to using any other drugs, but sometimes that’s either too difficult, or just not feasible. If you believe in harm reduction, then this post is for you. If you think that a good detox is one that is completely “cold turkey,” then that is understandable, and more power to you…go for it!
Anyway, throughout the years, I kind of created my own kick pack, that helped me get through my withdrawals. It really varied depending on what I had available at the time.
Several participants in the comment section of this site have recommended Kratom as a great aid for withdrawal. I’ve personally tried it myself, and can vouch that it works very much like other opiates because the main ingredient targets the same areas of the brain. The downside is that there haven’t been many studies into the plant, so use it at your own risk. Kratom is legal in the US, so it can be purchased without any problem. I’m not sure how long that will last though. There are several online sites that sell the stuff. There are several online sites that sell the stuff. ArenaEthnobotanicals was mentioned as a good resource.
Over the Counter Remedies
There are a ton of over the counter herbal type remedies that will help you out during the final stages of your withdrawal. They are usually worthless during the initial stages, just because none of them are powerful enough to have any impact when your symptoms are at their worst.
With that said, you might want to give Withdrawal-Ease a try. It’s a combination of a bunch of plants and herbs like, passion flower, cayenne, ginger, milk thistle, l-tyrosine, magnesium, and a whole list of other ingredients. The price is pretty decent too. You’d probably pay much more if you were to buy all the supplements individually.
Herbs like Valerian, Kava Kava and Chamomile all have relaxing effects on the body and mind. Valerian has actually been a great stress reliever and sleep aid for me since I’ve been sober. It’s closely related to benzodiazepines, which include the above mentioned tranquilizers.
The weed was really more for the mental anguish that came as a by product of detox. When you’re coming off of vicodin, you’re chemicals are all out of whack so depression is a major symptom. I used to get very depressed for those first few days, and actually even stayed depressed for months. There were times when I felt like I would snap, but smoking a joint really helped ease my thoughts enough to where I didn’t feel like using opiates again. So if you can get a hold of some good bud, then I would recommend you include that as part of your kick pack, but remember that your ultimate goal is to get clean. Don’t let the weed become another drug that you end up having to withdraw from. You’ll get stuck in a horrible cycle of using one drug to kick another.
The next drug that has been known to help with opioid withdrawal is Clonidine. Clonidine is a antihypertensive, so basically it helps to reduce your blood pressure which usually spikes during a detox. The Clonidine helps with the chills and hot flashes that can be horrible in and of themselves. I’ve personally never tried Clonidine but I’ve talked to people who have used the Catapres patch, and they said it worked wonders for them. There are however some dangers involved, so be sure to do your research on this.
There are a few other prescription opioid drugs that have been clinically proven to help you kick the habit like Buprenorphine and Methadone, but I’m going to have an entirely separate post for both of those drugs so stay tuned.
Tranquilizers like Valium, Xanax and Clonopin can all work wonders for the stress and anxiety involved with a kick, but withdrawing from those drugs can be even worse, so again, proceed with caution.
All the drugs in this post are options that you can use to minimize the unpleasantness of withdrawal, however, they are not meant to be used as substitutes. If you’re dedicated to getting clean and staying that way, you should resolve to eliminate your dependence on any of these drugs as soon as you’re able to lead a normal life. That way you can be sure that you’ll never have to go through something like this again.