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Opioid Withdrawal Home Remedies

David Hunter, MA.Ed, LPC

Medically reviewed by

David Hunter, MA.Ed, LPC

February 28, 2019

Opioid drugs form some of the most severe addictions known to man. For this reason, withdrawal from heroin or prescription painkillers can become intense, prompting certain individuals to take matters into their own hands. The success of at home withdrawal methods are limited and can leave an individual facing severe health consequences. It is best to detox in a facility with the assistance of medical professionals.

What Is Withdrawal?

When a person engages in chronic opioid abuse their body becomes accustomed to the constant flood of the drug into its system. This is a dependence. In this state a person’s body relies on the opioid to function.

At this point, should a person suddenly stop using (referred to as “cold turkey”), or if they drastically reduce their dosage (amount and frequency of the drug) they will go into withdrawal.

Symptoms include:

  • Achy muscles
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Goosebumps
  • Insomnia
  • Dilated pupils
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Restless legs
  • Runny nose
  • Severe cravings
  • Stomach cramps
  • Sweating
  • Teary eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Yawning

At their most extreme these symptoms can become exceedingly painful and uncomfortable, which is why you should always seek treatment.

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Why Do People Detox At Home?

People may choose to detox at home for a variety of reasons. A person may believe that they cannot afford treatment, they may not be aware of their options, or they may feel ashamed and try to hide their addicted state. Others may feel as if they can’t leave home, whether it be due to family or employment concerns.

The truth is, far more treatment options exist than most people know. Additionally, a variety of payment and financing options exist which could, in fact, make your treatment needs a reality.

In terms of feeling shame or guilt or any other negative emotion, you shouldn’t. Seeking treatment is one of the bravest things you can do. An addiction doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person, or weak, it means you have a disease which needs treatment, treatment that you’re not qualified to administer on your own.

Is It Dangerous To Withdrawal At Home?

Yes. While none of the symptoms are themselves deadly, certain ones could pose threats which lead to death. For instance, a person may have a seizure and knock themselves unconscious. If they then vomit and inhale it they could suffocate or develop a life-threatening infection in their lungs.

One of the gravest dangers of do-it-yourself detoxes is relapse. If you detox at home, chances are you’re without a support system to keep you focused on sobriety. Even if you have people near you, it won’t come close to the highly-trained, 24/7 care you’ll receive in a program.

Without the proper treatments and support, a return to drug use may seem ideal in these moments as cravings and other symptoms reach their most extreme.

Beware Of False Claims

No amount of information found on the internet will ever replace the advice, training, or treatment of medical professionals. Nor will any heard from your friends. These sources will not provide you with anything close to the opportunity you would receive within a comprehensive inpatient drug rehab program.

Don’t gamble with your life or future. Because that’s what you’ll be doing if you choose to detox at home on your own accord.

How Do People Detox At Home?

Here are some ways that people frequently used to detox at home:


Benzodiazepines are a class of sedative hypnotic drugs with tranquilizing effects. These drugs are, in themselves, addictive, so any unmonitored and unprescribed use opens up the potential for a new type of addiction.

Many people may obtain these drugs illicitly which exposes them to another danger: pills bought off the street could be counterfeits and/or cut with a different, dangerous chemical or drug.

Additionally, benzodiazepines depress your CNS system just like opioids. If a person relapses while on a benzo, the drugs could interact and cause respiratory depression, overdose, and/or death.

B Vitamins And Hydration

While these can be helpful, it’s nowhere near enough treatment or support to counter the full effects of withdrawal. A good medical detox will offer nutritive support and IV hydration along with evidenced-based medication, to counteract the adverse effects of both the addiction and withdrawal.

Cold Turkey

Some people may quit without any medications or without tapering their dosage of opioids. This may because they have run out of their supply, because they want to conquer withdrawal on their own, or because they don’t realize what their treatment options are. Withdrawing this way is very dangerous and significantly increases the risk of relapse.


Kratom has made waves recently across the US, and one reason is because some people advocate that it has merit as a treatment for opioid withdrawal. Despite this, kratom is not without serious risks, including addiction and overdose itself.

“In Thailand, kratom is the No. 1 drug of abuse and addiction with approximately 60 percent of individuals in one study of people with a substance use disorder admitting to abusing or being addicted to it,” reports The New York Times. The article continues, noting that kratom has been known to cause withdrawal, even to the extreme that it was compared to heroin.


Many recreational opioid abusers turn to marijuana to curb symptoms of opioid withdrawal. While it’s true that initial scientific findings point to marijuana as a potential treatment, there isn’t yet enough evidence which warrants this as a research-based approach.

And despite what many people may think, marijuana can be addictive, so you do run the risk of trading one addiction for another when you self-treat. Marijuana can also impair your cognitive functions, which could lead a person to consider relapsing, too.

The Thomas Recipe For Opiate Withdrawal

This method utilizes a combination of over-the-counter products and prescription benzodiazepine drugs. Despite the fact that it uses prescription medications, it’s not a method backed by medical research or approved by medical professionals. The Thomas Recipe method carries the risks associated with benzodiazepines mentioned above.

Get Professional Treatment For An Opioid Addiction

If you have personal reasons which you feel are prohibiting you from seeking a professional detox, we can help. Many programs design their treatments to fit into the unique landscape of your life.

Choosing a medical detox will help to reduce or eliminate the intolerable symptoms of withdrawal by the aid of medications designed just for this purpose. But detox is not designed to be a standalone treatment, which brings us to one of the greatest concerns of at-home methods. Detox simply rids your body of the drug’s toxins and fights the physical addiction, it doesn’t treat the psychological one.

So even if you detox at home without any complications, you’re still jeopardizing your chances of having a drug-free life. True sobriety and a successful recovery is founded within the time that follows.

Choosing a facility which offers both a medical detox and treatment will allow you to progress from one stage to the next, while staying completely immersed in your treatment plan. Following detox with treatment increases your chances of a successful and long-lasting recovery. Even after you detox you will likely experience cravings, and treatment will help you to develop good coping skills for these moments.

Get The Right Treatment

Are you contemplating getting off prescription opioids or heroin? If so, let us help you protect your health. We can build a treatment plan together. Contact today.

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