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Opioid Withdrawal – Vitamins for Detox

 In addiction, Opioid Crisis, Recovery Process

The opioid epidemic has been at the forefront of society’s concern for years due to its rapid growth and difficulty to handle. From 1999–2019, nearly 500,000 people died from an overdose involving any opioid, including prescription and illicit opioids. The opioid drug group includes both prescription and street drugs that block pain by binding to opioid receptors in the brain. Read on to learn about the effects certain vitamins have on the human body and how vitamins for opioid withdrawal can help YOU, and contact Little Creek Recovery Center to begin your journey towards your best life of recovery! 

According to the CDC, the number of drug overdose deaths increased by nearly 5% from 2018 to 2019 and has quadrupled since 19991.  Over 70% of the 70,630 deaths in 2019 involved an opioid. From 2018 to 2019, there were significant changes in opioid-involved death rates:

  • Opioid-involved death rates increased by over 6%.
  • Prescription opioid-involved death rates decreased by nearly 7%.
  • Heroin-involved death rates decreased by over 6%.
  • Synthetic opioid-involved death rates (excluding methadone) increased by over 15%

Opioid Withdrawal - Vitamins for Detox

Why is detox from Opioids so difficult? 

After using opioids for an extended period of time, your body desires more of the drug to achieve the same effect. This physical dependence is one of the reasons opioid detox is so difficult. A multitude of uncomfortable symptoms come as a result of withdrawal from heroin and prescription opioids. Many individuals can become very ill when they stop using these drugs. If you require help with opioid addiction and are concerned about detox, knowing what to expect can help you mentally and emotionally prepare for the process.

Pain is a curious product of the human body. When detoxing, the body has become used to the chemical opiates produced, so it struggles to readjust to the new opiate-free diet. Unfortunately, this means it reacts badly. A quick internet search for ‘opioid detox’ highlights a few of the possible side effects of detox, and a few are things one would want to naturally encounter. However, it’s better than the alternative– permanent addiction. 

How can we ensure a successful detox from opioids? 

There is no simple road to recovery, and a majority of the success relies on the addicted. The steps that a person takes a while in recovery will help to build a foundation for a successful life. A very important aspect of recovery is nutrition, as it is crucial to long-term success. 

In your desire to lead a healthier life, you may wonder if there are vitamins you can take to help with opioid withdrawal. Thanks to 50 years of published literature, medical experts understand that vitamin, mineral, and amino acid therapy plays a pivotal role in the drug detoxification process. 

It is important to note that no vitamins, herbs, or supplements have been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in opiate detox or withdrawal. However, some vitamins were studied by researchers and other experts. 

Doctors know that if you struggle with opiate use, you may also have challenges with poor diet and eating patterns. Therefore, in some cases, it is possible that using vitamins, herbs or supplements may help.

What long-term effects do opioids and opioid withdrawal have on the body? 

The neurochemistry of an addict is directly impacted, as well as the nutrition status. And this means the body’s ability to heal itself is suppressed, leading to a host of future medical issues. Prolonged use of opioids damages the intestinal lining which impairs the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and many times leads to nutrient deficiency or malnutrition. This triggers a chain reaction of hormone imbalances, chronic inflammation, pain, anxiety, and depression. For example, many addicts have a calcium and magnesium deficiency, which are major factors in pain and issues in the nervous system. 

As well, the prolonged use of opioids creates a surplus of free radicals within the body. Evidence is accumulating that most of the degenerative diseases that afflict humanity have their origin in damaging free radical reactions. These diseases include atherosclerosis, cancer, inflammatory joint disease, asthma, diabetes, senile dementia degenerative eye disease, and more.

What can be done to help the body relearn how to heal itself during an opioid withdrawal and detox? 

Vitamins are a way to naturally supplement a weakened system, allowing it the chance to function efficiently. The use of vitamins helps as a supplement to medical care and should not replace physician-monitored treatment. 

When entering a medically supervised detox program, addicts will go through a complete examination that includes blood work. Once existing vitamin and mineral levels are obtained, daily supplements can be taken as a way to decrease withdrawal symptoms and speed recovery. 

Opioid Withdrawal – Vitamins for Detox

Vitamin C 

Vitamin C is a chemical that plays an important role in the body. It helps to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals and acts as a full-time antioxidant. Free radicals are compounds formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. And while they are not harmful in small doses, large amounts of free radicals have been linked to long-term degenerative diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

If eating too much of a bad thing can cause an unhealthy amount of free radicals in the body, what do you think opioids bring to the equation? Opioids and opioid treatment have both been shown to cause oxidative stress under certain conditions by increasing the formation of different kinds of free radicals. The imbalance of antioxidant levels and suppression of antioxidant enzymes can lead to oxidative damage in various tissues.

What does this mean for detox? While taken with a doctor-prescribed treatment plan, vitamin C can effectively help eliminate the subsequent damage caused by addiction and detox. 

Vitamin C was studied in patients withdrawing from heroin and it improved major withdrawal symptoms when used in high doses. Luckily, vitamin C, even at high doses, is nontoxic. 

The use of high-dose vitamin C to reduce symptoms of opioid withdrawal dates back to the late 1960s when a small study involving 20 adults addicted to heroin found that those taking large doses of the vitamin experienced fewer or milder withdrawal symptoms.

B Vitamins

How much do you know about what B vitamins do for your body? The brainpower used to answer that question is directly motivated by those precious B vitamins. These vitamins participate in hundreds of biochemical functions throughout the body and are particularly important for normal brain function. 

The energy the brain needs to function requires a disproportionate amount of nutrients compared to its size, and the B vitamins are high on its list of needs. When a body is going through withdrawal and detox it will require even more B vitamins to keep up with the detoxifying changes.

What are some of the most important B Vitamins for Opioid withdrawal? Some of the main contributors are: 

  • B-complex: Helps with the production of neurotransmitters and hormones, helping reduce anxiety and depression. As well as other functions necessary for detoxification.
  • B12: Supports healthy nerve cells and the elimination of the neurotoxic compound homocysteine.
  • B6: is a required enzymatic cofactor in numerous metabolic processes, including the synthesis of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.

Multivitamins

Opioid addiction is a life-threatening disease that affects without discrimination. It attacks the entire body, and will slowly degenerate crucial system functions. The human body is not designed to handle the stresses of addiction, and while going through detox and withdrawal multivitamins can help replenish the variety of lacking nutrients. This is what multivitamins were designed for. They pack a powerful punch of the crucial needs of a fully functioning human body. A full complement of these essential micronutrients is particularly important when the body is undergoing physical and biochemical stress, such as occurs during opioid withdrawal. 

What type of nutrient deficiencies can multivitamins help with?

For example, according to a study in the Iranian Journal of Public Health, people who have been addicted to opiates may have deficiencies of calcium and magnesium, which can contribute to muscle pain and spasms. Low potassium is also implicated in restless leg syndrome. Taking a multivitamin while detoxing from opioids can help replenish vital nutrients such as these, leading to a more successful recovery.

Replenishing the body’s deficiencies during early detox has been shown to reduce withdrawal symptoms, increase treatment retention, improve psychological status, contribute to higher abstinence rates, and improve the overall quality of life.

Making the choice to enter a detox program is a monumental step in life, and we want you to know there are certain steps you can take along the way that can ensure your success.

Vitamins for opioid withdrawal can become an integral part of your successful recovery, and we are here to help. We want to hear from you! Are you currently considering vitamins for opioid withdrawal? Would you like to learn more about how vitamins for opioid withdrawal can help YOU? Leave us a comment below! 

If you or a loved one lives with opiate addiction, Little Creek Recovery today. Calls are free and representatives are ready to get you or your loved one started toward recovery. Making the telephone call is the first step toward a healthier future.

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