Ask most people what they know about heroin withdrawal, and they will tell you that it is terrifying and terrible. There are lots of stories out there about how terrible withdrawal is and how painful the whole things is. Fear of withdrawal is one of the biggest things that keeps people who need to get help for addiction from getting the help that they need. The first thing to remember is that withdrawal is going to be different for everyone. Your symptoms are not going to be the same as anyone else you talk to. There are some typical symptoms such as excessive sweating, general aches and pains, a bit of nausea, and insomnia that most people in withdrawal experience, but there are some things that you can do to help yourself make it through without too much difficulty.
1. Find Ways to Distract Yourself
Distraction can be very important when you are going through active withdrawal from a heroin addiction. Focusing on your symptoms can really intensify them so finding something else to think about can be useful. Read a book about something other than addiction, watch a movie that will make you laugh, or talk to a friend about something other than your recovery.
2. Remember that Withdrawal Does Not Last Forever
Withdrawal symptoms will not last indefinitely. They will usually ease in less than two weeks. You may experience some cravings as you move further from your last heroin dose, but the bulk of your withdrawal symptoms will go away fairly quickly. Keeping in mind that this part will not last forever can be a big mood boost for you as you progress through active withdrawal.
3. When You Expect the Worst, You May Get It
If you go into your detox expecting it to be the worst experience you have ever had in your life, you may just be setting yourself up for failure. Think positive. You might be able to overcome more than you thought you could if you keep your sights on the reasons you are there rather than how terrible your symptoms are or will be.
4. Keep a Journal
This may seem like options that counselors tell 13 year old girls to do, but keeping a journal can actually help you remember why you are doing what you are doing. You do not have to write anything specific about how you are feeling or what you have done each day, but it might be a good idea of write about the reasons you are giving up on heroin addiction. You could also write about the positive things that you accomplish each day. Even if the only positive things that you accomplish in a day is getting out of bed, it is good to remember that getting out of bed is still important.
5. Make Healthy Food Choices
One of the last things that you are going to want to be thinking about during detox and withdrawal is food. Chances are good that the withdrawal symptoms have messed up your stomach a bit and food may not be one of the things that you are prepared to deal with. But making some healthy food choices now, even when you do not want to, can make a difference later. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lots of protein can help your body be better prepared to fight off any kind of infections and begin to heal itself faster.
6. Make Some Friends
Many of the people in your detox and rehab program have had similar experiences to yours. You are probably not going to be feeling very chatty, but some of the other people around you may be able to help you or you may be able to help them. Be polite and courteous to the people around you even if you not feeling so great. These people might be your biggest allies as you all continue through your detox and rehab program.
7. Have the Right Attitude
When you stay positive, your withdrawal symptoms might not seem all that bad. Maintaining your positivity and keeping in sight the reasons that you are there may be your saving grace. A positive attitude can go a long way toward keeping yourself mentally ready to go through detox and withdrawal.