Top 15 Natural Remedies for Heroin Withdrawal -All Needles to Au Naturel
Know All Your Detox Options
Before deciding whether to detox from opiates at home, educate yourself. It is very important you, and those you live with, know what to expect during this time. Familiarize yourselves with any potential medical complications associated with opiate withdrawal so you know which symptoms are normal and which should cause concern. Please refer to this article for a detailed description of what to expect: Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline
If you have decided to attempt cold-turkey detox, consider using some of these natural remedies to manage your symptoms. Although there is no cure-all natural remedy, the following suggestions may provide the relief necessary to successfully conquer the worst of your physical withdrawal symptoms.
Top 15 Natural Heroin Withdrawal Remedies
These are the top 15 natural heroin withdrawal remedies. This list is followed by a detailed description of why each remedy works and what products I recommend. I suggest, if you plan on attempting this without prescription medication, you put together a ‘detox kit,’ consisting of as many of these items as possible.
- CBD Oil
- St. John’s Wort
- Melatonin/ Sleepy Time Tea
- Dark Chocolate and Orgasms
- Hot Showers/Steam
- Massage Products
- Essential Oils
- Prepare Your ‘Come Down Cave’
Note: It is best to plan ahead for cold-turkey, at-home opiate withdrawal. Once you start feeling sick, it is very hard to work up the energy to put a ‘detox kit’ together. If you have someone willing to help you through this process, let them read this article. You will be surprised how many of your loved ones are willing to gather products on this list if you show a willingness to get clean. IT IS OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP. Having these products ready before you start to feel symptoms, gives you a significantly higher chance of successfully completing withdrawal.
My best friend and naturopath advocate introduced me to Kratom about five years ago. His mother had purchased some for him to help him with his own opiate withdrawal. After smoking a joint of weed one night, she posited a theory to me that I think about to this day.
She explained: Nature is perfectly balanced. Every harmful substance found in nature must be accompanied by an ‘opposite’ substance. The ‘opposite’ substance counteracts any effects caused by the harmful substance. Moreover, these complimentary substances are usually found in close proximity to each other.
I know this sounds confusing, and I too may have dismissed the entire conversation had I not had a steady weed buzz that evening. Instead, I locked it away in my mind in case I needed the knowledge later on.
A year later, when it came time for me to look into Kratom for my own withdrawal symptoms, this conversation replayed in my mind. I decided to test the theory on a plant more widely studied, poison ivy. What I found supported the theory. Jewelweed is the leading natural remedy for rashes caused by poison ivy and it can be found growing in the same places as poison ivy! (Source)
I decided to see if Kratom, a natural substance known to counteract the side effects of opiate withdrawal, was nature’s ‘opposite’ for Opium. I discovered both substances grow in similar climates and both are found in Asia. At this point, I knew there had to be something to this theory so I figured, what the hell? I ordered myself some Kratom and crossed my fingers that it would help with my own opiate withdrawal symptoms.
Kratom has been used to treat symptoms of opiate withdrawal since the 1800s. Here a few facts about Kratom:
- Kratom is less addictive than Opium.
- Users experience little to no withdrawal from Kratom.
- Kratom has been used successfully to treat nausea for decades.
- Kratom has been used as a wound ointment for over 100 years.
Needless to say, I was excited when my Kratom arrived in the mail, as I was approaching hour 36 of heroin withdrawal. It arrived in a gallon bag, in powder form.
How to take Kratom
I tried eating the Kratom powder by itself, but it tasted disgusting. Desperate to ingest this so-called ‘miracle’ cure, I boiled some water and dissolved some of the powder into hot water to make Kratom tea. I had to ingest four cups before I began to feel better, but eventually, I noticed dramatic relief. I suggest adding a strong tea bag to your Kratom tea to help disguise the taste.
You will feel like the Kratom is not working based on the amount you have to ingest, but once you feel better it is worth it.
Kratom’s disgusting taste, paired with the amount required to experience relief, deters many people from the product.
The most effective method to ingest Kratom is to buy empty pill capsules and fill them with Kratom powder.
You will have to take at least 8-10 capsules to get relief, but you can avoid the taste this way. These capsules work wonderfully:
Over the past few years, the media has created a sort “reefer madness” type frenzy around this product. As a result, some states have banned the product. Kratom is legal in all states except Wisconsin, Vermont, Tennessee, and Indiana. Kratom is not a controlled substance, so it is legal to possess, grow and use in states without a ban in place. You do not need a prescription to use Kratom, however, it is not regulated by the FDA. As a result, it is important you purchase Kratom from a reputable supplier.
With so many positive Kratom experiences reported by people suffering from opiate withdrawal, you would think the more funding would be allocated for further study on the substance. Hopefully, in the future, scientists will find a way to synthesize or identify active ingredients in Kratom so a user does not have to take 10 capsules to feel better. Lack of regulation on the product deters many from trying Kratom.
The media seems to only report negatively on Kratom, which turns even more people off. Many of these people would have benefitted tremendously from Kratom. Once the media starts reporting the vast benefits of Kratom, fewer users will resort to trying medication-assisted treatment programs, which prove hard to get off of for many.
As noted above, it is important to order from a company you can trust. Coastline Kratom offers the highest quality products around at an affordable price. I have used their products on several occasions and refuse to shop elsewhere. There are many different strains of Kratom available, but don’t let this overwhelm you.
I recommend taking Red Vein Borneo in the first few days of withdrawal, followed by Maeng Da in the days following. Here are the links to purchase each of these products from Coastline Kratom:
Red Maeng Da Kratom is another potent strain of Kratom that will help with withdrawal symptoms. However, this strain is better known for its energizing capabilities, characterized by user’s feeling a sense of well-being and a bit of euphoria.
If these products work for you, I recommend purchasing a beginner pack, so you can try each strain and see which work best for your individual needs.
There is a reason I have listed Kratom as the number 1 natural remedy for opiate withdrawal….it works. You can thank me later.
Countless users who have been able to stay off hard street drugs, like heroin or other opiates, have turned to medical marijuana. Marijuana has grown to be accepted in the medical community and more research is completed every day proving how beneficial it is for many different illnesses. I do not encourage the illegal use of marijuana. It is too easy to obtain a medical card nowadays, avoiding any risk of prosecution.
Even if you would like to eventually be completely substance-free, marijuana can be very helpful in the first few weeks of withdrawal from opiates. Marijuana has proven especially effective for managing nausea in chemo patients, so it undoubtedly will help calm your stomach while in withdrawal. Marijuana is not especially hard to get off of, especially for those of us who know and have experienced the difference between physical and mental drug dependencies.
Marijuana is also a great anti-inflammatory, so it will work to reduce pain associated with opiate withdrawal. Muscle cramps and headaches will be severe during withdrawal and marijuana may be just the thing you need to take the edge off and make your symptoms bearable.
Marijuana is available in many forms. Here are a few options:
- roll a joint or go old-school and roll a blunt with a grape-flavored Swisher Sweet wrap
- marijuana-infused edibles: cookies, gummy bears, lollipops, etc.
- cannabis e-liquid for vaping
- marijuana-infused lotion
3. CBD Oil
A recent study proved CBD Oil reduced the craving to use opiates in heroin-addicted rats. Chances are high, CBD Oil will have the same effect on opiate addicted humans. Plus, even if it does not help with your cravings, CBD Oil will not make matters any worse.
One of the hardest parts of withdrawal, especially at-home withdrawal, is fighting the urge not to use. You will feel like using is the only way you will EVER feel better. Obviously, if you can wait it out, you will realize this will pass, but most of us have a hard time with this. ‘Playing the tape through’ has obviously not been our strong suit.
Why not be as prepared as possible and give yourself the best possible chance of success? Like Kratom, it is important to buy CBD Oils from a reputable company. I recommend ordering from:
Cannabidiol Life offers a wonderful variety of products, all containing high-quality CBD, at an affordable price. Here are some of the products you can choose from:
Along with fever and chills, a user will most likely experience the shakes or tremors during opiate withdrawal. Pharmaceutical Biology published a study on the effectiveness of St. John’s Wort for treating opiate withdrawal symptoms; opiate addicted rats experienced a reduction in withdrawal-related shakes. St. John’s Wort is also an effective treatment for diarrhea. Minimizing shakes and avoiding diarrhea will make for a more bearable withdrawal process, so St. John’s Wort is high on our natural remedy list.
IMPORTANT: St. John’s Wort is known to interact with many common medications, including, but not limited to, antidepressants, birth control, blood thinners, and HIV medications. If you are taking ANY other medications, click here to check for any interactions.
You can purchase St. John’s Wort at any neighborhood pharmacy, or click the image below to purchase 1500mg capsules for less than you would pay for a half gram of dope.
Melatonin is the hormone responsible for regulating daily sleep rhythms. As we age, hormone levels fluctuate in our bodies. Melatonin supplements are frequently recommended to post-menopausal women, as they are most susceptible to decreased production in the brain. However, you do not have to be a post-menopausal woman for melatonin to be effective.
Chronic opiate use disrupts the body’s ability to naturally produce sleep hormones like melatonin. Melatonin supplements may help a recovering opiate user’s brain heal and adopt natural sleep patterns again. Melatonin is the best alternative to the counter sleep aids for those trying to stay au naturel in withdrawal.
Remember, nothing is going to give you the ‘nod out’ feeling you experienced on opiates. During withdrawal, you will be thankful for any time spent asleep. Sleep allows your body heal so try your hardest to get as much rest as possible.
I suggest you take your Kratom and the recommended amount of melatonin. Next, brew yourself a cup of Sleepy Time Tea and sip it while trying to get comfortable. This should allow you to get a bit of rest.
The more you are able to sleep, the less time you have to slip up and give in to your inevitable urge to use.
Celestial Brand Sleepy Time Tea is the best tea on the market for reducing anxiety and inducing drowsiness. Sleepytime Extra tea bags are an essential remedy for any natural detox kit. This link will allow you to purchase 2 packs of 20 tea bags for less than 10 dollars.
L-Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid. After ingested, your brain converts L-Tyrosine into L-dopa. L-Dopa then converts to..you guessed it! Dopamine! Dopamine is the chemical rapidly released in a user’s brain after taking a hit. It is responsible for the pleasurable high we all love so much. For a detailed explanation on dopamine’s role in opiate addiction, refer to the following post: What is the Cause of Drug Addiction?
Although L-Tyrosine will not get you high, it will help level out your mood during withdrawal. The less you feel down and depressed, the less likely you are to give up and use.
This is a very important supplement to have on hand and you can purchase it for less than half of what you would pay for a half gram of dope. I recommend GNC Brand 1000mg L-Tyrosine. To purchase on Amazon, click here:
Drink as much water as possible. Most people sweat profusely during withdrawal. It is very important to keep your body hydrated, especially if you are suffering from diarrhea. Diarrhea dehydrates and can be life-threatening if you do not replace the fluids your body needs to survive.
If you have diarrhea for more than a couple days and you are not able to keep down any water, check in to your local emergency room immediately. The hospital staff will determine whether they need to give you fluids or not.
Do not doubt me on this. Failure to properly rehydrate the body is one of the most common complications leading to death during opiate withdrawal. Hospital staff may send you right back home, but a professional opinion is important. Better safe than dead.
Water is very important for hydration, but you mustn’t forget to replenish electrolytes in your body as well. Most electrolyte drinks sold at local stores contain high amounts of sugar, which will leave you feeling worse a few hours after imbibing. To avoid a sugar crash, I recommend making your own electrolyte drink. Here is a simple recipe:
- 32 oz. Filter water
- Juice of 1 Orange (or a quarter cup natural orange juice)
- Juice from half a lemon (if you like your sports drinks more tart, than sweet)
- 5 sliced strawberries
- Mint, if you can stomach it
- 50 drops Total Hydration DayLyte Natural Electrolyte Concentrate
Directions: Mix together all your ingredients and shake.
Make a big batch and put it in the refrigerator. When you have a little bit of energy, take small sips of the beverage. Drink as often as possible to help remove toxins from your body.
If you are not into making things from scratch, or maybe you don’t feel well enough to put in the work, I recommend purchasing Bai electrolyte drinks. You can order a variety pack on Amazon here: Bai Electrolyte Drink
During withdrawal, you will experience extreme exhaustion. If you can keep down a few magnesium-rich foods, your energy levels may normalize a bit. Aside from boosting energy, magnesium is also known to reduce inflammation and prevent muscle spasms.
Some foods high in magnesium include avocados, bananas, almonds, raisins, peanut butter, wheat cereals, soy milk, oatmeal, and edamame. Avocado, bananas, peanut butter, and soy milk are all wonderful ingredients for a smoothie. This is the best way to ingest a high amount of magnesium in one sitting.
We will call it the Mighty Magnesium Milkshake! While your blending, you may as well add your Kratom. Take small, slow sips if you are having trouble keeping your food down.
If you can’t manage to keep even a Smoothie down, Magnesium supplements are available on Amazon, (click here) but I suggest trying to eat some of these Magnesium rich foods first.
9. Dark Chocolate and Orgasms
Dark chocolate is another go-to natural remedy for symptoms associated with opiate detox. Dark chocolate is magnesium rich and an antioxidant. While chocolate provides nutrients necessary to ease withdrawal symptoms, you may be surprised this is not the reason I added it to the list.
When we use opiates, our brains release a chemical (dopamine) that makes us feel happy. Have you ever wondered why opiate addicts crave sugar while using? Well, chocolate, like heroin, releases dopamine when ingested. Obviously, a chocolate high is not nearly as intense as an opiate high, but every little bit counts when you are feeling awful. If chocolate makes you feel better, go for it! You can worry about the added calories some other time!
Note: ***Earmuffs, if you are shy about sex*** Having an orgasm is another healthy, natural way to release dopamine in your brain. During opiate withdrawal, your sex drive returns with a vengeance. Do not be alarmed. If you have the privacy, there is nothing wrong with masturbating to feel better. If you are coming down with your significant other, be honest about your urges. If you are both feeling the same way, sex can provide a welcomed distraction. (I apologize for the crudeness, but I hope we can all agree an orgasm is much safer than shooting up more heroin!)
10. Hot Showers and Steam Rooms
Hot showers are your best friend during withdrawal. Chills and the sweats in quick succession are inevitable in the first few days of withdrawal. Spend as much time as you can in the heat of a hot shower or steam room. Sweating out toxins will help to speed up the withdrawal process.
Note: Sweating may be an effective way of forcing out toxins, but it will also leave your body dehydrated. Remember to drink lots of water, even if you are throwing it up.
11. Massage Products
I HIGHLY recommend purchasing a massager before you begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. Most importantly, the device should target your neck, back, and shoulder muscles. These muscles will feel extremely sore and lying in bed for days will only intensify the pain. Stretch whenever you feel up to it and use your massager as often as possible.
Here a few products that will not disappoint:
It is also important to purchase a good pillow with proper neck support, as you will be spending a lot of time in bed. A good pillow helps you settle into a relaxed position, no matter how much you toss and turn during withdrawal.
Here are some of the best options:
Start using your massager before symptoms start and continue regular use for at least a week and a half. After taking your night doses of Kratom and melatonin, use your massager for 15 minutes while in bed. When finished, lay your head down onto your pillow and attempt sleep. It may not work right away, but eventually, this ritual will relax your body into sleep.
I do not suggest scheduling a massage session with a therapist in the first week of withdrawal. However, after a couple of weeks, it is beneficial to get massages as frequently as you can. Do not be afraid to tell the massage therapist you are in recovery and that you recently detoxed. Be vocal about which muscles are sore. With proper communication, the therapist can use techniques best suited for expelling toxins and targeting specific muscles.
12. Essential Oils
Eucalyptus Oil: I have already identified your best friend in withdrawal, a hot shower. This tip may make you cross the friend line and fall in love! All jokes aside, spray some eucalyptus oil in your shower before hopping in for maximum muscle relaxation. This oil will also clear up any congestion you may be experiencing.
Peppermint Oil: Peppermint oil is a great substitute for those sensitive to the scent of eucalyptus oil; both oils have similar effects. If you like the scent of both, it does not hurt to mix it up either! As I have said before, try everything you can. What works for you, may not be the same as what works for others.
Lavender Oil: Calming and relaxing effect. It helps with sleep and anxiety.
Cinnamon Oil: Helps with depression symptoms. Opiate users are constantly messing with our brain’s mood-regulating chemicals. In withdrawal, a user will experience extreme depression symptoms as the brain tries to heal and balance its chemicals. Cinnamon oil may give you the confidence boost you need to get through the hardest parts of your withdrawal.
Ylang Ylang Oil: Calming and relaxing effect. Also, useful for relieving nausea and feelings of impending doom.
Ginger Oil: Although I have not tried ginger oil, many have reported a suppressed desire to seek out opiates during withdrawal. Ginger Oil is known to contain an active antioxidant, so this makes sense. Hey, it is worth a shot!
I was not sure whether to include this on the list, as I have never had any luck bringing myself to exercise while in withdrawal. However, I have seen how powerful exercise can be for those who are able to work up the energy during withdrawal. I dated a guy who used to use pain pills on and off for a few years. He would use consistently for weeks at a time, just long enough to put his body into physical withdrawal each time he stopped.
Every few weeks, he would make a decision to quit. The minute he started to feel withdrawal symptoms, he put on his running shoes, inserted his earbuds, and stepped out of his front door. He proceeded to run for miles, for at least two or three hours at a time. When he returned, he would immediately fall asleep, and, to my surprise, woke up feeling fine the next day.
For most, exercise feels like the last thing we would ever attempt during withdrawal. However, if you are going through a milder withdrawal or have willpower like my friend’s, and feel like you can exercise, DO IT! The more you move around, the faster the drugs will leave your body. You will significantly reduce the length and severity of your withdrawal. Even a quick stretch is enough to loosen sore muscles and help you get better sleep.
14. Prepare Your ‘Come Down Cave’
It should be no surprise, this is not going to be a comfortable experience. However, you should try to prepare your room best you can. Whichever items from this list you have decided to use, make sure they are readily available for you. At times you will feel like it is near impossible to lift your head from the pillow.
1. Prepare a Detox Kit
Have a detox kit in a basket right next to your bed.
Include items from this list in your kit.
2. Change of Sheets and Pillowcases
Make sure you have a change of sheets and pillowcases on hand. After ten hours of constant sweating, it is important to shower and change your sheets.
3. Different types of comforters and throws.
Have a heavy comforter and a variety of sheets handy. Depending on your body temperature, you will be thankful for the different choices.
4. A Good Fan
It is important to have a good fan. If you do not have a good ceiling fan, invest in a stand-alone fan for next to your bed.
5. Washcloths and buckets.
Having a couple of clean washcloths next to your bed will be useful as well. It will feel nice to dip one in water and place on your neck when you are overheating.
6. Heating Pad
Have a heating pad handy for when you get the chills. You may not be able to use it long, as your body temperature will fluctuate rapidly, but any relief will be welcomed.
Darkness is key. Make sure you have good curtains or a sheet covering your window. Your eyes are going to be sensitive to light and your body will be exhausted for the first 5-7 days, so do yourself a favor and get your room prepped the right way.
It is hard to concentrate on anything during the first few days of withdrawal, but having a distraction available immediately is useful. Play a movie on a nearby television or computer.
For the times you are coherent enough to follow a storyline, a distracting binge-worthy comedy may help to prevent your mind from drifting to thoughts of using. Don’t get me wrong, these thoughts are inevitable. BUT, if you are really deadset on getting clean, you will do your best to ignore any self-destructing thoughts.
Steer clear of movies with characters who use drugs. Trust me, you do not want to watch someone getting high when you feel this way.
Stay away from movies high in emotional content. You will feel extremely depressed and the slightest emotion could set off the waterworks.
Note: Eventually, you will have to deal with the emotions you have avoided feeling while on drugs. We call this, ‘feeling the feels.’ However, the physical withdrawal period is not the proper time to instigate these emotions. Deal with the physical, then you will be better equipped to deal with the emotional, mental part of your addiction.
So there you have it! These are the best natural remedies available for treating symptoms of opiate withdrawal. If you have the ability to taper off of opiates, I suggest trying that method first. It takes some willpower, but the experience is much less jarring. All of these natural remedies can be used during your taper. Start doing fewer opiates while introducing natural remedies into your daily routine. Keep decreasing opiates and upping natural remedies until you are comfortable stopping altogether.
Wishing you Well…
If you feel like giving up during the first week of withdrawal, try checking out your local methadone clinic before buying another bag of dope. It may save your life!
If you have any natural remedies to add to this list or would like to share your own personal experience using these remedies, please leave a note in the comments.
If you have ANY questions, do not hesitate to ask and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Good luck and stay strong!