Remedies for Heroin & Opioid Drug Addiction

© PeterSmithUK.com (updated 12 Feb14)

On this page:

Step 1 Withdrawal Remedies
Step 2 Detoxification and Regeneration Remedies 
Step 3 Maintenance Remedies 


Step 1 Remedies for Opioid Withdrawal

IMPORTANT Please note the information on remedies below is for doing a private home withdrawal you organise yourself, I don’t have a residential withdrawal facility at my practice. To do this at home you are probably going to need a helper ideally in ex addict and organise all the remedies in advance, in the links at the bottom of this page are some helpful pages on setting up a cold turkey withdrawal at home.  
I can be consulted before the initial withdrawal step for advice and afterwards (steps 2) I can offer therapy to detoxify and regenerate your body, liver and brain; and beyond that (step 3) to help maintain balanced brain chemistry and keep you well.


Heroin and opioid drugs are painkillers that mimic the natural endorphins of the body, with habitual use your body gets used to their presence and when you suddenly withdraw them your whole nervous system suddenly becomes supersensitive causing an explosion of physical and emotional pain. The priority here is to calm the nervous and support the nerves ability to replenish natural endorphins and enkephalins as quickly as possible. Serotonin levels may also plummet causing painful depression and insomnia so we will want to replenish this with amino acids and herbs. At some point (the agitation and insomnia will collapse into excessive sleep, fatigue and lassitude; at this point we want to replenish low dopamine levels as well.

A typical prescription may look like this:
 

Amino Acids to Make Neurotransmitters

DL-Phenylalanine (DLPA): 1000-2000 mg three times a day 30 to 40 minutes before meals. DLPA increases endorphin and enkephalin levels by inhibiting the enzyme enkephalinase that breaks them down.
 
L-Tyrosine: 1000-2000 mg with the DLPA before breakfast and the midday meal. This works with the DLPA to increase the production of enkephalins, it also protects falling dopamine levels.
 
L-Glycine: 2000 mg with each dose of DLPA to assist endorphin and enkephalin synthesis. You can also optionally take up to 8000 mg directly under the tongue up to 3 times a day as a sedative at times of extreme panic and agitation. To administer this under the tongue wait five minutes and if you don’t feel calmer take another 2000 mg under the tongue and then wait another five minutes and so on up to 4 doses i.e. 8000 mg.

L-Methionine: 500 to 1000 mg three times a day at the same time as the DLPA. Methionine helps the liver to detoxify drugs and is also required for the production of enkephalins.
 
L-Leucine: 500 mg at the same time as the DLPA.
Leucine is another amino acid required for the production of enkephalins.

L-Tryptophan: 1000 to 1500 mg last thing at night. Tryptophan is converted into serotonin to combat depression, and help you sleep.
CAUTION: do not take tryptophan at the same time as SSRI antidepressants.
 

Vitamins and Minerals: 

the vitamins and minerals are supported in their own right but also essential cofactors for the above amino acid remedies.
 
Magnesium: you going to want 800-1000 mg of magnesium with meals from magnesium citrate, magnesium is calming and nourishing to the nervous system, slightly painkilling, assists regeneration throughout the system and liver detoxification.
 
B-Complex: high doses of B complex are protective and regenerative to the nervous system at times of extreme stress and recommend taking B-Complex both in a multi-vitamin multimineral such as Solgar VM 75 one pill twice a day with meals and additionally by a separate B 50-Complex take one pill with lunch and optionally breakfast and dinner.
In whatever multimineral you take the level of selenium should be about 200 µg and the level of zinc should be 20 to 30 mg.
 
Vitamins C: High dose vitamin C is very useful during the initial stages, it helps eliminate toxins from the body and combined with B vitamins and a good protein intake significantly lessens withdrawal symptoms. Divide 10 to 12 g of vitamin C (not the really cheap fizzy vitamin C tablets you put in water) between your meals. 
 

Herbal Remedies

N.B.: If you intend to take any herb for more than a month miss out one day a week to stop your body adapting to it.
 
Passiflora or passion flower calms the jittery and agitated nervous system.
 
Rhodiola, this tremendous herb stimulates serotonin and dopamine production, it’s also what is called an adaptogen which assists the body to cope at times of stress. 500 mg standardised two or three times a day with meals.
 
St John’s Wort
St John’s wort is a very special herb for drug detoxification it serves two useful purposes: firstly it stimulates serotonin production helping depression and insomnia; secondly it’s a powerful detoxify of drugs from the liver.
CAUTION: don’t take St John’s wort if you taking SSRI antidepressants at the same time
 
Useful optional herbs include
Skullcap for the overactive nervous system, it’s a broad-spectrum nerve tonic and may help with anxiety, insomnia and headaches. You can take a dose of skullcap every couple of hours during the first 72 hours of withdrawal. Skullcap also contains flavonoid antioxidants which reduce inflammation in the brain and nervous system.
 
Valerian is another strong and useful nerve tonic and calmative. Valerian can also be useful for alcohol and cocaine withdrawal.
 
Chamomile has mild tranquillising effects and is also helpful to improve digestion which may become disturbed, it may also assist with liver regeneration.
 
Withdraw Diet
 
The withdraw diet must include abundant potassium and easy to digest protein. For the potassium eat lots of vegetable soup and steamed vegetables. For the protein fresh or tinned fish is the best because it gives you the fish oils, chicken, especially chicken and vegetable soup is easy to digest. The easiest protein to digest and also if you’re a vegan take a few spoons of amino acid powder with your meals. 

What I recommend is cooking up about 5 litres of tasty chicken vegetable soup with lots of ginger in advance and keep it in the fridge/freezer, it’s a perfect source of potassium, protein and sustenance; it’s just great to have some healthy ready-made meals.

Continue with the above supplements for a week or two until the initial withdrawal is completed and then progress on to the detox and maintenance phases. 
 

Withdraw Diarrhoea

You could just use Imodium from the pharmacy, it’s not a natural remedy but it should work well and you’re only going to take it for few days. You may feel you have enough on your plate already but if you want to go the totally natural remedy route for the diarrhoea use:
Eat about 4-5 bananas a day, they bind the intestines and are rich in potassium which we loose with diarrhoea. 
Eat about 250g (9 zo) blueberries a day, they are binding and add a lot of highly valuable polyphenol antioxidants for your brain. 
 
Mix a level teaspoon of psyllium powder in a large glass of ¾ water ¼ juice and drink twice per day. Psyllium helps both constipation by bulking up the bowls and diarrhoea by soaking up liquid. It has another advantage of soaking up toxins and carrying them out of the body. 
Nutmeg tea grate ½ teaspoon fresh nutmeg into a cup add boiling water, sweeten to taste with honey/xylitol/stevia. Use 2-3 time per day CAUTION: may not be safe during pregnancy.
 
Actually even though I’m into naturopathy I would on this occasion recommend using Imodium, it’s easier, more effective and may even help the opiate withdrawal slightly because the active ingredient (loperamide) has a similar to opiates but does not pass through the blood brain barrier so it will not get you high. You can still eat some bananas and blueberries.
 

Withdrawal Nausea:

Use ginger capsules and/or add grated ginger to the nutmeg tea. 
 

Aches and Pains

The phenylalanine acts as a natural pain killer by encouraging the production of your own endorphins and enkephalins but you may also want to take additional pharmaceutical painkillers such as Tylenol (take up to 1000 mg 4 ½ hours apart, do not exceed 4000 mg in 24 hours). Tylenol is toxic and hard work on the liver so if possible don’t use more than 2000 mg; in step two we will do lots of liver detoxification, but try not to make the server even worse and set up more work for this next step.

Kratom Opiate Withdrawal

The herb kratom has opioid and painkilling properties and may potentially be helpful for transitioning off heroin and opiates acting like a herbal alternative to methadone. As an opioid kratom is open to abuse and potentially addictive, but if you want to take control of your health, self-medicate and use it as a transition to help give up opioids is looks like a potentialy very useful remedy, far less addictive than methadone. Despite having opioid like properties kratom does not suppress respiration or breathing so dangerous overdose appears to be unlikely. 
I have no clinical experience with kratom so I can only repeat what I’ve read and not speak from genuine knowledge see the likes below for more infomation. 
There are different types of Kratom from what I have read Green Malay or White Veined is the type to get for opioid withdrawal because it is more sedating, pain killing and may help with diarrhoea, but the link below recommends the Red Veined, so do your own research. 

http://www.howtoquitheroin.com/How_to_Quit_Heroin_with_Kratom.html
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/should-kratom-be-legal/


Step 2 The Detox and Regeneration Phase

BELOW UNDER CONSTRUCTION


The goal here is to spend several months or more detoxifying and regenerating your body after the damaging effects caused by the drugs themselves and lifestyle. Pure heroin if you can get it is surprisingly nontoxic to human organs, however the contaminants in street heroin can damage several areas of the body, especially when they are injected. Pharmaceutical opioids like oxy are also far less toxic than street drugs. 
 
Infections
Injecting drugs regularly exposes you to a considerable risk of infections, not just from HIV and hepatitis C but infections in the heart, lungs and skin are also common. 
 
Opioids also suppresses the cough-reflex, this often leads to chest and bronchial  infections and problems.
IMMUNE BOOST
 
Digestion
Heroin can cause severe constipation amongst regular users because it suppresses acetylcholine activity.  
DIGESTIVE CLEANS/STIMULATION

LIVER DETOX
KIDNEY HEALTH
THE VIENS
BRAIN HEALTH
 
potassium, magnesium, selenium, methionine, glutamine
milk thistle, Dandelion, St John’s wort,
flavonoids from brain inflammation
regular and maintain dopamine levels
 

Addiction Main Menu:

Useful Links:

http://www.slideshare.net/CMoondog/the-addicted-brain

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-you-cure-yourself-of-addiction/
 
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Hi my name is Peter Smith I specialise in treating and coaching people how to live well with mental health problems, digestive health problems/IBS, sleep problems and type II diabetes using natural therapies.
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