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Over 31 million people around the world have a drug use disorder. In many cases, it’s not always easy—or safe—to quit without help. The withdrawal symptoms many people experience can make quitting all the more difficult.
When tapering off opioids, there are a few things you need to know, first. Keep reading to learn how to get off pain pills safely.
While learning how to wean off oxycodone or other pain medications can sound difficult, it is possible.
Develop a plan with your health and safety in mind using these five tips
1. Speak to Your Doctor
About 20% of patients will receive an opioid from a doctor to help ease their pain. Your doctor should warn you about the possibility of addiction.
If you’ve only taken the prescription for less than two weeks, you should still have the ability to stop on your own. If you feel like you’re unable to stop, speak with your doctor.
You mustn’t try to learn how to get off pain pills alone. Instead, your doctor can help you create a medication withdrawal plan. They’ll gradually reduce the amount of medication you’re taking over time.
Your doctor can help:
- Track your pulse, blood pressure, and temperature over time
- Speak with other healthcare providers if necessary
- Prescribe other medications to help you manage withdrawal symptoms
- Test your urine or blood as needed
Make sure you follow your doctor’s withdrawal plan. Their advice can help reduce your discomfort. Consider speaking with a methadone doctor as well for more specialized advice.
2. Know the Withdrawal Symptoms
As you learn how to wean off oxycodone, it’s important to keep an eye out for withdrawal symptoms. These can include:
- Increases pain
- Rapid heartbeat
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Anxiety or restlessness
- Mood swings
- Stomach cramps
- Vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea
- Blood pressure changes
- Troubles sleeping
- Stomach cramps
- Thoughts of suicide
Make sure to tell your doctor if you begin experiencing these symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can vary based on the medication you were taking.
3. Improve Your Lifestyle
There are a few lifestyle changes you can make when managing your withdrawal symptoms. These include:
- Using positive self-talk to motivate yourself
- Eating nutritious meals regularly
- Drinking more water
- Using relaxation techniques (yoga, meditation, deep breathing)
- Picking up a new hobby as a distraction
- Exercising in moderation
Ask a friend or family member to help you make these improvements. Their support can help you avoid a relapse.
4. Find a Support System
If learning how to taper off oxycodone feels difficult, don’t go it alone. Instead, consider counseling or joining a substance misuse support group. You can also talk with a religious or spiritual advisor for guidance.
Finding a community at this time can help you successfully taper off your pain medication.
How to Get Off Pain Pills: Your Guide to Safe Sobriety
Learning how to get off pain pills is difficult, but possible. Make sure to speak with your doctor about developing a plan. Remember, you’re not alone!
Check out the Substance Abuse & Recovery section of the blog for more helpful tips.