Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Risk Factors Symptoms narcotics sedatives Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care diet stress warning signs Underlying Cause Types physical withdrawal psychological withdrawal

Withdrawal from Drugs Home Care

Home care for drug withdrawal includes:

  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Take prescribed medications as directed:
    • Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
    • Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.

Withdrawal from Drugs Diet

Strategies for a healthy diet in drug withdrawal include:

  • Limit your intake of fat to 30% of your total calories.
  • 10% to 15% of your total calories should be in the form of monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil.
  • Consume only unsaturated fats that are low in cholesterol.
  • Consume less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day.
  • Eat dietary fiber: whole grains are best.
  • Avoid fad diets.
  • Check with your doctor about B vitamin supplements. Some people may benefit from B vitamins.

Key Dietary Recommendations for Chronic Disease Prevention
Energy (calories)to maintain BMI < 25
Total fats< or = to 30% of total daily calories
Saturated fats< 7% of total daily calories
Polyunsaturated fats< 10% of total daily calories
Monounsaturated fats< 13% of total daily calories
Cholesterol< or = to 300 mg per day
Dietary fiber25-30 grams per day
Fiber type3:1 insoluble to soluble fiber
Sodium< or = to 1,500 mg per day
Calcium 9-24 yrs1,200-1,500 mg per day
Calcium 25-50 yrs1,000 mg per day
Calcium 51-65 yrs1,200 mg per day
Calcium >65 yrs1,500 mg per day
Vitamin D 9-50 yrs200 IU per day
Vitamin D 51-70 yrs400 IU per day
Vitamin D >70 yrs600 IU per day
Folic acid400 micrograms (ug) per day
Fruits & vegetables5-7 servings per day

Withdrawal from Drugs Stress

Tips to manage stress in someone with drug withdrawal:

  • Accept what you cannot change.
  • Ask for help if you need it.
  • Associate with people you enjoy and who treat you well.
  • Consider life as challenges to seek not obstacles to avoid.
  • Do not be dominated by one thing such as work or relationships.
  • Do not feel guilty when you have to say "no" to extra duties or tasks. Respect your limitations.
  • Energize your body with regular exercise.
  • Engage in hobbies.
  • Find the joy in giving.
  • Fuel your body with healthy foods and avoid drugs and alcohol.
  • Get a regular fresh air and sunshine.
  • Have the courage to be imperfect.
  • Keep your sleep habits regular.
  • Make a list of all the stresses that cause you distress. Dispose of the ones you can and reduce your exposure to the others as much as possible.
  • Pamper yourself with simple pleasures that give you joy.
  • Practice relaxation and meditation.
  • Realize that you are responsible for how you feel.
  • Reevaluate and rearrange your priorities.
  • Remember it is all right to cry.
  • Schedule time for fun. Laughter dissolves tension.
  • Seek professional help with overwhelming hard to solve problems.
  • Take a few minutes of quiet time each day just for you to rejuvenate.
  • Talking with someone you trust can be the best medicine.
  • Try new experiences.
  • Strictly avoiding stimulants may help many people. This includes substances such as:

Withdrawal from Drugs Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you are having drug withdrawal and any of the following:

Continue to Withdrawal from Drugs Underlying Cause

Last Updated: Feb 15, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Withdrawal from Drugs References
  1. Britton JW. Antiepileptic drug withdrawal: literature review. Mayo Clin Proc. 2002 Dec;77(12):1378-88. [12479528]
  2. Giannini AJ. An approach to drug abuse, intoxication and withdrawal. Am Fam Physician. 2000 May 1;61(9):2763-74. [10821156]
  3. Kosten TR, O'Connor PG. Management of drug and alcohol withdrawal. N Engl J Med. 2003 May 1;348(18):1786-95. [12724485]
  4. Williams D, McBride AJ. The drug treatment of alcohol withdrawal symptoms: a systematic review. Alcohol Alcohol. 1998 Mar-Apr;33(2):103-15. [9566471]
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