What Can You Do to Help Someone Going Through Withdrawal?

You may feel helpless when a loved one is going through withdrawal. There are, however, things you may do to assist! It's difficult to see someone you care about struggle with addiction—a friend, a family member, or a significant other.

12/27/20223 min read

You may feel helpless when a loved one is going through withdrawal. There are, however, things you may do to assist! It's difficult to see someone you care about struggle with addiction—a friend, a family member, or a significant other. It's no surprise that you'd be ecstatic to learn that they've decided to give up the substance they've been abusing. However, when they begin to suffer withdrawal symptoms, you may feel fearful and uncertain.

Physical techniques to assist someone who is experiencing withdrawal:

Make sure you have enough of liquids on hand. It's important to stay hydrated all of the time, but it's more important during detox. Dehydration is a common symptom of withdrawal, and it's also possible that the person detoxifying hasn't been hydrated enough while using. Water is great, but sports drinks and herbal teas are also terrific options if they want more variety and flavor. Get some Pedialyte or the generic equivalent if you can get it. Pedialyte, which was created for sick children, contains more electrolytes and less sugar than sports drinks, making it ideal for adults who are experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Provide over-the-counter medications. There are over-the-counter medications that can help with some of the physical symptoms that a detoxing individual is experiencing. Diarrhea and stomach aches can be relieved with stomach medications like TUMS and Pepto-Bismol. Muscle aches can be relieved with ibuprofen. Dramamine, like antihistamines like Benadryl, is advertised as a motion-sickness drug and can help relieve nausea. These won't make the physical symptoms go away, but they can make a difference for the individual who is experiencing them. Small, uncomplicated meals should be provided. Even though a person in withdrawal does not feel like eating, their body still requires nourishment. Fruit, yogurt, soup, and rice are all simple, easy-to-eat foods to keep on hand. Consider comfort foods that are moderate and easy to digest. Create a relaxing atmosphere. Withdrawal is an unpleasant experience. Little comforts, such as comfortable clothing, warm blankets, easy access to showers or baths, and favorite shows, can help to make withdrawal more pleasant.

Ways to support someone going through withdrawal on a mental/emotional level:

Maintain a calm and tolerant demeanor. Detoxification can make people irritable, anxious, agitated, and sad. This can occasionally lead to obnoxious behavior and outbursts. Try to have a patient attitude. If at all feasible, have some other persons on call so that you can take turns offering assistance. Share information about medically assisted treatment resources. Detoxing individuals may be unaware of contemporary medically assisted treatment alternatives for opioids and alcohol. You can point them to information about it so they can decide for themselves whether or not it's a path they want to take.

You can still support your loved one before, during, and after their detox at a supervised facility if you follow these simple guidelines:

  • When things are tough, offer emotional support. You should tell your loved one that their journey to recovery is brave and that you support them.

  • Visits from drug users should be minimized or avoided. Anyone who is likely to induce tension will aggravate your loved one's withdrawal symptoms.

  • Any impediments and hurdles should be minimized or removed. Your loved one is going through a lot of mental and physical transitions. Fighting cravings, juggling work, finances, and family obligations can all pile up to be too much to bear. It might make their healing process easier if you provide them with caring support and direction.

  • A support person's job is to challenge any irrational notions that may arise during withdrawal. Adverse symptoms may occur, and your loved one may doubt if the withdrawal is a viable option. Encourage them to go over their list of reasons and objectives for withdrawing.

  • Viewing unfavorable symptoms in a positive light, such as as indicators that their body is eliminating pollutants, may also be beneficial.

  • Promote healthy eating habits. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet can help with mood swings and other issues. Increased desires and the likelihood of relapse are caused by poor eating habits. Encourage your loved one to drink plenty of water as well. Eight glasses of non-alcoholic beverages are advised as part of the daily consumption.

  • Keep a schedule that is productive. Take walks or brief vehicle journeys, read periodicals, and so on.

  • Learn to cope with stress in a healthy way. Use simple approaches like chatting, exercising, or massage to help your loved one cope with stress.