The best vitamins and supplements to treat opiate withdrawal

Vitamin C on wooden table. Withdrawal can be excruciatingly rough. The situation isn't any better for opiate users. Depending on the specific type of opiate in each situation of addiction, the withdrawal can last between four days to three weeks. In fact, the symptoms can be so severe and painful that the prospect of facing them keeps addicts from attempting to stop using. If they do attempt a detox, the harsh reality of withdrawal can cause them to turn back to the drug. Thus, the problem is made worse as the addict begins to feel trapped. An addict may want to quit but feel like they lack the power to stop using. Traditional treatment options range from attempting to quit cold turkey to seeking hospitalization or taking specific medications to lessen the withdrawal symptoms. However, those struggling to break their addiction can be searching for an extra boost to lessen the symptoms. Alternative options such as vitamins and supplements may help. However, it is necessary to consider that, whenever recovering from an addiction, new addictions can form. It has occurred in some cases that addiction transfers from the opiate to a substance trying to lessen the withdrawal symptoms. Thus, use of any alternative substance (including the ones put forth here) is to be taken at your own risk and after research and careful consideration. (As always, it is absolutely vital to check with your doctor when considering alternative treatment options in light of your specific situation and medical history. Some research has been conducted concerning supplements and vitamins; however, the research is ongoing and new medical advances are continually made. Consultation with medical professionals is always advisable).


This vitamin is beneficial to relieve stress and provide more balance to the nerves. This can be desirable for the agitation caused by opiate addiction.

Calcium and Magnesium

These vitamins interact with the central nervous system, and because of this, they can function as an anxiety reliever. Additionally, they can serve to relieve muscle tension.


This can improve mood and, thus, be effective in alleviating some severity of depression. Additionally, it can increase mental clarity. Some have concluded that it aids in lessening neurotic anxiety. However, it can potentially result in liver issues and should be used only for a short period of time.

Passion Flower

Passionflower is another common alternative treatment method, with some research proving its effectiveness. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics indicates that it can potentially be effective in the management of mental symptoms and act as an adjuvant agent to clonidine-based therapies.


For those experiencing insomnia as a withdrawal symptom, melatonin can be effective. Although the person taking the substance must be cautious about dosage, it can help with sleep difficulties.


Although not strictly related to one vitamin or supplement for decreased symptoms, diet can aid in the overall well-being of the person trying to end their addiction and could even reduce withdrawal symptoms. Since the person struggling with addiction is trying to change one habit already, adding another major life change may be difficult. However, eating more can decrease the liver's load. According to the University of Maryland's Medical Center, the following changes can be of aid during withdrawal:
  • Following a low-saturated fat plan
  • Seeking complex carbohydrates
  • Adding fiber
Additionally, the University of Maryland points out that the feeling of hunger can often be confused with a craving for the opiate. It can be helpful to remember that, when this feeling comes, it may simply be an indication of hunger. Eating can help supply the body, once again, with the nutrients it needs to not only sustain a recovery but to also help prevent relapse in the long run. Furthermore, Beth Reardon, M.S., R.D., L.D.N. has suggested specific dietary elements in her book, The Mindful Diet, that target the liver:
  • Spices such as parsley and cilantro
  • Vegetables such as artichokes, broccoli, and kale
  • Fish such as sardines and salmon
  • Beverages including white and green tea and water

Facing opiate withdrawal symptoms can be rough, but alternative treatments can potentially lessen the severity of the situation. Considering vitamins, supplements and diet as alternative treatments can make a positive impact.
The Best Vitamins and Supplements to Treat Opiate Withdrawal
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