Opiates are fancied for their euphoric feelings; they affect the normal production of brain chemicals. At the beginning they may induce a sudden hike in the production of feel good brain chemicals, however when you have used the drugs for some time they will lead to depletion in the levels of the brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. In the brain the production of neurotransmitter happens naturally without intervention of any other drug. These basic neurotransmitters include; dopamine, serotonin, GABA, acetylcholine. The body also produces other chemicals known as endorphins which work as the body’s own opiates functioning to fight pain naturally.
These neurotransmitters have specific functions that they accomplish in the body. Each function is important and works in conjunction with the functions of the other neurotransmitters to make life what it ought to be. These functions are; Serotonin regulates sleep and appetite, Acetylcholine for processing information and memory, GABA acts as your calming neurotransmitter while dopamine is the feel good chemical, plays an important role in mood, energy, attitude, motivation.
When you use these drugs of pleasure thy hike the levels of dopamine in the brain beyond the accepted levels. This will force the brain to find a means by which to suppress the production of the neurotransmitter that has been hiked by drug use. naturally, the production of dopamine will be reduced by the brain after sensing that the hike in the levels of dopamine is caused by factors out of the body, therefore when a person who has been using drugs stops using them, the levels of dopamine and serotonin will be too low below the normal levels and this beckons such feelings of depression, anxiety, nervousness and lack of interest in everything.
Healthy Eating – good nutrition goes a long way in increasing the levels of serotonin and dopamine. you can eat the following foods to help you in this noble cause; foods rich in carbohydrates, vegetables, whole grains, whole grain pasta, rice, broccoli, spinach, lettuce among other healthy foods. Eating fat processed foods will do the opposite. You may also eat sweet foods like chocolate, only a couple squares of good quality chocolate with a high percentage of Cocoa in it can raise these chemicals. Serotonin is naturally occurring in foods like pineapples, bananas, nuts and plums. You can also get an adequate supply of B vitamins, folic acid and vitamin C because these vitamins play a role in transmitting brain chemicals. Spicy foods like chili peppers and jalapenos. The heat triggers the release of endorphins, so the spicier the better. You may get help from a nutritionist who may give you a list of foods that may be of benefit.
Meditation- through meditation the fatigue in the nervous system is mitigated and so their performance is enhanced. Doing meditation right helps in production of serotonin and endorphins at required levels. At AWAREmed Dr. Dalal Akoury will help you achieve this.
Herbal supplements – Some herbs like St John’s Wort, 5-HTP and L Tyrosine can all increase serotonin and dopamine in the brain, thus easing withdrawal symptoms and shortening withdrawal duration after use of opiates.
Exercise – The benefits of exercise has been echoed by many doctors. It has been applauded as one of the best natural ways to produce serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. However, vigorous exercise is recommended over light exercise that most people seem to enjoy. This is because the stronger the physical demand you place on your body, the greater the release of endorphins. You should try weight training and high and low intensity exercises. Hit the gym and reap big.
Music – Music is good for emotional relief and energy. A person who is suffering from opiate withdrawal symptoms is more sensitive to touch and sound. Listening to good music can help his body to get the brain chemicals work again and boost his moods. Even with different tastes music therapy offers a natural relief from opiate withdrawal.
Sex – sex is helps in boosting the endorphins. A long session can dramatically increase endorphins. When you’re in withdrawal sex can be a very nice escape.
Acupuncture – acupuncture increases circulation and stimulates the release of endorphins. If you haven’t looked into acupuncture while in withdrawal you might want to try it out, it can be very helpful during healing.
Massage – During a massage the release of endorphins get stimulated. Massaging your own scalp and shower massager’s can provide an affordable alternative to expensive treatments. Massage therapy has been used for centuries to help heal certain diseases and its application here may really help you.
Laughter – Laughter is a good way to release endorphins naturally. By Watching a good comedy movie or have a laugh with friends you will stimulate the release endorphins which are helpful in the long run.
Sunlight – bright light increases the production of Serotonin in the body. Basking in the sunlight can absolutely improve your mood and also soothe muscle aches. In case there is no sunshine you may use tanning beds which may also help greatly.
There might be other ways of improving the production of these crucial neurotransmitters in the body. But these natural ways above are simple and inexpensive and so can apply to anyone. The bottom line is that by boosting the production of these neurotransmitters you will make it easier for yourself to recover from opiate addiction. However, these problems need to be treated effectively through integrative medicine. Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) is an expert at this. Call her on (423) 430-6170 for help.