Treatment for opiate addiction normally consists of two paths from which a physician can choose the option with the greatest safety and effectiveness to help a patient recover from their dependence on opiates. The two approaches are detoxification accompanied by complete abstinence and detoxification accompanied by induction into a medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Within these detoxification strategies are the homeopathic remedy for, which offers a more holistic approach to dealing with addiction, and is an ingenious choice that is natural, affordable, safe, and effective.
What are Opiates?
Opiates are narcotic drugs containing opium as a component or derived from opium. Another term commonly used to denote the group of drugs in which opiates consist is “opioids”.
What are Homeopathic Remedies?
Homeopathic remedies are medicines made from certain plants (examples include dandelion, Wolf’s Bane, plantain, and Deadly Nightshade) and minerals (such as sodium chloride, phosphate, and arsenic oxide) occurring naturally in the environment. Used as medication to treat opiate addiction, homeopathic remedies have the ability to alleviate the symptoms associated with withdrawal. It is important to understand that homeopathic remedies for addiction and withdrawal are not same as what herbal medicine and other natural medicines are. They are rather part of a unique system of therapy.
Principles of Homeopathy
Homeopathy is pegged on three principles developed by Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), the German physician.
The first principle is summed up as “let likes cure likes” – a concept that simply means a patient expressing symptoms of a disease should be given medicine that induces the same symptoms. Homeopathic treatment, therefore, requires the physician to obtain a comprehensive and detailed case report of the patient concerning their physical, emotional, psychological, and social characteristics, and with that case find a homeopathic remedy closest to the patient’s holistic condition.
The second principle contends that dosage of homeopathic medicines should be at a minimum. This principle acknowledges the fullness of strength of crude medicinal substances, which when used without dilution can have side effects to the patient. In order to obtain the maximum therapeutic effect and cause the least side effects, potent medicinal substances should be dilute or kept at a minimum.
“Single remedy” is the third principle, which advices that practitioners should prescribe one medicine at a time. This principle prevents the possible confusion of homeopathic effects if more than one remedy is used.
A fourth principle, “totality of symptom”, is usually included asserting the need to match the complete profile of symptoms presented by the patient with the profile of symptoms of the remedy.
How is Homeopathy Different from Conventional Treatment?
Just like other common medications you know about and are used to, homeopathic medicines come from pharmaceutical companies registered and regulated by the FDA, whereas the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS) sets and enforces standards for companies manufacturing homeopathic medicine.
Conventional medicines usually work to suppress or counteract the effects/symptoms of a disease. By targeting symptoms of a disease, a dose of antihistamine will dry up your running nose while aspirin will lower your body temperature. However, this action is often with side effects such as drowsiness and nausea respectively. By contrast, homeopathic medicines consider symptoms a normal reaction of the body in an attempt to restore its balance. Without fighting symptoms of the disease, homeopathic remedies support the body to return to its balance without side effects.
Homeopathy also acknowledges that people will express symptoms differently from others thus homeopathic remedy must be unique to each person according to their symptoms even if they suffer from the same disease. Conventional medicine, however, looks to defeat the disease, thereby taking a “one-size-fits-all” approach to medication.
Avena Sativa Homeopathy
Avena sativa, a tincture of fresh plant, has various clinical uses. These include use in therapy to treat alcohol and opium addictions, cholera, tuberculosis, influenza, debility, palpitation, insomnia, and sexual irregularities. In opiate addiction, this substance exhibits similar euphoric effects as opiates without inducing addiction itself. This action is even more valuable when treating addiction among patients with morphine dependence.
Cannabis Indica Homeopathy
Clinical uses of Cannabis Indica tincture include treatment or management of delusions, urinary disorders, paralysis, clairvoyance, epilepsy, prostatitis, delirium tremens, and stammering. As an intoxicant, the substance produces effects such as hallucinations, delusions, and delirium. However, in controlled amounts, the substance plays a role in opiate cleansing by causing a soothing effect similar to opiates. In the right amount, Cannabis Indica induces physical and mental relaxation, pain relief, and stress relief.
Another homeopathic remedy is ibogaine, a naturally occurring alkaloid from the iboga shrub native to West Africa. In small doses, Ibogaine is a mild stimulant and a hallucinogen in large amounts. In large doses, this substance is known to significantly reduce the incidence of opioid withdrawal from opiates and is equally responsible for an opiate cleanse – eliminating cravings for opiates temporarily.
However, the use of Ibogaine comes with risks such as slowed heart rate (bradycardia), liver complications, deadliness when used with certain substances, and other conditions. Therefore, caution should be taken when electing Ibogaine for treatment of addiction.
What if a Single Homeopathic Remedy is not enough?
What if one homeopathic remedy does not cover all the symptoms a patient presents? One may ask. Looking back at the principles of homeopathy, the third principle commands “single remedy”. The three principles constitute what we call “classical” homeopathy. In order to address the challenge of mismatch between homeopathic remedy and symptoms, contemporary manufacturers often combine several homeopathic medicines to treat illness more effectively and safely. However, combining different homeopathic substances in one treatment regimen ceases to be classical homeopathy.
Who Practices Homeopathy?
Due to its proven record of safety and effectiveness, homeopathy is common practice for a wide range of healthcare practitioners including physicians, medical doctors, veterinarians, dentists, chiropractors, physician assistants, professional homeopaths, and acupuncturists.
Where is Homeopathy Practiced?
Homeopathic detox facilities play an important role in making homeopathic opiate withdrawal remedies available to the public. This is in addition to homeopathic withdrawal remedies for other drugs. In order to ensure professionalism, the Accreditation Commission for Homeopathic Education in North America (ACHENA) provides assessment and certification of homeopathic training programs for practitioners, representatives, and educators with careers in this field of knowledge.