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How to deal with anxiety from opiate withdrawal

Withdrawal is extremely uncomfortable, but there are many strategies to help tolerate withdrawal symptoms, and specifically how to deal with the anxiety that can come from opiate withdrawal. Environment is key: make sure you are in a physical location where you feel safe and supported. This means being at home and perhaps with a friend, family member, or loved one who can support you while feeling unwell. There are also supervised detoxification facilities where patients can go through withdrawal with the support of medical staff and professionals. In addition, there are pharmacologic strategies for helping with anxiety. Several medications that you may be familiar with are used to help with the anxiety-related symptoms of opioid withdrawal, such as Clonidine. Ask your provider about what medications are safe to take to help with withdrawal symptoms.

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Elena Hill, MD, MPH

Elena Hill, MD; MPH received her MD and Masters of Public Health degrees at Tufts Medical School and completed her family medicine residency at Boston Medical Center. She is currently an attending physician at Bronxcare Health Systems in the Bronx, NY where she works as a primary care physician as well as part time in pain management and integrated health. Her clinical interests include underserved health care, chronic pain and integrated/alternative health.

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