Author: James Anderson

Drug Withdrawal Symptoms, Treatment, and Management

how to detox your body from drugs

If someone relapses, there’s no need to be ashamed or embarrassed—it is common. After someone has gone through the withdrawal process and has had substances cleared from their system, it’s important they build skills to help them stay sober for the long term. The detoxification process can take on different forms depending on the substance involved. For example, detox for opioids, benzodiazepines, and alcohol each vary in length.

Some detox programs or supplements can be unsafe and promote false claims. This article discusses the safety and efficacy of various detoxes, how they might work, and how your body naturally detoxifies. Regular physical activity lowers inflammation and allows your body’s detoxification system to work properly. By reducing inflammation, exercise can help your body’s systems — including its detoxification system — function properly and protect against disease. Consequently, this unhealthy shift in bacteria can weaken your immune and detoxification systems and increase your risk of disease and inflammation (46). Your body naturally produces these molecules for cellular processes, such as digestion.

While some inflammation is necessary for recovering from infection or healing wounds, too much of it weakens your body’s systems and promotes disease. While there are several mechanisms behind the health benefits of exercise, reduced inflammation is a key point (55, 56). That’s because when you consume too much salt and not enough water, your body releases an antidiuretic hormone that prevents you from urinating and therefore, detoxifying (48). While it may sound counterintuitive, increasing your water intake is one of the best ways to eliminate excess water weight from consuming too much salt. This excess fluid buildup can cause bloating and make clothing uncomfortable.

  1. Your body naturally produces these molecules for cellular processes, such as digestion.
  2. Drinking enough water is important for general health and also for detoxification.
  3. Going ‘cold turkey’, without medical supervision, can lead to serious issues and can even be fatal.
  4. If you simply show up and you’re not having a medical emergency, they might just refer you to a local substance abuse treatment center.

Because of this, many people feel like failures for either using or not being able to quit on their own. Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission have taken action against companies selling detox products, as some contain harmful or illegal ingredients. Because detox is managed withdrawal, it’s usual for timelines to coincide with the start and end of the drug’s withdrawal period. BetterHelp can connect you to an addiction and mental health counselor. They reduce or block the effects of drugs on the brain, making withdrawal more manageable.

Myth: You Can Only Enroll in Substance Detox if You’ve Tried—and Relapsed—On Your Own

Despite that, quitting “cold turkey” and at-home detox are common approaches. Detoxing from both drugs and alcohol simultaneously has challenges and benefits. While it may be more demanding, it provides comprehensive healing for your entire body and offers essential support for achieving sobriety.

Gut health is important for keeping your detoxification system healthy. Your intestinal cells have a detoxification and excretion system that protects your gut and body from harmful toxins, such as chemicals (40). These diseases hinder your body’s ability to naturally detoxify by harming organs that play an important role, such as your liver and kidneys. Poor sleep has links to short- and long-term health consequences, such as stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity (16, 17). Ensuring adequate quality sleep each night is a must to support your body’s health and natural detoxification system. Health authorities recommend limiting alcohol intake to one drink per day for women and two for men.

how to detox your body from drugs

If you’re detoxing from opioids, you might get methadone or buprenorphine. If you’re quitting alcohol, you might get anti-seizure medication or benzodiazepines to help with the withdrawal, and naltrexone or other medications to help you stop drinking. Some people who don’t require a lot of supervision might simply check in with their regular doctor’s office or a home health agency at scheduled intervals during their detox. Some people attend a daytime program at a hospital or substance abuse treatment facility but go home at night. Drug addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a mental health problem.

Can’t I Just Detox at Home?

For that reason, detoxing on your own, without any guidance or supervision, is generally not wise. During detox, you can experience severe withdrawal symptoms that require medical attention, like becoming dehydrated. Without immediate access to a doctor, you may be putting yourself at risk. Evidence shows that compassionate and supportive care is just as important as medication in the drug detox process. This is why we’re dedicated to providing exceptional support to our detox clients, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you’re struggling with a drug addiction, a medically assisted detoxification (detox) might be right for you before you start addiction therapy.

Your doctor can review the topic with you in depth and can refer you to local treatment specialists, if needed. Withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the duration and severity of the specific addiction. But there is hope—detox is proven to work and can be the first major step toward recovery. There is massive stigma around addiction, whether someone is trying to quit or is still using a substance.

What is drug detox?

You also may not have the option of using medication to make the process easier. Not all of the medications doctors use for detox are available to take on your own at home. People who detox at home (and don’t follow it with an appropriate substance abuse treatment program) may be more likely to relapse. That’s because once the drugs are out of your system, your body won’t be able to tolerate the same amount as before. You should certainly go to the emergency room (ER) anytime you’re having serious withdrawal symptoms like difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate, or seizures. If you simply show up and you’re not having a medical emergency, they might just refer you to a local substance abuse treatment center.

It is also best to consult a doctor if a person is having ongoing symptoms that make them feel the need for a detox. These could be a sign of an underlying condition, which may require treatment. Sleep allows the brain to remove toxic waste products that accumulate throughout the day.

What Does it Mean to Detox From Drugs and Alcohol?

These include heart rate, blood pressure, oxygenation, respiratory rate, and temperature. One of the goals of medical detoxification is to provide support that can help someone manage symptoms. This can include IV hydration, over-the-counter medications, or even prescription medications that might help treat the symptoms and make the withdrawal process more bearable. The next step is for the person with substance use disorder to begin the process of slowly reducing or stopping the use of substances. It’s important to do this under a physician’s care, with a trained professional who can help with symptom reduction in a hospital or other medical setting.

Withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening, especially for people with an addiction to benzodiazepines or alcohol. It’s critical to undergo detoxification under the supervision of medical professionals. In certain situations, benzodiazepine withdrawal can also lead to hallucinations, seizures, psychosis, and an increased risk of suicidal ideation. Symptoms may include shaking, sweating, agitation, nausea, vomiting, and anxiety. Alcohol withdrawal can lead to a rapid heart rate, tremors, disorientation, insomnia, and seizures. This withdrawal syndrome must be managed by a medical professional.

Detox is the process of removing a specific substance from your body. If your body is addicted to a substance, it has been conditioned to believe it requires it to survive. However, people should speak with a doctor before making any major changes. Some types of detox recommend drastic dietary and lifestyle changes, while others involve using products that contain laxatives. Drinking enough water is important for general health and also for detoxification.

How much water a person needs depends on their level of physical activity and age, among other factors. Here are some ideas for how to support the body’s detoxification system. People should always discuss supplements, detox products, and new diets with a doctor or dietitian before trying them. It may also result in challenging medical and psychological effects that are hard to manage without professional support. Doctors and staff are available to help you during the detox process. Seeking professional help and participating in programs designed for co-occurring addictions can significantly improve the chances of long-term sobriety.