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How to Make Detox Easier on Yourself

The most effective treatment for substance abuse or alcohol abuse is personalized, and everything starts with detox.

Depending on the nature of your addiction and the substance you’re abusing, you might require medical detox.

With mild and some moderate cases of substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder, home detox can be viable. For most moderate to severe addictions, though, inpatient treatment with close medical supervision is advisable.

Whether you’re looking to detox at home or in a treatment center, there are many ways you can help yourself through this challenging process, and we’ll outline them right now.

Forewarned is forearmed.

6 Ways to Make Detox Easier on Yourself

 

The goal of detoxification is simple: you want to purge your body of the toxins accumulated through the sustained abuse of alcohol or drugs.

 

Luckily, there are many ways to expedite this process and to strengthen your chances of segueing neatly into ongoing recovery.

infographic

  1. Stop using substances
  2. Eat healthily and stay hydrated 
  3. Focus on quality and quantity of sleep 
  4. Exercise to flush out toxins
  5. Cut back on caffeine and nicotine
  6. Minimize stress levels

1) Stop using substances

This may seem like a statement of the obvious, but detox won’t begin until you discontinue use of the substance in question.

 

On one hand, the quicker you stop using drink or drugs, the quicker you can start shedding toxins. On the other hand, if you are using opioids, opiates, benzodiazepines, or alcohol, it can be dangerous and possibly fatal to abruptly quit cold.

 

Formulate the most effective strategy to stop using substances promptly but safely.

 

2) Eat healthily and stay hydrated

Anyone undergoing medical detox can expect nutritious meals to be provided as standard.

 

If you’re detoxing at home, minimize your intake of processed foods, sugars, and bad fats. Instead, eat plenty of whole foods, fruits, and veggies.

 

For anyone finding drinking or drug abuse has impacted appetite, juicing is a great way to get more nutrients onboard.

 

Alongside a healthy diet, drink 2 liters of water each day to keep yourself hydrated. Alcohol dehydrates the body, so undo the damage inflicted during your drinking days.

 

Water is also a powerful natural detox agent. The more water you drink, the more powerful the flushing effect and the quicker your body will be toxin-free.

 

3) Focus on quality and quantity of sleep 

Most people abusing drink or drugs find their sleep patterns are disrupted.

 

Everyone needs differing amounts of sleep, but 7 to 8 hours each night is generally considered optimum.

 

When detoxing in a treatment center, medication can be administered short-term to help you normalize your sleeping routine.

 

4) Exercise to flush out toxins

Exercise has proven benefits when used as part of addiction treatment programming.

 

As well as strengthening your body and improving your mood, exercising can also speed up the process of detoxification. As you boost your heart rate and start perspiring, you can accelerate the departure of those unwelcome toxins.

 

For anyone currently incapable of meaningful exercise, a sauna can deliver proxy benefits as you sweat and flush toxins from your system. 

 

5) Cut back on caffeine and nicotine

Coffee and cigarettes not only contain harmful toxins, but these substances also interfere with sleeping patterns.

 

Beyond this, nicotine and caffeine can act as triggers and increase your chances of relapse before your recovery has gained traction.

 

6) Minimize stress levels

Anyone ready to quit drink or drugs likely has a life that’s chaotic and full of stressors.

 

You should do everything you can to minimize stress as you commit to detox and recovery. Cortisol is a hormone that’s produced in response to stress. This is harmful to your health and detrimental to your recovery, so stay calm.

 

Consider yoga or meditation if you’re finding it hard to destress.

 

Medical Detox: The Safest, Most Effective Strategy

Medical detox helps you to eliminate all toxins from your system over five to ten days. According to SAMHSA, the average duration of detox is less than eight days.

 

Expect close medical monitoring as you undergo the acute withdrawal phase. You will have access to prescription medications if appropriate, including:

 

  • Acamprosate: to treat alcohol withdrawal
  • Ambien: to help with sleep issues
  • Clonidine: to help regulate blood pressure
  • Diazepam: to prevent seizures
  • Lorazepam: to treat anxiety symptoms
  • Suboxone or methadone: to treat opioid withdrawal
  • Vivitrol: to mitigate cravings for alcohol or drugs

What to Expect from Alcohol Detox

The acute withdrawal symptoms from alcohol abuse seldom last more than a week.

 

Here’s what to expect in terms of symptoms and potentially helpful medications for alcohol detox.

 

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

 

  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Anxiety
  • Deep fatigue
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Impaired focus
  • Memory problems
  • Nausea
  • Shaking 
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting

FDA-Approved Medications

 

  • Acamprosate: to lessen the intensity of withdrawal symptoms
  • Disulfiram: to interfere with the way alcohol is metabolized
  • Naltrexone: to block opioid receptors in your brain

What to Expect from Opioid or Opiate Detox

Detoxing from opioid painkillers or heroin is often most comfortable in a residential treatment center.

 

You can expect to experience similar withdrawal symptoms to alcohol detox, and you can also benefit from medication-assisted detox with opioids or opiates.

 

Opioid and Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

 

  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Anger
  • Anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure)
  • Bad dreams and nightmares
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Exhaustion
  • Extreme agitation
  • Headaches
  • Impaired focus
  • Irritability
  • Memory problems
  • Nausea
  • Shaking 
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting

FDA-Approved Medications

 

Buprenorphine: to lessen withdrawal symptoms without inducing euphoria

    • Methadone: to reduce cravings and prevent relapse
  • Naltrexone: to block opioid receptors in your brain

What Comes Next

Detox is a physical process, but sustained sobriety requires mental strength, too. By detoxing in the right way, you’ll build the strongest foundation for recovery.

 

Maybe you’ve already detoxed from alcohol or drugs and you’re ready to commit to treatment. Perhaps you’re still drinking or using drugs and need assistance to detox in a controlled setting. Either way, if you’re ready to take action then call the friendly Landmark Recovery team at 888-448-0302.

 

About the Author

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Landmark Recovery Staff

This post was written by a Landmark Recovery staff member. If you have any questions, please contact us at 888-448-0302.

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