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6 Strategies to Get Through Drug Detox

Are you ready to quit your drug use for good? The first step to getting clean is detoxification. Detox is the process of weaning your mind and body off drugs. Most people need to detoxify for 5 to 10 days. Cleaning out every last trace of the substance is the goal. Drug detox isn’t an easy process if you’re addicted, and it can be dangerous.

Your system has become dependent on the drug to function. Withdrawing from the drug will make you physically ill and emotionally upset.

Understanding the Detox Process

A critical aspect of successfully navigating the drug detox process is understanding what to expect. Detox involves several stages, each with its unique challenges and symptoms. We will provide an overview of the stages of detox, the physical and emotional symptoms that can arise, and the timeline of the detox process.


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An Overview of the Stages of Detox

Detox typically involves three stages: evaluation, stabilization, and treatment transition. During the evaluation stage, medical professionals will assess the individual’s physical and mental health, gather information about their drug use, and create a treatment plan. The stabilization stage involves helping the individual through the acute withdrawal phase by providing medication, monitoring vital signs, and offering emotional support. Finally, during the transition to the treatment stage, the individual is prepared for ongoing treatment, including therapy, counseling, and other supportive services.

Physical and Emotional Symptoms of Detox

The physical and emotional symptoms of detox can vary depending on the substance abused, the length of addiction, and individual factors such as age and health status. Common physical symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, chills, tremors, and sleep disturbances. Emotional symptoms can include anxiety, depression, irritability, mood swings, and intense drug cravings.

Timeline of the Detox Process

The timeline of the detox process can also vary based on the individual’s circumstances. Generally, the acute withdrawal phase lasts anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. After this phase, some physical symptoms may continue, and emotional symptoms can persist for several weeks or even months. Following detox, ongoing treatment is essential to maintaining recovery and preventing relapse.

In conclusion, understanding the detox process is essential for individuals seeking to navigate this critical phase of addiction recovery successfully. By knowing what to expect, individuals can prepare themselves for detox’s physical and emotional challenges and increase their chances of completing the process and moving forward with their recovery journey.

Statistics Related to Drug and Alcohol Detox

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that detox alone is insufficient to treat substance use disorders. Individuals need ongoing treatment and support to achieve and maintain recovery.

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse

The SAMHSA Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) found that in 2019, heroin was the most commonly reported drug among individuals receiving detox services, followed by alcohol and methamphetamine.

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

To Aid Your Recovery, Here Are Seven Tips to Help You Detox from Drugs and Alcohol

1. Check into a Certified Detox Center

Quitting drugs cold turkey on your own isn’t safe. Read 6 Things to Know About Alcohol Withdraw to understand how serious it can be. Some drugs, including heroin and opioids, can cause severe withdrawal symptoms. Alcoholism puts people at risk of deadly seizures during detox. You could also give into drug cravings and accidentally overdose. Please search for a local detox program. Rehab centers have 24/7 staff to supervise and support you. Doctors may provide medications to cope with drug detox easier.

Types of Professionals Who Can Help with Detox

Several types of professionals can provide help during the detox process. These may include medical doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, addiction counselors, and social workers. These professionals can provide medical and psychological support during detox and help individuals develop a plan for ongoing treatment and recovery.

Treatment Options Available for Drug Detox

The treatment options available for drug detox vary depending on the substance abused, the individual’s health status, and other factors. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) commonly involves medications to manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse. MAT is often combined with behavioral therapy and other supportive services to provide a comprehensive approach to recovery. Inpatient detox programs provide 24-hour medical supervision and support, while outpatient programs allow individuals to receive treatment while living at home. Other treatment options may include holistic therapies, such as acupuncture or yoga, or support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.

Seeking professional help is critical for individuals going through drug detox. Medical professionals can provide vital support and monitoring during the detox process, which can increase the chances of a safe and successful detox. Treatment options for drug detox are varied, and individuals should work with medical professionals to determine the best approach for their unique circumstances.

2. Stick with a Nutritious Diet

Drug withdrawal will throw your whole digestive system off. Being nauseous, throwing up, and having diarrhea is common. Even if you’re not hungry, eat healthy foods. Your body needs nutrients, especially vitamin C and niacin, to endure detox. Get your five cups of fruit and veggies each day. Load up on protein from fish, lean meats, and legumes. Chicken soup can aid drug detox just like the flu. Chocolate will release endorphins to make you feel happier too.

3. Increase Your Water Intake

Water flushes away drug toxins to withdraw faster. Plenty of fluids are needed to keep your organs, especially your liver, detoxifying. You need to replenish the water you’ve lost from vomiting and diarrhea. Some detox patients suffer from severe sweating and a runny nose. Colder water helps cool down feverish body temperatures. Drink around 100 ounces or 12 cups of water per day to properly hydrate. Remember juicy fruits, tea, coffee, and low-sugar juices also deliver H20.

4. Stay Physically Active

During drug detox, you may want to curl up in a fetal position and cry. It’s a tough process, but you can do it! Regular, low-intensity exercise can help you through. Getting your blood pumping will release a feel-good hormone called dopamine. Go for a walk or moderate hike. Swim laps in the detox center’s pool. Play a friendly game of basketball or kickball. When cravings hit, launch into some lunges and squats. Moving around distracts you and keeps you from wallowing.

5. Practice Breathing Exercises

The act of breathing, something we do naturally and without much thought, holds immense power in the healing and recovery process, especially during drug detox. Breathing exercises can become an instrumental tool in aiding recovery, calming the mind, and rejuvenating the body. Here’s a deeper dive into understanding the significance and method of practicing breathing exercises.

Step-by-Step Guide to Breathing Exercises

  1. Find a Comfortable Space: Ensure the surroundings are quiet and conducive to relaxation and focus.
  2. Adopt a Relaxed Posture: Sit or lie down comfortably, ensuring the spine is straight and the body relaxed.
  3. Focus: Close the eyes and attempt to wipe the mind clean of thoughts, focusing solely on the breath.
  4. Inhale Deeply: Breathe in through the nose, allowing the breath to fill the lungs and expand the diaphragm.
  5. Hold: Retain the breath for seven seconds, immersing in the silence and stillness.
  6. Exhale Slowly: Release the breath over eight seconds, visualizing the expulsion of toxins and stress.
  7. Repeat: Engage in this pattern of breathing for about 10 minutes, especially before bedtime, to enhance sleep quality and relaxation.

Integrating Breathing Exercises into Daily Routine

Making these breathing exercises a daily ritual can transform them into a source of strength and rejuvenation. In the mornings, they can instill a sense of peace and readiness to face the day; during moments of heightened anxiety, they can be a source of immediate relief; and at night, they can pave the way for restorative sleep.

6. Lean on Your Support System

Embrace the fact that you are not alone in this journey. It takes strength to recognize when you need assistance, so don’t hesitate to lean on your support system. The compassionate staff at the detox center are there to provide solace and guidance, so don’t push them away. These professionals, including doctors, nurses, psychologists, and clinicians, genuinely want what is best for you. They are eager to engage in friendly, non-judgmental conversations, so take advantage of this opportunity. Share your pain and emotions openly, allowing yourself to release the pent-up anger and frustration that may be weighing you down.

Furthermore, don’t underestimate the power of connecting with your loved ones. Reach out to your parents, siblings, spouse, or best friend and update them on your progress. A simple phone call can work wonders, but if you prefer a more personal touch, consider writing an old-fashioned letter to send their way. By involving your loved ones in your journey, you not only strengthen your support system but also provide yourself with an additional source of motivation and encouragement. Remember, you are surrounded by people who genuinely care about your well-being, so confidently embrace their support and let it guide you towards a successful recovery.

Who to Include in Your Support System

The people included in a support system may vary depending on the individual’s circumstances. Ideally, a support system should include friends, family members, or loved ones who can provide emotional support, practical help with daily tasks, and accountability. Professional support, such as counselors or therapists, can also be essential in building a comprehensive support system.

How to Build a Support System

Building a support system requires effort and intentional action. It may involve contacting family and friends to let them know about the detox process and the need for support. Individuals can also seek out support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, which can provide a sense of community and accountability. Professional help, such as addiction counselors or therapists, can also be instrumental in building a support system.

Find Healing at Renewal Lodge

At Renewal Lodge, we offer personalized treatment plans that address the unique needs of each individual. Our compassionate and experienced staff is dedicated to helping our clients achieve long-term recovery and improve their overall health and well-being.

Remember, the detox process is just the first step toward recovery. It is essential to continue with ongoing treatment and support to maintain sobriety and lead a fulfilling life in recovery. With the right tools, resources, and support, overcoming addiction and building a happier, healthier future is possible.

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Dear Renewal Lodge Visitors,

My name is John Bruna, co-founder of the Mindfulness in Recovery® Institute, and more importantly, a grateful member of the recovery community. I am incredibly fortunate to have found my recovery in 1984. Of course, I did not achieve continuous recovery through willpower or my own efforts, but through the guidance and caring support of countless others that selflessly taught me how to live through the 12 Steps.

My journey of recovery brought this once homeless, shame-based, traumatized, insecure young man to a life far beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I discovered self-worth, the joy of helping others, the gifts of parenting and grandparenting, and most importantly the ability to live a meaningful and purposeful life with integrity.

One of the greatest gifts of recovery is that I have the opportunity to give back and help others discover their self-worth, dignity, and the skills to fully live lives that they find truly meaningful. This is the inspiration for developing the skills of Mindfulness in Recovery® (MIR) to meet the needs of new generations struggling with alcohol and other substance use disorders. MIR is a set of evidence-based skills designed to help people fully integrate their tools of recovery in ways that are personalized, practical, and in alignment with their deepest values.

While we train counselors and therapists throughout the United States and abroad, I personally have chosen to work directly with the amazing team and clients at Renewal Lodge to develop the model MIR 12-step program for the nation. I choose Renewal Lodge because of the vision of its mission and the dedication of its team. Renewal Lodge is an extremely rare environment in which the staff embodies the very mindfulness and 12-step practices and skills they offer their clients. The results have been beyond my expectations. It is an honor to be here and I treasure my personal time with every client I meet.

With Gratitude,

John Bruna
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John Bruna
Director of Mindfulness
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