The Five Step Guide to Detoxifying Your Body From Drugs and Alcohol
Medically reviewed byDavid Hunter, MA.Ed, LPC
January 23, 2019
Detoxing from drugs or alcohol takes a lot of determination and hard work. By stopping the use of harmful substances, rehydrating the body, eating a healthier diet, ridding the body of toxins, and cutting down on the amount of stress, individuals can successfully detox from drugs and alcohol.
How to Detox Your Body from Drugs and Alcohol
Whether you are a recreational drinker or have admitted to yourself that you have an addiction, the prolonged use of alcohol and drugs causes toxins to build up in your body, negatively affecting your health. Toxins, such as ethanol from alcohol, harms your bodily organs, tissues, and other systems, resulting in an array of diseases and other health problems. The good news is that your body is structured to heal itself from these maladies if given the proper treatment.
What is Detoxification?
Detoxification is like giving your body an inner makeover. It’s about cleaning out those unwanted toxins that are detrimental and harmful to your health. This means feeding yourself a proper diet, participating in exercise, adding other healthy habits to your lifestyle, and bringing your alcohol/drug use to a halt. Essentially, doing all this will clean out the impurities in your blood and allow your body to heal itself.
Depending on your level of addiction, it is always wise to consult with a doctor before trying to detox on your own. If your addiction is severe, you may need medical help to begin the process. Along the way, you may experience nausea, vomiting, headaches, sweats, and other unpleasant symptoms as your body starts shedding the unwanted chemicals. These are to be expected since you are cutting your body off from its fix. If the symptoms worsen, please seek medical attention.
Cut It Off at the Source
The obvious beginning of detox is to stop drinking and/or doing drugs. To rid your body completely of the substance, you must stop participating in the habit itself. This will allow your body to begin shedding the toxins that it has long accumulated. The sooner you quit, the faster you’ll get healthy.
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Re-hydrate Your Body
Plain and simple, alcohol dehydrates your body; this can cause all sorts of unpleasant side effects, such as headaches, muscle pain, and fatigue. By drinking lots of water, you can eliminate such ills. Water also has the added benefit of being a natural detox; it flushes out your system, bringing chemicals, toxins, fats, and other unwanted items with it as it leaves your body. The more water you drink, the more you end up flushing out. Minimally, everyone should be drinking 64 oz of water daily. Those looking to detox should be consuming between 80 oz and 100 oz.
Put Good Nutrients In
You ended up with these toxins in your body largely by ingesting them, thus it only makes sense to start replacing these unhealthy consumptions with healthy ones. The best way to do this is to change your diet. The first step is cutting down on sugars and bad fats, which are just one more obstacle for your body to deal with on its journey towards healing. Also, avoid processed and refined foods, as they are unnatural, have little nutrient value, and are hard for your body to digest. This means limiting food that comes in boxes, cans, jars, etc.
The best way to get your body jump-started is by juicing. Drinking all natural juiced fruits and vegetables is basically a shortcut to getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. You can drink about five times the vegetables and fruits than you can eat simply because your body is only filling up on the juice (where the vitamins are) instead of also consuming the meat of the plant. This is beneficial because it allows you to get the vitamins in larger amounts and allows you to consume a larger variety in a day, which is key to proper nutrition.
If you don’t own a juicer and can’t afford one (seriously the best $50 you will ever spend), make sure you are at least eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables and accompany it with a multivitamin to ensure your getting all the nutrients you need. When eating lots of produce, one important thing to think about is organically produced food. Foods that are not grown organically are treated with chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which are harmful to your body and can prevent the absorption of nutrients.
Here’s a list of foods that are excellent for detoxification:
- Chia seeds, cilantro, parsley, and lemon – Leech on to impurities in your intestines and help dispose of them.
- Green leafy veggies: kale, romaine, wheatgrass, seaweed, etc. – Great source of fiber to flush out your body and anti-oxidants to boost your immune system
- Berries: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries – Another fantastic source of anti-oxidants, which help fight disease
- Yogurt – Probiotics in yogurt keep your digestive tracts happy and healthy
- Wild caught fish, avocados, almonds – All high in Omega 3 fats, which can keep your cravings down and help with depression.
Get the Toxins Out
While you are busy putting the good into your body, you should also be concentrating on getting the bad out. Besides eliminating toxins through waste, exercise is the best way to start ridding your body of its unhealthy build up. By accelerating your heart and causing your body to sweat, you are eliminating the unhealthy toxins through your pores. Whether you choose to do this by running, biking, hot yoga, or any other exercise, it will not only help you detox, but it will also produce endorphins in your brain that will keep you in good spirits through this difficult process.
There are two other great ways of eliminating toxins through your skin. One is to get yourself in a sauna. Not only is this a great way to de-stress, but the heavy amount of sweat that is produced streamlines those chemicals out of your body. Epsom salt baths are another great way to accomplish the same thing; the hot water opens your pores and the salt carries the toxins away.
Other Habits to Incorporate
- Lessen your stress. In the hectic world we live in, it can be hard to remember to find the time for yourself. So make sure to take a chunk out of the day to unwind and treat yourself well, as stress hormones, such as cortisol, are detrimental to your health and path to detoxification.
- Stay away from coffee and cigarettes. Not only are they harmful toxins in themselves, but they can also be addiction triggers, possibly causing you to relapse.
- Get a massage. This is another great stress-reducer and can aid in the release of toxins from your body.
- Get more sleep. Most of us are sleep-deprived. Ideally, you should be getting 8 to 9 hours of sleep a night to keep your body in peak health and to reduce stress.
- Get your family and friends involved. Anyone can take these detoxing steps to a healthier life. By participating in this together, you can offer each other support and help keep yourselves on track.
Start Detoxing From Drugs And Alcohol Today
The decision to begin detox is a big step and not one to be taken lightly. By following these recommendations, you can start on the path to a healthy, drug and alcohol-free life today. If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse and are in need of detox please feel free to contact us.Article Sources
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