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The Five Step Guide to Detoxifying Your Body From Drugs and Alcohol

David Hunter, MA.Ed, LPC

Medically reviewed by

David Hunter, MA.Ed, LPC

April 21, 2020

By stopping the use of harmful substances, rehydrating your body, eating a nutritional diet, ridding your body of toxins, and incorporating other healthy habits, you can successfully detox from drugs and alcohol.

The prolonged use of alcohol and drugs causes toxins to build up in your body and negatively affect your health. Toxins, such as ethanol from alcohol, harm your bodily organs, tissues, and other systems, resulting in an array of health problems.

The good news is that your body is structured to heal itself and naturally detox under the proper circumstances and treatment.

What Is Detoxification?

Detoxification is cleaning out unwanted toxins that are detrimental and harmful to your health. This means feeding yourself a proper diet, participating in the exercise, adding other healthy habits to your lifestyle, and bringing your alcohol/drug use to a halt.

Doing this will clean out the impurities in your blood and allow your body to heal itself.

Depending on your level of alcohol addiction, it’s 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 detox process as you experience withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • headaches
  • sweats
  • other unpleasant symptoms

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Withdrawal symptoms are to be expected since you’re cutting your body off from its fix. If the symptoms worsen, please seek medical attention. If you can manage symptoms on your own, consider these five-steps to safely detox.

1. Cut It Off At The Source

The 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 it has long accumulated. The sooner you quit, the faster you’ll get healthy.

2. Re-Hydrate Your Body

Alcohol dehydrates your body and can cause unpleasant side effects like headaches, muscle pain, and fatigue. By drinking lots of water, you can eliminate these symptoms.

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.

At a minimum, everyone should drink 64 oz of water daily. Those looking to detox should consume between 80 oz and 100 oz of water each day.

3. Put Good Nutrients In

You ended up with toxins in your body by ingesting them, so it makes sense to replace 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 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 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 you get large amounts of vitamins and can consume more in a day, which is key to proper nutrition.

If you don’t own a juicer or can’t afford one, make sure you eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables and accompany it with a multivitamin to ensure you’re 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, and others are a great source of fiber to flush out your body and antioxidants to boost your immune system.
  • Berries: strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are another source of antioxidants, which help fight disease.
  • Yogurt contains probiotics, which keep your digestive tracts happy and healthy.
  • Wild-caught fish, avocados, and almonds are high in Omega 3 fats, which can keep your cravings down and help with depression.

4. Get The Toxins 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’re eliminating the unhealthy toxins through your pores.

Running, biking, hot yoga, or any other exercise will not only help you detox but will also produce endorphins in your brain that can keep you in good spirits through this difficult process.

An alternative method to remove toxins 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 releases chemicals out of your body.

Epsom salt baths are another great way to accomplish the same thing. Hot water opens your pores and the salt carries the toxins away.

5. Incorporate Additional Habits After Treatment

  • Lessen your stress: In the hectic world we live in, it can be hard to avoid stress. Make sure to unwind and treat yourself well each day. Stress hormones, such as cortisol, are detrimental to your health and path towards detoxification and healing.
  • Stay away from coffee and cigarettes: Not only are they harmful toxins themselves, but they can also reinforce unhealthy habits that trigger addiction.
  • 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 get eight to nine hours of sleep a night to reduce stress and keep your body in peak health.
  • Get your family and friends involved: Anyone can take these detox steps to build a healthier life. By participating in this together, you can offer support and help one another to keep everyone on track.

Get Help Detoxing From Drugs Or 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.

If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse and need detox support, please contact us today to learn how we can help.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health - “Detoxes” and “Cleanses”: What You Need To Know

Verywell Mind - The Dangers of Smoking for Alcoholics

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