An Essential Guide to the Best Drug and Alcohol Detox

Friday, February 22, 2019 • North Little Rock, AZ 72114

When you decide to quit drugs or alcohol, your body needs time to readjust back to a state of balance. To do so, you’ll have to undergo a set of withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms vary depending on the drug. For example, a person withdrawing from heroin may experience intense feelings of abdominal pain while a person who withdraws from marijuana may have trouble sleeping.

 

Most people go through this experience through a reputable drug and alcohol rehab facility which offers medical detoxification. It’s known as the first stage of addiction treatment. Typically, it only takes the body about a week to withdraw from a substance. However, an additional 3 to 6 months generally is needed afterward (sometimes more) for your brain to be rewired to no longer crave the substance of abuse. Usually, the longer someone has been taking a substance, the longer it will take for your brain to return to its normal function in the absence of the substance of abuse.

 

The health or our mind is in large part influenced by the health of our body, which is why detoxing and restoring our body’s vitality is the first step to recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. This article seeks out these ways and offers you a better understanding of how the body works during detox and the steps you can take to help support your mind and body while detoxing from drugs and alcohol.

 

Exercise

 

Though it depends on the drug, most (including alcohol) release dopamine, a chemical which makes the brain and body feel good. Upon the initial stages of detox, there is a substantial drop in the amount of dopamine in your system. This is due to the brain needing time to learn how to produce the chemical once again naturally.

 

Though there are a variety of techniques to produce dopamine, exercise is one of the best for improving the overall health of the mind and boy while detoxing. Exercise helps stimulate blood flow, allows you to sweat, and speeds up our metabolism, all of which help accelerate detoxification. Exercise also helps produce endorphins that alleviate pain and make you feel good.  Lastly, exercise helps boost brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which helps with cognition and rewiring neural pathways which help break old habits and build new behaviors and habits.

 

There are many different exercises to look into, including:

 

●    Yoga

 

When it comes to detoxing from drugs and alcohol, yoga is without a doubt one of the best forms of exercise you can do. This is due to the way it helps not only the body unwind but the mind as well. Yoga focuses on spiritual and ascetic discipline. You can expect to learn how to control your breathing, properly posture your body in specific positions, and meditate through the whole process. The benefits of yoga go beyond simply boosting dopamine - through the exercise; you’ll develop techniques which ease anxiety and stress, potential triggers of relapse.

 

●    Hiking and/or Walking

 

Just as with yoga, taking a hike or walk outside has many meditative benefits which can powerfully help with withdrawal symptoms. Some people in addiction recovery have noted when they feel cravings; a simple 15-minute walk can prevent potential relapse. Studies find that walking around nature produces new brain cell growth.

 

●    Team Sports

 

By now, you’re well aware of how physical activity is excellent for detox. Team sports offer not only this physical activity but also new relationships. Whether it’s baseball, lacrosse, or football, there’s a strong companionship built out on the field. This is very important for drug detox as it provides you with another support system.

Diet

 

Maura Henninger N.D. once wrote for the Huffington Post, “Food is a crucial medicine in restoring the balance of health. The sooner a newly-sober person feels great, I’ve found, the sooner he or she will begin to accept a life free of crippling attachments to substances - the life they are truly meant to live.”

 

Optimizing nutrition plays a vital role in rebalancing the mind and body. Proper nutrition provides the raw ingredients needed to help aid in healing the body and allowing the brain to function normally.

 

So, what foods and drinks should you include in your diet to make the best of your addiction recovery?

 

●    Fruits and Vegetables

 

Fruits and vegetables provide the body with keys nutrients that are often depleted from prolonged drug and alcohol use. Fruits and vegetables also provide the body with fiber, an essential element for boosting our bodies and cleaning out our systems.  Dark leafy greens, avocados for their mood-stabilizing fats, and low glycemic fruits such as berries should be a key component of a diet designed to detox from drugs and alcohol.

 

●    Protein

 

Through drug and alcohol addiction, the body’s cells and tissues are damaged. This is dangerous as it can catastrophically affect vital organs. To repair these cells and tissues, it’s in your best interest to eat protein - especially in the early stages of recovery. One of the reasons you feel withdrawal symptoms is because organs such as the kidneys, heart, liver, and brain are all working to remove toxic substance from the body. Protein can provide them with the amino acids that help aid in detox and repairing the body.

 

●    Water

 

A common withdrawal symptom is dehydration. When you hear of people of people dying from drug or alcohol withdrawal, it is many times the result of dehydration and not the withdrawal itself. Water helps flush the kidneys and liver and aids in eliminating toxin substances from the body.

It’s suggested to drink at least 8 ounces of water a day, and even more when in the early stages of detox. This will not only help with withdrawal systems but will also aid in flushing toxins out of your body.

 

It’s important to note; you should avoid caffeine and sugars while detoxing as this can provoke chemical imbalances, cravings, and anxiety.

Supplementation

 

When people look at drug and alcohol detox, they often consider ridding their body of harmful chemicals. However, detox is also about replacing the bad with the good. This is where supplements can become an excellent tool for the recovery process.

 

There are a variety of vitamins and minerals to look into when it comes to drug and alcohol detoxification. These include:

 

●    B Vitamins

 

B vitamins are crucial for a healthy mind and body. B vitamins play a key role in a number of functions in the brain and body including creating neurotransmitters, the hormones that allow us to think and feel happy. B vitamins are also involved in energy production, and help makes us feel energized and motivated. Drug and alcohol use can deplete our vital stores of b vitamins in which need to be restored using diet and supplementation for our minds and body to function normally.

 

B vitamins are found in foods like whole grains, beans, eggs, meat, leafy greens, and foods which is why it’s essential to incorporate a whole foods diet that includes these foods while detoxing from drugs and alcohol. B vitamins can also be supplemented with a B-complex supplement that contains plenty of B-6 and B-12 the two most essential b vitamins for drug and alcohol recovery.

 

 

●    C Vitamins

 

Not everyone who withdrawals from drugs or alcohol will experience a lack of vitamin C (or ascorbic acid). However, if you do, you’ll most likely face strong feelings of depression and fatigue. This isn’t something you want to experience while going through withdrawal. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to incorporate C vitamins into your diet as a means of relieving specific symptoms.

 

●    Magnesium

 

 Drugs and alcohol deplete the body of magnesium, which can lead to a  wide range of symptoms.  Magnesium is a key nutrient that is involved in over 400 metabolic processes in the body. Magnesium deficiency can also be the cause of many different mental disorders including anxiety, irritability, and memory loss. It is essential to get plenty of magnesium in your diet from magnesium containing foods such as almonds, spinach, salmon, and pumpkin seeds.

 

●    Omega-3 Fatty Acids

 

There are many health benefits linked to Omega-3 fatty acids, including a lowered chance for heart disease and easing symptoms of depression.  Omega-3 fats can be acquired through cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel, or herring, or from seeds and nuts such as flax seeds, walnuts, and chia seeds. If none of those food sources appeal to you, it can be supplemented through fish oil. Always select a high-quality brand as omega 3 fats are fragile and go bad quickly if exposed to heat or manufacturing.

 

Sauna

 

Is it possible to sweat out drug toxins?

 

The body has a number of ways that it eliminates toxins, one of which is through sweat.  Getting a deep sweat will help push toxins from tissues in the body and can aid the body in the process of detoxification while eliminating the toxin burden places on the liver and kidneys during detoxification.  Aside from detoxification, using a sauna has a calming effect of the mind and body, and can be an excellent tool for stress management and relaxation.

 

 

Allow Detox to Play its Course.

 

Many people continue to take drugs or alcohol primarily because they’re avoiding withdrawal symptoms.

 

There’s no denying that the detox process is the most uncomfortable part of the addiction treatment process. However, it’s vital to keep in mind this process only lasts a week. Once you beat withdrawals, the rest of your road to recovery will go much smoother.

 

Though there’s no avoiding withdrawal, this article provides you will all the information you need to make the process as comfortable as possible. We know you can fight through this battle and find your way to sobriety.