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How to Detox Your Body from Drugs

At-home detox is widely considered the least effective way to detox from drugs and alcohol. Learn how to detox your body from drugs below.

Alcohol and drugs are rough on the body, taking a physical, mental, and social toll that requires detox as the first step to get clean.

Detox is the process of flushing out harmful toxins from your body. This includes having a healthy diet, exercising, adding healthy habits to your lifestyle, and stopping drug use.

However, when someone goes through the detox process, they will likely experience dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Attempting to detox on your own without professional help can be risky. If you want to know how to detox your body, the best way is to enroll in a medical detox program.

Key Takeaways

Detox is the vital first step in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Here is what you need to know about detoxing from drugs:

  • Detox is the process of getting rid of toxins from the body that develop as a result of alcohol or drug abuse.
  • Detox results in several withdrawal symptoms, ranging from mild to severe.
  • The detox process usually takes seven to ten days. However, it can last for weeks or even months in case of severe addiction.
  • Medical detox is the most effective form of getting rid of toxic substances.
  • At-home detox is widely considered the least effective way to detox from drugs and alcohol.

Therefore, if you are planning to quit taking drugs, The Recovery Team can help make the detox process as easy and comfortable as possible. 

Contact us today at (800) 817-1247!

What is Detox?

Detox, short for detoxification, is the process of removing toxins from your body caused by addictive drugs. Addiction to alcohol or drugs causes people’s bodies to adapt to having these substances in their systems.

When these substances are reduced or removed during detox, the brain will take time to get adjusted to the sudden drop in these substances. This results in unpleasant symptoms known as “withdrawal symptoms.”

The purpose of detox is to manage withdrawal symptoms and to make the experience as safe and comfortable as possible. This usually happens at a detox center under the supervision of nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals.

Attempting to detox at home is rarely successful, and people are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms and get demotivated by many failed attempts.

Withdrawal Symptoms

When the amount of drug is gradually reduced from the person’s body, they will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms.

Drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be quite similar. However, the severity and type of these symptoms depend on different factors, such as:

  • How long a person has been addicted to drugs or alcohol
  • How much have they been using
  • The type of substance that they are addicted to
  • Their general mental and physical health

Withdrawal can result in a range of physical and mental symptoms.

Physical Symptoms

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • High temperature or chills
  • Vivid dreams
  • High blood pressure
  • High heart rate
  • Exhaustion
  • Shaking
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating

Mental Symptoms

  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Intense cravings
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Inability to focus
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Depression

The most severe withdrawal symptoms include hallucinations, delirium, and seizures.

Medical Detox – The Best Way to Detox Body From Drugs

The first step in addiction treatment is a medically supervised detox.

Medical detox is designed to rid the body of drugs and stop the physical side of alcohol and drug addiction.

Most patients undergo inpatient detox at a treatment facility under the care of healthcare professionals. Therapy centers are meant to help patients detox by offering a safe environment and ongoing treatment and support.

In some cases, it is possible to complete a natural drug detox. When addiction is minor, this type of detox is usually offered, allowing you to detox at home without medical intervention.

However, be aware that at-home detox is less effective and even dangerous. Before undergoing a natural detox, always seek expert medical advice.

Detoxing at home is not advised because it can lead to side effects and health complications. Going cold turkey can also be dangerous owing to life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

Detoxing from drugs can be a painful process, but it is crucial for a successful recovery.

What Does Medical Detox Look Like

Medical detox consists of the following three steps:

Medical Evaluation

Evaluation usually consists of a questionnaire about medical history, blood tests, and screening for co-occurring mental health disorders or other medical conditions.

During an evaluation, therapists will assess a person’s overall health and the strength of their support system. Using this information, a doctor will develop a treatment plan.


Stabilization is when patients stop using drugs, and experts help them achieve sobriety and a medically stable state. Some substances, such as alcohol, opioids, and cigarettes, may require medication to ease withdrawal symptoms.

The intensity of symptoms and length of withdrawal depends on the type and severity of the addiction. Stabilization usually lasts one to three weeks.

Preparing Entry into Treatment

After detox, patients should be prepared to get ongoing treatment.

The most unpleasant physical side effects of rehab usually come during detox, but detox does not prepare patients for the psychological issues that will follow.

Health providers should educate patients on the significance of finding long-term treatment, attending therapy sessions, or joining a 12-step program to boost their chances of recovery.

Medications Used During Medical Detox

FDA-approved medications used during the detoxification of drug and alcohol addiction include the following:

  • Acamprosate: Used for alcohol use disorder (AUD). It helps prevent relapse.
  • Disulfiram: Helps stay sober by producing unpleasant effects when mixed with alcohol.
  • Naltrexone: Used for both alcohol and opioid addiction. It blocks the euphoric effects of substances in the brain.
  • Buprenorphine: Helps treat opioid addiction and suppresses cravings.
  • Methadone: Reduces cravings for drugs and eases symptoms of withdrawal
  • Naloxone: Used in an emergency situation to reverse an opioid overdose.

How Long Does it Take to Detox From Drugs?

The medical detox process is ideal for keeping patients safe and easing withdrawal symptoms.

The time it takes to detox from each addiction varies. In addition, if a person is addicted to more than one substance, the process will take longer, and the symptoms may be more severe.

The following substances can be detected in a urine test for these periods:

  • Alcohol: 12 to 24 Hours
  • Heroin: 1 to 3 Days
  • Cocaine: 2 to 3 Days
  • Meth: 2 to 3 Days
  • Marijuana: 1 to 7 Days
  • MDMA: 2 to 4 Days

These time frames do not imply that a person will have withdrawal symptoms for the same amount of time. The withdrawal symptoms usually last a few weeks. However, the time it takes to detox entirely from drugs depends on various factors. Such as:

  • Type of substance used
  • Duration of use
  • Frequency of use
  • Amount of substance used
  • Individual factors, such as age, gender, weight, genetics

The length of detoxing from prescription medications can also vary. Many prescription drugs come in time-release and non-time-release forms.

Time-released prescription medications may take longer to get cleared out of the body since these drugs are metabolized at different rates.

Is At-Home Detox Safe?

An at-home detox focuses on removing toxic substances from the body with little or no medical help. Although undergoing a drug detox at home might save money, it is considered the least effective way to detox.

Many people start with a solid intention to change their lives, only to discover that they misjudged the discomfort of dealing with withdrawal symptoms and are compelled to relapse. Detoxing at home without medical attention can be harmful since some drugs, such as alcohol and benzos, can cause severe withdrawal symptoms.

In addition, if you are a heavy drinker or are dependent on medications like Xanax or Valium, you should not try to quit quickly or “cold turkey” since this might result in seizures and other serious side effects.

Although heroin does not typically cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, there is still a chance of severe reactions.

If you must detox at home, it is vital to plan ahead of time. Here are some valuable tips that can help you while detoxing at home:

Prepare Yourself

If you are planning to undergo at-home detox, you must prepare for school, work, and other responsibilities ahead of time.

Depending on the drug, you’ll need five to ten days to detox. If you want to detox at home, ensure you have everything you’ll need, such as a clean home environment, a robust support system, and, if possible, access to medical attention.

It is crucial to ensure that your household is free of drugs and alcohol. The better you prepare for an at-home detox, the more likely you will complete it.

Follow a Detox-Friendly Diet

Your digestive system will be thrown off by drug withdrawal. It is common to feel nauseous, throw up, and have diarrhea.

Eat healthy foods even if you’re not hungry. To endure detox, your body requires nutrients, especially vitamin C and niacin. Consume five cups of veggies and fruits every day. Fill up on protein by eating lean meats, fish, and beans. Chicken soup can also help with drug detox.

Chocolate releases endorphins in your brain to make you feel happy.

Stay Hydrated

Water cleans out drug toxins, allowing you to detox faster. A lot of water is required to detoxify your organs, especially your liver. Staying hydrated helps restore the water you have lost due to vomiting and diarrhea. Some detox patients have excessive sweating and a runny nose.

Colder water helps in the cooling of feverish bodies. Drink 100 ounces or 12 glasses of water daily to stay hydrated. Remember that water is also found in tea, juicy fruits, and low-sugar drinks.

Engage in Physical Activities

Regular, low-intensity exercise can help in the detoxification process. Getting your blood pumping releases dopamine, a feel-good hormone.

Take a stroll or go for a hike. Swim laps in the pool can also be helpful. Play a game of football or basketball with your friends.

When cravings hit, do some lunges and squats. Moving around keeps you busy and stops you from wallowing.

Get Proper Sleep

A full-body detox is essential. Apart from detoxing the body, it is also necessary to detoxify the mind.

A lot of people underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep. While you sleep, your brain also flushes away toxins. As a result, make sure you get enough sleep at night.

Start a New Hobby

Keeping yourself busy can help you in avoiding triggers to use drugs. Start a new hobby or plan a project to distract yourself from cravings and triggers. You can even take advantage of this opportunity to develop healthier habits.

Let Your Support System Know

Detoxing at home can be a very unpleasant experience. Reach out to your support system if you’re about to embark on this journey. The more support you have in discussing your fears, feelings, and symptoms, the better.

This is why many people choose to detox at a rehab center, where they can rely on the care and supervision of therapists and mental health professionals.

What Happens After Detox

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that detox is “the first step of treatment.” Detox alone is not enough to address a person’s addiction since it doesn’t focus on all social, behavioral, and psychological issues surrounding addiction.

Rehab programs, whether inpatient or outpatient, allow you to dive into reasons that lead you to use drugs in the first place. These programs can help you develop the skills necessary to fight cravings, handle triggers, and find new ways to cope with negative feelings that do not include drug use.

Both inpatient and outpatient programs can benefit patients by supporting their recovery. Outpatient treatments are less intensive than inpatient programs. Outpatient programs are often preferred by those with less severe substance use disorder or those who have completed a more intensive program.

Recovery meetings, such as those offered by various 12-step programs, are often part of rehab and are recommended after you leave treatment to keep you connected to a sober community and to receive and give support to others.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How fast can you detox your body?

Detoxing usually takes three to ten days, depending on different factors. However, a more severe addiction can extend the detox process by many weeks or even months.There are many things to help your body get rid of toxins faster. Such as:
Keep yourself hydrated
Replenish with the proper nutrients
Cut out processed sugar
Load up your plate with veggies and fruits
Get a proper sleep
Stay physically active
Lean on your support system
Join support groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

What is involved in the detoxification of drugs?

The liver is the primary organ of drug metabolism and plays a vital role in drug detox and substance removal from the body.Vertebrate liver cells’ smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER) helps detoxify toxins. It contains enzymes that catalyze various processes that convert lipid-soluble drugs and metabolic wastes into water-soluble forms that can be rapidly removed from the body.
SER expands or doubles its surface area to carry out such processes, so lots of detoxification can occur.

How can I detox faster?

To help your recovery, here are some useful tips that can help you detox from drugs and alcohol faster:Check into a certified detox center
Have a nutritious diet
Drink plenty of water daily
Engage in physical activity
Practice breathing exercises
Find a new hobby
Lean on your support system

What does it feel like to detox?

The detox process can be challenging on every level: emotionally, physically, and mentally. Detoxing from drugs and alcohol can lead to various withdrawal symptoms, varying in severity.Side effects that you are likely to experience during the detox process include:
Sleep problems
Fatigue and tiredness
Skin problems

Start Your Recovery Today at The Recovery Team

Hopefully, at this point, you have a better understanding of how to detox your body from drugs and alcohol. The next step is finding a detox center that will help you withdraw from drugs safely and comfortably.

A medical detox center, like The Recovery Team, can boost your chances of long-term recovery by offering 24/7 medical care. Along with medical detox, we offer many other treatment options, such as inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, intensive outpatient (OP), partial hospitalization programs (PHP), dual diagnosis, transitional living, and more.

We also offer several evidence-based therapies, including eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), relapse prevention therapy, and many others.

Do not wait another day; the time to seek help for alcohol or drug addiction is now. If you are struggling with an addiction problem and need professional medical assistance, contact us at (800) 817-1247.