7 Of The Best Tips For Drug Detox

Drug detox takes a toll on your physical and mental health. You can make the process easier by eating nutritious food, staying hydrated, exercising, taking time to relax, leaning on your support system, trying medications or supplements, and attending a medical detox program.

To start your addiction recovery journey, you must first detox from drugs. During the detox process, you may experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, and drug cravings. Here’s how to make the experience easier. 

1. Eat Nutritious Food

During detox, many people experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms rid your body of essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. A lack of nutrients can worsen any weakness you feel during withdrawal.

Restore your strength by eating high-quality, nutrient-rich foods like vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean protein. Some of the healthiest options include:

  • avocados
  • beans
  • blueberries
  • broccoli
  • eggs
  • fish
  • green leafy vegetables
  • potatoes
  • nuts
  • peanut butter

Learn more about Does Diet Matter During Addiction Recovery?

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2. Stay Hydrated

Hydration supports your body’s natural detoxification process by flushing drug toxins from your system. It also helps replenish water lost through vomiting and diarrhea. Water keeps your body healthy and strong amidst the stress of withdrawal. 

Your doctor can help you determine how much water you should drink during detox. Most people need about four to six cups of plain water per day, assuming they also get water from other sources, such as fruits, vegetables, and juice. 

Cranberry juice is often recommended during detox because it’s high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that boost your immune system. 

You may also benefit from detox drinks (also called “detox liquids”). These natural detox solutions contain water, fruit, vegetables, and other natural ingredients that help rid your body of toxins.

3. Exercise

During withdrawal, you might feel like staying in bed all day. While it’s important to get plenty of rest, you also need exercise. 

When you exercise, your body releases hormones called endorphins. Endorphins make you feel happy and relaxed. In other words, they provide a “natural high.” This high can help ease drug cravings.

In addition, like healthy food, exercise gives your body the strength it needs to withstand withdrawal. 

You don’t need to hit the gym for an intense workout, especially near the start of detox. Instead, try gentler exercises such as yoga or walking. For an added benefit, exercise outdoors. Studies show that spending time in nature boosts your sense of well-being. 

Learn about the Role Of Fitness & Nutrition In Addiction Recovery

4. Take Time To Relax 

Many people experience psychological withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, irritability, and mood swings. Some people also develop symptoms of depression, such as shame, guilt, and hopelessness. You can cope with these feelings by taking time to destress. 

Every night, try to get at least seven hours of sleep. During the day, prioritize relaxing activities such as:

  • journaling
  • meditating
  • reading
  • listening to music
  • playing games
  • taking baths

You can also try creative activities like painting, writing, or playing an instrument. Along with calming you down, these activities can help you express the difficult feelings that come with withdrawal. 

5. Lean On Your Support System

No one should go through detox alone. Reach out to family and friends, especially if you feel at risk of relapse. 

Your loved ones can offer encouragement that helps you survive the more challenging days of detox. They can also remind you why you chose to quit drug use in the first place. As you get healthier, you’ll enjoy stronger, more fulfilling relationships. 

You should also visit a support group for people recovering from drug addiction. In these groups, you can discuss your struggles with people who have successfully navigated detox. The most popular support groups include:

6. Consider Medications & Supplements

While detoxifying, some people take medications or supplements to ease certain withdrawal symptoms. These medications may include:

  • sleep aids
  • anti-nausea medications
  • anti-anxiety medications
  • antidepressants
  • pain relievers

Some medications may cause side effects that make your withdrawal experience worse. That’s why you should talk to your doctor before starting any medication during detox. 

Your doctor may also prescribe medications to ease cravings and other withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid or alcohol detox. These medications include acamprosate, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. It’s important to only use them under the guidance of your doctor. 

7. Attend A Detoxification Program

In a detoxification program, a team of medical professionals and behavioral health care providers will help you slowly and safely get drugs out of your system. They will closely monitor your physical and mental health, ensuring you stay as comfortable as possible. 

As a bonus, most detox programs administer drug tests that can prevent you from seeking a quick fix. 

For example, if you have cannabis use disorder, you would enter a THC detoxification program. In a THC detox program, you may receive a variety of THC drug tests, such as urine drug tests, hair follicle drug tests, or saliva drug tests. 

These tests check your THC levels by measuring THC metabolites, which are byproducts of cannabis use. The pressure of an upcoming drug test can reduce your risk of relapse throughout the THC detox process and help you achieve long-term recovery.

After you complete detox, your doctor will likely recommend that you transition to a drug abuse treatment program. These programs teach you how to manage drug cravings and any underlying mental health concerns that may have contributed to your substance use. 

To learn more about substance abuse treatment, please reach out to Ohio Recovery Center. Our board-certified healthcare providers offer personalized, evidence-based care to help you or your loved one stay sober. 

  1. American Psychological Association https://www.apa.org/monitor/2020/04/nurtured-nature
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/how_much_sleep.html
  3. Harvard Health Publishing https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-much-water-should-you-drink

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: January 8, 2024

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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