Anyone who is hooked on drugs or alcohol and wants to change their life is probably going to need some sort of detox program. The nature of drug and alcohol addiction is such that anyone trying to stop cold turkey is going to have a really tough time getting past the withdrawal symptoms. This is the basic cycle that perpetuates addiction and keeps people going back for more. Let’s take a look at some detox options.
Alcohol detox program
If you are hooked on alcohol then you definitely need a full medical detox. This is because alcohol withdrawal is dangerous and can actually kill you. That means you can stop drinking and it can literally kill you, whereas if you had continued to drink alcohol you would have lived. Yes, alcohol detox is that dangerous, so this is not a drug to mess around with when it comes to quitting. You need help and that means going to either a drug rehab or a treatment center or even the hospital or emergency room if you happen to be shaking badly enough.
The real red flag is when a person starts to shake violently or starts to hallucinate. If someone is quitting drinking and they are confused and disoriented then they need direct medical care. The possibility if a seizure at this point becomes much more likely and they probably need medication in order to prevent one from happening. In some cases an alcoholic will have a violent seizure even if they are on medications to try and control them. Alcohol withdrawal is just that powerful.
Bottom line: if you or someone else is in alcohol withdrawal, try to get medical supervision for it. Treatment centers with a detox unit are ideal for this.
The best detox program for the drug you are on
What if you are not using alcohol, but instead are using some other drugs? There are a few drugs that are similar to alcohol in terms of withdrawal, such as Valium, Xanax, or other benzodiazepines. If you are addicted to those then your withdrawal could be quite dangerous and you need medical attention, just like with alcohol.
On the other hand, some may be on other drugs. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Cocaine, Marijuana, or Hallucinogenics – no need to really detox for any of these drugs, at most there will be a psychological withdrawal. In rare cases people will experience physical withdrawal symptoms from these drugs, but they are not serious enough to warrant medical attention. Thus you do not really need a detox program in order to get off of these substances.
Opiate, heroin, prescription painkillers – these drugs are all opiates and have definite withdrawal symptoms. Now even though the detox is not life threatening, the symptoms are quite nasty and can actually feel a lot worse than alcohol withdrawal. Therefore, most people who are hooked on opiates are going to need some help in order to get through the withdrawal without relapsing. This generally means drug rehab or inpatient treatment of some sort. There are also drug programs where you can take some sort of synthetic opiate in order to remain drug free, but this is not really a detox program so much as it is a replacement solution.
Body detox program
If you manage to get clean and sober and are eventually off of all the drugs, then you might look into detoxing your body even further as you remain clean for a few months. Most experts agree that it can take several months to several years to really get our systems deeply cleansed from all of the drugs and the effects that they had on our bodies. As such, you might look into a more holistic approach to your long term recovery and try to do a full body detox of some sort.
There are a lot of options for doing such a deep cleanse but here is what I have done in my recovery and thus can recommend based on my experience.
First of all I would urge people to adopt a holistic mindset and focus heavily on the following 3 things for the first year of their recovery:
1) Eating healthy (lots of fruits and veggies, reduce the junk, soda, sugar, etc.)
2) Exercise. This is huge. This is especially huge for recovery, feeling good, fighting depression, and cleansing the body.
3) Quitting smoking. Again, this huge, and extremely common for recovering addicts and alcoholics. Just quit.
Now if you can do all 3 of these suggestions and do them well then you will be doing better than most. In fact you will be living quite healthy if you can make exercise and good nutrition a habit.
I like to go a step further and do some short juice fasting on a regular basis. Every few months I will do a 3 to 5 day juice fast in order to help cleanse the system. There are other benefits as well, such as:
1) Dropping weight, usually 2 to 3 pounds per day of fasting.
2) More energy during the fast, less need for sleep.
3) Appreciation for healthy food, helps change attitude and mindset towards junk food.
4) Cleanses the system out.
Keep in mind that fasting is not something you should do in early detox. This is more of a holistic, long term approach that can enhance your recovery once you are clean and sober. But it can continue the detox process and take it a step further once you are living a healthy recovery.