5 Best Ways to Detox from Drugs and Alcohol
I had a healthy and happy upbringing. My parents always wanted the best for my brother and I, they raised us with values and they were always there for us. But that didn’t stop me from getting drunk when...
I had a healthy and happy upbringing. My parents always wanted the best for my brother and I, they raised us with values and they were always there for us. But that didn’t stop me from getting drunk when I was only 9 years old. Yes, I was just a boy, yet at a family party I took a bottle and got drunk and managed not to get caught. Though I didn’t like the taste, I liked the way it made me feel. So I started drinking more, and that was only the beginning of an addiction life. By the time I was 13 I started smoking marijuana, and at my 19 I was already into meth.
After facing two years of prison for drug related charges and relapsing when I got out, I was lucky enough to have found a rehabilitation facility where I got clean and healed my body, mind and spirit.
Recovery wasn’t easy, and detox was one of the hardest parts. But I got through it, and now I’m happy, healthy and the best version of myself I’ve ever been.
Detoxification is one of the most crucial steps of recovery. It is the process where you eliminate the toxins your body has accumulated from the substances you’ve consumed. It can be a real challenge, but trust me, it’s worth it. If you’re planning on getting clean, here are 5 ways to safely detox from drugs and alcohol that really helped me during my recovery process.
Alcohol and other substances can dehydrate your body. This can cause unpleasant side effects such as headaches and muscle pains.
Rehydrating it with lots of water can eliminate these effects, with the added benefit that it flushes out your system, bringing chemicals, toxins, fats, and other unwanted items with it as it leaves your body, using the urinary and digestive system, as well as sweating and perspiration as its ways out.
The faster the body rids itself of toxins, the sooner withdrawal symptoms will end. This means you should drink large amounts of water for your detox process to be more efficient, between 9 to 12 glasses per day. (1)
This includes doing aerobics, swimming, running and cycling, and any other exercise that raises your heartbeat. Exercise strengthens and stimulates your liver and kidneys -which are probably weakened from the substance abuse- and other vital organs, and helps eliminate drug remnants through sweat.
Additionally, exercise can also mitigate feelings of low self-esteem, depression and anxiety, which I had to deal with for a long time during my addiction, and I’m guessing you can relate to as well. (2)
I’ve always enjoyed my share of junk and comfort food, and I never was big on salads or even fruits. However, an important part of detox and recovery is to replace your unhealthy consumptions for healthy ones. This way, as you’re cleaning your body from the toxins you got from drugs and alcohol, you’re not putting in new ones.
Cutting down on sugars and bad fats is essential, since they are hard for your organs to process and they already have plenty of work.
You should also avoid processed and refined foods, given that they are low on nutrients and are difficult to digest.
Instead, you need to eat plenty of green leafy vegetables such as kale, romaine, wheatgrass, and seaweed, which are a great source of fiber to flush out your body and antioxidants to boost your immune system.
Also, you can increase your intake of Omega 3 high foods, such as salmon, avocados and almonds, which help keep your cravings down.
Changing your diet to eating only healthy foods can be challenging at first, but now that I’ve seen how much it helped during recovery and improved my general well-being, I wonder how I could ever eat junk, processed foods.
Getting through detox takes a lot of strength and willpower, so telling someone you love, such as a close friend or a family member, that you are planning on getting detoxified as a step of recovery can mean extra support during this difficult step.
Also, it can be helpful to ask them to keep you from using again, this way you don’t leave it to your willpower alone, which can result in failure.
Since withdrawal symptoms are very unpleasant to say the least, it’s ideal to keep some supplies at hand that can help mitigate some of the effects, especially on the first few days.
Advil and Tylenol are good ward off the aches and pains involved. Anti-vomiting medication is also very useful. Plenty of fluids such as Gatorade should be available, as well as soups and broths. Chamomile tea, which has calming properties is also great to help you relax a little bit.
These are 5 tips I used during my detox process that really helped me. It’s important to note that, though it’s attainable, there are many risks in detoxing at home, and it would be ideal to be involved in a treatment program when attempting detox. Before you embark upon this process, there are a few things you should know about detox, in order for you to understand it better and choose the best detoxification options for you.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hi, my name is Andy! I was born in Bogota, Colombia, but raised in Los Angeles, California. I spend my time helping others with their recovery and growing my business.