How to Detox from Drugs

There are various kinds of rehab programs or detox programs available for the person who has been addicted to drugs or alcohol. Typical detox offerings may fall short of what an addicted person actually needs to help him (or her) gain the ability to find lasting sobriety. They may do little more than enable a person to arrive at a temporarily sober state.

Background of Detox and Medical Detoxes

Medical Detox

Many years ago, there really weren’t drug rehab programs available as we know them today. A person might go to a hospital or some kind of sanitarium to “detox” or “dry out.” All that was really happening was that a person was supported medically while he came off of the addictive substances he had been taking. There was no treatment to speak of.

Today’s medical detox programs provide continuous supervision and medical support for a person coming off drugs or alcohol. When a person has been a very heavy drinker, for example, he may suffer seizures or a dangerously high fever as alcohol is withdrawn. He could even die if not cared for properly. Medications or nutritional supplements may be needed to control seizures, fever or protect his health as his body adjusts.

A person coming off benzodiazepines like Valium or Xanax needs to be tapered off the dosage, and some people coming off opiates either need support at this time or choose it to reduce the sickness of opiate withdrawal. In this case, the medical detox staff will gradually reduce the person’s dosage day by day, monitoring the person’s physical and mental state.

A person in impaired health may need to go through withdrawal at a medical detox, where a healthy person might not need that support.

Medical detoxes are not intended to be drug rehab programs. The result is just a person who is sober at the moment. For a few people, this is all they needed as they were only physically dependent on a medical drug. They did not have all the characteristics of an addict. When a person is truly addicted, any kind of detox activity must be followed by a full rehab to achieve real recovery.

Initial Withdrawal and Detox

As long as a person is physically fit enough to handle withdrawal and as long as the drug he has been taking does not involve a health-threatening withdrawal, he can complete a drug-free withdrawal at a rehab facility.

At Narconon, an innovative procedure is used that makes a person’s withdrawal far more tolerable he (or she) may be used to. At this point, following any medical detox, no drugs need to be used to make it so.

Once a person has been determined to be physically fit enough to begin the Narconon rehab program, he starts being given generous doses of specific nutritional supplements. These supplements immediately start to build up his strength.

It is usual for an addicted person to overlook his own care, feeding and rest. On top of this, drugs deplete a body of its resources, further bankrupting one’s health and adding an enormous burden of toxicity.

With generous doses of B-complex vitamins, Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and other supplements, a person’s body can throw off the toxins with more ease. Some of the sickness and pain of withdrawal either results from or is aggravated by these severe nutritional deficiencies, so around-the-clock supplementation is vital to make withdrawal as tolerable as possible.

Reorientation in environment

Detox is further eased at a Narconon center through a series of orientation and calming exercises. This is a very stressful time in any person’s life. Because of the befuddling character of heavy drugs, he may hardly know where he is or whether those around him are friends or enemies. Narconon staff provide 24-hour support by taking each person through these exercises several times a day. Escorted walks begin to bring vigor back to a person in recovery and help him discover that he is finally in a safe place.

When he is sleeping and eating normally and he is able to better control his attention and focus, he can proceed through the Narconon rehabilitation program. He comes out of the victimized-mindset of most addicts and can now start gaining responsibility for himself again.

A Much Deeper Detox Follows Withdrawal

Most rehab programs do not much concern themselves with any further detoxification.

The Narconon rehab program takes detoxification to a sophisticated new level. A major phase of this recovery program is dedicated to deep detoxification—the elimination of old, stored drug toxins. It has proven to be a great advantage to a person in recovery when he is able to flush out the toxic residues that his drug or alcohol abuse have left behind.

How the Narconon New Life Detoxification Works

Students running at Narconon

Under constant supervision, each person exercises moderately and takes a very strictly controlled regimen of nutritional supplements. Since most people coming to rehab have not taken care of themselves, this exercise will start on a light gradient, and they will increase to a moderate level of exercise as they can tolerate it. Nutritional supplementation will start out at a basic level and increase gradually.

The nutritional supplements are specifically designed to enable the body to dislodge locked toxins and flush them out through the sweat. Since drugs naturally tend to bond to or lock onto fats, residues of these substances are attracted to fatty tissues in the body. Even when a person has a thin appearance, there will be fat deposits inside the body, between the organs. It takes this special technique to release these toxic deposits from these fat tissues.

These drug remnants have shown to cloud a person’s thinking and affect his mood. They can be involved in the triggering of cravings, especially when the cravings seem to come out of nowhere. One day the person is doing fine and the next, he has relapsed. Elimination of these residues is critically important to one’s sober success.

New Life Detox Sauna

After the day’s exercise, each person then spends time in a sauna. He comes and goes from the sauna as needed to cool off and drink fluids. He gradually increases his time in the sauna each day. Plenty of salt and other minerals are available because they get depleted by the time spent in the dry heat.

Every day, each person reports his (or her) weight, amount of water drunk, amount of exercise and other details, along with any changes noted. Sometimes a person may taste or otherwise sense a drug that is being released and flushed from the body. He may briefly feel like he did when he was taking or withdrawing from a drug, which is why supervision is so close during this time. These sensations generally pass in just a short time. If a person wasn’t convinced that he was actually mobilizing and eliminating drugs from his tissues before, he is usually quite surprised as soon as he can re-taste a drink or a drug that he may not have consumed for years.

The Outcome

Trained Narconon staff monitor all the dosages and manifestation of each person going through this process. They watch each person’s daily reports and the supervisor’s additional comments. What they normally see at the end of this process is a resurgence of the person’s mental brightness and clarity, with stability. The person completing this step very often talks about how the physical cravings for drugs have left him, and his nighttime dreams of using drugs are now gone. Most also say that their outlook is much more positive.

Happy woman free from addiction

For a person who has spent years or even decades trapped in cravings and drug abuse, this result is like being freed from a terrible prison.

This new clarity and the reduction in cravings that often accompanies it is a great help for a person who wants more than anything else to learn how to build a new sober life. The life skills that make this new life possible follow this intensive detox at a Narconon rehab facility.

Find out how you or someone you love can achieve the benefits of full detoxification from drugs or alcohol and real recovery from addiction.

Clinical Review by Claire Pinelli, LADC, CCS, ICAADC, MCAP