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How to Detox From Drugs Safely

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

May 9, 2024

Table of Contents

If you’re considering getting clean from drugs and are looking to detox from drugs, it’s important that you understand what to expect during your path to recovery. 

A successful drug detox begins with eliminating toxins from your system, and addressing the issue of physical dependence on addictive substances.

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The primary goal of a detoxing from drugs is to ensure the safe management of drug withdrawal symptoms once you stop taking the drugs. These symptoms can vary, however most symptoms can be alleviated or lessened by using a treatment called medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

While in most cases detoxing from drugs takes about one week, everyone will have a different experience based on the following factors:

  • Type of substance being used
  • Length of use
  • Existing health issues
  • & more

Read on to discover how to detox from drugs, and why engaging with a supervised medical detox is the safest and most effective way to purge drugs from your system.

Now, let’s look at how to detox your body from drugs. 

How to Detox From Drugs and Alcohol

If you or a loved need to figure out how to detox your body from drugs, there are several methods that are the safest and most effective. Drug detoxification methods can vary based on the type and severity of dependence, as well as individual preferences and circumstances. Most people with moderate or severe addictions benefit from a detox for drugs under medical supervision. 

  • Medical detox: This is the safest and most effective method for individuals with moderate to severe addictions or those addicted to substances like opioids, benzodiazepines, or alcohol. Medical detox is conducted under the supervision of healthcare professionals who closely monitor vital signs and provide medications to manage withdrawal symptoms. Medical detox may be delivered in an inpatient or outpatient setting.
  • Natural detox: Some individuals choose natural or holistic detox methods. An over the counter drug detox often involve dietary changes, supplements, and alternative therapies like acupuncture or massage. While these approaches may support overall health, they may not be sufficient for managing severe withdrawal symptoms.
  • Cold turkey: Going cold turkey means quitting a substance abruptly without medical assistance. This method can be risky, especially for those addicted to substances that trigger severe withdrawal symptoms. Consult with a healthcare professional before attempting cold turkey detox to assess potential risks.


Attempting detox at home is strongly discouraged due to the potential for severe withdrawal symptoms, complications, and relapse risk. Seek guidance from medical and addiction professionals to determine the most appropriate detox approach for your specific situation.

The Drug Detox Process

To detox drugs from the system involves multiple stages, each aimed at gradually eliminating the substance from the body while managing withdrawal symptoms. For those unsure how to how to flush drugs out of your system, here is an overview of the process:

  • Assessment: Before commencing detox, individuals undergo a comprehensive assessment by healthcare professionals. This evaluation includes gathering information about the type of drug used, the duration and severity of the addiction, and any co-occurring medical or mental health conditions. This information helps create a personalized detox plan.
  • Medical supervision: Detox is safest when conducted under the supervision of medical personnel. They closely monitor vital signs, administer medications as necessary, and adjust the detox protocol based on individual response. Medical supervision helps address any unexpected complications or severe withdrawal symptoms that may arise.
  • Stabilization: During this phase, the focus is on stabilizing physical and emotional well-being. Medications may be prescribed to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings, making the detox process more manageable. The goal is to ensure that the person is as comfortable and safe as possible.
  • Withdrawal symptoms management: Withdrawal symptoms can vary widely depending on the substance, but common symptoms include nausea, anxiety, insomnia, sweating, and cravings. Medical professionals provide symptom management, drug detox remedies, and ongoing support to help individuals cope with the discomfort.
  • Transition to ongoing treatment: After completing the detox phase, individuals are often encouraged to continue their recovery journey by entering a drug rehab program. This step is essential for addressing the underlying causes of addiction, developing life skills, and preventing relapse.
  • Aftercare planning: Upon completing detox and inpatient or outpatient rehab, a well-structured aftercare plan is key. This may include ongoing therapy, support groups, and strategies for relapse prevention to help people maintain long-term sobriety.
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The Safest Way to Detox from Drugs

The safest way to undergo drug detoxification involves a comprehensive approach that prioritizes the well-being and successful recovery of individuals.

 Detoxing under the care of experienced medical professionals provides a safety net throughout the process. These professionals can continuously monitor vital signs, respond promptly to any complications, and make necessary adjustments to the detox plan to make sure that it remains safe and effective.

 Every person’s experience with drug addiction is unique, and their detox plan should reflect this individuality. Tailored treatment plans account for factors such as the type of substance used, the duration and intensity of addiction, and any co-occurring medical or mental health conditions.

 In some cases, MAT (medication-assisted treatment) can be a component of a supervised detox. Certain FDA-approved medications can help manage withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and make the detox process more comfortable. MAT is especially beneficial for those dealing with opioid addiction.

 A gradual tapering approach may be safer for certain substances. This method involves slowly reducing the dose of the drug instead of abrupt cessation, minimizing withdrawal symptoms and potential complications.

 Hydration and nutrition are fundamental to detox. Staying well-hydrated and maintaining proper nutrition support the body’s healing process and overall health during this challenging period.

 Psychological support is also essential for initiating sustained recovery. Counseling, therapy, and access to mental health professionals are core components of a safe detox. These resources help individuals to tackle the psychological aspects of addiction, develop effective coping strategies, and maintain motivation for recovery.

 Lastly, a safe and supportive environment can greatly enhance the detox process. Facilities like detox or rehab centers offer structured settings where individuals can focus on their recovery, avoiding triggers and temptations that could lead to relapse during detox.

 What Helps with Drug Detox Symptoms?

Drug detox symptoms can be aggravating, but there are various strategies and interventions that can help alleviate the discomfort when managing detox for drugs symptoms:

  • Medications: Depending on the substance and the detox plan, medications may be prescribed to reduce specific withdrawal symptoms. These can include anti-nausea medications, anti-anxiety drugs, or medications to address insomnia.
  • Hydration: Staying well-hydrated during detox with water, herbal teas, and clear broths can help maintain fluid balance and ease some symptoms like sweating and digestive issues.
  • Nutrition: A balanced diet that includes easily digestible foods can provide essential nutrients and energy during detox. Smoothies, yogurt, and soups can all be helpful.
  • Rest: Getting adequate rest is important for healing. Fatigue is a common symptom during detox, so allowing the body to rest and recover is essential.
  • Exercise: Gentle, low-impact exercise like walking or yoga, can help reduce stress and improve mood. Consult with healthcare professionals before starting any exercise routine during detox.
  • Breathing and relaxation techniques: Deep breathing exercises, meditation, and mindfulness practices can help manage anxiety and stress that often accompany detox.
  • Supportive therapies: Engaging in therapy or counseling sessions can provide emotional support and help individuals develop coping strategies for dealing with drug cravings and emotional triggers.
  • Peer support: Participating in support groups or connecting with others who have experienced similar challenges can be immensely beneficial. Sharing experiences and receiving encouragement can boost motivation.

 Remember that the best approach for managing drug detox symptoms may vary from person to person. Work closely with healthcare professionals to determine the most appropriate strategies and interventions for your specific situation and needs.

Medication-Assisted Drug Detox

Medication-assisted drug detox is a specialized approach designed to facilitate the safe and effective withdrawal from substances of abuse. This method is most valuable for individuals liable to experience severe withdrawal symptoms that are challenging to manage without medical assistance.

  Medication-assisted drug detox involves the use of specific medications tailored to the type of substance to which someone is addicted. These medications can help alleviate withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and make the detoxification process more manageable.

 For individuals addicted to opioids like heroin or prescription painkillers like oxycodone, two primary medications are often used during detox:

  1. Methadone: Methadone is a long-acting opioid agonist that helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It is administered under strict medical supervision, enabling a more gradual and controlled withdrawal from opioids.
  2. Buprenorphine: This partial opioid agonist also reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms but has a lower risk of overdose than full agonists like methadone. Buprenorphine can be prescribed in an outpatient setting, making it more accessible to some individuals.


Medication-assisted drug detox is a valuable tool in helping individuals break free from drug addiction. It provides a solid foundation for ongoing recovery efforts. Shortcut your search for assistance by reaching out to Renaissance Recovery.

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Get Treatment for Drug Addiction at Renaissance Recovery

Now you know how to flush drugs from your system, call our team at Renaissance Recovery for immediate assistance getting a safe detox for drugs  & alcohol. While our Orange County, CA drug rehab doesn’t offer detoxification at our facility, we partner with a number of treatment centers around the area to ensure that you are getting a safe & comfortable detox from drugs and alcohol at world-class facilities. 

If you need help getting a loved one off of drugs or just want to learn more about addiction in general, like why people get addicted in the first place, contact our team today at (866) 693-3821 .



At Renaissance Recovery our goal is to provide evidence-based treatment to as many individuals as possible. Give us a call today to verify your insurance coverage or to learn more about paying for addiction treatment.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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