8 Ways a Natural Drug Detox Program is Right for You

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Published: 11/3/2017 | Author:

Getting quality help for a substance use disorder begins with detoxification at a treatment facility. There are many different detox methods, and it’s important to choose the right one for you.

Holistic treatment facilities offer natural drug detox and natural alcohol detox as part of an approach that focuses on healing the body, mind, and spirit with alternative, drug-free methods. Many of these holistic methods are so effective that traditional treatment facilities that do use medications in detox also use them. Conversely, most holistic treatment facilities offer traditional treatments as well, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and peer support groups.

To decide if natural drug detox is right for you, you should first learn more about it.

What is a natural detox?

Basically, a natural alcohol detox or natural drug detox is a method of helping your body eliminate addictive chemicals without the use of medications to treat withdrawal symptoms or speed up the process. Instead, alternative therapies such as acupuncture, yoga, massage, naturopathic remedies, nutrition, meditation, and tai chi are used to reduce symptoms and promote healing.

At most holistic facilities, a natural drug detox will emphasize physical exercise, organic whole foods, and alternative therapies such as music, art, recreational, or animal-assisted therapy. Outdoor activities are often available, and many holistic facilities have scenic locations, such as on a farm, by the mountains, or on the coast.

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If you decide to undergo a natural alcohol detox or natural drug detox do not try to withdraw at home on your own. Not only can intense withdrawal symptoms cause you to relapse before you’ve even fully detoxed, some substances like Valium, Xanax, or other benzodiazepines can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, as can alcohol if you’re a heavy drinker or have been addicted for a long period of time. Even opiates or cocaine, which do not usually cause fatal withdrawal reactions, can cause health complications that can become life-threatening under the physical stress of detox.

In addition, almost all drug or alcohol detox experiences include nausea and vomiting, which can cause malnutrition and dehydration in an already weakened body, making you vulnerable to heart and kidney malfunction, among other problems. Having close supervision and medical care available to you 24/7 will ensure that your natural detox is also safe.

Benefits of a Natural Detox

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Sauna treatment is often used in natural drug detox.

With natural detox, you will be able to remove toxic chemicals from your system entirely and deal with the symptoms of withdrawal directly, instead of complicating the process with the addition of medications that can have side effects of their own. A natural alcohol detox or natural drug detox will eliminate the toxic buildup in your body, without adding any new chemicals. This toxic buildup is not only from drug or alcohol use, but from chronic stress, pollution, poor nutrition, and natural toxins that have not been efficiently eliminated during the period of time that your body was compromised by substance use.

During the first day or several days of a natural drug detox, you will take it easy, drinking lots of water and green juice, going to the sauna, moving your body with gentle exercise, and getting as much sleep as possible. You will increase your activity and your intake of whole, unprocessed foods as the symptoms begin to fade, also taking part in more counseling options, as well as therapies to relieve withdrawal, such as massage and yoga. The natural detox process will introduce you to a way of life that supports optimum health, so you can eventually reach a positive state of being that naturally leads you to resist substances and make meaningful choices.

Natural drug detox or natural alcohol detox as part of an overall holistic treatment philosophy can also give you a better chance of uncovering the real reasons behind your substance use—whether it is a physical condition you were masking with drugs or alcohol, or an emotional or psychological condition. Holistic treatment seeks to connect the body, mind, and spirit so that you can achieve and maintain sobriety for the long term.

Natural alcohol detox and natural drug detox also avoid the problem of becoming dependent on a new medication intended to treat the primary addiction. Natural detox is based on the belief that chemicals do not belong in the body and can interfere with healing.

Natural detox can also help you develop healthy habits you can use for the long term, and teach you about tools and techniques that can support your recovery and overall health—like acupuncture. TEAS (transcutaneous electric acupoint stimulation) is a type of acupuncture that has been shown to help people overcome addictions to opiate drugs. TEAS applies electrical stimulation at various points on the body through skin electrodes. A recent Harvard study showed that only 29% of patients treated with active TEAS relapsed as compared to 65% of patients who received a simulated (placebo) version. Patients who received active TEAS also experienced less pain and better improvements in overall health.

You can overcome drug dependence with a natural detox. Get the help you need today!

Drawbacks of a Natural Detox

A natural drug detox or natural alcohol detox can be a wonderful option for many—but it isn’t for everyone. If you are heavily addicted to a hard drug, or a drug with a dangerous withdrawal syndrome, like a benzodiazepine, you may need to be tapered off instead of quitting “cold turkey,” and you may need to receive medications to prevent dangerous withdrawal symptoms such as psychosis or seizures.

Another drawback to natural drug detox and natural alcohol detox is that they more suddenly and dramatically force you to deal with emotional issues and mental health concerns that were numbed by substance use while you are also dealing with the pain and unpleasant physical reactions of withdrawal. This combination can be so challenging that most people who attempt to detox on their own return to substance use. If, however, your natural detox takes place under 24/7 monitoring at an inpatient or residential facility, you will be protected from this kind of relapse.

8 Ways a Natural Drug Detox Is Right for You

1. If you have a short-term addiction or are addicted to a soft substance.

If you have been addicted to your primary drug of use for less than a year, or if you are addicted to a soft substance such as marijuana, a natural drug detox will likely be the best option for you. People with long-term addictions to hard substances such as heroin, on the other hand, will likely require a medication assisted detox.

2. If you tried and failed to detox at home.

Maybe a natural alcohol detox or natural drug detox appeals to you and you have therefore tried to detox at home on your own, but were unsuccessful. Checking into a holistic treatment facility that has the expertise to guide your natural detox and treat your symptoms with alternative therapies will give you a way to successfully see the process through this time.

3. If you are into fitness.

If fitness is already a part of your lifestyle, or if you would like it to be, then a natural drug detox program should work well for you. Exercise is central to most natural detox programs, because it helps the body to eliminate toxins, promotes healing, and releases endorphins and dopamine that can naturally counteract withdrawal symptoms.

4. If you want to develop healthy eating habits.

If you strongly believe in the importance of nutrition, or want to develop a healthy diet after neglecting your nutritional needs during your active addiction, a natural drug detox or natural alcohol detox will show you the way. Quality nutrition is valuable to all aspects of health, but there are some foods, such as garlic and green leafy vegetables, which are particularly helpful to the detoxing process.

5. If you want to focus on mental and spiritual health, as well as physical.

Recovering from drug or alcohol use is about more than just addiction treatment, it’s about healing mental health and emotional issues as well, and this should be true in any kind of treatment program. However, some medical programs rely too much on drugs to help patients, without enough focus on counseling, mindfulness, and natural therapies that help you repair the core reasons for your substance use disorder. A natural alcohol detox or natural drug detox will free you from all chemicals, giving you a clear mind and completely unmasked emotions, so you can figure out what’s really going on with you on a deeper level.

6. If you want more flexibility in treatment options.

Inpatient treatment is a great way for anyone to begin their recovery journey, but after you’ve completed detox and the early days of treatment, you may want the freedom and flexibility to spend time away from your rehabilitation facility. As long as you are progressing well, this will be no problem after undergoing a natural detox at a holistic treatment program. Medication Assisted Treatment, on the other hand, will require you to visit a clinic daily for in-person medication dispensing.

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7. If you aspire to a holistic lifestyle.

Perhaps you feel strongly about the dangers of chemicals in the body, or have always aspired to live a holistic lifestyle that creates harmony between the body, mind, and spirit. A natural detox program will show you how to create that kind of lifestyle for yourself, while also freeing you from physical and psychological addiction.

8. If you want a thoroughly dramatic transformation.

Recovery is always about transformation, but recovery in a natural detox program allows for a more complete and dramatic transformative experience. Natural drug detox or natural alcohol detox strips you down to your essential, vulnerable self, without the influence of any substances. This complete change can inspire you to transform the rest of your life just as dramatically.

Additional Types of Detox

If you decide that a natural alcohol detox or natural drug detox is not right for you, there are other varieties of detox programs available.


Although not all natural detox programs will prohibit you from being slowly weaned off your primary drug of addiction, most of them do require a cold turkey approach. This is not advisable in many cases. Having a medical professional to direct a gradual tapering plan may be exactly what your need for your recovery.

Rapid Detox

Rapid detox involves being put under anesthesia so that you are in an artificial coma while you are given medications that speed up your body’s elimination of addictive chemicals.

Rapid detox has been shown to reduce drug cravings.

If everything goes perfectly, rapid detox allows you to completely end physical dependence on substances in a matter of days. However, this method does not work for everyone, and carries with it many risks due to the potent drugs used for the process. It also does not spare you all the symptoms of withdrawal, as some of these are the result of chemical and structural changes in the brain that cannot be healed within just a few days.

Medically Assisted Detox

In a medically assisted detox, you are given medications that suppress the symptoms of withdrawal as well as drug cravings. It has been proven especially effective for opiate addictions. Many people with opiate addictions transition from a medically assisted detox into medically assisted treatment, which involves medication maintenance using methadone or buprenorphine. There are also medications to help with detox from alcohol and other substances. Some of these medications can be continued after detox, but some are temporary treatments for acute withdrawal symptoms, such as using Librium to treat the intense anxiety that sometimes accompanies alcohol detox.

Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help

If you still are uncertain what kind of detox is right for you, please ask for help from your doctor, an addiction hotline, or anyone else with expertise in the field. You may also receive treatment suggestions by calling our helpline at  866-351-3840(Who Answers?) . If you know of a treatment facility that offers a range of detox options, you could make an assessment appointment, where medical and psychological professionals can evaluate your condition and work with you to determine the ideal detox approach for your needs.

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