How to Detox from Drugs

Last Updated: Feb 24th 2020

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

How to Detox from Drugs

Is there a drug that has taken over control of your life? Do you spend your day trying to find the substance and use it – preferably without anyone else knowing about it? Because nobody wakes up in the morning with the intention of developing an addiction, it probably snuck up on you. Here’s how to detox from drugs with the best possible outcome in mind.

Understand the Substance You’re Getting Rid Off

There are different detox methods for various drugs. One size most certainly doesn’t fit all when it comes to drug addiction:

  • Opiates. Heroin and prescription painkillers like Vicodin or OxyContin fall under this heading. Health officials consider prescription painkiller abuse a gateway to heroin addiction.
  • Alcohol. As a depressant, this drug initially gives you a high and takes away your inhibitions. As you ingest more, alcohol depresses the parts of the brain involved in decision-making.
  • Stimulants. Prescription drugs for weight loss and ADD fall into this category. Illegal drugs like meth and cocaine do as well. They give you boosts of energy and artificially increase dopamine levels.
  • Tranquilizers. Prescription drugs for anxiety and insomnia can be habit-forming. In fact, they quickly reach physical tolerance levels, which might persuade you to increase the dose a little, with or without instruction from your physician.

How to Detox from Drugs (Illegal or Prescription)

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of withdrawal from some addictive substances is the fact that they’re legally available. Because of this, you may see them around the store and on media advertisements. What makes illegal drugs hard to get away from is the fact that a peer group is frequently part of the experience. This can make it difficult to leave behind, because you have to distance yourself from close friends.

When you’ve decided that it’s time to stop, the first step is medically supervised detox.
Don’t let anyone talk you into undergoing the detox process at home alone or with help from friends and family. For starters, if it were that easy to quit, you would’ve done it already. Secondly, you’ve probably already tried cutting down and failed. Most importantly, there are medical reasons that make the presence of quick-thinking licensed professionals invaluable.

In a medical setting, detoxification is nothing like you see in the movies. You’ll go through the following steps in a medically managed detox center:

  • Relaxed meeting with an assessment counselor. You’ll meet one on one in a private setting. This professional cares about your success and gathers information to customize a detox protocol. Being completely honest about the drugs you take and the quantities is crucial.
  • Tapering and withdrawal. Depending on the drug you’ve been taking, its dosage, your overall health, and concerns the medical staff has, you either stop using or taper use. As needed, medical professionals offer medicines to keep you comfortable and safe during the process. They also intervene with medical assistance if needed.
  • Transition into rehab. Once you’re no longer physically dependent on the drug, it’s time to discuss rehab. Don’t consider it an optional add-on. Instead, recognize it as the assistance you need to break a psychological dependence.

Take the First Step to a Lasting Recovery Today

Learning how to detox from drugs undoubtedly dispelled some of the myths that might’ve been holding you back. Now is the time to get serious and get well. Call the experts at 1st Step Behavioral for help and more information about drug treatment programs at (866) 319-6126 today.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.