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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

When someone says the word “detox”, your first thought is probably a pricey juice cleanse or an unpleasant colon cleansing regimen. These images, perpetuated by an industry more interested in profit than health, have changed the way society thinks about bodily detoxification and overshadow the difficulty of the process associated with breaking free from a drug habit.

Detox Confusion

True detoxification is a natural function your body performs every day without any outside help. The kidneys, liver, blood, and lymph are constantly filtering unwanted substances and clearing metabolic waste. When you introduce potentially harmful substances into your system, including addictive drugs, these can overwhelm the process and have a negative impact on your health. Detoxing from drugs is a complex process requiring diligence and medical supervision because it involves a known substance with documented effects and withdrawal symptoms. Claims stating toxic build-up is the root of every disease and suggesting you have to “flush out” stored toxins often lack scientific backing, but it’s easy to get taken in by a gimmick if your health is poor and you want a fast fix.

Detoxing Your Diet

Consider your symptoms before jumping on the “detox” bandwagon. If you feel ill or have trouble losing weight, two common reasons people start detox programs, discuss these problems with your doctor to determine the best way to handle your condition.If, however, your diet is high in processed foods, additives, and animal products; you consume a lot of salt and sugar; or you use caffeine as a crutch to get through the day, diet and lifestyle changes can help support your body’s natural detoxification system and remove any substances potentially interfering with your health. For a real “diet detox,” skip the juices and pills. Focus on eating whole foods, including lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes with healthy fats from nuts, seeds, and avocados. Bitter and cruciferous vegetables contain natural compounds with known purifying qualities, and certain herbs, including milk thistle, are beneficial to your liver and gallbladder.

Breaking Free from Addiction

For those struggling with drug addictions, a rehab program or Sober Living Home may be necessary to completely detox drugs from the system. Going to rehab prevents you from getting more drugs and provides medical supervision while any remaining chemicals clear your system.

According to Eudaimonia Homes, unlike giving up unhealthy foods, kicking a drug habit can have serious side effects, including nausea, headaches, hallucinations, vomiting, insomnia, anxiety, depression and cravings. A doctor can help you through these symptoms of withdrawal and prescribe medications when needed.

Maintaining Lifelong Health

After clearing harmful substances from your body or making significant dietary and lifestyle changes, you need a plan to stay on track:

• Avoid triggering substances, foods or situations
• Build a positive social and spiritual support system
• Develop tactics to constructively counteract temptation
• Learn how to deal with and work through cravings
• Practice techniques for stress reduction

Doctors, therapists, family members, friends, and priests or pastors may all be part of the group helping you develop and stick with new habits. Rethinking your approach to life after overcoming an addiction and learning to treat yourself well can be a challenging process, but it becomes easier every day with a solid plan and a reliable support group. 

Whether your body needs a “tune up” after years of poor diet and lack of self-care, or you have a true addiction in need of treatment, detoxing requires a smart, safe plan to direct you toward your goals. It’s not a process to enter into blindly out of desperation or in pursuit of the latest health craze. Enlist the help of a knowledgeable care provider, beware of gimmicks and pursue your plan with care to support successful detoxification.

Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy. For more information on drug detox, contact Eudaimonia Homes


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