How To Detox Your Body From Drugs

The first step on the road to addiction recovery includes a drug detox. Defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) as “cleansing the body of any harmful toxins found in drugs,” detox clears and flushes substances from the body.

When you or a loved one develops an addiction to drugs, you or they become physically dependent. Upon suddenly quitting, withdrawal symptoms may arise. These symptoms can often be uncomfortable, but they can easily be managed with the right knowledge and help.

Detoxing in the comfort of your own home may seem like a suitable option, but going cold turkey or attempting to detox alone can be extremely difficult to handle.

In this blog, we explore how to detox your body from drugs in different settings and encourage you to make an informed decision about the right drug detox for you.

Addiction Treatment Options

Detox is the first step in addiction recovery. When you decide to seek treatment, you will have to choose how to detox your body from drugs. Many influential factors can contribute to this decision, such as your financial resources, your issues with substance use, and your commitment to recovery.

Depending on your unique situation, there are several treatment options available.

Medically Supervised Detox

Medical detox is the safest detox option, especially if your drug addiction is severe. Under medical supervision, withdrawal symptoms are easier to manage, and immediate treatment is available if medical emergencies arise.

In a drug treatment center, such as our own, you will have around-the-clock support and care in all areas. If necessary, you may also be given Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications, such as naltrexone, which can help you cope with withdrawal symptoms by blocking the brain’s opioid receptors.

Although it may seem daunting to combat drug addiction with more drugs, withdrawal medications are administered in a medical setting via a tapered schedule to remove the risk of abuse. For example, if you have an opioid addiction, medication may be offered to reduce cravings and to assist in helping you sleep.

Many options are available for a medically supervised detox, such as an inpatient detox or an outpatient detox program. Inpatient programs typically focus on three areas:

  • Safely helping the body to process the toxins
  • Effectively managing withdrawal symptoms
  • Support in ongoing treatment to aid with recovery

When you first seek help for substance abuse, you may be deemed low risk. As a result, outpatient detox treatment may be suitable for you. Although not as intense as an inpatient program, outpatient treatments still involve regular trips to a treatment center where an ongoing assessment of your recovery will occur. You will additionally receive support and encouragement, and medication may be provided.

For some, a medically supervised detox may not be suitable. In this instance, a natural process can be undertaken with the support of medical and mental health professionals in what is known as a social detox. If a social detox is in your best interest, you will have consistent support before, during, and after treatment in a structured residential environment, irrespective of whether you have opted for inpatient or outpatient treatment.

Additional treatment is recommended after your drug detox. In treatment centers, you will receive support for influencing factors that may have contributed to your addiction, such as psychological and emotional support.

Although you may not think this is necessary, the best outcomes are achieved through a combination of support groups, behavioral therapy, and community support.

Natural Detox

Detoxing at home may seem like a better option for you. After all, it’s cheaper, you’re in the comfort and privacy of your own home, and it’s on your terms. Detoxing from certain drugs at home can be a viable option, but only if your drug abuse is minimal and you are detoxing from low doses.

A natural detox process involves the removal of toxins without any medical supervision. At-home detox is typically a natural process whereby the body removes any harmful toxins. Having said this, there are a number of alternative options for a natural detox, such as massage, acupuncture, and herbal remedies.

However, quitting cold turkey without any support can be challenging, especially as drug cravings can be intense and withdrawal symptoms are difficult to manage. As professional support and supervision have been found to prevent relapse, completing a detox program via an inpatient center is usually recommended.

Alcohol Detox

In the case of alcohol abuse or substance abuse treatment, detox from alcohol involves clearing the body of any toxins so it can naturally metabolize what is left.

If you have been drinking excessively, entering a detox program is best as there is a risk of suffering from life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, which can be very difficult to manage at home.

Medical detox will teach you how to handle any potentially painful withdrawal symptoms and assist you in the most challenging stages.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Typical symptoms you may experience when going through alcohol detox and withdrawal include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Memory and focus issues
  • Increased heart rate
  • Shaking and tremors
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting

Drug use induces very similar withdrawal symptoms. When detoxing from opiates, you may additionally experience:

  • Agitation
  • Anger
  • Exhaustion
  • Nausea
  • Unpleasant dreams

Though the thought of attending rehab can be daunting, medical detox programs are available to ensure you are comfortable throughout the initial stages of your recovery.

Length of Detox

When considering a drug detox, you will probably find yourself wondering how long the process takes. If you have a severe addiction and take drugs regularly, it may take weeks or months for you to get through the detoxification process.

We are all different. Because of this, no two experiences with drugs or detox are the same. The length of time that a drug stays in your system depends on:

  • The drug taken
  • How often and how much of the drug was taken
  • Presence of co-occurring mental health illnesses
  • Medical history
  • Your age and gender

The way drugs are taken will also influence the length of detox. For example, if a drug has been swallowed and has to pass through the stomach, it will take longer to digest and will stay in your system longer than a drug that may have been injected, snorted, or smoked.

Although detox can seem long, it is important to be patient and allow the body to push out these toxins naturally. Once these toxins have left your body, you will still need to deal with cravings or withdrawal symptoms which may last for longer.

Detox is only the first stage of the recovery process. Upon completing detox, therapy or other additional treatments should follow to help you address the psychological, social, and behavioral issues of addiction.

Finding Help for Substance Abuse

Entering a detox program is the first and most crucial step of recovery. At NPAC, our admissions line is open, and our specialists are on standby, ready to discuss treatment options with you.

We understand that this can be a difficult decision to make. Likewise, we know that detox can be challenging. But we are here to support you every step of the way.

If you would like to learn more about available addiction treatment options, contact us today. Whether you are ready to detox your body from drugs through medical detox or want to pursue substance addiction treatment, we are here to help you.

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Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner

Facilitator

As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns

Clinician

Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
 
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine