You may have heard a lot about detox diets and detox cleanses in the news lately. If you’re looking for a detox program to help you overcome alcohol or drug addiction, you may wonder if one of these programs is an appropriate solution. Drug detox and detox diets are very different things.
Drug detox is a program designed to help you rid your body of all traces of drugs or alcohol. Once these substances are out of your body, you no longer are physically dependent on them. That does not mean that you won’t still crave them, but that craving will be psychological rather than physical. Detox is a necessary first step to overcoming any substance abuse problem. Though it is possible to detox for many substances on your own, very few people successfully do so. For the best chance of a successful detox, it’s crucial that you attend a drug detox program and then continue on to a rehabilitation program.
Rehabilitation programs offer counseling and therapy to help you overcome your drug or alcohol addiction. While overcoming the physical dependency is important, very few people successfully abstain from abuse in the future without attending a program that has therapy and counseling.
There are detox programs available for many substances. You can go to detox for addiction to alcohol, cocaine, heroin, prescription drugs and more. Depending on what you substance you are addicted to, you may be able to attend a rapid detox program. Rapid detox takes place under anesthesia and can rid your body of addictive substances in just a few hours.
Detox diets are very different from drug detox programs. Detox diets are designed to cleanse your body from toxins. These diets can be very controversial, and many doctors feel they are unnecessary. In some circumstances they can be harmful. Detox diets can range from pure water fasts to diets limited to just a few foods. Your body naturally rids itself toxins on a daily basis. Your kidneys, liver, and colon all are tasked with ridding your body of toxins on a daily basis.
Another reason people undergo detox diets is to lose weight. Since most detox diets are designed to only be used for a matter of days or weeks, long-term weight loss can’t occur on them. Most weight lost on a detox diet is water weight. That weight comes back as soon as you begin eating normally again. Lengthy detox diets aimed at weight loss can have a negative long-term effect on your physical health. If your body is starving for carbohydrates because of your detox diet, it may begin to metabolize your muscles for energy. When you go back on your regular diet, the fat will return, but muscle mass will not. You will have to regain muscle mass by working out to replace what you’ve lost on the detox diet.
Some popular fad detox diets includes the master cleanse, in which participants drink only lemon juice, cayenne pepper, water, and maple syrup, and the juice fast, in which participants drink only juice for up to weeks at a time. Other detox diets require the purchase of pills, powders, or drinks. These mixtures can include vitamins, diuretics, laxatives, and other substances.
A detox diet is no substitute for a drug detox program. In fact, trying to do a detox diet at the same time as you stop taking a substance on which you are dependent can be dangerous and harmful. When you begin to go through alcohol or drug withdrawal, your body will be in a fragile state. That is not the time to withhold nutrients and calories.
Detox diets will not remove all drugs from your system, which means at the end of the detox diet you will most likely still be physically dependent on the substance you are addicted to. Furthermore, drug detox programs provide many patients with a smooth transition into a long-term rehab program. Without rehab, few people are able to permanently beat addiction.
If you are concerned about weight loss or the buildup of toxins in your body, the time to address that is after you’ve successfully completed rehab. Many rehab programs have gourmet chefs who cater to various dietary needs. If you want to switch to a diet full of natural, unprocessed food, you may be able to find a rehab that will help you eat well as you recover from drug or alcohol addiction.