Many people who are ready to start their journey towards a drug-free life are nervous about withdrawal and the detox period. Withdrawal is uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous (if not deadly), which often sends people back into the cycle of drug use.
Because of this, it’s common for people to look for ways to make detox easier and less painful. They consider ways to hasten the detox period. And one common thing people consider is a sauna. But do saunas really help a person detox from drugs?
We’re here to talk about it. Keep reading to learn all about whether or not saunas are good for the detox stage.
Why Do People Try It?
Many people may be motivated to try saunas for detoxification from drugs due to the widely-held belief that they can be used for purification. People often go into saunas in spas in an effort to bring toxins out of their skin, to sweat off excess weight, and to clear out anything blocking their systems.
But is this belief accurate?
While saunas do make you sweat, there’s no evidence that says they’ll do anything as far as “removing toxins.” So do saunas help detox from alcohol? Do saunas help detox from nicotine? What about cocaine, or other hard drugs?
The answer is no, unfortunately. And here’s the science to prove it.
The Science of Sweat
First, we need to consider what sweat is. Sweat isn’t made up of toxins. It’s mostly water, proteins, and carbohydrates.
Toxins of all kinds, even from alcohol and drugs, are held and processed in the liver and kidneys. The spaces between cells in your liver strain out foreign and dangerous substances in order for them to be expelled through the body.
The process of drug elimination happens internally, and while there are ways to speed it up, your sweat has no impact. While you may find yourself smelling different while sweating after drinking, that’s due to your organs working to detox your body.
Excessive heat may even harm your kidneys and liver, meaning that any type of natural detox will be more difficult.
Are There Any Thereuputic Benefits?
So why are people so sure that saunas can help with their detox experience? Well, there’s some logic behind it.
While saunas don’t do anything as far as “removing toxins” goes, they do still have therapeutic benefits that could make detox less uncomfortable.
Saunas may help temporarily relieve aches and pains associated with all kinds of conditions, including certain physical withdrawal symptoms during drug detox. The experience being less painful may help patients tolerate the withdrawal period easier.
Saunas also produce a feeling of relaxation and wellbeing. This is why they’re so popular in spas. While this won’t fix the withdrawal, it will help to take the edge off, so to speak.
And saunas are generally well-tolerated and safe for those going through withdrawal symptoms, as long as the patient remains hydrated.
In a 2018 study, patients undergoing sauna detoxification expressed “high levels of satisfaction with the regimen, noting improved energy, mental clarity, emotional stability, reduced cravings, greater well-being and a positive life outlook.”
That same study called for additional research and measurement of mental health and physical health changes to investigate the extent of how much of an effect sauna detoxification makes.
Do Saunas Help Detox from Drugs? Not Really
While saunas have some impact on your circulation, pain, and mental health, there’s no evidence to suggest that they have a significant effect on the detoxification of drugs and their withdrawal symptoms.
In other words, you can’t sweat out drugs faster than your liver is able to process them. So do saunas help detox from drugs? No, but they may be able to make you feel more comfortable through the process. This comfort may even have a positive effect on one’s mental health as well.
Are you or a loved one ready to start healing from addiction? We’re here to help. From detox to recovery, New Leaf Detox wants to support you.
Contact us to ask any questions and discuss your insurance and payment options so we can start helping today.