Showers are an often overlooked comfort in detox. They can soothe any number of withdrawal symptoms and generally make you feel better. Here are some reasons showers are great in detox.
You will probably sweat a lot. Fever and sweating are common withdrawal symptoms. Lying in bed covered in sweat makes you feel unclean. What’s more, people often complain of detox smell, perhaps caused by stress or some kind of chemical imbalance as the drugs leave your system. Some people describe this as sweating out toxins, but there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that’s what’s happening. Regardless, many insist there is a specific smell associated with detox. A regular hot shower can help you keep that under control and rinse off the sweat. Studies have shown that washing also has a psychological effect. Taking a shower feels like washing away addiction.
Showers helps soothe aches. Another common withdrawal symptom, especially from opioids, is bone and muscle aches. When you are not used to feeling any pain at all and suddenly the level of opioids in your system drops, everything hurts. A hot shower or bath is a good way to soothe the aches. The hot water helps you relax, which reduces pain. You may also ache from sitting around or lying in bed for a long time. A shower might be the closest thing you get to exercise or movement for a week or two.
A shower will clear your sinuses. One of the weird symptoms of opioid withdrawal is runny nose. A shower can help clear your sinuses a bit, or at least give you a few minutes’ break from blowing your nose.
A shower or bath will warm you up. Or cool you down, depending on what you need. A withdrawal symptom from many drugs is the inability to regulate body temperature, which can make you feel like you can’t get warm or can’t cool down. A shower or bath can help with that.
A hot shower is a perfect way to relax. Anxiety, irritability, tension, and insomnia are all common during detox. A hot shower or bath can calm you down by relaxing your muscles and soothing your aches. No one will bother you in the shower, so you can let the water run over your head and have some time to think.
It breaks up the monotony. If you’re having a rough time in withdrawal, your perception of time might become distorted. You may spend a lot of time in bed, but never sleep very well. You may always be tired without doing anything. A shower is like a reset. It lets you wash away the last 24 hours and feel fresh for a minute before going on.
Castle Craig is one of the most established and respected addiction rehab centres in the UK. Castle Craig treats alcoholism and drug addiction as an illness and promote abstinence as essential for long-lasting recovery. We help patients recover through an intensive, personalised programme that combines medical treatment, 12 Step therapy, CBT and other psychiatric therapies and complementary therapies. For information, call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line: 0808 256 3732. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006 (normal charges apply).
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | December 15, 2019