Do Saunas Help Detox From Drugs?

Table of Contents


Detoxing from drugs is an important first step on the road to recovery. It’s often the first step in your journey to sobriety. Whether you’re dealing with opioids, heroin, cocaine, benzos, or something else, a California detox program helps you get the drug out of your system, getting you ready to move on to the next level of treatment.

You might be hesitant about starting detox treatment because you’re concerned about the withdrawal phase. You may look for ways to lessen the discomfort associated with detoxification. You may even wonder if saunas can help ease your symptoms as you go through detox. Before considering whether saunas can help as you detox from drugs, it’s important to understand how detoxing works.

We want to help

Let’s setup a call and figure out the best treatment options for you or your loved one. Our detox specialists will get back to you immediately.

What Is a Drug Detox?

Detoxification is a set of interventions  that work to manage withdrawal from drugs. During this phase of therapy, toxins are cleansed from your body. At the same time, physical harm caused by the abuse of substances is minimized.

To be specific, the term detox itself does not denote the use of medications or therapies. Instead, it simply implies the elimination of the drug from the body. However, clinicians will use various methods, such as medication or therapies, during a detox rehab program to ease withdrawal symptoms.

The goal of any drug detox program is to help you get through withdrawal safely since the symptoms associated with this process can be very unpleasant and even dangerous.

an image of a sauna, as this article covers the topic of whether saunas help detox from drugs

What To Expect During a Drug Detox

The specifics on how long it takes to go through a drug detox vary because of the different half-lives of substances. A half-life is the time it takes to reduce the substance by half in your body. This depends on how the body can metabolize that particular substance, meaning some substances will have a half-life of several hours, whereas others will have a half-life of several days.

Although the timeline for drug detox can vary a little bit, the following provides a general idea of some of the symptoms you can expect:

  • Muscle aches and pains.
  • Changes in appetite.
  • Fatigue.
  • Sweating.
  • Moodiness.
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Nausea.
  • Yawning.
  • Confusion.
  • Insomnia.
  • Feeling cold.
  • Runny eyes or nose.
  • Paranoia.
  • Trembling.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Seizures.
  • Dilated pupils.

The onset of symptoms may be between eight and 24 hours for short-acting opioids and 12 and 48 hours for long-acting opioids. Mild symptoms can last for 10-20 days.

For drugs like Xanax, a benzodiazepine, the withdrawal usually occurs within one to two days, and symptoms may last for two to four weeks. Symptoms for these benzos are slightly different than opioids and include the following:

  • Anxiety.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Restlessness and agitation.
  • Irritability.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Problems with memory.
  • Muscle tension.
  • Aches and pains.

Can You Sweat Out Drugs in a Sauna?

If you’ve read much about saunas, you may have seen information about them “detoxifying the body, mind, and spirit.” But is this true? Can you really sweat out drugs? You certainly see something coming out of your pores when you feel the sweat rolling down your face and body during a sauna. You may wonder if you’re flushing out the toxins from drugs when you use a sauna. The short answer is “no.”

To understand why you don’t excrete toxins when using a sauna, you need to understand what occurs when you sweat. Sweat consists mostly of water. A very small amount of what you excrete contains the following:

  • Electrolytes, which contain potassium, calcium, and sodium.
  • Bacteria.
  • A small amount of a hormone called pheromones.
  • Tiny amounts of toxins (not drugs).

Keep in mind that all of the above is only a tiny fraction of what you sweat because most of it is water. So, although trace amounts of toxins might be eliminated during sweating, they are more likely to be expelled through the functions of your kidneys and liver. That’s why detoxing from drugs takes time.

What Are Saunas Used For?

Since saunas will not eliminate drugs from the body, you may wonder if they serve any purpose in the detox process. People who engage in drug detox rehab enjoy using saunas if they’re available because of how they work.

How Do Saunas Work?

A sauna is equipped with a system to produce dry heat that can reach 150-195 degrees Fahrenheit with very low humidity. This can come from a stove or hot rocks. Saunas are small rooms that consist of wood interiors and a bench for people to sit on. If the room is equipped with rocks, there may be water there to pour onto the rocks to create steam.

Benefits of a Sauna

Sitting in the comfort of a hot sauna may not remove drugs from your body, but it still provides you with certain benefits. You may find that heat from a sauna is therapeutic for your body and mind.

Using a sauna helps relieve generalized aches and pain. It also promotes relaxation and reduces muscle tension. Overall, a sauna can be an effective tool to promote healing when you’re going through drug detox or as part of an aftercare program.

Combining Detox and Saunas

You can certainly combine the benefits of saunas with a drug detox program to get the best treatment for recovery. Even after you’ve completed drug detox, you might consider adding time in a sauna as part of your regimen for wellness. One study revealed that patients who used saunas were highly satisfied with the outcome, reporting improvements in mental clarity, positivity, stamina, and reduced cravings.

an image of California Detox rehab facility

Start Your Recovery Journey

At California Detox in Laguna Beach, California, you can start your detox journey by contacting our rehab facility and talking to an admissions representative. Our experienced staff will be on hand to guide you through the entire process and help you verify your insurance benefits. Once approved, they’ll let you know how to prepare for admission.

Begin your journey to a bright future by contacting the facility at 949-694-8305 or by reaching out to the admissions team onlineSomeone is available 24/7 to answer your queries.

Image  by Ben Kerckx is licensed with Pixabay License.


Sweating is a natural process that helps regulate body temperature and does not involve the release of toxins. It primarily consists of water and small amounts of minerals and waste products, but it is not a significant route for detoxification.
While saunas can provide temporary relief and relaxation, they are not a proven method for alleviating withdrawal symptoms during drug detox and should not be relied upon as a sole treatment option. It is essential to seek professional medical assistance for a safe and effective detox process.


Request a Call