Medical detox is a controlled process where drugs and alcohol are purged from your body. Through the use of medications, nutrition, and other interventions, people can better manage the physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal and can regain their health. While detox is a powerful tool, it is not a cure. In order for people to stay clean after detox for drug addiction, they need to fully address the underlying reasons for their addiction in the first place.

Addiction is a complex and progressive disorder that requires comprehensive care. The following article outlines the ways you can stay clean after detox. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it provides an excellent starting point in helping you achieve lasting recovery.

Drug Treatment

The best way to stay clean after detox for drug addiction is undergoing drug treatment at a reputable facility. Experienced treatment staff will create an individualized treatment program that meets your specific and unique needs. Through the use of individual and group therapy, 12-step support, life and coping skills training and other therapies, you will work to uncover the roots of your addiction. You will gain the tools and support that will empower you to make positive changes in your life.

For many, inpatient drug treatment provides the best opportunity for long-term sobriety. However, this form of treatment may not work if you have extensive work and family commitments. If this is the case, you can explore other options such as intensive outpatient treatment, day treatment or sober living.

12-Step Support

Another way to stay clean after detox is through the support of 12-step sober support groups. Groups such as AA and NA are full of people who share similar experiences to yours. Through regular attendance at meetings and sponsor work, you will receive the support needed to stay confident and clean. You can also pursue non-12-step based groups such as SMART Recovery, LifeRing, and Rational Recovery.


Exercise is a great way to stay clean after detox. Regular exercise releases the neurotransmitter dopamine which is the body’s natural “feel good” chemical. You will feel good, and daily exercise will help your body look great—and you will feel better about yourself. There are many ways that you can engage in exercise. It can be as simple as a daily 20-minute walk, or you can engage in weight training, martial arts, or take up a sport such as tennis or basketball.

Create a Healthy Daily Schedule

The cravings and temptations to use drugs and alcohol occur when there is extensive downtime in one’s day. You can combat these impulses by creating a daily schedule that is filled with healthy and enjoyable activities. In general, a healthy daily schedule should include sober support meetings, exercise, hobbies as well as time for quiet daily reflection.

Well Balanced Diet

With all the ways you can stay sober after detox, having a balanced diet can be easily overlooked. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you often eat on the run and may not be eating a well-balanced diet. If your body is not getting the nutrients it needs, you will feel physically and psychologically run down—and you become more vulnerable to relapse.

Be sure that you eat several smaller meals per day, and be sure you are eating lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. If possible, cut down or eliminate saturated fats, sugars, and processed foods. If you need help creating a healthy eating plan, consult with a dietician.

Having a Support System

Perhaps the best way to stay clean and motivated after detox is to surround yourself with people who are supportive of your recovery. Your support system consists of family, friends, recovering peers, counselors and other support people. Your support system will celebrate your small victories as well as hold you accountable if you are losing focus.

Detox is an important part of recovery, but it only is a small part of the equation. In order to stay clean in the long run, you need to have a comprehensive plan in place to address the underlying reasons for your addiction. It does take work and time, but you will be rewarded in the long term.