Many substances such as street drugs (pot, cocaine, meth, heroin, lsd, mushrooms, crack, ecstasy, etc.), psychiatric drugs, industrial chemicals, pesticides, food additives and perservatives and radiation are known to be stored in the fat tissue. Research has established that both pharmaceutical and so-called recreational drugs can remain in the body for extended periods of time in body tissues, usually in tissues of high in fat content, such as the brain and adipose tissue. While drugs and their metabolites quickly become undetectable in blood and urine, some as rapidly as 3 days after last usage, drug metabolites remain stored in fatty tissues for years. The accumulated drug metabolites which continue to cause drug cravings, a factor in relapse, led researchers to develop a program aimed at reducing levels of toxins in the body to assist in recovery.
For example, marijuana can be found in urine up to 77 days after the last use. While cocaine is generally considered to be a rapidly metabolized drug, studies of cocaine users show that un-metabolized cocaine is found 5-10 days after the last use of the drug. When fats are mobilized during times of stress or hunger the drug metabolites are also mobilized and go into the bloodstream. The prolonged bodily storage of commonly abused substances was documented as early as 1957 for LSD, 1977 for amphetamine compoundes and 1988 for cocaine. These metabolites can trigger cravings that are almost impossible to resist and relapse occurs.
The Sauna Detoxification Program
The purpose of the Sauna Detoxification Program is to purge the body of drug residues, thus greatly reducing or completely removing cravings. This is accomplished through an exact regimen that consists of the following:
- An exact regimen of vitamin, mineral and oil intake
- Exercise, preferably running, to stimulate circulation
- Regular diet supplemented with plenty of fresh vegetables
- Prescribed periods in a low heat sauna to promote perspiration
- Sufficient liquids to offset the loss of body fluids through sweating
- A properly ordered personal schedule, which provides the person with the normally required amounts of sleep
The body immediately identifies drugs as toxic, and has to eliminate these toxins. Drugs and alcohol are broken down in the liver in a process called metabolization, the byproducts of which are called metabolites (the substances the body converts the drugs or alcohol into). Tissues in our bodies that are high in fats are turned over very slowly. The body will metabolize and burn fat any time a person undergoes an experience that causes the heart rate to speed up. Stress can do this, as can strenuous exercise, anger, or intense emotion. We all experience these things on a fairly regular basis. When an addict experiences these situations and their heart rate speeds up, the body begins to mobilize and burn fat.
As the fat cells burn they release the metabolites back into the person’s bloodstream. The metabolite acts as a physical and mental reminder of the drug or alcohol consumption. In short, when the stored drug metabolites are released into the bloodstream they can make the person feel as if they actually took the drug. The former addict now experiences a drug restimulation (or flashbacks) and drug craving. This is common in the months after an addict quits and can continue for several years.
Improvements In Life From Sauna
The Freedom Center’s Sauna Detoxification Program has resulted in astonishing improvements in students who consistently report:
- Greater energy
- Enthusiasm towards life
- Ability to think more clearly
- Improved memory and attention span
- Increased awareness of surroundings
- Increased feeling of general well being
- Reduction or elimination of many symptoms associated with drug addiction, including depression, irritability and fatigue
The incorporation of sauna, with its deep cultural roots is an interesting element of the Freedom Treatment Center’s program. Sauna has been traditionally considered by many societies as a source of energy, health and purification. It is popular in countries such as Finland where it plays an important social role. It is also common in Russia and Turkey. The sauna has had important healing and ceremonial functions among many aboriginal groups of the American continent. Contemporaneously, several Native American groups have incorparated sauna in rehabilitative substance abuse programs.
Once past the physical cravings, through the Freedom Treatment Center program, the student develops life skills that will help in maintaining a productive, drug-free life. Chronic drug abuse is associated with poor communication skills, financial difficulties, a detrimental system of values and attitudes, criminal behavior and poor comprehension of long-term goals. The Freedom Treatment Center’s social rehabilitation steps nurture the development of interpersonal communication skills, personal values, integrity and individual responsibility. Developing a realistic and workable sense of personal ethics and responsibility is a vital part of this recovery. Personal addiction can be ended! Our statistics show that the majority of graduates have achieved this freedom.
Biochemical effects of Drugs and Alcohol: