Does Sauna Help Opiate Withdrawal? (Find Out)

Wondering if the sauna can help with opiate withdrawal? The process of withdrawal from opiates is a difficult one, so anything that could potentially be helpful in the process is worth considering. 

Saunas can be a beneficial activity for someone coming off of opiates, though it is not a replacement for having medical assistance through this undertaking. So long as a medical professional thinks it’s safe, a sauna is worth a try to aid you in withdrawal from opiates. 

Let’s take a look at how does sauna remove toxins from the body and what type of sauna is ideal for opiate withdrawal.

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How Are Toxins Removed in a Sauna?

The heat from a sauna is bound to make you sweat, which feels like a detoxification in and of itself. There aren’t any physiological toxins that are removed from the body through this sweating process.

However, it can be said that sitting in a sauna has a wealth of benefits in terms of removing mental and emotional toxins. 

The act of sitting in a quiet, hot space is one that has been practiced throughout different cultures for centuries. It has remained a popular practice because of how people have found a sense of clarity, emotional healing, and improved connection to their mind, body, and spirit. 

Your sweat does not contain any of the toxins that may still linger in your body from ingesting drugs. Your internal organs, such as your kidneys and liver, are responsible for helping your body get rid of those toxins and they are very, very good at it. 

Can Sauna Help With Opiate Withdrawal?

Man dealing with addiction
A man dealing with addiction (Image source)

There haven’t been any long-term studies that have recommended saunas for opiate withdrawal, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be considered as part of a holistic harm reduction plan made with health professionals.

What is known is that people will often find better success staying away from substances when they don’t only detox, but get mental, emotional, and physical support. 

What is also known about saunas is that the heat has immense benefits for reducing pain and stress, aiding a person in relaxing and perhaps even entering a meditative headspace. Many people coming off of opiates will be dealing with both physical and mental symptoms. Under medical supervision, a sauna might be part of a recovery plan to help during and after withdrawal. 

Part of what holds people back from seeking out help with a substance use disorder is not knowing how their body will respond to withdrawal. Every person is different in terms of how long it takes to detox.

Even though a sauna isn’t a medical intervention, it can be used alongside traditional methods for detox, even if it’s just to make the process a little more tolerable. 

What Type of Sauna Can Detoxify the Body?

Any kind of sauna should be safe during the detoxification process, so long as a doctor gives you clearance and you use one safely. Hydration is crucial during sauna usage and so is building up the time used in the sauna at a slow and gradual pace. 

There have been some promising results for people recovering from prolonged substance abuse with infrared saunas. Medical professionals have been using infrared saunas to help people with all kinds of health concerns, such as general pain and muscle stiffness, skin conditions, and even mental health conditions. 

An infrared sauna contains a type of light that generates heat. This heat gets slightly absorbed in the body and has the proven ability to help make positive changes in blood pressure and blood flow. This is part of what’s believed to help decrease symptoms such as pain, stress, and general unease. 

Infrared saunas are different from traditional saunas or sauna rooms because of the way heat is created and subsequently absorbed into the body. You also sweat differently depending on which kind of sauna you use.

The main component of saunas that seems to work nicely for people going through withdrawal is the heat, so you can choose the type that suits you best. 

How Infrared Saunas Helps With Opiate Withdrawal

An infrared sauna offers a targeted heat source that helps a person enter a deep sweat, which can be very physically and mentally relaxing. The act of such a deep sweat can help a person feel as though they’re releasing toxins from their body, even if they aren’t doing so physiologically.

This in and of itself can be supportive of a person’s mindset. 

Infrared saunas can also help to stimulate blood flow and help tense joints and muscles relax. For people dealing with the pain of withdrawal, this can make going through the physiological changes a little bit more tolerable. The tiredness and general fatigue that can come with fighting symptoms can also be remedied by a sauna session. 

Are Infrared Saunas Safe?

The thought of heat generated by light and electromagnetism might make some nervous but it has been used in various medical settings for a long time. For instance, the same infrared technology is used for jaundiced babies or newborns that need to stay warm.

The technology is used not only by hospitals, but therapists, chiropractors, and general health practitioners. 

Of course, one needs to ensure they use an infrared sauna safely, especially for someone who is experiencing withdrawal. Infrared saunas have been used as accompaniments to treatment plans for different substances, but not as the only intervention for recovery. 

Also read: Is a Sauna Good for COVID-19?


There is nothing that exists to remove opiate toxins from your body except for your internal organs, but saunas have effectively assisted a person in recovery to help them improve their sense of overall wellness. 

Nurturing overall wellness in a holistic manner has influenced substance use disorder recovery methods for some time now, and it’s likely to continue as it has proven successful.

As such, if you are reducing your opiate intake or are in the process of planning to stop taking opiates, it’s highly suggested you speak with your primary care physician about trying a sauna to help you in your recovery. 

(Featured image by Towfiqu Barbhuiya on Canva Photos)

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