Determining If You Need Rehab or Detox

In this article we will discuss the differences between detox and rehabs and how to know where to start.

Detox – this the process of ridding your body of the toxins that have entered from the use of a variety of substances.  Detox focuses on many of the physical effects a substance has had on your body in order for the healing process to begin. It allows your body to begin the recovery from the damaging effect that it has sustained from the substances that have been abused.

It aids  in helping the body cope with the cravings that will begin as the substance leaves the body. The time spent detoxing varies depending on the amount of time and type of substance that was used. 

There are several different types of detox programs, but the two most popular ones are medically supervised detox and at home detox.  Medically supervised detox is generally recommended for people who have had a long history with substance abuse and who need the supervision of a controlled environment with physicians monitoring their progress. Home detoxing is generally used if a person has not had a long history of drug or alcohol abuse.

Rehabs –  Most rehab programs take place in a residential treatment facility. Meaning that the individual lives in the facility for a period of time somewhere between 30-90 days. They have access to care 24/7 days a week. Generally speaking these types of programs have a higher rate of success in overcoming addiction. It has been thought that the reason for this is that the individual has a complete and total investment in his or her recovery process.

Programs typically include a variety of treatments and therapies.  Programs can and often include individual and group therapy, family counseling, classes and instructions in better communication and coping skills. The individual is encouraged to share what led them down this path as well as how to begin mending the broken relationships in their lives.  Once the inpatient portion of the program is completed they are encouraged to continue with treatment on an intensive outpatient basis where they will continue to learn and grow before leaving with the skills that they acquired to begin starting their lives. There is a greater chance of lasting sobriety if this type of program is followed.

Determining what it is you need

You will need to do an intake to determine the type of program that will work best for you.  Generally speaking the length of time using the substance that has been abused determines whether detox or rehab is the right fit for you.  The longer you have abused drugs or alcohol the harder it is to come off of it.  If that is the case going to a detox facility would be the best place to start followed by a stint in a rehab facility.  Doing these two things in conjunction give you the best chance of a longer lasting recovery.

In Conclusion

It is important to remember that detox facilities’ purposes are to help an addict rid their body of the harmful toxins that they have ingested. To help manage the cravings that occur in the early stages of withdrawal and make the addict more comfortable as the cravings occur. Some facilities believe in medical detox while others believe in supporting the addict without any medication as they begin the process. Either way going to a detox facility should be your first step towards living in recovery and moving on positively.


Rehab facilities on the other hand work with the whole body, not only do they work with the remnants of the drug or alcohol use they work with the person to get to the root of how the addiction began.  It is a whole mind/body experience. The addict is taught what their triggers are as well as taught coping skills to manage those triggers.  They encourage  individuals to attend  group therapy and one on one therapy to work through their problems.  The rehab also gives the addict skills to be able to live in the sober world. They are taught life skills and social interaction. They are given all the tools necessary to have a sober successful life.




Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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