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Differences Between Detox & Residential Drug Treatment

Drug detox and residential drug treatment are both crucial aspects vital to the success of addiction recovery. Although these terms are used interchangeably in the media, they are not the same thing.

Both can benefit you immensely, but both are different types of treatment that occur during different stages of recovery. When deciding on which option to choose for yourself, it is essential to understand what they each have to offer and maybe even what they lack.

Knowing as much as you can about every available approach at your disposal offers you the most information to make a well-thought-out decision about your long-term recovery.

What Is Drug Detox?

Detox is a medical intervention that provides treatment for acute withdrawal symptoms from substance abuse. This treatment usually lasts no more than ten days. Detox programs offer support for detoxing from drugs such as:

A detox facility will provide around-the-clock medical care, supervision, and medication if necessary so that your withdrawal symptoms are managed. Detox is an essential part of safely ridding substances from your system.

As withdrawal from drugs and alcohol can lead to unpleasant and even dangerous symptoms, detox is the best choice to ensure your health and wellbeing.

Upon arrival at a detox treatment center, you will undergo a medical assessment with a medical professional. This stage of withdrawal can be the hardest physically. It can lead to symptoms like agitation, anxiety, sweating, fever, and shakes, to name a few.

From here, you and your physician will come up with a treatment plan that best fits your needs. This will vary based on your medical history, your addiction history, the substance you use, how you use, and when you last used it.

By detoxing within a medical facility, you ensure you are properly monitored and cared for through the trials of withdrawals.

Drug detox is also a great introduction to further treatment for addiction recovery, helping you transition into the next stages of the recovery process. 

What Is Residential Treatment?

Residential drug treatment is also known as drug rehab. This often happens after detox, as many facilities require you to be free of substances before checking in.

If you've been through detox or have been free from substances for five to seven days, residential treatment might be right for you.

This is a step many people forego after detox because they have kicked the physical aspect of addiction. However, this aspect is just as vital for long-term recovery. Residential treatment focuses more on post-acute withdrawal syndrome and the psychological aspects of addiction.

Ideally, a residential program will provide you with one-on-one therapy, group meetings, art therapy, mindfulness, and other productive activities.

You will learn not only how to address the cause of your addiction but may also discover an underlying mental illness that is co-occurring. Rehab also teaches you coping mechanisms and tools for handling triggers and urges once you return home.

Although residential treatment is much less physically demanding than detox, it can be emotionally exhausting yet incredibly rewarding for those who choose that path.

Residential drug treatment offers 24/7 care and tracks your progress with medications and therapies. Unlike detox, this treatment varies by providing guidance for all parts of recovery. Many programs even offer family counseling, yoga, or art therapy.

Most stays in residential drug treatment centers average about 30 days but can be longer.

Rehab is the part of recovery that gives you the tools you need in the outside world. Detox may be the key to beginning further recovery, but relapse is more likely without the continuum of care provided at a residential treatment center.

Which Is Right for You?

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), "Establishing criteria that take into account all the possible needs of patients receiving detoxification and treatment services is an extraordinarily complex task."

As each patient has their own unique needs, no care plan will be one-size-fits-all.

Detox is an essential part of recovery in that it begins the process on the right foot. Detox offers you care and safety during a vulnerable and physically demanding time. However, it doesn't offer the in-depth counseling, and attention one needs to truly work through their addiction from every angle.

Most professionals would recommend both detox and rehab for a comprehensive treatment plan. One without the other is not as effective as both.

The decision regarding which is right for you is more about what stage of recovery you're in rather than which would be more beneficial, as both are critical to your overall health and wellness. 

Detox And Residential Care Are Not The Same

The differences between detox and residential drug treatment are hefty. While detox offers medical treatment for the physical symptoms of withdrawal, it doesn't provide much in sustaining sobriety long-term.

Although detox introduces you to the world of recovery and exposes you to the beginning, rehab is where the emotional work comes into play. The intensive therapy and counseling provided in a residential drug treatment center are unmatched. Such a treatment center offers you a dedicated space to focus solely on your recovery without outside distractions or triggers.

In rehab, you learn how to handle life without drugs by gaining the tools and coping mechanisms you'll need to adjust. Both detox and residential treatment are essential to your recovery success. has an unmatched selection of professional detox centers. With our site, you’ll find a detox center for your needs easily. Get started on your journey to a healthier, happier life with!

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