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Tips for Choosing the Right Detox Treatment Center

Choosing the right detox treatment center is an important process because this is where your substance abuse treatment will usually start. In many cases, addiction treatment starts with detox, and the entire process is done much more safely and effectively in a treatment center. Once you have decided that you want to start with detox, choosing your facility will be your next step. Here are some tips on finding the right one.

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Consider Medically-Assisted vs. Nonmedical Detox

Most facilities that help patients through the detox process do so with prescribed medication, the use of which is supervised by doctors and nurses. However, there are some facilities that choose to treat patients without the use of medication which is often called nonmedical or natural detox. How do you know which of these facilities is right for you?

  • Many people are afraid that the use of medication in their detox treatment will only cause them to become addicted to another substance. This is not the case.
  • Some patients need medication for in order to stop abusing illicit drugs. Their detox period could go on for about a week or a few months or be even longer, becoming more of a maintenance treatment. According to Harvard Medical School, “Since the 1970s, professionals who care for opiate addicts have reluctantly recognized that many of them will not or cannot stop taking the drug. The solution is maintenance.”
  • The way medication is used in detox treatment, if it is dosed and taken correctly, is not the same as abuse or addiction.
  • However, many patients feel that they would benefit from natural detox because it reminds them of why they have decided to quit abusing drugs.
  • Withdrawal managed without medication can be painful and even dangerous. According to SAMHSA, “Management of [opioid] withdrawal without medications can produce needless suffering in a population that tends to have limited tolerance for physical pain.”

This evidence shows that, if you are an individual who has a low tolerance for pain or are abusing a substance like alcohol (which has dangerous and even life-threatening withdrawal effects), you may not want to consider a natural detox facility. However, if your doctor tells you you are not in any immediate danger from detox and you believe you can handle the discomfort, then you may want to choose a natural detox treatment center.

Look for a Facility Within Your Price Range

Choosing a facility that is within your price range is just as important as choosing one that provides the treatments and services you need. Many people go through difficult times financially when they become addicted to a substance. This can make your budget an important part of the decision-making process, and knowing which facilities you can afford will help you choose the right one for you.

SAMHSA‘s treatment locator lists facilities by proximity to you. You can sort them by their payment types and price ranges and make sure that you are choosing a facility which will help you through detox as well as other issues.

Know if You Need Inpatient or Outpatient Detox

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This decision will often affect not only your withdrawal process but your overall recovery as well as your budget. Inpatient detox centers are often more expensive than outpatient centers, but free and low-cost inpatient centers do exist. What you should focus on first is whether or not you need inpatient care or if you would be better off with outpatient detox treatment.

Inpatient Detox Treatment Center

If you:

  • Are struggling with other co-occurring mental disorders (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc.)
  • Have “a poor social support system” at home or do not have anyone you can count on to help you through withdrawal (NCBI)
  • Are in danger of experiencing harmful side effects during your withdrawal (like delirium tremens, stimulant-induced psychosis, etc.) which could cause issues for you or others
  • Are in need of a more controlled environment
  • Are experiencing dangerous physical side effects of your drug abuse
  • Need constant supervision
  • Are a polydrug (multiple drugs and/or substances) abuser

Then an inpatient detox treatment center would be better suited to fit your needs.

Outpatient Detox Treatment Center

If you:

  • Do not have another co-occurring mental disorder that you know of
  • Have a strong support system of loved ones who will be staying with you or helping you during this difficult time
  • Are not in danger of experiencing harmful side effects during your withdrawal
  • Are not experiencing harmful physical side effects of your drug abuse
  • Need to be home every night to be with children and are capable of doing so
  • Are not a polydrug abuser

Then an outpatient detox treatment center would be better suited to fit your needs.

Understanding the difference between these two types of facilities and how they may help or hinder your withdrawal process is key to choosing the right detox treatment center. Once you understand whether you truly need inpatient detox or if you would be better off in outpatient, you can often make a better decision about your detox treatment itself.

Make a List of Your Needs

When you actually sit down and make a list of your needs that are most important and that need to be met for your successful detox, it becomes much easier to pick a facility. The NIDA states that effective treatment does not work the same for every patient but “attends to multiple needs” of each individual person and is different for everyone. Your needs are different from someone else’s, and your treatment plan and detox center should reflect that.

Other Tips

  • Choose a facility where you feel comfortable with the staff. This will likely cause you to stay in treatment for the right amount of time instead of leaving early.
  • Find a detox treatment center that provides some kind of therapy treatment. This will prepare you for formal addiction treatment and make it easier to transition into it.
  • Choose the facility that is right for you, not someone else.
  • If possible, find a facility that treats a specific group that you identify with such as women, teens, etc. This could make your detox treatment more focused.

Need more help choosing a detox treatment center? Call 800-996-6135(Who Answers?) now to speak with a caring treatment specialist! 

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