What is Detox and How Does It Differ from Treatment?

November 28, 2014

Many prospective patients, parents and loved ones of those addicted to substances such as alcohol or drugs often wonder about the difference between detox and addiction treatment. Even if they understand that they are two distinct levels of care, they may not understand what criteria leads to their loved one being directed to one or the other.

Detox or detoxification is a medical treatment. It is supervised by a physician and supported by nursing staff. The purpose of detox is to help the addictive individual withdraw from the substance of abuse. This moment in a patient’s recovery is extremely delicate and must be supervised to ensure that no adverse health effects occur during the detoxification process. Depending on the quantity and length of time that a substance has been abused, the detox process can be very uncomfortable. That is why Fellowship Hall uses proven drug therapies to assist our patients with the withdrawal process, keeping them as comfortable as possible during this difficult time. We are also trained to identify and handle behavioral issues that occur during the detoxification process. The body will be undergoing many changes as it flushes the toxins. Detoxification may also create a psychological strain or agitation in the patient; our physicians, nursing staff and counselors are trained to address these issues. The detoxification process usually lasts no more than seven days.

While in the detoxification process, the patient moves into therapeutic treatment. The behavioral therapy portion of the recovery process is not actively supervised by a physician; however our medical director monitors our patients on a regular basis. Trained and supervised addiction counselors provide behavioral therapy to assist the patient in moving away from drugs and/or alcohol. This is facilitated through the utilization of the 12 Step recovery programs, education, and individual and group therapy. This process also involves our family program, relapse prevention and the acquisition of new skills for living a life in recovery. Many patients transition to a lower level of care, which may involve intensive outpatient treatment or extended treatment. The therapeutic process can last up to 90 days.

During the admissions process the addicted individual and their family will be apprised of the best course of action and level of care for their particular situation. The first and biggest step toward recovery is a confidential call to our facility to learn more.