People often have misconceptions about detox and rehab, they may end up referring both terms as something synonymous and that is understandable.
Overcoming a drug addiction takes a strong support system and you do not have to do it alone.
Detoxification through a professional program can help you get the drugs out of your system, however it may not be enough to achieve lifelong recovery.
Thus, you may need rehabilitation after detoxification for a life of sobriety.
The Difference Between Detox And Rehab
Many people mistakenly believe that detox and rehab is the same thing.
They are in fact two separate processes, sometimes at two separate facilities.
To clarify, detoxification is a part of rehabilitation.
It is usually one of the earliest and most important parts of the recovery process.
Detox focuses on the physical side of addiction, while rehab looks at the psychological.
Detoxification removes the toxins from the patient’s body, until there no drugs or alcohol remain in the patient’s system. The detox process will differ depending on the types of substances used and the severity of the dependency.
On the other hand, rehabilitation typically occurs after detox ends.
It involves numerous programs, therapies, and activities to focus on what caused the addiction.
Rehab programs can offer education, counseling, and guidance to help patients address the underlying mental, emotional, or psychological root of the drug dependency.
Rehabilitation can take longer as the patient works through his or her deep inner issues, that is to say, about 30 to 90 days or more. In contrast, detox typically lasts 3 to 10 days while the drugs leave the patient’s system.
Why Detox With Professionals?
Addiction works by creating a physical dependency on a substance.
Therefore, someone who has developed a physical dependency by using drugs or alcohol will need the substance to feel good or to feel normal.
Some people may need larger amounts of the substance to feel the effects, as they have built up a tolerance.
Someone with an addiction cannot go without the substance without experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
These physical and mental effects can be disabling or even deadly, and include:
- Anxiety or restlessness
- Trouble with sleep
- Nausea or vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
- Rapid heart beat
- Muscle tension, tremors, shakes, or aches
- Excessive sweating
Nevertheless, withdrawal from certain addictions can cause heart attacks, seizures, or strokes.
It’s critical to undergo detox among medical professionals in case you experience a dangerous complication.
Detox at a facility can also come with special medications that can alleviate the symptoms and make detox less painful.
This can decrease your risk of relapse and possible overdose.
The Importance Of A Long-Term Inpatient Or Outpatient Program
As important as drug detoxification is, it might not be enough to keep an individual sober.
The drugs are out of the physical system, but the urge to misuse substances can remain.
Many substances have a lasting chemical impact on the brain that can increase the odds of relapse.
Even without a change in your brain, the underlying issues that led you to use drugs to cope may still exist.
Until you identify and eliminate the source of your addiction, you cannot hope to overcome it indefinitely.
The Benefits Of Drug Rehab
Enrolling in a rehabilitation program, and not just a drug detox program, can provide the structure and support you need to embrace your new life without drugs.
Rehabilitation comes with 24/7 counseling and professional support.
You can choose an inpatient program and live in a safe, sober community while you rehabilitate to reduce the risk of relapse.
You can also benefit from many other aspects of rehab:
- Programs where you can learn coping and important recovery skills
- Comprehensive psychotherapy with licensed clinicians
- Addiction specialists to help you address underlying issues
- Tailored recovery programs that align with your unique needs
- Medication-assisted treatments for long-term recovery
- Activities to promote physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness
- Group, family, and individual therapies
- Traditional and holistic therapies
- Occupational programs and training for life outside of rehab
A rehab program can help you identify triggers and learn how to cope with them in a healthy way, without turning to drugs or alcohol.
It can give you healthy tools to reduce stress and enjoy a life of sobriety.
The skills you learn in rehab can improve your communication skills, relationships with others, and ability to prevent relapse.
Rather than just getting the drugs out of your system and releasing you out into the world, rehabilitation makes sure you are ready to achieve lifelong recovery.
Which Is Right For You? Detox or Rehab?
Getting sober may take more than just a detox program.
However, many people have achieved successful long-term sobriety with detox plus a support system, such as a 12-step program or addiction support group, without going to rehab.
The right choice for you depends on the nature of your addiction, how much it has impacted your life, and your financial situation.
You may want to consider rehabilitation on top of detox if you have a severe addiction and cannot address its root cause by yourself.
If you suffer from broken relationships, poor communication skills, lack of a support network, or a co-occurring disorder such as schizophrenia, consider rehabilitation as part of your recovery.
In rehab, you will receive counseling and support from trained and licensed addiction specialists.
You will get help identifying the cause of your addiction and tools you can use long after rehab to stave off cravings and temptation.
Rehabilitation will connect you to others who can become your support group long after you leave the center. It can teach you how to achieve balance in your life through physical, mental, and spiritual wellness.
You may not need to enroll in anything more than drug detox if cleansing your body of toxins is enough to relieve your stress levels and help you regain your control over your behavior.
If you have already acknowledged the cause of your drug problem, such as a recent traumatic event or falling out with a loved one, and taken steps to correct it, you may be able to recover without a longer rehabilitation program.
You may simply need a detox to safely manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce your drug cravings.
If you do experience a trigger or relapse, however, consider rehabilitation for your next recovery stint.