The Difference Between Detox and Rehab

One of the most common mistakes people make when trying to recover from drug or alcohol addiction is confusing detox withrehab. Detox is simply the process of stopping your drug or alcohol use in order to stabilize your body and mind, but it’s only the first step in the recovery process. Rehab, on the other hand, requires more than detox in order to treat addiction at its core; you’ll need therapy and support to gain long-term sobriety, which is why it’s important to understand the difference between detox and rehab before trying to get clean.

What is Rehab?

Anyone who’s been through a treatment program knows that not all rehabs are created equal. Whether you’re a recovering drug addict or alcoholic, or you have a loved one with addiction problems, it helps to know what different types of rehab exist so you can find one that will be successful for your specific needs. To help explain, let’s start by defining terms. 

What is rehab? The word rehab is short for rehabilitation—which means helping people recover from addiction or substance abuse by treating their physical dependence while also providing emotional support and professional counseling. But there are different types of rehab programs, so let’s break them down:

Single-day detox: Sometimes called a rapid detox, single-day detox programs provide round-the-clock medical care as patients go through withdrawal symptoms. While they’re considered safe and can be effective in getting patients off drugs quickly, they aren’t widely available because insurance companies often don’t cover them due to high costs. 

Inpatient/residential treatment: Inpatient or residential treatment programs provide a safe place for addicts to live full time as they receive both medical and psychological treatment. They usually last anywhere from 30 days to six months and can be effective in helping people beat addictions—as long as patients stay sober when they leave. Long-term inpatient rehab may not be right for everyone, though, so if you’re considering it, think about whether you would have difficulty abstaining at home.

Residential Treatment Centers

This type of rehab is in-patient, meaning you stay at a facility while getting treatment. The length of your stay depends on your addiction; however, there are usually 30-day minimums for alcoholism or drug addiction (60 days if it’s co-occurring with other disorders). Often these centers specialize in certain addictions like alcohol, drugs or behavioral health problems. You can also get a substance abuse evaluation to determine if you need to go to a residential treatment center or somewhere else. While these centers often have high success rates depending on what addiction you have, they can be quite expensive—hundreds of pounds per day—and aren’t covered by insurance unless it’s an emergency situation or hospitalization.

Outpatient Programs

Outpatient treatment allows patients to take part in regular everyday activities, like working or taking care of family. Many rehabs also offer services like spiritual counseling or acupuncture, which can help patients cope with withdrawal symptoms. Outpatient programs are available for patients who need help, but don’t require intensive care. Additionally, some outpatient programs only require a few hours of attendance each week, making it easy to continue your work or school routine while still getting necessary treatment.

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