Drug Rehab Vs. Detox: What’s The Difference?

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“Detox” and “rehab” are two terms commonly used to describe treatment for substance abuse, but they’re not exactly the same. Here you can learn more about what detox is, what rehab is, how they’re similar, and how they’re different.

Drug Rehab Vs. Detox

Addiction is a disease that affects millions of Americans and their families. The first steps toward overcoming addiction are admitting you have a problem and seeking help.

Detoxification (detox) is typically the first step in the addiction treatment process, but it’s not quite the same as rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation, more commonly known as “rehab,” is a term that broadly refers to a treatment program for addiction, which may or may not also include detox services.

Differences Between Detox And Rehab

Rehab refers to at least some form of substance abuse treatment. Detox, on the other hand, is a medical treatment, but it’s not exactly a treatment for addiction.

This is important to distinguish because addiction is a behavioral health condition that affects both the mind and the body.

While the detox process can help the body begin to heal from drug abuse physically, rehab is treatment that’s meant to help you heal physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Drug and alcohol detox can be offered as part of a rehab program. But rehab is more than just detox.

The Detox Process

Detox is a process of clearing toxic substances, such as drugs or alcohol, from the body. This can allow the body and the mind to begin to heal from substance abuse.

Detox is a necessary step of the treatment process if you’ve developed physical dependence on a drug through frequent, excessive substance use.

This includes addictive substances such as:

  • alcohol
  • opioids
  • illicit drugs (e.g. cocaine, meth)
  • prescription drugs (e.g. benzos)

Common signs of physical drug dependence include: drug cravings, feeling reliant on alcohol or drugs, and developing symptoms of withdrawal.

Detox Treats Withdrawal Symptoms

Quitting a drug cold-turkey, after becoming dependent, can lead to what’s known as drug withdrawal syndrome. This can cause mild to severe withdrawal symptoms.

In the case of some drugs, including benzodiazepines and alcohol, withdrawal can cause life-threatening symptoms, such as seizures, without the help of medical professionals.

For this reason, finding a detox program within a detox center or addiction recovery center that can offer medical supervision is highly recommended.

What Does A Detox Program Offer?

Above all else, a drug detox program can offer greater safety during the detoxification process. It can also help connect a person to further treatment for their addiction.

A standard detox program will offer:

  • a physical and mental health assessment
  • supervision by a medical team
  • treatment for withdrawal symptoms (e.g. medication)
  • fluids and nutritional support
  • treatment for any medical issues that arise

What Are Common Types Of Drug And Alcohol Rehab Programs?

Rehab for substance use disorders is offered at various levels of care through either a treatment provider or rehab center.

What rehab involves, and what it looks like, will depend on the type of rehab program, and your treatment needs.

Types of rehab programs include:

  • inpatient rehab: 24-hour care in a rehab/treatment facility; may or may not offer detox.
  • residential treatment: 24-hour care in a rehab/treatment facility; may or may not offer detox.
  • partial hospitalization: A highly structured outpatient program that does not require staying in a treatment setting overnight.
  • intensive outpatient: A highly structured outpatient program, less intensive than PHP, that involves attending treatment several days a week.
  • outpatient treatment: This can refer to a structured program, or outpatient treatment services, such as counseling or medication-assisted treatment.

What Does Drug Rehab Offer?

A quality rehab program will offer both medical and behavioral healthcare treatment services, such as counseling and behavioral therapy.

Your treatment plan for drug addiction will depend on factors such as the type of substance you’re addicted to, as well as personal factors, such as having a mental health disorder.

Rehab may offer support groups, medication, family therapy, as well as treatment to help prevent relapse and promote long-term addiction recovery.

Who Needs Detox/Rehab?

A doctor may recommend medical detox or rehab if you drink heavily, and have for a long time, or if you have chronically misused another type of drug.

Substance abuse can have serious, lasting health consequences left untreated. It can also have harmful effects on your overall quality of life.

It may be time to seek help if you:

  • find yourself using drugs more frequently and/or in greater amounts
  • feel reliant on drugs or alcohol to get through the day
  • find it hard to concentrate on things unrelated to your drug/alcohol use
  • continue to use drugs/alcohol despite negative consequences on your health, relationships, or ability to work or attend school
  • have previously tried to reduce your drug or alcohol use without success
  • experience drug or alcohol withdrawal with any attempt to reduce/stop your substance use
  • use substances as a way to cope with stress or other life problems

Find Detox And Rehab Options Today

At DetoxRehabs.net, it’s our goal to connect people with supportive resources to help them overcome addiction and build a fulfilling life in recovery.

We can help you determine which type of treatment program might be right for you, as well as find treatment options near you or your family.

Call our helpline now to learn more about finding the right addiction treatment facility for yourself or a loved one today.



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