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Comparing Standalone Medical Detox to Rehabs with Detox Services

While many residential addiction treatment centers offer medical detox services for clients, most clinicians still recommend standalone detoxification facilities.

Individuals seeking alcohol and drug detox services have so many options available to them that it can be overwhelming to determine the best facility for them, especially when they are still in the throes of their addiction. Residential treatment centers most often open their own detox facilities for financial reasons and reasons of convenience. While it may prove lucrative for the facility, it may not be in the best interest of the clients.

There are advantages to completing a free-standing drug and alcohol detox process prior to entering treatment. In standalone facilities, the focus is primarily on medical and nursing care. While there is a medical component in rehabs that offer detox services, the individual’s physical well-being may be compromised as the bigger focus is on long-term sobriety and those participating in the treatment program.

Housing detox and residential clients on the same campus can prove to be difficult. Those who have moved through the detox phase may be triggered by watching new detox admits come in either drunk or high and then show signs of nodding out, shakiness, vomiting or other withdrawal symptoms. This has the ability to distract them from their own recovery journey. They may instead be focused on the medications detox clients are given to assist with the withdrawal process. Those active in the treatment program may become lazy and unmotivated, trying to compare themselves to their peers in detox and expecting the same courtesy to simply relax.

Completing medical detox in a standalone facility gives individuals time to clear their heads in order to make the best choice for inpatient treatment. When people enter a rehab that has detox services, they lose that choice and may find that the actual treatment program is not the most beneficial for them. At times, this may impact the likelihood of attaining long-term sobriety.

Choosing a standalone medical detox facility comes down to safety and efficacy. It is not as convenient as the individual will have to relocate after detox, but the medical risks are decreased and the chances of long-term sobriety are increased. When individuals display severe decompensation, the best clinical recommendation is to refer them immediately to an acute detox facility.