alcohol recovery and recovery from alcohol

Detox Centers


Alcohol and drug addiction eventually cause major changes in an individual's body and brain chemistry.

As a result, one of the first priorities in addiction treatment is to detoxify the body from the toxins that are in an addict's system.

While "complete" detoxification can take months or perhaps years, licensed detox centers provide addicts with medical treatment, counseling, and doctor prescribed medications during the first critical hours or days of abstinence when withdrawal symptoms can be physically painful, damaging, or in some instances, deadly.

As important as detoxification is, it is only one aspect of the treatment process.

Indeed, getting rid of the accumulated drugs or alcohol in a person's body is important but without the management and control of the withdrawal symptoms and without the implementation of the rest of the treatment process such as medications, counseling, education, training, and abstention, the addicted person, via detox, will simply be a "clean" person for a short while before he or she starts the negative cycle of addiction once again.


Misperceptions By Most Alcohol and Drug Addicts

When they first start abusing drugs and/or alcohol, almost all addicts tell themselves that they have power over their addiction and that they can quit any time they want to without medical assistance.

Regrettably, a review of the research literature does not validate this viewpoint.

Indeed, from a statistical vantage point, the vast majority of addicts who stop taking the drugs and/or alcohol to which they have become addicted and try to detoxify themselves on their own will be unsuccessful in the long term.

Research into the effects of long-term addiction has shown that meaningful changes in the way the brain functions remain long after the addict has stopped abusing alcohol or drugs.

Therefore, one of the essential realities for virtually all addicts is this: drug addicts who want to recover from their addiction need more than strong will-power or self-control to realize successful recovery.

In fact, self-recovery and self-detox are extremely difficult for many reasons, including the following:

  • The addict has to overcome the physical, social, and emotional grounds for their addiction.

  • The addict has to deal with and adjust to the modifications in the way the brain functions.

  • The addict has to experience the uncomfortable and painful withdrawal symptoms that commonly occur after refraining from the drug of choice.

  • The addict has to fight the cravings for the drug to which they are addicted.

Drug Rehab

The short-term objective of drug rehab is to help the addict get through the detoxification and the withdrawal process in a safe and uneventful manner while enhancing his or her capability to start functioning in society in a more responsible manner.

Similarly, the long-term objective of drug rehab is to help the addict achieve and maintain abstinence from drug and alcohol use as he or she learns how to function more effectively in society.

Thankfully, quality drug rehab typically helps minimize the physical, the medical, and potentially, the emotional and the social hurdles of drug abuse.

Drug Rehab: How Long Does It Take?

The research literature demonstrates that addicts who remain in drug rehab at least three months frequently experience more effective and productive results than addicts who stay in rehab fewer than three months.

Furthermore, research shows that addicts who go through medically assisted detox in order to reduce the distress of withdrawal but who do not receive additional outpatient rehab, perform about the same in terms of their continued addiction in much the same way as addicts who never went through drug rehab.

Inpatient Drug Rehabilitation

Inpatient drug rehab centers provide support, medical treatment, and counseling for addicts who want help with their drug or alcohol problems. Inpatients typically reside "on location" for the entire rehabilitation protocol.

Although the length of time necessary for rehab may differ, most inpatient rehab programs are between 28 and 30 days long and provide 24/7 care.

According to the research literature, inpatient drug rehab, as differentiated from outpatient rehab, commonly results in longer-lasting abstinence and more productive addiction recovery.

Fortunately, addicts who involve themselves in inpatient drug rehab and USE the new information and tools they have become equipped with are then more able to function in society and lead more successful, responsible drug and alcohol-free lives.

Outpatient Drug Rehabilitation

Unlike inpatient drug rehab, addicts who are involved in outpatient drug rehab do not reside at the drug rehab facility. Similar to inpatient rehab, outpatient drug rehab programs are constructed to offer long-term abstinence from alcohol and drugs.

In actual fact, numerous outpatient drug rehab programs can last months or perhaps years. From a functional framework, outpatient drug rehab methods utilize a variety of diverse techniques including the use of problem-solving groups, 12-step programs, and other approaches such as insight-oriented psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Outpatient drug rehab programs differ in the intensity and the types of services that are provided. For instance, low-intensity outpatient drug rehab programs may provide basic drug and alcoholism counseling and education.

Other outpatient drug rehab approaches, such as intensive day treatment, on the other hand, can be quite similar to residential programs in terms of the services offered and the level of effectiveness achieved, depending on the person's needs and characteristics.

In sum, the eventual goal of outpatient drug rehab is to help addicts recover from drug addiction so that they are better equipped to function in society and lead more responsible, successful alcohol and drug-free lives.

What is the Goal of Addiction Detox?

The objective of detox is to rid the body of the toxins that have accrued because of alcohol or drug abuse. The first step in the detox process frequently focuses on helping the addict effectively and uneventfully cope with the withdrawal symptoms while his or her body is getting rid of the alcohol and/or drugs that remain.

If the withdrawal symptoms are harsh, doctor-prescribed medications are commonly given. These "meds" help reduce the painful and the potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

Detox is undertaken in a variety of diverse ways depending on where the treatment is performed. For instance, most detox centers provide basic medical assistance that centers on helping the addict reduce severe physical withdrawal symptoms.

At the upper end of the treatment spectrum, a "quality" detox center will not only help the patient manage and control his or her withdrawal symptoms with doctor-prescribed meds, but it will also provide the patient with counseling throughout the detox process so that he or she can start working through the emotional and rock bottom causes of the his or her addiction.

Once this rigorous undertaking is accomplished, the addict will then be more able to maintain abstinence and recovery without suffering a relapse.

The Three Stages of Addiction Detox

A comprehensive drug detox procedure can be viewed as consisting of three separate, but interconnected, phases:

  1. Medical Detox. A medical practitioner will typically supervise and manage the physical withdrawal symptoms, thereby helping the addict complete this phase with minimal complications in a safe environment. Interestingly, a full-blown medical detoxification, contrary to what many people think, can last several days.

  2. Physical Detox. After the addict's body and brain are no longer dependent on alcohol or drugs, he or she will need to build up his or her physical health. A nutritionist and a physical therapist can be invaluable during this stage, helping the addict develop strength and physical stamina and encouraging the addict to learn how to eat a more balanced diet, all of which will enable him or her to continue through the rest of the detoxification process.

  3. Emotional Detox. Since drug detoxification can be extremely taxing on an addict's emotional health, most rehab and detox centers provide addicts with counseling during the entire detoxification procedure. Due to the fact that the dependency on drugs has become such an intrinsic part of the addict's emotional, social, and mental life, these critical aspects of the addict's life need to be dealt with in counseling if recovery is to be effective and long-lasting.

Detox Centers and the Types of Programs They Provide

A review of the multitude of different programs that are available at various detox centers is simply astonishing. The following represents a fairly extensive list of the many diverse program options that are available to virtually ANY addict:

  • Non 12-step programs (treatment methodologies that present a non 12-step methodology including individual therapy, education, group counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, and FDA approved doctor prescribed medications

  • Women only programs.

  • Self-help programs (including resources for national self-help groups and organizations, public awareness programs, and help lines)

  • Dual diagnosis programs (addicts who struggle with both substance abuse and mental illness)

  • Teen Boot Camps

  • Mature adult programs (over age 55)

  • Relapse prevention programs

  • 12-step programs (based on the Alcoholics Anonymous model)

  • Faith-based treatment (for instance, Christian and Jewish-oriented therapies)

  • Sober living home programs

  • Young adults programs (ages 18--27)

  • Outpatient Programs

  • GLBT programs (programs for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender persons, and transsexuals)

  • Holistic Approaches (with a focus customizing the treatment to the whole person)

  • Men only programs

  • Programs by various States and regions

  • Adolescent programs (age 12--20)

  • Specific programs for different drugs (alcohol, heroine, crystal meth, cocaine, marijuana, prescription drugs such as oxycontin, darvocet, percocet, vicodin)

  • Suboxone programs (programs using FDA approved medications for the treatment of opiate addiction)

  • Teen only programs (age 13--19)

  • Teen Wilderness Programs

  • Multiple disorder programs (for individuals with a number of "issues" such as, eating disorders, sex and love addictions, alcoholism, and drug addiction)

  • High-profile-people programs (programs that offer full amenities such as daily massages, yoga and life coaching, an enjoyable scenic view, and a private room)

How Much Does Residential Treatment Cost At a Drug Detox Center?

The cost for alcohol and drug addiction detox treatment is as diverse as the number of different available programs. When considering the cost of a program, it is essential to know precisely what is included in the program, what will be added to your bill as a fee-for-service option, and what services your health insurance provider will cover.

One point to keep in the conversation is the following: if you are seeking the best value for your treatment dollar, be aware that price can be meaningful only when discussed in the context of effectiveness and quality. Also keep in mind that insurance typically does not pay for "educational" programs as opposed to methods that are "medical." Fortunately, most of the educational programs, however, accept the major credit cards.

As a general guideline, however, it is worth articulating that the national average for a 30-day detox/rehab program costs between $20,000 and $30,000. On the other hand, one particular drug rehab program advertises that it charges $10,000 for their 28-day program.

Self-Payment Costs for Residential Rehab/Detox

The following represents some of the self-payment costs that a number of rehab/detox centers charge:

  • Detox: $400 per day

  • Residential treatment (30 days): $8,500

  • Transitional living: $70 per day

  • Intensive outpatient (20 sessions): $3,500

  • PROMETA (Methamphetamine/Cocaine): $15,000

  • PROMETA (Alcohol): $13,000

Note: The PROMETA treatment programs employ prescription medications and nutritional supplements to reduce physiological cravings so that relapses are kept to a minimum.

The Cost for Outpatient Rehab/Detox Programs

The cost for outpatient 30-day rehab programs can be as low as $2,500 and as high as $6,000 or more, depending on the available treatment options.

Conclusion: Detox Centers

Perhaps the first priority when discussing addiction recovery is the detoxification of the toxins that remain in the addict's system.


While "complete" detoxification can take months or maybe even years, licensed detox centers offer counseling, doctor-prescribed medications, and medical supervision during the first few hours or days of abstinence when withdrawal symptoms can be physically agonizing, hazardous, and in some instances, fatal.

The short-term objective of drug rehab is to help the addict get through the detox and through the withdrawal process while enhancing his or her ability to start functioning more responsibly in society.

Fortunately, professional drug rehab undertaken at detox centers typically helps address the physical, the medical, and potentially, the emotional and the social manifestations of drug and/or alcohol addiction.