Substance abuse commonly elicits major changes in an individual's body and brain chemistry. Consequently,
one of the first priorities in rehab from addiction is the detoxification of the body from the poisonous chemicals
that are in the drug dependent's system.
Even though thorough detoxification can take months or even years, licensed detox centers provide
doctor-administered medications, intensive counseling, and medical supervision during the first few hours or days
of rehab when withdrawal symptoms can be painful, hazardous, and in far too many circumstances, fatal.
Alcohol and Drug Addicts and Their Misconceptions
When addicts start using drugs or alcohol, the vast majority of them are convinced that they can control their
abuse and can quit any time they want to without assistance from the medical community.
Regrettably, the results of addiction research do not confirm this viewpoint.
In fact, from a statistical orientation, most addicts who stop taking the drugs and/or alcohol upon which they
are dependent and attempt self-detoxification will be unsuccessful in their efforts, especially, over the long
Research into the outcomes of chronic addiction has shown that important changes in the way in which the brain
functions are detectable long after the drug dependent individual has terminated his or her drug abuse.
One of main realities for most addicts, therefore, is this: drug addicted individuals who want to recover from
their dependency need more than "mental toughness" or strong willpower in order to attain effective and lasting
In fact, self-recovery and self-detoxification are extremely difficult for a variety of reasons, including the
- The addict has to overcome the emotional, social, and physical causes that lie at the root of his or her
- The drug dependent individual has to prevail over the cravings for his or her drug of choice.
- The drug dependent person has to triumph over the withdrawal symptoms that frequently take place after
suddenly stopping one's drug abuse.
- The addict has to cope with and adjust to the brain transformations that result when the drugs to which the
person is addicted are suddenly terminated.
The short-term objective of drug rehab is to help the person get through detox and safely overcome his or her
From a slightly different perspective, the long-term goal of drug rehab is to help the addict achieve long
lasting abstinence from drug use as he or she learns how to function more responsibly in society.
Fortunately, effective drug rehab typically helps reduce the physical, medical, the social, and the emotional
consequences of drug abuse.
Successful Drug Rehab: How Long Does It Take?
Research demonstrates that drug dependent individuals who remain in drug rehab longer than three months usually
experience more positive and productive results than addicts who remain in rehab fewer than three months.
Furthermore, the substance abuse research literature shows that addicts who go through professional drug detox
in order to minimize withdrawal complications but fail to receive additional outpatient counseling, in terms of
their drug abuse perform similar to addicts who never went through drug rehab.
Inpatient Drug Rehab
Inpatient drug rehab centers provide support, structure, and medical treatment for drug dependent individuals
who ask for assistance in coping with their drug or alcohol problems.
Inpatients reside "on location" for the total rehabilitation program. Although the rehab time frame may vary,
most inpatient drug rehab programs are at least 28 or 30 days long and offer care around the clock, 365 days per
According to the research literature, inpatient drug rehab, as opposed to outpatient rehab, typically results in
longer-lasting abstinence and more effective addiction recovery.
Fortunately, drug dependent individuals who enroll in inpatient drug rehab and make use of the training and
information they have received are then able to re-enter society and lead more respectable, and more responsible
drug and alcohol-free lives.
Outpatient Drug Rehab
Addicts who enroll in outpatient drug rehab, unlike residential drug rehab, do not reside at the drug rehab
facility. Similar to their residential counterparts, moreover, outpatient drug rehab programs provide treatment
that results in long-term abstinence from substance abuse.
As far as length of program is concerned, however, many outpatient drug rehab programs are designed to last a
number of months or years.
Outpatient drug rehab treatment utilizes a variety of techniques including problem-solving groups and 12-step
programs along with other specialized techniques such as insight-oriented psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral
Not unlike residential programs, outpatient drug rehab methodologies vary in the intensity and extent of
services that are available. For instance, low-intensity outpatient drug rehab programs typically provide little
more than drug counseling and education.
Other outpatient drug rehab approaches, such as intensive day treatment, can be similar to residential programs
in terms of scope, effectiveness, and productivity, depending on the person's characteristics, traits and
Similar to residential rehab, the ultimate objective of outpatient drug rehab is to help the drug dependent
individual overcome his or her drug addiction to the extent that he or she is able to re-enter society and lead
more successful and more responsible alcohol and drug-free lives.
Alcohol and Drug Detoxification
The goal of detox is to rid the body of the poisons that remain in the body due to alcohol or drug abuse.
Helping drug dependent persons safely overcome their withdrawal symptoms while ridding their bodies of the
remaining chemicals drugs or alcohol is typically the first step in the detox process.
If the withdrawal symptoms are excessive, moreover, doctor-administered medications are typically given to help
reduce the painful, dangerous, and the potentially deadly symptoms of addiction withdrawal.
Detox is performed in a variety of ways depending on the techniques employed and the location of the rehab. Most
detox centers provide basic medical treatment to help the addict overcome physical withdrawal complications.
At the upper end of the scale, a "top-quality" detox center will not only help the drug dependent individual
manage and overcome his or her withdrawal symptoms, usually through doctor-prescribed medications, but they also
provide therapy and counseling throughout the detox process so that the addict can address and work through the
emotional and social causes of the his or her dependency.
Once this is accomplished, the addict will be encouraged to seek continuing follow-up treatment and counseling
so that he or she will be more able to achieve lasting abstinence and recovery without suffering a relapse.
The Three Phases of a Quality Detox Program
Wide-ranging drug detox can be analyzed as consisting of three different, but interrelated, phases:
- Medical Detox. Healthcare practitioners monitor and manage the physical withdrawal symptoms, thereby
helping the drug dependent person complete this phase of detox in a safe atmosphere with minimal complications.
Contrary to the opinions of many people, interestingly, a comprehensive medical detox can last several days or
weeks, or longer.
- Physical Detox. After the drug dependent person's body and brain are no longer drug dependent, the person
will need to work on building up his or her physical conditioning and health. During this phase, a physical
therapist and a nutritionist can help the addict develop physical stamina and start eating a more balanced
diet. Both of these components will be instrumental in helping the addict successfully complete the remainder
of the detoxification process.
- Psychological Detox. Since drug detox can be excessively demanding on an addict's emotional health, most
rehabilitation and detox centers provide addicts intensive therapy and counseling throughout the detoxification
protocol. Due to the fact that dependency on drugs has become such an intrinsic part of the drug dependent's
mental, social, and emotional life, these critical components of the addict's life need to be identified and
worked through in counseling if recovery is to be effective and long-term.
Detox Centers and the Programs They Provide
An overview of the different programs that are available at various detox centers is simply remarkable. The
following represents a fairly extensive listing of the many different rehab and detox programs that are available
to virtually ANY person who is drug dependent:
- Sober living home programs.
- Relapse prevention.
- Dual diagnosis programs (addicts who struggle with both mental illness and substance abuse).
- Young adult programs (ages 18 - 27).
- Programs by various States and regions.
- GLBT programs (programs for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender persons, and transsexuals).
- High-profile-people programs (offering full amenities such as a yoga and life coach, a daily massage, an
enjoyable scenic view, and a private room).
- Holistic approaches (with a focus on customizing the treatment for the whole person).
- Men only programs.
- Women only programs.
- Teen wilderness programs.
- Multiple disorder programs (for people with a number of "problems" such as drug addiction, eating
disorders, alcoholism, sex and love addictions, etc.).
- Non 12-step programs (treatment approaches that focus on a non 12-step methodology including education,
individual counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, and FDA approved doctor prescribed
- Self-help programs (including listings for national self-help groups, organizations, help lines, and public
- Faith-based treatment (for instance, Christian and Jewish-oriented therapies).
- 12-step programs (based on the Alcoholics Anonymous model).
- Specific programs for different drugs (alcohol, heroine, crystal meth, cocaine, marijuana, prescription
drugs such as oxycontin, darvocet, percocet, vicodin).
- Suboxone programs (programs employing FDA approved medications for the treatment of opiate dependence).
- Teen boot camps.
- Mature adult programs (over age 55).
- Teen only programs (age 13 - 19).
- Adolescent programs (age 12 - 20).
- Outpatient Programs.
Drug Detox Centers and Treatment Costs
The cost for alcohol and drug addiction detox treatment is as different as the number of programs that are
available. Regarding cost, it is important to know exactly what therapies and services your health insurance
provider will pay for, precisely what is included in the program, and what will be added to your bill as a
If you want the most value for your treatment dollar, keep in mind that price is meaningful only in terms of
quality, performance, and effectiveness. Make sure, moreover, that you understand the fact that insurance companies
usually cover "medical" protocols, but rarely pay for "educational" programs. Most educational programs,
fortunately, accept the major credit cards.
As a broad guideline, it is worth emphasizing the fact that the national average for a 30-day inpatient
rehab/detox program costs between $20,000 and $30,000.
On the other hand, other well-known rehab programs can be found in the $10,000 range for a 28-day program. The
point: with research and effort, you will usually be able to find a quality drug rehab program that fits most
Self-Payment Costs At Inpatient Detox Centers
The following represents some typical self-payment costs that can be found at a number of residential
- Transitional living: $70 per day
- Intensive Outpatient (20 sessions): $3,500
- Detox: $400 per day
- Residential Treatment (30 days): $8,500
- PROMETA (Alcohol): $13,000
- PROMETA (Methamphetamine/Cocaine): $15,000
Note: The PROMETA treatment approach utilizes prescription medications and nutritional supplements to reduce
physiological cravings so that relapse episodes are minimized.
Costs for Outpatient Rehab/Detox Programs
The cost for outpatient 30-day rehab/detox programs can be $2,500 at the low end and around $6,000 or more,
depending on the program, at the high end.
Conclusion: Detox Centers
The first priority in the drug addiction recovery process involves the detoxification of the body from the
poison chemicals and their byproducts that remain in an addict's system.
While thorough and total detoxification can take months if not years, licensed detox centers offer intensive
counseling and therapy, medical supervision, and doctor-prescribed medications during the first few hours or days
of treatment when withdrawal symptoms can be physically painful, perilous, and far too often, deadly.
The short-term objective drug rehabilitation is to help the drug dependent individual safely get through the
detox protocol and the withdrawal process while enhancing the person's ability to start functioning in a more
responsible and successful manner in society.
Fortunately, top quality detox centers provide treatment that commonly helps reduce the social, emotional,
medical, and the physical outcomes of substance abuse.