Are There Different Types of Detox Programs?

different types of detox programs

Drugs and alcohol have a way of taking over your life when abused unknowingly. By the time you decide to stop using, the effects of these substances override your ability to cut back or stop using altogether. Detox rehab programs provide the types of supports most needed to break the drug/alcohol abuse cycle.

While it can be easy to assume that all detox programs offer the same types of services, there are several different types of facilities from which to choose. Understanding the differences between program types can go a long way towards helping you choose a program that offers the level of treatment support you need.

The Purpose of Detox

Any type of addictive substance, be it opiates, stimulants, alcohol or sedatives, interferes with the chemical systems that regulate the brain and body. These substances weaken the body’s systems and over time, cause physical and psychological dependence to develop. These conditions account for why you can no longer stop using drugs and alcohol on your own.

Detox programs specialize in treating the brain and body’s dependence on addictive substances as well as help you better understand how addiction warps your thinking and behavior. The different detox program types are designed to treat different severities and different types of addiction.

Types of Detox Programs

Detox programs operate as either inpatient or outpatient facilities. From there, programs become more specialized in terms of intensity levels and types of addictions treated.

Specialty program types include:

  • Inpatient detox
  • Holistic detox
  • Medication-assisted detox

It helps to keep in mind that many detox programs also offer a combination of specialties, meaning a program may be holistic-based but also offer medication-assisted detox.

Inpatient Detox

Inpatient detox programs offer the most intensive level of treatment care. These programs treat the most severe cases of addiction where serious medical and/or mental health problems have developed as a result of an addiction problem.

With severe forms of addiction, detox withdrawal symptoms tend to be quite severe and in some cases, life threatening. Inpatient programs operate a live-in treatment settings that provide round-the-clock medical treatment and mental health care as part of the detox process. Inpatient detox programs can run anywhere from one week to three months long depending on the severity of your condition.

Holistic Detox

Addiction’s effects on your thinking and self-esteem can be debilitating to the point where any sense of self value is gone. Holistic detox programs combine standard treatment practices with alternative therapies that work to heal the mind and spirit.

Holistic programs offer a range of treatment interventions, each of which addresses a different area of healing and spiritual development, including:

  • Energy-based therapies
  • Acupuncture
  • Yoga

Combining standard detox interventions with alternative therapies enables holistic programs to treat the whole person (body, mind and spirit) as opposed to just the body and mind.

Medication-Assisted Detox

Medication-assisted detox programs use government-approved medications to help relieve severe withdrawal symptoms. To date, medication-assisted approaches are available to treat opiate- and alcohol-based addictions.

Methadone, Suboxone and Subutex are medications used in opiate detox. Antabuse, Vivitrol and Campral are used in alcohol detox.

These program types also offer behavioral interventions, which address the destructive thinking and behavior that addiction leaves behind. Behavioral interventions commonly used include:

  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Support groups
  • Group therapies
  • Relapse prevention training

Outpatient Detox

Outpatient detox programs offer the least intensive approach to detox. Unlike inpatient-based facilities, you don’t live at the facility so much of your time is spent on your own.

Outpatient programs focus mainly on helping you learn to manage substance-using urges in your daily life. These programs also use many of the same behavioral interventions that inpatient programs do.

Treatment sessions are scheduled throughout the week, sometimes three times a week, sometimes five times a week depending on the program. As far as treatment duration goes, outpatient programs can run anywhere from three months to several years depending on your treatment needs.

Choosing the Right Detox Program – Which One Do I Need?

No one detox program is right for everyone. Choosing the program that can best address your treatment needs offers the best chance of a successful recovery.

While physical withdrawal can be difficult to deal with, the psychological withdrawal symptoms that detox brings can be just as uncomfortable. Psychological withdrawal may take the form of:

  • Severe depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia

For this reason, your likelihood of experiencing severe psychological withdrawal effects should also be factored in when choosing a detox program.

Factors to Consider

Length of Time Using

The effects of substance abuse accumulate over time, wearing down the body and mind in the process. If you’re coming off months or years of drug or alcohol abuse, the aftereffects of addiction will likely require an intensive level of detox care such as what an inpatient-based program provides. Otherwise, the likelihood of relapse runs especially high with other less intensive program types.

Prior Drug/Alcohol Rehab History

Some people struggling with addiction have gone through multiple rounds of rehab before actually gaining control of the addiction problem. A past history of drug or alcohol rehab indicates a severe addiction problem is at work.

Under these conditions, an intensive level detox program should be seriously considered. Inpatient-based programs are best equipped to deal with the physical and mental health problems and challenges that chronic addictions leave behind.

Mental Health Issues

It can be easy to overlook the mental health issues that develop during the course of abusing drugs and alcohol. People recovering from moderate to severe addiction problems stand to experience severe emotional withdrawal effects during detox when mental health problems are present.

When issues like depression and anxiety are a factor, it’s best to choose a detox program that’s equipped to treat both the addiction as well as any emotional or mental problems that may exist.

If you need help choosing a detox program or just need help getting started, call us today at 866-802-6848. This is a 24-hour a day helpline with counselors available to help you find a program that’s right for you.