How to Pick the Right Detox Center

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24 Jun How to Pick the Right Detox Center

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Millions of Americans seek treatment for drug and alcohol abuse every year. Facilities nationwide provide services and employ qualified staff to assist those who wish to recover in a safe, comfortable environment. Every facility has different programs and resources to offer, even when the central goal remains the same.

Substance abuse programs vary in structure and offerings because a detox treatment that may work well for one person may not be as successful for another. Drug abuse treatment should be approached on an individual basis with each person’s specific needs in mind. With the number of options available, where should a person start when choosing the right detox center?

There are several factors to consider including location, atmosphere, cost, and program availability. Often it’s a friend or family member who is helping to make the decision, which makes it even more important to consider criteria that will prove most helpful over the long-term. Wherever a person chooses to detox must be a place he or she feels secure. Here are ten questions to consider that will help map out the decision-making process for those seeking treatment and their loved ones. 

Where is the detox center located?

One of the first items to address is logistics. How conveniently located is the center for the person entering detox? Would it entail traveling a long distance? There are benefits to selecting a detox center close to home. There may be a better opportunity for visitation, the cost may be less expensive, and any recommended follow-up care most likely will be local as well.

However, there are also benefits for entering recovery in a place in another city or state. It may be the right choice for an addict who needs to be completely separated from his or her current environment, free of temptation or bad influences. It could be a good way to focus solely on detox without any outside factors affecting the process. 

What type of credentials does the facility uphold?

Research the background of the facility and its success rate with patients. Is it a reputable center that meets state licensing requirements? How experienced is the staff and what levels of care are available at the detox, rehabilitation, and therapy levels? The facility should make general information available regarding the details of its program and feedback from previous patients.

Is the care short-term or long-term?

Short-term versus long-term treatment is another factor to consider when planning for detox. Make sure you know to what extent services are offered at whatever facility you choose. Is it a full rehabilitation center or does it only provide services for the detoxification phase?

Drug addiction doesn’t affect all people in the same way, and the recovery process will not reflect the same path either. Some people will receive treatment for a few weeks – others, a few months. Ask about recommended timelines and levels of treatment to decide what will be the best fit.

How much does treatment cost?

Detox centers are staffed by medical professionals and other specially trained staff who are familiar with treating those with substance abuse. Each service cost should be clarified before treatment. Ask if insurance will cover any portion of care and what type of payments plans are available. In most scenarios, facilities can work out a feasible solution for the person seeking help.

Does the center offer inpatient or outpatient care?

Each person’s lifestyle and needs will affect whether they choose inpatient care, outpatient care, or a combination of both. The detox process itself typically takes up to 7-10 days but is then followed by rehabilitation and other forms of therapy. Some people choose to attend this as outpatient care; while others choose residential programs as part of an extended stay. Explore the benefits of both and determine how either would fit into a person’s needs, history with detox, if any, and current lifestyle.


Which services are available?

Detox centers often offer round-the-clock supervision for people who are detoxing from drugs. This is to help with the pain and cravings that come with withdrawal symptoms. Substance abusers handle detox differently, and some may more readily relapse than others. Ask what kind of methods of supervision are available to understand the expectations. Also, inquire about next steps after the detox phase is complete.

What type of activities are available at the center?

The kind of programs and therapy available varies by location. For those who wish to stay at the detox center, they may be required to participate in counseling to remain the program. Many centers offer activities and education to help transition to life without drugs after rehabilitation is complete. Consider what is most important for recovery and what will best help relapse from occurring.

Does the detox center provide skills to transition to sobriety?

Drug dependency can turn a person’s world upside down. At the same time, the reversal can also create a huge impact as well. A detox center creates an environment where a person can feel strong and supported, but what happens when he or she returns to an environment that still holds the same temptations and negative influences? The coping tools and planning offered through certain detox centers help people ease back into society with the ability to function normally and combat any influences that may make them use again.

How does the detox center approach recovery?

Over the years, there have been various methods of detox and treatment introduced to addicts, which promised instant cures, such as hypnosis or aversion therapy. It’s important to understand the difference between eliminating drugs from the system and no longer craving and using drugs. Typically speaking, steady focus on the challenge of addiction and what types of triggers cause behavior which could lead to a relapse is the goal for long-term recovery. Is the approach you want an “instant fix” or sustainable over time?

What does the detox center offer that’s unique?

Every person who enters detox knows they’ve signed up to rid the body of drugs and alcohol. However, there is much more offered through treatment facilities, which helps call attention to a person’s mental well-being, physical strength, and nutritional needs. These all play a crucial role in the health and growth of any person struggling with addiction. Find out what makes the detox center you choose unique and how it will affect the life of you or your loved one.

These are a sampling of frequently asked questions often asked before choosing a detox center. Make a list of your own questions to ensure your choice aligns with all goals. It’s important for the decision to be made with thoughtfulness and realistic expectations.

Entering recovery is a life-changing event and choosing the right treatment is a decision which will significantly affect a person’s success in getting and staying sober.


Miller, Leah. “How to Choose the Right Rehab to Treat a Drug or Alcohol Addiction.” 15 Mar. 2019.

“How Do I Choose the Right Rehab?” Addiction Center. 15 Mar. 2019.

“Successful Recovery Means Choosing the Right Treatment Program.” American Addiction Centers. 15 Mar. 2019.

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