What’s the difference between detox and treatment?

Detox is a process of managing the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal. Detox may be medically managed in an inpatient facility or hospital. It may also occur on an outpatient basis. Detox is a short-term process, usually lasting less than a week.

Treatment addresses the biological, psychological, and social aspects of addiction. It should last longer than detox. Research tells us that most addicted people need at least three months in treatment to really reduce or stop their drug use and that longer treatment times result in better outcomes.

Depending on the type of treatment, detox may be the first step in a drug treatment program. But detox alone with no follow up is not treatment.

Detox treats withdrawal. Treatment treats addiction. Treating withdrawal is not the same as treating addiction.

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