No matter what area you live in, there’s a huge amount of misconception and misinformation about addiction that permeates our society. Unfortunately, this also extends to addiction treatment. People often have misguided ideas of what treatment centers are. At best, they’re somewhat misinformed; at worst, they’re harmful because they keep people from seeking the treatment they need. These are some of the most common misconceptions about addiction detox centers.
Addiction and mental health treatment have both come a long way since the 19th century, but media portrayals seem slow to catch up. Oftentimes, addiction treatment is portrayed as synonymous with a psych ward. The people suffering are unpleasant and two-dimensional, the amenities are horrible, and the doctors are cruel. But this couldn’t be farther from the actual reality of addiction treatment today. Education is the best way to combat ignorance, so this list of common misconceptions should help you understand more about drug treatment.
Common Misconceptions Regarding Addiction Detox Centers
The first thing you should understand is that a detox center is just one small piece of a full drug recovery program. After the initial detox, patients will go through rehabilitation, mental health counseling, outpatient therapy and medication management, support groups, and any number of other positive steps. The main goal of a detox center is to treat the physical aspect of your addiction.
Physical withdrawals have the potential to be dangerous. The withdrawal from alcohol can even present with life-threatening symptoms. That’s without getting into the high rates of relapse and post-relapse overdose. Withdrawal isn’t something that a person should go through on their own. The detox facility is staffed with caring professionals whose entire job is to understand situations like this. Their goal is to get you through withdrawal as safely and painlessly as possible, and they tend to be quite good at it.
Detox Centers and Rehab Facilities Are the Same Thing
This is one of the biggest misconceptions about detox, and it tends to stem from a misunderstanding about how the treatment process works.
There are a few marked differences between detox and rehabilitation facilities. To understand them, it’s best to break down the components of addiction. The first component is the emotional dependence on the drug. In many cases, emotional dependence is caused because a person is using the drug to self-medicate a currently-unmedicated mental illness.
The second component is physical dependence. Using drugs or alcohol over a prolonged period of time can cause your body’s chemistry to change. When you stop taking the substance, your entire system is thrown out of whack. Your body experiences illness symptoms that are pronounced and far from psychosomatic. Physical withdrawal tends to last for about 7 days, while emotional dependence can last a lifetime.
Detox centers are designed to handle the physical withdrawal symptoms that occur immediately after the substance is stopped. As such, their programs tend to last for shorter periods of time. They also include 24/7 medical monitoring to make sure you have help if you experience any dangerous physical symptoms.
Separation of chemicals from your body is the first step toward recovery. Rehabilitation facilities are the second step. These facilities provide programs that tend to last for several months, with the main goal being to provide comprehensive mental health treatment.
Sometimes, detox and rehabilitation facilities will occupy the same space. This can streamline the process for a patient.
Medical Detox Is More Painful Than Other Detoxes
It’s natural to be nervous about medical detox. You probably don’t want people looking at you, and you might be uncomfortable with their questions. But the tradeoff for that slight discomfort is this: Medical detox gives you the least painful withdrawal experience you can have.
There are two main components to this. The first is the use of medication to soften withdrawal symptoms. With medication-managed withdrawal, patients may not even experience illness. The second component is the support system you’re provided. You’re monitored and counseled through both the physical and mental withdrawal symptoms, which greatly improves your chances of recovery. Other detox methods have high relapse rates.
Medical Staff at Detox Centers Are Judgmental
The medical staff wouldn’t work at a detox facility if they didn’t care about addicts. There are plenty of other opportunities in the healthcare field. When you go to a detox center, you can be sure that the staff are some of the least judgmental people you’ll come across. As such, it’s important to be honest with them. They truly do have your best interests at heart.
Detox Centers Are Like Prison
Detox centers are a medical program. Yes, there’s close monitoring, but that’s for your personal safety. Some patients may even be able to participate in detox programs on an outpatient basis.
Policies will vary from center to center, but for the most part, you should be free to check out and leave the center whenever you choose. Your personal autonomy still belongs to you.
Detox Centers Are Worse Than Hospitals
Hospitals are capable of providing you with a medically-monitored detox. However, they don’t have all the amenities that a true addiction facility can provide.
Detox centers are structured specifically around helping people in your situation. Your team of professionals will do a skilled evaluation, create a personalized treatment plan, and help you get comfortable. The facility itself is often more warm and inviting than a hospital wing.
The mental health treatment available will also vary from center to center, but in general, you’ll receive better counseling through emotional withdrawal symptoms if you go to a detox center. In a hospital, you aren’t guaranteed to have access to counseling resources provided by the kind of caring individual you deserve.
If you’d like to take the first step toward your medically supervised detox, our counselors are waiting to help you at 877-497-6180