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Medical detoxification for drug and alcohol abuse is an essential and necessary part of the recovery process. During detox, addicts are slowly weaned off substances for the purpose of being physically and mentally stable enough to enter intensive drug treatment. While you may be tempted to quit drugs and alcohol cold turkey, you may want to think twice, detoxing from drugs and alcohol can be very uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. Entering into a drug and alcohol detox rehab allows you to withdrawal under close medical supervision.

If you are looking for drug treatment, you may not be aware of medical drug and alcohol detox medications and its importance in long-term recovery. Knowing what to look for in a detox program, can help reduce the anxious or fearful of detox, and help with your ultimate success in recovery. 

Tips For Choosing The Best Drug and Alcohol Detox

Drug Treatment Accreditation

First and foremost, the best drug and alcohol detox programs have the required accreditation and certification depending on your state. Drug detox programs utilize powerful medications to help make the withdrawal process more tolerable. In order for a detox facility to use these medications, they must undergo training and receive certification as outlined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

When looking at a drug and alcohol detox, the required certification must be present and up-to-date. If the facility you are looking at does not have the proper certification or accreditation, you must look elsewhere.

Experienced Drug and Alcohol Treatment Professionals

In addition to proper accreditation, the best drug and alcohol detox centers feature experienced and knowledgeable staff. Detox staff needs to have the proper education and experience in the field to deal with a wide variety of detox issues and concerns. They also should display respect and compassion in regards to your particular situation and needs.

Integrative Detox Programs

You may be aware that medications are a large part of drug and alcohol detox programs. While medications are important, the best detox facilities offer integrative therapies and interventions, that help aid the detox process. When looking for a detox facility, you should find those that provide holistic drug and alcohol treatment such as nutritional guidance, exercise programs, and stress management programs. Much like treatment, drug detox is not one size fits all. What may work for another person may not work for you.

Dual Diagnosis

It is important to understand that drug and alcohol abuse is often a sign of a deeper issue. More often than not, people suffering from drug and alcohol addiction also suffer from an underlying mental health disorder such as depressionanxiety or PTSD. If this is the case it’s best to choose a program that offers dual-diagnosis treatment. The best drug and alcohol detox facilities will conduct a thorough mental health evaluation to look for any mental health issues. If any such mental health disorders are discovered, they will be able to create a personalized care plan to address these issues.

Medical Evaluation

In addition to a comprehensive mental health evaluation, many of the best drug and alcohol detox centers also perform a thorough physical examination once you enter detox. The purpose of this examination is to uncover underlying or undiagnosed medical issues that make your recovery more difficult. As the mental health evaluation, detox staff will be able to create a specific treatment plan that will take into account any underlying health issues.

Seamless Transition to Drug Treatment

When looking for a drug and alcohol detox, it is essential to find a detox program that is “in house” with a drug treatment facility. Many drug and alcohol treatment facilities have detox services under their roof. This makes it possible for you to easily transition into intensive drug treatment once you are physically and psychologically stable. If the detox program is a stand-alone facility, they should be partnered with a reputable treatment facility they can recommend you to.

Despite the misgivings you may have about medical detox, it is vital to your long-term recovery. In finding the best drug and alcohol detox program for your needs, do diligent research and ask many questions. Your recovery is dependent on it.

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Written By: Linda Whiteside


Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who has been providing mental health services for over 10 years.

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson


Went to medical school at The George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

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