So you have a problem with drugs or alcohol and have decided to do something about it. You have taken the First Step® and are ready to change your life. One of your first questions is sure to be, “Do I go to a medical detox, or to a drug rehab, or to both?” The answer is actually not easy, but generally depends on whether you are dependent or addicted.
Drug or Alcohol Dependence
You are “dependent” on a drug if you are going to have uncomfortable physiological symptoms when you stop taking the drug. For example, often someone will continue taking a substance, not because they believe it is helping them, but because stopping the drug will be painful for them and could prevent them from working or doing their normal activities for days or even weeks.
Drug or Alcohol Addiction
You are addicted to a drug or alcohol if you not only are dependent but are also drinking alcohol or taking the drug because of the way it makes you feel and gets you “high”. If you stop drinking or taking the drug, you will not only have uncomfortable physiological symptoms, but will also have emotional issues.
A medical detox is an inpatient medical center where you would go for your drug withdrawal or alcohol withdrawal. There is a huge difference among medical detox centers. First Step® offers superior treatment when compared to other detox centers, and you can assess this for yourself by clicking here. See also “What is Detox – in detail” below.
Drug rehab (which is the short form of “drug rehabilitation”) means programs that try to help a person addicted to drugs or alcohol overcome their need for the drug or alcohol on a psychological and emotional level. Drug rehabs can be outpatient and/or inpatient. Some drug rehab programs include drug detox at the beginning of the treatment cycle, while others do not.
Should I Do a Medical Detox, a Drug Rehab or Both?
The following table is a general guide to whether you should go to a medical detox, a rehab or both.