How to Find a Detox Center

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, approximately 10 percent of the nation's population over the age of 12 requires treatment for illicit drug or alcohol abuse every year.[1] Eliminating these drugs from your system is called detoxing. While your body is perfectly capable of eliminating most toxins, such as chemically enhanced food, drugs and alcohol are tougher to deal with because your body will experience withdrawal symptoms during the elimination process. It’s important to find a detox center where professionals can assist you with the process safely.


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    Look for a detox center that will provide the best treatment for your addiction. There is no single treatment or program that is appropriate for every person. Some detox centers specialize in alcohol addiction only, some centers don’t treat symptoms of alcohol addiction at all. Define your addiction and search only for those facilities that specialize in its treatment.
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    Consider your lifestyle. While there are many detox centers that demand the patients live there during their treatment, you may not be able to commit to a program of that type. If you have a family and if you cannot take a leave from your job, then look for out-patient facilities. You’ll be able to go every day for treatment and counseling, and you will be able to go home and to your job every day. Most out-patient facilities cater to people with mild drug addictions.
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    Be honest with yourself about your addiction. Whether you are addicted to alcohol, food, drugs or any other substance, you know yourself better than anyone else. If you don’t think you can abstain from using or abusing your addictive substance, you probably need to have in-patient care. This means you will live at the detox center and you will have around the clock care and support. There will nothing there that can tempt you into relapse.
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    Interview the personnel at several detox centers. Take into consideration all of the following factors:
    • Cost (Will your insurance cover part or all of the expense?)
    • Amenities (TV, radio, Internet, etc.)
    • Visitors (Will your family and friends be allowed to visit you during your stay?)
    • Diet (do you have any special dietary needs? Allergies?)
    • Personal items (Can you keep your cell phone, computer, etc.?)
    • Duration of your stay (Exactly how long is the treatment program? What if you change your mind?)
    • Personnel (Ask to meet the people who will be treating you.)
    • Treatment specifics. (What will your daily regime entail? What are the rules?)
    • Orientation (Ask if you may take a tour of the facility before deciding.)


  • Consult the Better Business Bureau[2] and the appropriate department in your state[3] that oversees treatment centers to see if the facility you are considering has had complaints or problems. In most states, this is the Department of Public Health, but some states have a Department of Substance Abuse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a listing of each state’s Public Health Department.[4]
  • Ask if you may be put into contact with previous patients who have gone through the program. No credible institution would simply hand over this personal information about their clients, but if you authorize them to reveal your contact information, the facility in question should be willing to ask their previous patients if they would contact you and give their opinion of their treatment there.


  • It is critical that a rehabilitation program is in place before you end your formal treatment. Make sure the detox center you choose includes a comprehensive and long-term rehab program.
  • Be wary of any detox center that claims rapid detox. Rapid detox can be very harmful. Always choose a facility that has medical supervision, trained counseling professionals and one that doesn’t make fanciful claims about speedy recoveries.

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Categories: Drug Addictions