Detoxification is the process of flushing addictive substances and associated toxins out of someone’s system to help them achieve sobriety and physical and mental stability. It is a key first step to successful addiction recovery.

Being sober is a fundamental part of rehabilitation, and that cannot happen without first detoxing and going through the process of withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can, and usually do make detox an uncomfortable and unpleasant experience.

But detox is still a crucial part of the recovery process, and choosing the right drug detox center can make all the difference when it comes to ensuring the smoothest, safest, and most comfortable detox experience possible.


Many people do not understand the potential risks and dangers involved in the detoxification process and think that they can just stop taking drugs that they have become addicted to without experiencing any major problems.

Not only is this untrue, but it can also very easily lead to serious health complications and even death, depending on the substance of abuse. Certain drugs, like benzodiazepines, can have incredibly intense, painful, and dangerous withdrawal symptoms, including seizures, hallucinations, heart palpitations, psychosis, and more.

Even withdrawal symptoms that are more relatively mild can become tortuous to get through alone without professional medical intervention, especially when experienced in combination, like vomiting, diarrhea, exhaustion, and muscle pains.

There’s also mood-based symptoms to contend with, which are present during the withdrawal period of nearly every addictive substance and include intense feelings of anxiety and depression, which can manifest as suicidal thoughts and behavior.

Putting the issues of safety aside, struggling with withdrawal symptoms, as well as intense drug cravings, puts you at high risk of relapsing before even making it through the withdrawal process.

Choosing to go to a drug detox center instead can greatly reduce the potential negative impact of these issues or even avoid them altogether. A medical detox staff can carefully monitor you in a safe and controlled environment and provide different medications to help ease different withdrawal symptoms and help you make it through detox without relapsing.

A professional drug detox team is trained to handle the various complications that can occur during withdrawal and can provide you with everything they can to help make the process as smooth and painless as possible.

There is absolutely no reason to take all of the unnecessary risks involved in trying to detox at home when a drug detox treatment center can make the process safer and easier to bear, taking relapse out of the equation.

Once you understand the importance of detoxing at a professional treatment center, the next step is finding the right drug detox center for your needs.


Before searching for the right drug detox center, you need to know what kind of detox treatment is going to best fit your specific needs. This will depend on factors such as the severity of your addiction, your current state of health, and the substance that you are addicted to.

There are two main types of drug detox programs: inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient detox involves living onsite at a drug detox center throughout the entire course of your treatment, while in outpatient detox, you will still live at home but regularly visit the detox center for treatment.

Inpatient detox is usually the best option for people who:

  • Are struggling with severe addictions
  • Are in a poor state of health that could lead to complications
  • Have previously attempted to detox but relapsed
  • Are likely to experience intense or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms

Inpatient detox provides the safety of a controlled environment where you will receive 24/7 monitoring and medical care.

Outpatient detox, on the other hand, is typically the best choice for people who:

  • Have a fairly recent or less severe addiction
  • Are detoxing from a substance with mild withdrawal symptoms
  • Are otherwise in good health
  • Have a strong home support system

Also, within these two main detox treatments are two subtypes:

Partial hospitalization detox, which is a kind of in-between option for those who require a higher level of care than regular outpatient treatment but do not need 24-hour monitoring. In this case, you would still live at home, but typically spend between four to eight hours a day at a detox center for more intensive treatment.

Residential detox, which is similar to regular inpatient detox in that you will be living at a treatment center, but it will instead have amenities consistent with a residential, long-term stay. A residential detox is usually the first step in a residential long-term addiction treatment program, so this is the best option for someone looking for the easiest transition to ongoing care.

Also important to know ahead of time is the specific detox services you may need, as not all drug detox centers are going to be equipped to provide certain treatment options. If, for example, you have a co-occurring mental health disorder, you will want to make sure the detox drug centers you’re looking at offer dual diagnosis treatment, which can provide counseling and mental therapies during detox as well as physical ones.


When choosing a drug detox center, you want to be sure that you are going to receive quality treatment. Unfortunately, there are many low-quality or even fraudulent detox centers that are looking to take advantage of people seeking out help. So how can you know that a drug detox center is a legitimate facility that can offer high-quality treatment?

There are actually several ways for you to check the criteria of a drug detox center and quickly find out if they are a legitimate, properly licensed facility, including:

  • The center has received accreditation specifically through a national organization, such as the National Committee for Quality Assurance or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.
  • They have all the current licensing and certifications required to legally operate and are able to provide you with evidence of this.
  • All of the doctors are board-certified and licensed, and the clinicians, nurses, and other medical staff have their proper certifications as well. All of these certifications and licenses should also be up to date.
  • The treatments, therapies, and practices they employ are evidence-based, supported by research, and have a clear track record of success.

If it is possible for you to visit a potential drug detox center, that is one of the best ways to distinguish both legitimacy and quality, as you will be able to get a firsthand impression of the amenities available, and the patient to staff ratio, the condition of the facility, and more.


It can definitely feel overwhelming trying to keep all of these things in mind when looking for a drug detox center. One thing you can do to take out a lot of potential guesswork is to make a list of the most important things that you will want to know ahead of time before making your choice.

Some of these questions may vary depending on your specific needs, but some important general questions include:

  • Is your staff fully-trained and licensed?
  • Do you take my insurance?
  • Do you have options for alternative payment plans?
  • Do you offer medication-assisted treatment services?
  • What amenities are provided during treatment?
  • Do you provide counseling/dual diagnosis treatment?
  • Does your center provide ongoing care/aftercare program?

A legitimate drug detox center should have the answers to many of these questions available for you to easily look up on their website. However, some information, like finding out if a treatment center takes your specific insurance or has certain payment plan options, may require speaking to an admissions representative.

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