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The Importance of Detox Before Residential Treatment

Taking The First Step

One of the important steps that a person struggling with drug or alcohol addiction can take is to understand that they require help. It is this understanding that allows them to admit that can open doors to the best addiction treatment center for them and their health. It’s important to understand what a rehab recovery program can actually do for a person struggling with addiction. One of the first steps that take place after an addict has signed up for an addiction recovery program is a drug detox.

Detoxification is the process in which all of the toxins that the drugs have introduced to the body are removed. It can be an extremely severe and unpleasant experience. That infamous experience is known as withdrawal, and all of its withdrawal symptoms can be especially difficult for an individual to get through on their own. However, it is a crucial step before other therapy methods can begin.

Detox And Withdrawal

Once the individual has been admitted into the facility, they’ll be supervised by a medical team or doctor 24/7. This is because withdrawal symptoms can be especially unpleasant and sometimes dangerous. While withdrawal varies from person to person and is dependent upon that person’s health, the drugs typically used, and how long those drugs were used, overall, the symptoms can be difficult to deal with. In some cases, the withdrawal experience can even be deadly.

This is why a professional medical team is readily on hand to help the individual through every step of the drug detox process. In some cases, it may be prudent to offer them non-addictive pain medication or other types of medication that can assist them through the process. While the body is certainly going to be fighting its cravings, drug rehabs are not interested in hurting their patients–only helping and supporting them. Detox centers specialize in making the withdrawal symptoms as manageable as possible.

As such, it may be possible that a doctor offers the addict a form of medication to take the edge off of the more severe symptoms. Detoxing from alcohol and drugs typically associated with relieving symptoms of anxiety are perhaps some of the most difficult to detox from. They could lead to serious medical conditions such as cardiac arrest or seizures. Because of this, it’s important that a person struggling with addiction seeks a detox from an actual addiction treatment center and not at home. Detoxing alone could prove lethal. Not to mention, detoxes performed at home are often less successful than those that are supervised by a knowledgeable and experienced team.

After Detox

Once the detox process has been completed, the toxins of the drugs or alcohol have completely left the body. It’s likely that the addict will be feeling a little weak after the ordeal. However, they’ll also likely feel a lot calmer and even healthier. Without detox, the body–and especially the brain–would be unable to move forward with the counseling that typically comes with the rest of the rehab recovery process.

Instead, if one did not go through a detox, it is likely that the brain, which has been hijacked by addiction, would cause the individual to seek out its addiction as soon as the therapy was over. In this case, time was spent receiving therapy, and they may have learned about triggers and environments that might lead them to use, but it wouldn’t matter. Their brain is still addicted and craving the drug. This is because of drugs such as opium, heroin, and alcohol work on the pleasure receptors of the brain. The mind and body have become reliant on them, resulting in physical addiction.

This is different from the individual that received a detox. With their body free of the toxins, their mind is a bit clearer. While addiction is something that will likely always exist, it can be reduced. The brain can recover with time. However, it cannot recover if it is not free of toxic substances in the first place.


Detox alone isn’t enough to maintain a life of sobriety. Typically, those who only go through a detox and then jump right back into normal life have a higher risk of relapsing than those who stick through with the full program. This is because that while the body was able to remove its toxins, the behavior was not changed. So, when that particular individual was met with a situation where they were driven to take drugs or alcohol, they likely succumbed and relapsed.

The change in behavior comes from the numerous forms of therapy that rehab centers offer. There are group therapies as well as individual therapies. These two resources, in particular, can provide a safe place of support as well as understanding. For group therapies, individuals are able to meet with others who are going through the same situations and share their stories. Friendships can be made that can last even after the recovery program is over. In fact, it’s suggested that these friendships remain strong after rehab so that the recovering individuals can continue to support one another in daily life.

For individual therapy, the recovering person can uncover the triggers and situations that drive them to take that drug or alcohol. If it’s a toxic relationship, then they might seek counsel and support from their therapist to remove that toxicity from their lives. After all, personal physical and mental health is more important than a relationship that’s unhealthy.

By uncovering these triggers, the individual can then develop healthy coping mechanisms, good behaviors, or even methods of avoidance to maintain their sobriety. With detox to rid their body of toxins, they can help their brain to heal. With therapy, they can learn good behaviors and understand their own triggers to better avoid relapsing. Together, these two halves of a recovery process can be extremely successful for an addicted individual. However, order matters. Without first detoxing, then an individual cannot hope to develop good behavior choices. They will only be a statistic of those who failed sobriety.


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Will my insurance cover treatment for addiction?

The Detox Center of L.A. accepts most major insurance providers and private healthcare policies. We offer free insurance verification as well as eligibility and benefits for both behavioral and mental health treatment services. Please fill out our insurance verification form here to verify your insurance.

What happens in addiction

Effective addiction treatment programs are tailored to each individual. Because of this, it will be a different experience for everyone. However, it generally involves a combination of detoxification, group and individual therapy, educational presentations, and aftercare planning in order to ensure long-term recovery. Upon arrival at The Detox Center of L.A., you can expect our professionally trained staff to create an individualized treatment plan based on your needs and treatment goals.