The Difference Between Drug Detox and Drug Rehab
The death of 27-year-old singer Amy Winehouse has spawned renewed discussions about drug and alcohol treatments. Ms. Winehouse does not appear to have died of an overdose, but her well-known struggle with addiction led most to make that assumption immediately following her tragic death. Ms Winehouse was receiving outpatient addiction therapy at the time she died.
Even though substance abuse became the center of a whirlwind of conversations across the globe, remarkably few people actually understand the nuances of treating substance abuse. One example: A recent survey reveals that 70 percent of Americans do not know the difference between drug detox and drug rehab.
What Is Drug Detox?
Addictions are more than habitual behaviors. In many cases, they are psychologically motivated behaviors that wind up producing physical dependencies. Before a person can address the psychological and behavioral aspects of addiction, the physical dependency needs to be broken. That is the purpose of a drug detox program.
Whether involved in alcohol or drug abuse, the addict’s brain has been changed chemically and must be relieved of the poisons first and foremost. Stopping use of a drug cold-turkey can wreak havoc on the body, as some withdrawal symptoms can be potential health dangers in and of themselves. For this reason, detox facilities provide a safe and controlled environment while the drug is removed from a persons’ system. Detox should occur on an inpatient basis where quality medical care can be administered throughout the withdrawal process.
What Happens During Drug Rehab?
Following detox, the mental and emotional health of the addict needs to be addressed. Detox removed the problem substance; rehab seeks to refill the person with the appropriate habits and skills that will restore them to good health and a happy life. Drug rehab offers a variety of treatments, lasting anywhere from weeks to months, based on the treatment philosophy of the facility.
Once the person has undergone drug detox, they will need to commit themselves to the process of drug rehab. A number of treatments may be employed to address the various emotional and behavioral needs. Above all, the patient will need to take a long and honest look at themselves and their substance abuse and truly understand the scope of their problem. This is key since every drug abuser confronts some form of denial. Rehab is the opportunity to look unblinkingly at the things the person has been trying so hard to avoid.
Addiction treatments may include individual therapy, often using cognitive behavioral therapy. This therapy teaches people to recognize the link between their thinking and their behavior. Dysfunctional thinking leads to inappropriate behavior. Conversely, when the patient learns to think more correctly about themselves and their circumstances, more appropriate behaviors usually follow. Besides individual therapy, group counseling sessions, support groups, family therapy and even spiritual practices may be used to help the person form new habits.