You have made the decision to get help for your substance use and you feel need detox. Now, you are trying to decide which is the best option, private detox or hospital detox, what should I choose? There are some vast differences in the philosophies and protocols between the two, and depending on your needs one may be better suited for you than the other.
Hospital detox is seen by many as an institutional approach to detox. In many cases, the hospital detox setting is based in or close to the psychiatric department. Patients are in a lock down status and are isolated or quarantined on a particular floor or corridor of the hospital. They are usually prohibited from contact with family and friends during the detox.
Some hospitals offer a medically managed detox which involves specific medications that will alleviate some of the discomfort from withdrawal symptoms, as well as medication to combat anxiety and to help you rest. The benefit to receiving detox in a hospital is that if you experience medical complications or an emergency, you should receive assistance quickly because you are already at the hospital. Hospital detox programs almost always implement a 12 step program into their plan and will require that you attend 12 step meetings during your detox and then prescribe meeting attendance as part of your aftercare along with outpatient addiction treatment counseling.
Hospitals generally restrict personal belongings, visits and phone calls while you are there to detox. There is usually a single television in a group room. Phones are usually for public use and calls are limited. In most cases, hospital detoxes restrict the use of laptops and cell phones and anything that can be plugged into a wall.
The general idea is that they do not want you to be too comfortable because the consensus is that it should not be like a retreat and the more uncomfortable you are the more likely it is that you will not return to substance use. This idea is not well received among all medical professionals and studies have shown that this approach can have an adverse effect and actually discourages people from seeking medical help for a serious alcohol or drug problem. It's important to understand the difference when trying to choose between a private detox or hospital detox.
Private detox is available in both medically managed and non medical programs. Private medical detox, like in hospital settings, uses medication to help the patient through the withdrawal process, as comfortably, safely and effectively as possible. Intravenous therapy medical detox is seen by many doctors as the safest and most effective approach to detox. IV therapy makes it possible for doctors to make immediate adjustments to the medication protocol as the patients withdrawal symptoms change.
The environment provided by a private detox facility is generally more upscale than that of its counterpart in a hospital. Some private detoxes allow patients to bring their cell phones and other personal belongings and many private facilities have wireless internet access available to guests who wish to bring their laptops. Where outside contact is restricted in the hospital setting, outside support is encouraged in some private detoxes.
Most private detox centers are affiliated with 12 step programs and some are not. Many private facilities will make recommendations for continued treatment, or an additional program that is available to help you to achieve long term success.
When your detox is complete, you may wish to consider enrolling in a program to help you rebuild your life. St. Jude Retreats is a non-treatment program that is not a 12 step program. The St. Jude Program uses cognitive behavioral education to educate and inspire guests to make lasting lifestyle changes. Guests build behaviors and more productive habits and choices to help them achieve long term success without the use of drugs and alcohol.
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