home detox or medical detox

How to Decide Between At-Home Detox vs. Medical Detox

When it comes to treating substance abuse, many people find it hard to figure out what to do about the problem in their lives. Where do you start? Who do you talk to? And will anyone even be able to help?

These questions often plague the minds of those who are struggling with alcohol or drug abuse. It’s not always easy to find the answers. So, many individuals become so overwhelmed that they simply decide not to get treatment at all.

In lieu of getting professional treatment, some people choose to detox at home. They opt for the “cold turkey” approach, which involves suddenly and immediately ending substance use in order to treat their addiction. Or, they work to wean themselves from the use of alcohol or drugs by gradually lowering the amount they use.

But, the truth is that detoxing at home is one of the most dangerous approaches to ending substance abuse. People who choose to quit cold turkey or detox at home are often placing themselves in harm’s way.

So, when trying to decide between at-home detox vs. medical detox, it’s best to choose the latter. Let’s talk about why this is the case.

The Truth About Detoxing at Home

Some individuals choose to detox from drug or alcohol use at home because they’re simply not sure how to find professional help. It seems as though there are countless rehab centers out there, each offering people a reason to choose them over the others. It can become very overwhelming for those who are searching for hope.

All people really want is freedom from addiction. But, instead, they feel bombarded by an addiction information overload. So, in order to end addiction without having to sort through the tidal wave of recovery center options, people may opt for the hassle-free option of detoxing at home.

Others may be discouraged by the price of addiction treatment. It can sometimes be challenging to come up with the money to get professional treatment for alcohol or drug abuse. So, some individuals just feel stuck. They’re unsure about whether or not they can afford treatment. As a result, they choose the at-home detox route, which, in a sense, is free.

In the long run, however, many individuals find that detoxing at home is far from free. It may not cost as much as professional detox programs. But, it’s definitely physically and emotionally costly.

While it’s certainly an understandable choice, it’s not the best choice. Those who choose to detox at home may suffer severely as a result of the withdrawal symptoms people experience when ending substance abuse.

Of course, the severity of withdrawal often depends on the type of substance and the length of use. Still, in any case, detoxing without professional and medical supervision can lead to some major problems as most individuals experience very serious physical and psychological effects.

Withdrawal: The Challenges of Ending Substance Use

Again, the withdrawal symptoms people experience when ending substance abuse will depend heavily on the type of substance they were using and how long they were using it. But, generally speaking, the symptoms of withdrawal can be very difficult to deal with.

Some of the common symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Dehydration
  • Nightmares
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Headaches
  • Excessive sweating
  • Muscular pain and stiffness
  • Changes in appetite (increase or decrease)

Sometimes, people may suffer from seizures, heart palpitations, and have problems with digestion. Withdrawal also leads to cognitive problems, including concentration difficulties.

In some cases, people may even experience symptoms of psychosis. Some may deal with hallucinations, paranoia, and delusional thinking. Individuals who are in withdrawal may also struggle with suicidal thoughts.

These symptoms are not just uncomfortable. They can cause people to become overwhelmed and exhausted. Unfortunately, these emotions often lead to self-harm and even suicide in severe cases of withdrawal. So, it only seems best to make sure that individuals who want to end substance abuse do so under the supervision of medical professionals who can help guide them through the withdrawal process.

Why Medical Detoxification is Best

As we mentioned earlier, withdrawal can be very intense and difficult to deal with. Many people have a hard time working through this phase of their recovery. As a result of the challenges that come up during withdrawal, some individuals feel that they have no choice but to relapse and use their drug of choice again in order to feel “normal” again.

But, they do have another choice. And this choice provides hope to even the hardest cases of addiction. Medical detox programs are designed to help people get through the detoxification process with comfort and safety.

A medical detox program is a type of detox that involves professionally administered medications that can help to improve the withdrawal process and make the journey to recovery much more comfortable.

Some medications in medical detox programs help to block cravings for drugs and alcohol. Some help to block the intensity of withdrawal symptoms. As a result of these effects, people who are working to end substance abuse in their lives can focus on getting better without the distractions of pain and discomfort.

Medically Detoxing at 1st Step Behavioral Health

There is no “one size fits all” type of treatment for addiction. Each person is different and has specific needs while in recovery. So there are various steps in a medical detox program. This allows professionals to find out exactly what individuals need.

First, individuals go through an evaluation process during which the medical team will determine how much medication is needed. Then, there’s the stabilization process, which introduces therapies and medication prescriptions to help those in treatment. The professional medical team then helps to prepare the client for detox. Next, the individual is on his or her way to total recovery from addiction!

After the detox process is over, therapy and counseling can help to equip them with the strategies they need in order to maintain the freedom they’ve worked so hard to gain!

If you or someone you know needs help overcoming a drug or alcohol use problem, please reach out to us here at 1st Step Behavioral Health. Let us help to bring addiction to an end for good! Call us at (866) 319-6126.



https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/teaching-packets/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction/section-iii/7-medical-detoxification https://www.addictioncenter.com/treatment/drug-and-alcohol-detox/

What to Expect from Inpatient Rehab?

Many people are hesitant to enter into alcohol or drug rehab in Broward County for a variety of reasons. Often there is such shame surrounding the substance abuse that the addict is worried about others finding out. But there isn’t need to worry, there are strict confidentiality policies surrounding drug rehabilitation and the information will not be shared with anyone other than you without your consent. Many people worry that rehabilitation will be too hard, too scary, or too long, but there are a variety of treatment options to meet your needs. Fear of the symptoms associated with withdrawal can also be hindering, but know that the skilled professionals can offer support and assistance during this difficult time.



The first step in drug rehabilitation is intake. There will be forms and questionnaires to fill out. Be as honest and forthcoming as possible, as these will help the staff find the right and most effective treatment for you. There may be some screenings and diagnostic health tests done as well to ensure your safety. These all require your consent.



This is the stage where the drugs or alcohol leave your body and withdrawal symptoms may occur. The length and severity of the process depends on the drug, extensitiviy of use, and your metabolic rate. You will be monitored closely during this time and may have symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, nausea, excessive sweating, insomnia, and diarrhea. It is important to work closely with your healthcare professionals during this time as some substance withdrawal symptoms can be more severe and include heart attack, seizures, and stroke.



During rehab and recovery it is likely that you will participate in group therapy, individual therapy, complete work books, and attend classes. Many treatment options also include family counseling, which can help to repair the damaged relationship caused by the addiction. These treatment options will provide you with the tools you need to stay sober and safe.  


To get yourself or a loved one started on a path of recovery from a drug or alcohol use disorder, contact us immediately. It’s never to early to seek treatment.

Increase Your Chances to Successfully Detox

Detoxification is easily one of the hardest parts of breaking free from the grip of addiction. It is facing withdrawal head on and pushing past it, instead of retreating back to the temporary comfort that the addictive substance provides. As such, it is very important to know what you’re up against, and the difficulties involved in beating addiction. While there are various places around the state to detox, Broward County and other southern Florida counties have plenty of resources to make detoxification a success.


Be In A Safe Environment

One of the most critical things in detoxification is being in an environment where the recovering addict is safe. One of the safer places to recover is in a rehab facility, but that won’t be practical for everyone. When we talk about safety, there’s two major things: first, there should be no risk that someone in an addiction can injure themselves, either accidentally or otherwise, and second, there should be little temptation to give up on the detox process. Sometimes, this can involve staying away from their current living situation and detoxing somewhere else.


Have Medical Help Available

While there are options for stay-in detox facilities, for some people this will not be feasible, either for personal reasons or because of waiting lists or distance, or any number of other things. However, just because an addict isn’t able to detox in a medical facility, that doesn’t mean they have to go without medical care. General practitioners, medical clinics, and rehab clinics all have resources available to help people who need medical help in the detox process. The drugs leaving the system will often cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, and having medical care will make the symptoms more manageable, will provide experience that knows if the symptoms are potentially dangerous, and will keep a recovering addict safe in case things get really bad.


If you or someone you love is in need of detox in Broward County, please contact First Step today.

Do I Need to Go Into Detox?

What is Detox?

Detox is the first stage of rehab that people go through immediately after they have quit using one or multiple substances. The detox period can last anywhere from a day or two up to a few weeks. The length of time you spend in detox will be determined both by the substance that you are addicted to as well as well as how your body reacts to the elimination of it from your body.

During detox in our South Florida facility, there is a good chance that you will find yourself going through withdrawal symptoms. Along with particularly strong cravings, those symptoms may include things like sleep disruption, headaches, hallucinations, vomiting, body aches, and/or others. When going through detox at our rehab center, we will make sure you are as comfortable as possible while you fight withdrawal.


Considering Detox?

Seeing as you have found your way to this article, it should be somewhat safe to assume that you are in need of rehab services in South Florida. However, it can be difficult to know whether you need to go into an inpatient rehab program that begins with detox or if you can get outpatient care at a drug and alcohol addiction recovery center.


Recovery Without Detox

Any time someone quits alcohol or a drug that they are addicted to, they are technically going through detox. However, going through recovery without going through detox at a rehab center can make the task nearly impossible for a large majority of people. And not only are the cravings incredibly difficult to handle on one’s own, not having experienced help on hand to help you get through the aforementioned withdrawal symptoms can lead to serious injury.

Whenever you are ready to start rehab and have professionally-trained and experienced staff members help you succeed in the endeavor, contact us with any questions or concerns. You can reach First Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126.


How Rehab Centers Will Help the Addict in Your Life

South Florida has a wound in its soul, and drug addiction is one of its symptoms. When it comes down to it, there is nothing more important to so many people as one’s life. While it can be hard to watch someone addicted with drugs carry on with their lives, many people are too afraid to risk their relationship with them to really reach out and make a difference. If there is one thing that is critical in the life of a person suffering from drug addiction, it is them or someone who cares about them taking the first step by contacting a rehab center.


How Detox Helps

The detoxification stage of rehab is crucial in the development of an effective treatment plan. While rehab is also about getting over the mental barriers, when an addict first comes into our programs, they are in a severe state. Their bodies still contain traces of the chemical substance that was being abused, and their bodies in most cases have become physically dependent on them. It can be two weeks, in some cases, before the addict’s system is over the worst parts of withdrawal and detoxification. But this step is necessary to address the underlying problems.


Rehab to End the Addiction

Rehab is a voluntary system for recovery, and it is important for an addict to know that what their doing has meaning and will move them toward a future where they aren’t dependent on chemicals to be happy. However, before that future, they have to address their own reasons for falling into the habit. Rehab is as much about completing one’s detox as it is about rediscovering how to live without chemical dependence. The mind is addicted as much as the body is, and often more. Rehab is like detox for the mind, and takes some time to complete.


Preventing Relapse with Aftercare

Even after the treatment is over at a rehab center, it’s not like a former addict is being booted out into the big, cold, hateful world. Recovery meetings and clinical visits are all wonderful options for extending one’s renewed state of being into a renewed life, and there are even more options than that, if it feels necessary. Aftercare, after all, is just as meaningful as basic treatment.


For more information about our South Florida rehab center to help you or someone you know, contact us online or give us a call at  (866) 319-6126.

How Detox will Kickstart Your Rehab

Detox is Only the Beginning

While it can be possible to quit using an addictive substance without the help of a rehab center or a monitored detox period, there comes a point in many addictions when that will no longer be realistically possible for most people. And when a substance addiction gets to that level, there is almost a guarantee that finally quitting that substance will mean needing to go through a detox period at our addiction rehab facility in South Florida.

Still, there are some misconceptions out there about the relationship between detox and rehab – primarily that they are one in the same. However, detox is “just” the beginning portion of rehab. In fact, while going through detox, most people end up not doing anything that is actually rehabilitating other than just getting the drugs or alcohol out of their system. Though detox is going to be the shortest and first part of the rehab process, that should not imply whatsoever that it will be easy or feel quick. It can be immensely difficult to detox from a substance someone has become addicted to, especially when withdrawal symptoms can be very harsh and strike at any moment. That is also why attempting detox on one’s own at home can not only be practically impossible, but rather dangerous as well.


Addiction is Both Psychological and Physical

Another one of those misconceptions mentioned earlier is that to end a substance addiction, the addict just needs to get all of the chemicals out of their system. That’s not nearly the case seeing as that’s what detox is for – and detox, as mentioned earlier, is just the beginning. After purging the drugs and alcohol completely from your body physically, the task becomes learning how to live life without turning to those substances. This is done through a variety of therapies, each of which offer important tools and lessons for patients to learn.


To get help for yourself or a loved one, contact us with any questions or to sign up for rehab.