Detox Versus Cold Turkey
If you’re seeking recovery from your addiction, one of the first decisions to make is whether to get detox help or simply go “cold turkey.”
In reality, whether you’re detoxing with the assistance of a treatment facility or going it alone, detox anywhere will be cold turkey, in that you’re going to stop using the substance abruptly. You’re not going to check into an alcohol or drug treatment program and taper off your drinking or drug use. You’re going to stop.
The question becomes—Should you go it alone?
There’s an old courtroom adage: The lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. The same could be said of an addict who decides to tackle his or her addiction on their own.
Depending on the substances you’re using and the duration of your use, coming off of their use can be an excruciating process. Having medical and mental health professionals assist and oversee your detoxification can be the difference between success and failure.
The Advantages of Detoxing in a Treatment Program
You’re going to need help. Were you to do this on your own, you’ll be needing to find a relative or a friend to assist you through the worst part of it—the acute detox stage—likely the first three to five days. This person will need to support you so you don’t fall back into using, keep your intake of water and nutrients consistent (even if it makes you sick), and it needs to be someone who won’t give in or back down. They also need to become educated enough to watch for warning signs and be ready to act should a dangerous situation arise.
Now ask yourself: Do you really want to assign someone you care about such responsibility?
In a qualified and capable treatment program, you’ll have medical and addiction professionals walk this path with you. Not only do you spare loved ones this difficult assignment, but you are able to lean on experienced professionals who’ve done this, successfully, many times over. They’ve seen it all and helped people through it. They know what to expect, how to respond, and have the necessary tools to help you at their discretion.
Depending on your addiction, certain medications may be helpful to alleviate some of your withdrawal symptoms, allowing you to focus more clearly on the work at hand—getting sober. These medications need to be prescribed, administered and monitored under the care of a licensed professional.
Counting the Costs of Detox
A lot of variables go into the price of specific treatments and programs. Here are some things you’ll need to consider as you weigh cost options:
- What type of treatment is this? Inpatient care tends to cost more than outpatient care, because they provide so much more in the way of life needs, meals, lodging and activities, as part of around-the-clock care.
- Where is the facility located? Is it near home? Far away? Are you paying more to be in the mountains? At the beach? What travel costs need to be considered?
- How large is the program? Is it a larger program with more participants or a smaller, offering more individualized treatment?
- What types of treatments are provided? Medically-assisted treatments? Therapy options? Comprehensive aftercare?
- How long is the program? The costs associated with a 30-day program will differ significantly from a 90-day program. What it the right fit for you?
- What amenities are offered? While this isn’t a vacation, having certain amenities available can be helpful. A swimming pool, on-sight gym, nutrition counseling, massage therapy, other therapies—there are costs involved with amenities.
It’s also important to understand what your insurance will cover, and which rehab facilities and treatment options work with your specific insurance plan. How are the costs addressed? Do you pay upfront and apply for reimbursement? Does the facility bill your insurance company directly? What are co-pays? How is your deductible applied?
A lot that goes into counting the costs. But here’s the most important part of the equation: Whatever the monetary cost of getting treatment, the price of not getting help with an addiction is much greater.
Your recovery is too important to let cost be a deterrent. Whatever you do, don’t let concern over cost talk you out of getting the help you need. The dangers of addiction, untreated, will exact far higher costs. You can find a rehab option that will work within your life and budget.