Detox Hospitalization

With the current nature of the widespread opioid epidemic plaguing the United States, the situation for addicts throughout the nation is more precarious than ever. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it’s estimated that about 115 Americans die every single day as a result of an opioid overdose. It’s of paramount importance for you to get help when facing addiction.

In the past, the stigma surrounding mental health and substance abuse was keeping people from admitting they had a problem and seeking help to overcome their addiction. The negative connotation people had with those struggling with addiction made people feel unable to be open and honest about their situation.

However, in the past decade, our culture has developed a deeper understanding of the disease of addiction and all that it entails. New evidence-based treatment practices have become available and addicts have a much better prognosis pertaining to their substance use disorder.





The first step in receiving proper addiction treatment is getting medically stabilized. This is achieved by attending a detox program. But, much like other aspects of addiction treatment, there are different routes that can be taken when tackling this important step. If you or a loved one is currently struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, you may be wondering whether detox hospitalization or private detox is the right step for you. Read more to learn the differences between the two before packing your bags and heading off to detox.

What Is a Substance Use Disorder?

Addiction, or diagnostically referred to as a substance use disorder, is a chronic condition currently affecting tens of millions of people in the United States alone. The NIH estimates that 22.7 million Americans needed treatment for a problem related to drugs or alcohol.

That said, a substance or alcohol use disorder is a recognized medical condition by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Or DSM-V. An individual must meet certain criteria set forth by the DSM-V to receive their diagnosis.


Some of the criteria surrounding a substance use disorder (SUD) diagnosis is:

  • Taking a substance in a larger amount and for longer than intended
  • Wanting to cut down or quit but not being able to do it
  • Spending a lot of time obtaining the substance
  • Craving or a strong desire to use the substance
  • Repeatedly unable to carry out major obligations at work, school, or home due to substance use
  • Continued use despite persistent or recurring social or interpersonal problems caused or made worse by substance use
  • Stopping or reducing important social, occupational, or recreational activities due to substance use
  • Recurrent use of the substance in physically hazardous situations
  • Consistent use of the substance despite acknowledgment of persistent or recurrent physical or psychological difficulties from using the substance
  • Tolerance as defined by either a need for markedly increased amounts to achieve intoxication or desired effect or markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount
  • Withdrawal manifesting as either characteristic syndrome or the substance is used to avoid withdrawal
drug addiction

If you or a loved one should meet a minimum of two to three of the criteria listed above, you will receive a substance use disorder diagnosis. It can range from mild, moderate, or severe in severity. A proper diagnosis is given by a mental health professional or physician.

Addiction is a unique disorder in the sense that it does not necessarily manifest in the exact same way for every addict and alcoholic. This means that it may appear to be simply “normal” substance use (also known as “functioning substance abuse”), but in reality is indicative of a major medical problem.

Upon receiving your official diagnosis, it’s important to take immediate action in seeking out addiction treatment in order to manage your condition. The first step of addiction treatment is always becoming medically stabilized through a detox program.

What Is Detox?

Detox is a key step in your journey from addiction to recovery. Since most substances, both illicit and prescription, present a likely possibility of causing a physical dependence, it can lead to nasty side effects if you attempt to stop using. Withdrawal is the term used to describe the onset of uncomfortable symptoms or side effects, both physical and psychological, as the brain and body attempt to regulate themselves after prolonged substance use.

Since drugs and alcohol actually alter the very internal chemistry of the brain and body, it can take some time for the body to return to normal after abusing drugs and alcohol. This adjustment period can last for days, weeks, months, and in the most severe cases, even years. This is what makes detox so crucial to your success in long-term recovery as well as your physical safety during this time.

Depending on the type of substance or substances you were using, detox can look a little bit different. Drugs such as alcohol or benzodiazepines present a unique impact on the body.

By changing the brain’s natural production of certain neurotransmitters, these drugs require a specific approach during detox. Withdrawal symptoms associated with these specific substances can have dangerous outcomes for patients, as people have reported having seizures and hallucinations during the withdrawal process.

detox symptoms

Detox aims to medically stabilize you following the prolonged use of drugs and alcohol quickly and safely. By implementing different detox medications, individualized detox treatment plans, close medical surveillance, and clinical techniques, the goal is to safely transition you off of your drug of choice and into sobriety.

Detox is an important step in recovery. Since it is impossible to do any clinical or therapeutic work while still actively using drugs or alcohol, getting sober needs to happen first. Once you have become medically stabilized and ready to take on the therapeutic aspect of addiction treatment, you can move on to the more involved portion of treatment.

Private Detox vs. Detox Hospitalization

So, now that you both understand addiction and detox, next comes the question of the difference between private detox and detox hospitalization. Both have their own positives and negatives, and weighing your options is important. Detox is the first step in addiction treatment, so making the right decision regarding detox sets the course for the remainder of treatment. An unsuccessful detox can lead to relapse and even overdose.

Detox hospitalization refers to detoxing in a hospital. Instead of heading off to a private facility, the actual detox occurs within a hospital. A private detox is a facility separate from any government facility or hospital. It offers its own detox program and provides all services in-house.


A private detox usually has a host of different amenities when compared to detox hospitalization. Private detoxes will usually offer private or semi-private rooms, which adds to the comfort of the entire process. Since withdrawals usually have painful symptoms, it helps to have your own space to relax and unwind.

Private detoxes receive their funding from private sources and typically operated by private companies or individuals. They operate to make a profit from providing their services. The prices are associated with treatment and therapy costs.

While private detox facilities often do cost far more money, usually private health insurance companies will cover most if not all the charges associated with treatment. The fact that they do cost money also helps out the patient, because that means there is more money to delegate to treatment and amenities.

Hiring the best medical and clinical team, having more comfortable facilities, and providing clients access to higher quality addiction therapy techniques are a few of the benefits of attending private detox over detoxing in a hospital.

The entire facility is dedicated to addiction treatment as well. Hospital detox is merely a portion of an entire hospital designated for detox patients. The entire hospital does not specialize in addiction treatment in the way that a private detox would.

The goal of private detox facilities is to make the detox process as comfortable and easy for the patient as possible. Providing comfort and safety is the goal of private facilities, as well as a more individualized approach to addiction treatment.


Detox hospitalization, on the other hand, is quite different in their approach toward addiction treatment. Taking a more “institutionalized” approach toward detox, as mentioned prior, hospital detox occurs in the psychiatric department of a hospital. Typically operated much like the regular psychiatric department, patients are in a lockdown setting.

Outside communication is usually severely limited or prohibited altogether throughout the detox hospitalization process. This means that you cannot call family or friends during your stay. Certain hospital detox programs offer detox medications to ease the pains of withdrawal, while others do not. This varies on a case-by-case basis.

As opposed to offering varied treatment program options like most private detox facilities, detoxing in a hospital setting usually limits you to 12-step program meetings and treatment techniques. This limits the opportunities to try different addiction treatment therapies, which you may find more helpful than just the typical 12-step approach.

Since funding for detox hospitalization is far more limited than that of the private sector, the amenities, including addiction treatment therapy techniques, will be restricted. You will not have access to any personal items, and recreation is usually limited to one hour outside and a single television set in the community room.

Detox hospitalization will ensure you detox safely and as comfortably as possible with a medication regimen, but there will be no other amenities to be enjoyed. The idea is to simply detox patients as opposed to providing an enjoyable and relaxing detox experience. This can adversely impact patients as it may discourage people from seeking the help they so desperately need.

Start Your Journey To Recovery Today

Are you or a loved one currently struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol and in need of detox services? Let Arete Recovery help you! With a full staff of medical and clinical addiction professionals, we can help you get back on track and live a happy, healthy, and sober life!

By calling now, you’ll be connected to one of our admissions specialists who can walk you through the admissions process and answer any questions or concerns you might have about the detox process. Our admissions team is standing by 24/7, ready to get you start on the journey toward recovery

Don’t delay, call (855) 781-9939 now or contact us online and take the first step toward overcoming addiction and living your best, sober life!