1) What is medical detox?

Detox is short for detoxification. Detoxification is the removing of toxins (poisons or harmful things) from the body. Drugs and alcohol are toxins. Medical detox means that the detoxification process is done under medical supervision. It can help to reduce some of the painful and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that can occur with removal of a drug or alcohol from the body.

2) What is drug addiction treatment?

Drug treatment is intended to help addicted individuals stop compulsive drug seeking and use. Treatment can occur in a variety of settings, take many different forms, and last for different lengths of time. Because drug addiction is typically a chronic disorder characterized by occasional relapses, a short-term, one-time treatment is usually not sufficient. For many, treatment is a long-term process that involves multiple interventions and regular monitoring.

3) How long does drug/alcohol treatment last?

Individuals progress through drug addiction treatment at various rates, so there is no predetermined length of treatment. However, research has shown unequivocally that good outcomes are contingent on adequate treatment length. Generally, for residential or outpatient treatment, participation for less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness, and treatment lasting significantly longer is recommended for maintaining positive outcomes.

4) What is a good outcome for drug/alcohol treatment?

Treatment dropout is one of the major problems encountered by treatment programs; therefore, motivational techniques that can keep patients engaged will also improve outcomes. By viewing addiction as a chronic disease and offering continuing care and monitoring, programs can succeed, but this will often require multiple episodes of treatment and readily readmitting patients that have relapsed.

5) Is drug addiction treatment worth its cost?

Substance abuse costs our Nation over $600 billion annually and treatment can help reduce these costs. Drug addiction treatment has been shown to reduce associated health and social costs by far more than the cost of the treatment itself. Treatment is also much less expensive than its alternatives, such as incarcerating addicted persons. For example, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (2001) the average cost for 1 full year of methadone maintenance treatment is approximately $4,700 per patient, whereas 1 full year of imprisonment costs approximately $24,000 per person. These statistics are being updated and the cost now is estimated to be greater than $25,000/year depending upon the medical needs of the inmate. Today, health insurance for substance abuse treatment can often assist a client in gaining access to better care. This, too, can improve outcomes and the quality of client’s overall experience.

6) How can the workplace play a role in substance abuse treatment?

Many workplaces sponsor Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) that offer short-term counseling and/or assistance in linking employees with drug or alcohol problems to local treatment resources, including peer support/recovery groups. In addition, therapeutic work environments that provide employment for drug-abusing individuals who can demonstrate abstinence have been shown not only to promote a continued drug-free lifestyle but also to improve job skills, punctuality, and other behaviors necessary for active employment throughout life. Urine testing facilities, trained personnel, and workplace monitors are needed to implement this type of treatment. Working with organizations like Rowen & Schuster that offer case management help to ensure the proper documentation and fit for duty progress reports are supplied to your company’s EAP representative to get you back on the job as quickly as possible.