Addiction isn’t a personal issue—it’s a national epidemic.

An estimated 21 million Americans struggle with addiction, and drug overdose deaths have risen to record numbers.

Solving addiction in the US isn’t hopeless. While many never seek treatment, it may be the key to staying sober.

Detox centers can be the first step to recovering from drugs and alcohol. But do these centers really work? Find out what detox centers are, their goals, and how effective they are.

What Are Detox Centers?

Detox centers, often called rehabilitation centers or “rehab” for short, are facilities that help addicts break free from their substance use.

These centers are typically in-patient and help people with addiction detox from substances. This can include illicit drugs, alcohol, and prescription medications.

Goals of Detox Centers

Not all rehabilitation and detox centers are the same.

However, they typically share a few common goals. These goals can help you determine how effective a detox center actually is.

Physical Detox

Just as the name suggests, detox centers help patients eliminate toxic and addictive substances from their bodies.

The detoxification process can be extremely hard on the body. Drug addiction or dependence is more than mental. The entire body learns to function only with the chosen drug.

When detoxing, the body goes through withdrawal. This can include vomiting, flu-like symptoms, changes in body temperature, hallucinations, seizures, and other serious symptoms.

A detox center can help to manage these symptoms safely and help the body through recovery.

Reduced Use of Drugs and Alcohol

Detox centers are strict and secure when it comes to drug and alcohol use. No drugs or alcohol are allowed in the facilities, and patients generally don’t leave the facilities for weeks or even months.

This can help addicts finally isolate themselves and remove temptations from their environment. Then, they can start to live life without harmful substances.

New Coping Strategies

For most addicts, their drug of choice helps them cope with life problems. Drug and alcohol treatment at a rehab center should provide new, healthier coping strategies.

Many detox centers employ therapists who help addicts learn new perspectives and exercises that can help them overcome addiction. This aspect of rehab is especially important. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, twelve-step programs, and other types of therapeutic support are effective in treating addiction.

Improved Safety

Detox centers also have the goal of increasing safety for patients.

Addiction can lead to car accidents, reckless behavior, criminal behavior, overdose, and death. But after detoxing, patients can avoid these dangers.

Do Detox Centers Work?

Addiction can never be cured, and detox centers can’t cure patients. Even after spending time in a detox facility, relapse may happen.

But spending at least three months in a detox center can help patients reach the basic goals of drug and alcohol treatment.

To increase an addict’s chances of success, there should also be treatment after leaving rehab. Working with a therapist or joining a support group are two common options.

Start Getting Clean Today

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, start getting clean in a detox center.

Remember, these facilities are only the first step. But with effective therapy and support, detox centers can help addicts start to reclaim their lives.

For more advice for healthy living, read our latest health blog posts!