Drug detox facilities are often medical centers or residential treatment facilities where drug addicts can go to begin a drug rehabilitation program. Drug detox programs are used to ease or relieve drug withdrawal symptoms while cleansing an addict’s body of any drugs or toxins; drug detoxification is not meant to treat drug addiction but is the first step in long-term treatment program. Detoxification might be achieved drug free or with the use of medications as an aspect of treatment. Often drug detoxification and treatment will occur in a residential program that lasts several months. Alcohol detox facilities are also often medical centers or residential treatment facilities where alcoholics can go to attend an alcohol rehabilitation program. Alcohol detoxification is a process by which a heavy drinker's body is cleansed of any alcohol and toxins. Abrupt withdrawal from long-term alcohol addiction and abuse without medical management can cause severe health risks and can be fatal. Alcohol detox is not a complete treatment for alcoholism. After detoxification, other treatments must be undertaken to deal with the underlying addiction that caused the alcohol abuse.

Inpatient or outpatient detox facilities?

Detoxification facilities can be either an outpatient basis (mental health centers, addiction clinics or private clinics) or inpatient (hospital or residential treatment centers). Inpatient detoxification lets the patient be closely monitored, avoids exposure to the substance of abuse, and can speed up the process of detoxification. Outpatient detoxification has the advantage of being less disruptive to the patient's life and the least expensive option. The choice of inpatient or outpatient facility depends on many factors such as the drug of abuse, amount and length of history of abuse, psychosocial issues, patient's age, and co-existing medical and/or psychiatric conditions among others. While treatment centers often have their own detoxification facilities, others make arrangements for their patients with detoxification programs at nearby sites, including hospitals and clinics. There are licensed detoxification facilities in most areas of the United States.