What Should You Look for in a Detox Facility You’re Trusting to Change Your Life?
How This Article Will Help You
Congratulations on your decision to seek a detox facility as part of your journey to recovery. This article will help you:
- Understand what happens during detox
- Choose a facility right for you
- Know your payment options with or without insurance
What Happens in Detox?
Detox is an abbreviation of the word “detoxification” and it refers to the removal of drugs or alcohol from your body. A detox facility is a medical center focused on keeping a patient safe during the detoxification process. In the cases of alcohol as well as many drugs (e.g. oxycontin, heroin), the discontinuation of use after prolonged addiction can be accompanied by significant withdrawal symptoms and a detox facility specializes in making this manageable so the patient remains on the road to recovery.
An inpatient detox facility provides:
- 24-hour medical monitoring of the patient during this initial period of drug or alcohol cessation
- In some cases, medications are provided to prevent serious complications and help the body cope with the absence of alcohol or a specific drug
- These medications are tapered over the course of treatment until they are eliminated altogether
- Medical care for withdrawal symptoms such as fever, headaches, diarrhea, muscle aches, panic attacks, and nausea
- Proper nutrition
A detox facility may also provide the following services during the detox process:
- Individual or group therapy
- Coping skills training
- Exercise sessions
- Therapy sessions that include family members
Detox is often the first step in treatment for alcoholism, heroin addiction, opioid addiction (e.g. oxycontin), and benzodiazepine addiction (e.g. Valium, Xanax, Ativan and Klonopin). One of the reasons detox is so important in the treatment of these addictions is that withdrawal may be accompanied by health risks such as seizure or an irregular heartbeat. Having a trained medical staff monitoring a person undergoing detox ensures proper medical intervention occurs if any life-threatening symptoms occur.
How to Choose The Right Detox Facility for You
Not all detox facilities are the same. First and foremost, it is advisable to seek a detox staffed with licensed doctors (and supporting medical personnel) who have years of experience treating addiction and helping individuals successfully complete detox. You should also ask if the facility has an accreditation with any professional organizations or state programs related to addiction treatment. Second, confirm that the facility has experience performing detox for the substance to which you’re addicted. A facility with experience treating your substance dependency should be able to provide you with an estimated timeline for detox as well as an overview of treatment during this period. Third, you should verify that a detox accepts your insurance coverage or is affordable from an out-of-pocket cost perspective. If your insurance is accepted, you can contact your insurer to review what you will be responsible to pay in terms of deductibles, copayments, or other cost-sharing. With respect to out-of-pocket payment for someone without insurance, you should ask for a good faith estimate of costs as well as the factors that could affect the final price. Fourth, review the facility’s website to evaluate the qualities of the premises and if there are any amenities that may improve your experience (e.g. hiking trails, yoga classes, internet access, etc.).
You may consider online rankings or reviews of detox centers but you must be careful when relying on these resources. Some centers may pay to be on a website directory devoted to detox resources. If you are not familiar with the reputation of the organization recommending various detox centers, do not place much trust in their guidance. Accreditation from a respected treatment association is far better than an online recommendation from a for-profit website.
Finding a Detox Near Me
Location is a major consideration for detox. If detox treatment includes family therapy then it is wise to seek a local provider or one within an acceptable driving distance for your family. If, however, the person suffering from addiction has a family and social network that encourages substance abuse, seeking an out-of-town detox facility may be a far better choice.
Should I Detox at Home
Home detox should be considered if treatment at a medically-assisted detox is not possible. However, home detox has several challenges such as:
- The person struggling with substance abuse does not have support from professionals who are familiar with the stages of detox and the appropriate care during those stages
- If a health problem (e.g. an irregular heartbeat, a seizure, rapid dehydration from continued vomiting) begins, a person in withdrawal may need assistance to call for an ambulance or to be transported to an Emergency Room
- An person who lives alone lacks support to stay away from alcohol or drugs when cravings occur during detox
Addiction is a difficult problem, which is why many people quickly relapse after trying to quit a substance they abuse. An advantage of formal treatment is the support a person receives from caring professionals focused on recovery success. Some people pursue home detox because of the financial savings, though it should be remembered that unsuccessful detox may result in continued addiction and financial burdens that attend it (which can far exceed the costs of medical detox). If you have a severe addiction, it is strongly encouraged that you seek medical assistance with detox because medical assistance increases the safety of the detoxification process. If your addiction is milder, it is still recommended that you at least consult with your physician before attempting detox.
How to Pay for Detox with Insurance or Out-of-Pocket
While many people pay for detox treatment with the help of insurance, those without insurance can also seek these services. If you have insurance, you should confirm that your detox facility accepts your insurance prior to treatment. HMO insurance plans have narrow networks of healthcare providers and are less likely to be accepted by your preferred detox facility. HMOs normally restrict care to in-network providers except in case of medical emergencies such as accidents or heart attacks. PPO health insurance, that allows out-of-network medical care, is more likely to cover the detox you choose (assuming they include substance abuse services within their health benefits).
Short-term health insurance is unlikely to cover substance abuse services because this form of insurance normally excludes pre-existing conditions from its coverage. Medicare does cover substance abuse services but a detox center may or may not accept Medicare’s reimbursement rate for care (which can be low by healthcare provider standards).
If you do not have insurance, you can ask a detox facility if they:
- Have a payment plan for the uninsured
- Recommend an alternative facility for people of limited economic means
If a payment plan is available, ask about the terms of the plan such as:
- What is the estimated cost of detox?
- How long do you have to pay-off the treatment costs?
- What interest rate is charged on the principal?
- What would they estimate the monthly payment be for your detox treatment?
- What factors could change the cost estimate?