When an individual or loved one calls into a detox because there is an issue with drugs and alcohol, it is usually during a crisis. Perhaps there has been an overdose and the potential patient is in the hospital emergency room? Perhaps there has been a relapse? Perhaps this is the first attempt at treatment, but the person has had a long history of addiction? Perhaps it is the parents calling, after catching their child using drugs? Perhaps the person has been to many rehabs over time, but can’t seem to find sustainable recovery? Perhaps the person, after attempting to stop on their own, has found they are going through drug or alcohol withdrawal and are scared?


There are many reasons someone would call a detox. Regardless of the crisis and regardless of the specific situation, there are some standard expectations that an individual or their loved one’s should have regarding entering detox for drugs and alcohol.

Drug and Alcohol Detox Expectations

First, the most important expectation that someone should have regarding detox is that the detox center or facility that they go to has their utmost safety and security in mind. They should expect that the detox facility and staff will take care of them using the latest in evidence-based medical and therapeutic modalities, including medication protocols and therapy approaches. They should expect that they will be in a safe, secure, comfortable, clean, respectful setting, meaning a comfortable environment, not rats or roaches on their room, a stress-free atmosphere, and good food that will make them feel good. They should expect to have 24/7 medical care and support. They should expect that their individual detox will be based on their medical and clinical needs, with the medical and clinical departments constantly reevaluating those needs during their detox experience.  They should expect that their privacy will be upheld via the highest standards of HIPAA. And they should expect to be treated with dignity and respect.


Additionally, a patient or their loved ones should understand that there are expectations of the patient regarding their stay in detox. They should expect that while the detox staff understands the difficult journey they are beginning, that the staff caring for them should also be treated with dignity and respect. They should expect that the detox staff expects them to take part in their own recovery journey. They should expect that the detox staff, as the healthcare professionals providing their care, will do everything in their power to make sure the patient finds and stays on a path of recovery, even sometimes when the patient might prefer otherwise. They should expect to be given the truth regarding addiction- that addiction is a chronic, progressive illness and that their best chances of long-term recovery require long-term treatment, care, and recovery support. Therefore, they should also expect that the detox and its staff will support whatever the best clinical recommendations are for the patient post-detox, meaning they will recommend the best aftercare options that will support long-term sustainable recovery.


Patients in detox for addiction and substance use disorder are not clients- they are not hiring a detox to detox them how they best see fit. Individuals suffering from addiction are suffering from a chronic illness, and the detox doctors, nurses, therapists, and staff are the healthcare professionals that will deliver that care based on the latest in evidence-based medical and clinical practices. That being said, such care must include a patient-centered approach, and all information regarding the patient’s history, needs, and wishes must be considered.


Getting off drugs and alcohol can be frightening. Going to detox can be scary, both for the patients who is about to make major decisions to change their life, as well as their loved ones who are sending the patient into the care of a detox center or detox facility. Recovery takes a village, which include the patients, the medical professionals providing their care, and their loved ones. Everyone in this equation needs to be invested, take part, and work to provide the best detox experience, as well as together make the best plan for the patient’s recovery moving forward. Everyone in this equation deserves respect and dignity. The detox experience comes with expectations of both the detox center and the patient- feeling respected, comfortable, and taken care of during such a difficult time of transformation.


If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorders, please give us a call. Innovo Detox offers the latest in evidence-based medical, psychiatric, and clinical care for those in need of detox and medical stabilization in Pennsylvania. Helping clients from Delaware County, Chester County, Dauphin County, Montgomery County and the surrounding Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or a loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a detox, rehab, treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (717) 619-3260 or email our team at info@innovodetox.com. For more information on our company or services, please visit our website at www.innovodetox.com.