For someone suffering from substance use disorder, the first step in overcoming addiction is typically detox. If a person is drinking or using drugs every single day, or binge drinking or using, there is a definite period of stabilization that is needed, both physically and emotionally, before any clinical treatment would be effective. Additionally, for many people using certain specific substances, such as alcohol, opioids, or benzodiazepines, there is a large chance that the person had developed a physical dependency to those substances. This means that their bodies are now physically dependent (or addicted) to those substances, and they will certainly develop physical withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop their use. This is why detox is a vital piece of an addiction treatment continuum of care, and most often the first step in a rehab or addiction treatment process.

However, some people suffering from addiction are either unaware that they need detox for drugs and alcohol, or suffer under a delusion that they can overcome their addiction or physical chemical dependency without needing to detox. Regardless, detox is not only the typical first step in a process of addiction treatment and addiction recovery, but it both a vital and important first step, as well as the safest and most comfortable way to go through the detox process.

So, how can someone know if they are in need of detox services and medical stabilization when they are suffering from addiction or regularly using drugs and alcohol? Here are some questions they can ask themselves. If most of the answers are “yes”, then there is little question that their next step should be going to detox and treatment, which will be the best first step towards recovery.

  • Am I drinking alcohol or using drugs every day?
  • Have I ever tried to stop on my own and been unsuccessful?
  • If I have tried to stop drinking or using drugs on my own in the past, have I ever gotten physically sick or physically ill?
  • Do I suffer from adverse mental health or emotional reactions when trying to stop using or drinking? When I try to stop, am I suffering from anxiety or depression?
  • Have I tried to moderate my drinking or using drugs previously, but was unable to and eventually returned to the normal amount?
  • Do I binge drink or use drugs? If so, when I start using drugs or drinking, do I have difficulty stopping or moderating?
  • Have I made numerous decisions or resolutions to stop in the past, or told family and friends that I was going to stop, but never actually took action to do so?
  • Has my family, friends, or other loved ones approached me previously, concerned about my drinking or drug use? How many times? Over how many years? If this is the case, have I denied having a problem with drugs and alcohol?
  • When people ask me about my drinking or drug use, or people have confronted me about it with concern, have I denied using or drinking when I actually was or have I minimized my drinking or drug use?
  • Have I previously had any of these experiences at least once, if not multiple times, due to my drinking and drug use:
  • Had my family or friends confront me due to using drugs or drinking
  • Been to detox, rehab, or addiction treatment
  • Began seeing a therapist, counselor, or psychiatrist due to substances
  • Spoken to a professional due because of my substance use or substance misuse
  • Gotten into legal issues due to drugs and alcohol
  • Been written up at work or lost a job due to substances
  • Disrupted relationships (marriage, dating, family, of friendships) due to my relationship with drugs and alcohol

If a person can go through this list, and honestly answer these questions, if most are answered in the affirmative there is no doubt that they are having an unhealthy relationship with drugs and alcohol. Therefore, they most likely are dealing with a substance use disorder or living in active addiction, so the answer to the question “Do I need detox?” is absolutely “yes.” Fortunately, a medical detox is, again, the safest, most comfortable way to detox from drugs and alcohol, find sobriety, and begin the transformational, life-changing process of addiction treatment and recovery.

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 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 For more information on our company or services, please visit our website at