Detox Vs Rehab Center: What’s The Difference?

According to studies, about 23 million American adults struggle with substance use disorder (SUD). Unfortunately, almost 75% of them do not seek or receive any form of treatment or support to battle their condition. 

Deciding to quit the old ways is a challenging feat in and of itself due to many factors. One such example is the lack of knowledge on how and where to start. Even family members may be unable to distinguish the treatment options that are right for their loved one一is it detox, rehab, or both? 

Contrary to popular belief, a detox and rehab center are not synonymous with each other. But they are both vital in one’s journey to recovery. Below is an in-depth look into the difference between detoxification and rehabilitation.

What does detoxification mean?

Detoxification is a medical intervention that aims to eliminate all the toxins and addictive substances in the body. It is usually the first step in addiction treatment. It involves limiting the use of a substance to remove their physical and mental dependence on it. 

Furthermore, detoxification helps recondition one’s body and mind that they do not need drugs or alcohol to survive. However, cutting down the supply of the addictive substance can have consequences to the body, known as withdrawal symptoms. It may include moderate to severe:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Chills and sweating
  • Tremors or shakiness
  • Sleep problems
  • Restlessness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Mood swings, e.g., irritability

Withdrawal symptoms may vary depending on the substance abused and the amount of time it has been used. It may also depend on the patient’s age, medical history, and underlying conditions. 

Regardless, seeking medical help and support during detox is vital due to the dangers of withdrawal symptoms. Medical guidance during detox also ensures that you have the proper support and care you need to cope with the process and avoid relapse. 

What happens in a detox center in Los Angeles?

A detox center is a medically-supervised facility that aims to provide physical, mental, psychological, and emotional support to patients undergoing detoxification. They are equipped to handle various withdrawal symptoms and helping patients go through the detox process in a controlled and less stressful environment. 

Detox facilities have different detox programs to address the unique needs of their patient. But most of the time, the alcohol or drug detox goes like this:


The first course of action is to identify the substance abused by the patient, the amount taken, and for how long. This will help healthcare providers anticipate the possible symptoms the patient might experience. This will also determine the length and severity of the detoxification process.


Next is the removal of harmful and addictive substances from the patient's system. This may be done by gradually reducing or stopping its consumption. Once the drug or alcohol stops entering the body system, a person may start to feel withdrawal symptoms, which can be mild or severe depending on their condition. 

Manage withdrawal symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms can have varying lengths and severity. That’s why seeking medical supervision during detox is important so a healthcare provider can offer medical and physical support. This can include starting an IV line to avoid dehydration or giving OTC medications that may help the detox process become bearable.


A healthcare provider or facility staff will monitor and supervise you 24/7 during detoxification. This may include getting your blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and oxygen saturation from time to time.

Taper the treatment

Detoxification usually takes at least three to ten days. During this timeline, your medical provider will gradually reduce your medication doses as they deem fit. 

Set up the next phase of treatment

Detox will gradually get rid of the toxins occupying your mind and body for so long. So, as you near the end of the process, you’ll feel more in control of your body while your mind will be functioning more optimally. However, your journey inside a detox center in Los Angeles is not the end of the road; it’s just merely the beginning.

Once you complete the detox process, your medical provider will prepare you for the next part of the treatment process一rehabilitation. Your care team will determine what kind of rehab program is right for your case. 

What is a rehabilitation center?

A drug and alcohol rehab aims to assist people with SUD cement their sobriety, heal emotional wounds, and achieve long-term success against their condition. It focuses on helping patients STAY sober and avoid relapse by providing various forms of therapy and treatment programs. 

Rehab centers may offer different treatment programs based on a patient’s needs. Your care team will assess what type of program you need, such as the following:

  • Residential or inpatient rehab
  • Intensive inpatient rehab
  • Outpatient rehab
  • Sober living homes
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Luxury rehab

The first weeks of recovery are always crucial since the threat of relapse is still there. So, after detox, one of the most common and effective treatment options is residential or inpatient rehabilitation. 

Residential rehabs allow recovering patients to undergo holistic programming without the distractive environment of the outside world. It also provides 24/7 support and supervision, as well as continuous therapy to instill healthy habits, coping mechanisms, and a new lifestyle. 

What happens inside a rehab center in Los Angeles?

The detox process mainly addresses the physical symptoms and consequences of addiction. In a rehab center, the focus is more on the emotional, mental, and psychological side of things. 

Rehabilitation facilities provide different programs that cater to one’s mental well-being, spiritual needs, and social life. It teaches patients to relearn their true selves, build their confidence again, and mend familial relationships. 

Some of the most common therapies and activities you or your loved one might encounter include:

  • Individual therapy and counseling
  • Group therapy with peers or family members
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Psychiatric treatment
  • Psychoeducation therapy
  • Faith-based services
  • Enrichment activities, such as yoga, meditation, and exercise
  • Career building
  • Relapse prevention program

These therapeutic programs not only benefit a patient’s overall well-being; it also equips them with the right tools they need to enter back into communities and be a part of society.

Additionally, rehabilitation and staying sober is a lifelong process and commitment. It doesn’t just stop after you get out of a rehab facility. That’s why most rehab centers, like Innovate Recovery, offer aftercare programs that provide continuous monitoring and support to alums. Such programs can also significantly prevent relapse or the recurrence of drug or alcohol abuse.


Detox and rehab centers have different purposes, approaches, lengths of stay, and benefits for people with SUD. Detox focuses more on addressing the physical symptoms of addiction, while rehab centers on counseling and therapeutic programs. 

However, both detox and rehab centers are essential in battling addiction. They should always go hand-in-hand to ensure recovery and long-term success. 

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Innovate Recovery and Rehab Center - A High-Quality Rehab and Detox Center in Los Angeles

If you or a loved one currently struggles with addiction or substance abuse disorder, then our team of healthcare professionals can help you.

At Innovate Recovery, there’s no shortage of therapies and medications to help and guide you toward recovery and sobriety. Our care team believes in research-based strategies in SUD treatment. Some of the diverse programs we offer include:



The first step is always the hardest. But we will be here with you every step of the way. Call our detox and rehab center near you  at (888) 577-0550. You can also learn more about our rehab center in Los Angeles by visiting our gallery page.

If you greatly value privacy and comfort as you recover from substance abuse addiction, then our Luxury rehab in Los Angeles at Innovate Recovery and Rehab Center is for you.


The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

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