Drug abuse can quickly become dependence. At this point, your drug or alcohol habit will quickly start to take a toll on your life — finances, physical and mental health.

The impact of drug dependence also extends to your relationship with friends, family and loved ones. Pretty soon, you’ll start to place the pursuit for drugs and alcohol over the feelings of those who care about you, hurting them in multiple ways.

At this point, the next best step is to find help in the form of a drug rehab program. And it usually starts with a comprehensive drug detox step.

Drug detox is the removal of every trace of your substance of choice from your body. It’s designed to minimize the damaging effects of drugs or alcohol on your body, especially when you stop using them.

Due to the withdrawal symptoms that show up during the drug detox process, the choice of a treatment approach is important. You must evaluate the available drug detox programs and choose the one that’s right for your needs.

Forms of Drug Detox Programs

The drug detox process can be unpleasant, even life-threatening in certain cases. That’s why it’s important to be under the supervision of trained addiction detox specialists.

Here are the main options for drug detox in Ontario:

Medically-Supervised Drug Detox

This drug detox treatment approach is often the right one for many individuals. That’s thanks to the level of attention you’ll get from trained addiction detox specialists. Medically-supervised drug detox requires signing into a residential detox centre, where you’ll have 24/7 care.

This approach to drug detox treatment removes temptations from your immediate environment. You’ll have zero access to drugs and alcohol. This is the best detox approach for people with severe forms of drug or alcohol dependence.

A medically-assisted detox is generally considered to be the safest form of drug detox. You’ll be under constant monitoring and supervision from highly trained medical staff. You have access to advanced medical equipment and medication. For instance, you may be put on a methadone treatment to help with heroin withdrawal symptoms during detox.

Home Detox

Home detox is a form of outpatient detox care. Here, you won’t check into a detox facility or have to leave your home. Instead, you’ll visit your detox care provider on a pre-agreed schedule to get medication, check-up and supervision.

The downsides to home detox is that the responsibility for avoiding the temptation to abuse drugs or alcohol rests with you. You’ll have to remove substances and paraphernalia from your home. You must also be disciplined to stop yourself from obtaining the substance.

Home detox also means no on-site care or supervision from addiction treatment professionals. It’s not the right drug detox approach if you have a serious dependence problem.

But if your drug abuse situation is mild, outpatient drug detox in the form of home detox is advisable. It’s also less expensive compared to medically-supervised drug detox.

home detox

Cold Turkey

We’ll start this section by recommending you never try to go cold turkey when quitting drugs or alcohol. This approach to drug detox is one where you suddenly stop using the substance, without any medical or professional intervention. It can be dangerous because you’ll be dealing with painful withdrawal symptoms without any help.

You may experience withdrawal symptoms like seizures, headaches, dehydration and intense fever. With other approaches to drug detox treatment, you get experienced addiction specialists who can administer medication when needed. But with cold turkey, you’re going it alone.

Related Article: Medical Detox in Toronto: What to Expect and How to Find the Right Facility

How to Choose the Best Drug Detox Approach for Your Needs?

Here’s what to consider before making the final decision on the right drug detox program for you:

Cost, Payment and Insurance

The right drug detox approach for you is one you can afford. Good drug detox care costs money. Therefore, you must find a balance between paying expensive drug detox fees and getting good care.

One way is to consider insurance payments. Ask potential drug detox care providers whether they take insurance payments before you make any final decisions. Some insurance companies will cover a large portion of your treatment expenses. This way, you have the opportunity to choose medically-supervised drug detox programs that cost more and offer comprehensive detox care.


The right drug detox approach for you is also a function of location and your current living conditions. Start by assessing your living situation and whether it makes sense to start the recovery journey in the same place.

Depending on your location, it may be better for you to be away from your normal environment. This is recommended for people who live in situations where there are triggers, negative peer pressure and unhealthy emotional factors. It’s better to choose medically supervised drug detox in this scenario.

Treatment Methods

The right drug detox approach is a function of your treatment needs. Before deciding on the drug detox treatment for you, discuss the treatment methods, types of therapy and priorities for drug detox with a representative of the treatment centre.

Some drug detox centres prioritize medication-assisted drug detox treatments. Similarly, others prefer to use medication as minimally as possible to prevent patients from replacing one addiction with other.

The right drug detox approach incorporates elements of therapy with medication and round-the-clock supervision. Choose a drug detox facility that ticks these boxes.

Family Involvement

Addiction isn’t a personal disease. If you have friends and family who care about you, it’s likely the effects of your addiction have affected them in the past.

Therefore, it’s better to choose an approach to drug detox and rehabilitation that involves the whole family. For instance, some drug detox centres offer family therapy sessions in addition to medical care. During these sessions, you and your loved ones will develop the tools to help you beat addiction together — as a unit.

family involvement

Program Timeline

The right drug detox approach offers you enough time to learn new habits and drop old ones. Most experts recommend spending at least 30 days in a drug detox program to get the best results.

But you must consider your individual situation before you sign up for a detox program. For instance, will you be able to take 30 days off work to focus on your detox program? And if you have kids, you must also consider who cares for them while you’re away at a detox center.

Similarly, some drug detox programs can take up to 90 days. This is the right drug detoxification approach for individuals dealing with severe cases of drug abuse and dependence. It provides enough time to manage withdrawal symptoms and start to develop the tools to ensure long-term recovery.

Related Article: The Benefits of a Detox Center: A Safe and Effective Way to Overcome Substance Dependence

Take Back Your Life with the Right Drug Detox Program

The right approach to drug detoxification accounts for individual needs like severity of drug dependence problem, the need for a structured environment and family involvement.

Here at Medical Detox Ontario, we always structure our drug detox programs to fit individual needs. We will assess your addiction history and individual history to create a detox plan that works for your specific needs. Contact us today to get started.

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