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Can I Go Home After Detox?

Detox is often the first clinical step in treating addiction. The addiction treatment and recovery journey will take time, dedication, and commitment. Even though individuals may want to go home after detox, it’s important to continue with treatment for stability and lasting sobriety.

Detox: The First Step in Treatment

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) 45, detoxification can be defined as a “set of interventions aimed at managing acute intoxication and withdrawal.” Toxins are cleared from the body of a client who is “acutely intoxicated and/or dependent on substance abuse.”

SAMHSA makes a very important note that detox is not considered substance abuse treatment or rehab. Instead, it is often the very first step in the treatment journey as a whole. Many programs will actually require you to have substances withdrawn from your body before you begin treatment. Others may provide a hybrid type of program where you will undergo detox right before beginning the actual treatment process.

Difference Between Detox and Treatment

According to SAMHSA, detox is the first step of recovery that often represents a “point of first contact” with the treatment system. Treatment and rehabilitation, on the other hand, involves a “constellation of ongoing therapeutic services ultimately intended to promote recovery for substance abuse patients.”

Substance abuse treatment is a journey that takes time and commitment. No two journeys are the same, just as no two individuals undergo the same exact set of circumstances that led them there.

Should I Go Home or Continue Treatment?

Detox is often conducted in a hospital or hospital-like setting. With 24/7, around-the-clock care, the detox process is held in an extremely structured environment. When you compare time in detox to actual substance abuse treatment, it’s very short. The actual detox will only last for a few days up to a few weeks, depending on the substances used and the severity of your addiction.

Detox as a “Short Stay”

It’s important to keep in mind that this first step is all about clearing substances out of your body so you can become stabilized again. This is not the time to build necessary life skills or explore other components that will help you re-enter daily life with confidence in your sobriety.

Even though most detox programs will come along with traditional talk therapies and other healing modalities, you will find that your time here comes to an end pretty fast. With this type of “short stay,” it’s going to be difficult to build the skills you need to create longevity in recovery.

It Can Be Dangerous to Go Home After Detox

After your body has gone through the detox process, you will probably feel a lot different. For someone who is used to having substances in their system, life after detox can feel like a brand-new world. It’s important to remember that any substance use after detox will be highly dangerous. Your body won’t be able to handle drugs or alcohol the way it used to, leaving you vulnerable to overdose.


Another reason it’s dangerous to go home after detox is that relapse can be highly common after this first phase of treatment. Even though relapse is a natural part of the recovery process, it can be more difficult to overcome without a proper treatment plan in place.

Going home after detox means there’s a good chance you’ll be on your own without a strong support system in place. If a relapse does occur, you may feel like a failure or decide to just give up.

With a proper treatment plan, however, a relapse can be another lesson learned along your journey. Your treatment team and peers will help you continue to move forward, giving you a much greater chance of finding lasting sobriety in the long term.

Recovery Is a Journey, Not a Sprint

According to a 2015 paper in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, recovery is a process of “personal growth with developmental milestones.” During this time, it is especially crucial to take care of yourself and your body.

You may feel more tired now that substances are out of your system, or you may feel a little strange as you adjust to this new chapter in life. Without a supportive framework after detox, you may feel lost. A structured treatment environment is wildly important with each new step along your journey.

Don’t Go Home After Detox: Treatment Options

One of the most popular treatment options after detox is inpatient or residential care. Programs like the one found at The Guest House will allow you to have a seamless transition from detox to the next chapter in your journey.

The residential program at The Guest House will help you develop healthy coping mechanisms and strategies for overcoming obstacles. You’ll also learn how to create healthy boundaries in relationships as you dig deep to uncover the root causes behind your addiction struggles.

After detox, you may have to return to work or family responsibilities. For those who cannot participate in residential treatment, The Guest House also offers highly structured outpatient and Day/Night programs. Here, you will find the supportive environment you need during these important phases in your recovery journey.

Mind, Body, and Soul Healing

Detox will lead to physical sobriety, but this is not enough on its own to help you find sustained recovery. At The Guest House, our mission is to help you discover lasting recovery through commitment, dedication, and practices that help heal the mind, body, and soul together as one. No matter where you may be in your recovery journey, The Guest House will offer you support and structure as you heal your addiction and begin living life again on your own terms.

Detox is just the first step in your journey of addiction treatment and recovery. While many people may want to go home after detox, this can actually be the most dangerous thing you can do. In the beginning, relapse rates can be all too common, leaving you open to overdose and even death. At The Guest House, we focus on healing the mind, body, and soul together as one. After our detox program, you will be seamlessly transitioned into residential treatment, outpatient, or even our Day/Night program. We truly believe that everyone experiences their own unique journey. Here, you will find comprehensive and individualized treatment to help you discover lasting sobriety. Call us today at (855) 483-7800.