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The Difference Between Detox and Rehab

a man sits with a glass of water as he he begins to detox in a drug rehab

The difference between detox and rehab is subtle, but there are key differences that you should be aware of if you are thinking about enrolling in an addiction rehab program. Both programs are an essential part of addiction treatment, but not all patients need to start with detox. In cases of mild addiction with minimal withdrawal symptoms, medical detox may not be necessary. When you first arrive at an addiction treatment center, they will run a full assessment to determine the right program to begin your recovery.

At Swift River, we work with men and women across Massachusetts who are struggling with addiction to alcohol, methamphetamines, and other harmful substances. We offer a full range of treatment programs, starting with drug and alcohol detox all the way through aftercare and alumni programs. Patients can work on their recovery at their pace in a safe and comfortable facility. For more information about our detox and other treatment programs, call 888.451.5895 today to speak with one of our supportive team members.

The Difference Between Detox and Rehab

What is the difference between detox and rehab? Detoxing focuses on the physical dependence of addiction, while rehab works on the mental aspect of this treatable illness. Together, they help men and women recover from addiction safely and are more likely to maintain their sobriety once treatment is complete.


Drug and alcohol detox is a short-term program that focuses on cleansing your body of the toxins that drugs and alcohol leave behind. The first week or two after quitting is the most difficult to get through. During this time, patients will experience a number of withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Intense cravings for the substance of choice
  • Stomach cramping
  • Trembling
  • Sweating
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Depression

Once completing a detox program, the next stage in recovery is rehab through inpatient or outpatient treatment programs.


Rehab is an extended program that can last 30-90 days or longer, depending on the severity of the addiction and any underlying mental health conditions that may be fueling it. Patients participate in a number of therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and various holistic therapies.

At Swift River, we provide our patients with drug and alcohol detox and addiction rehab. Men and women can begin their recovery through our detox program and then continue therapy through our residential, outpatient, and alumni programs.

Why Should You Enroll in Addiction Treatment?

Addiction to drugs and alcohol is a dangerous illness that is treatable through a combination of behavioral and holistic therapy and medical support. If you are struggling with addiction and it is causing problems at home, work, or school, the best way to beat your addiction with minimal risk of relapse is through an accredited addiction treatment program.

The benefits of enrolling in addiction treatment include:

  • A safer way to detox with minimal risk of relapse, overdose, and death. Medical staff will work with each patient to find the right combination of medication to reduce withdrawals and cravings with minimal side effects.
  • Behavioral therapists will help patients uncover the root cause of the addiction and teach them healthy ways of coping with their thoughts and feelings and any triggering situation.
  • During group therapy, patients will practice coping and communication skills while forming healthy relationships and seeing how addiction affects everyone, no matter their age, race, sex, or personal beliefs.
  • Families will have an opportunity to vent any frustrations or anger in a safe and non-judgmental environment. They will work on repairing any broken trust or relationships and learn how to create a supportive home environment.

Knowing the difference between detox and rehab can make the decision to enter rehab much easier. The more you know about what to expect, the better you can prepare yourself for life-altering changes that promote life-long recovery.

Discover Effective Detox Treatment at Swift River – Massachusetts

What is the difference between detox and rehab? At Swift River, we will go over every aspect of your treatment program and answer any questions you have about the recovery process. Behavioral therapists tailor each program based on the patient’s unique symptoms and cause to develop an effective program that includes detox, inpatient and outpatient rehab, and medication-assisted treatment.

Take that essential first step toward a healthier life today by calling 888.451.5895 or filling out our online form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Contact Swift River Now

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