woman in despair

Detox vs. Cold Turkey


Sober Recovery Expert Author

woman in despair

If you are an addict seeking recovery from your addiction, you are probably considering whether you should enter a detox facility or try to quit cold turkey. To be completely accurate, detox anywhere can be cold turkey--in other words, abruptly done. Whether or not a person pays for detox, some agencies will not provide withdrawal medications unless they are clinically and medically necessary. Others will give drug users medication that will help ease their way out of their addiction.

The distinction made here is whether or not you need to go to a hospital or clinical setting for your detox process. Some people can detox at home, unless they are going to suffer seizures (as from alcohol detox from long-term, chronic drinking). Most drugs can be medically withdrawn from the body without substituting other drugs. Some people prefer a detox on withdrawal medications, due to the fact that coming off pain killers, heroin, and some other drugs can be an excrutiating process.

An addict seeking recovery may consider going cold turkey at home or entering a detox facility to get help with detox. This article will help you determine if you need to go to a clinical setting for help with your detox process, or if you can safely detox at home with your doctor's oversight.

Detoxing at a Facility

The average cost of detox in a facility depends on several factors. If you have insurance, your cost will range according to how much your insurance company will pay. If the agency provides medical detox, this can get quite pricey, because use of suboxone or other medications to get you "clean" is expensive. It requires a medical doctor, a nurse to monitor your care, and other healthcare personnel. A non-medical detox setting may give you a place to be quiet for sleep, food and opportunity to attend support groups and client interaction. These settings will have a room and someone to monitor your progress. It depends on what substances and how long you are using.

Costs for detox facilities can range from $200 per day for a setting with no medical interventions to $10,000 per day for medical interventions and all the comforts of home (some are even located on a tropical island with servants!) It is possible to get clean from substance use in either type of setting, and there are options available for every budget.

Cold Turkey at Home

It can also be possible to detox in your home. There are a few exceptions, and it will be regularly repeated here that this should only be done with the oversight of your personal physician. If you are coming off of anti-anxiety medication or muscle relaxing medication, please consult your doctor before attempting detox. These drugs need to be slowly titrated from a user's system. Stopping them abruptly is very dangerous and has serious side effects. Be sure to consult a physician before you attempt to withdraw from these drugs!

If you opt for detox at home, the best advice is to find a friend or loved one who will help you through the worst of it, usually the first three to five days. During this time, your support person needs to be sure that you do not fall, and that your intake of water and other nutrients is consistent, even if it makes you sick. There is a need for your body to have liquids and electrolytes to function during detox. If you can take them, chicken broth, soda crackers, white rice and applesauce are the foods most easily digested during distress. Be sure to ask someone to help you who will not give in and give you medications to get you through. If you are coming off a drug that must be titrated down (gradually decreased), have your support person go with you to the doctor so they know how much and when to give it. They need to be completely aware of danger signs to look for. A safe friend who knows how this detox business feels from personal experience may be the best help you can find.

If you or someone you know is seeking help from addiction, please visit our directory of treatment centers or call 800-772-8219 to start the path to recovery today.

Stay Connected
Subscribe to our newsletter to get addiction help, recovery inspiration and community tips delivered to your inbox.
No Thanks. I'm not Interested