Updated on November 1st, 2018
The psychedelic 1960s and 1970s may be history, but drug addiction remains a major social problem, even if the bulk of attention has turned from reckless teenagers and inner-city derelicts to older and more “respectable” citizens. Everyone who follows the news now knows about middle-aged and senior people who are prescribed opiate painkillers for acute aches or post-surgical recovery, but become dependent on the medication for a new daily “normal.”
Regardless of a person’s age or economic status, medical detox centers are widely available. They might even be called big business: the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s online directory recognizes nearly a thousand detox centers in California alone. (Even for searches limited to southern California detox, there are nearly 80 centers with Los Angeles addresses, and 40 or 50 for San Diego.)
Sadly, as with most types of big business, there are also “addiction treatment centers” that exploit their clients to pocket money from insurance payments while offering substandard or no treatment. (Many a California detox center was licensed with little proof of qualifications, so if you need medical detox in California or anywhere else, the first rule is to choose your provider carefully. Don’t just Google “detox California” or “California detox centers” or “heroin detox in California” or “drug detox California” and choose at random from the results.)
Ethical and legal concerns aside, some people wonder whether detox centers are really necessary, whether a person can’t “just stop” and save all that expense and medical leave time. Well, detox and recovery centers are very important because:
1. Detox can be a life-or-death game.
Even withdrawal from heroin and other opiates, which just makes most people miserable for a few days, can kill if a detoxer becomes dehydrated or suicidal. With alcohol or benzodiazepines, where medication-assisted treatment is often necessary to manage the worst withdrawal symptoms, going cold turkey is nearly always a potentially deadly game of chance.
2. Because drug addiction is recognized as an illness, detox treatment is covered by most health insurance plans.
Quips about health insurance being “too establishment” are passé, even in California. A detox center for which your plan will pick up part or all of addiction-treatment costs should be available: talk with your insurance agent. And do understand exactly what your policy covers. The insurance company may not agree that the most expensive center is the best, or they may insist on carefully itemized verifications of whatever treatments you receive. (Increased awareness of insurance fraud in the detox industry has made many companies wary about no-questions-asked payments.)
3. Every addiction successfully treated saves all of society grief and money.
It’s not just drunk-driving accidents or crimes committed for drug money. Addiction wastes millions of dollars in the U.S. every year via more subtle points:
- Workers who regularly get high or hung over take more sick days, and are less productive and more likely to make mistakes when they do come to work. (A packer’s failure to get detox in California may be responsible for an expensive delivery’s arriving late in Nevada after taking the long route through North Dakota.)
- People with addiction typically need expensive medical treatment (especially for injuries and overdoses) before they ever accept the idea of detox—and often long after detox, if they were addicted long enough for the drugs to damage the liver, lungs or heart.
- People who share households with addicted family members are also more likely to miss work or suffer injury/illness, either from stress over the situation, damage done under the influence, or misguided attempts to cover the drug use.
- People with addiction spend a great deal of their money on more drugs, often leaving other bills unpaid.
- Under-the-influence property damage frequently requires payouts from car or other insurance companies—and may lead to those companies’ revoking the insurance or raising the premiums to unaffordable rates, leaving only out-of-pocket options in case of future damage.
- Even relatively minor possession or disorderly-conduct offenses incur law enforcement and court costs.
If professional detox looks expensive, consider how much money you (and your loved ones) will save in the future by eliminating drug-related expenses and risks.
4. Professional detox centers provide therapy, long-term sobriety plans and referrals to support networks.
“Just stopping” on your own means you’re relying totally on your own judgment, not just for getting sober but for staying sober. And even if you complete the “getting” part without serious difficulty, the “staying” part, with has no set end point, is going to be tough.
What will you do when an old drinking buddy asks where you’ve been, or when the stresses that “drove you to drink” resurface? Have you dealt with, or even acknowledged, the reasons behind your addiction? Do you personally know anyone else who understands the struggles of staying sober? No matter how determined you are not to return to drugs, professional help, resources and advance planning will further improve your chances, and will also ensure quick access to human support when the “one drink won’t hurt me now” siren call feels irresistible. (Don’t think you won’t be tempted to relapse, and remember that the people who are surest of themselves usually fall first.)
If you’re battling addiction, call a professional detox-treatment center today. You won’t regret it.
If you or a family member have addiction issues, and especially if you live in southern California, Inland Detox hopes you’ll consider us for your treatment needs. We rank among the best California detox centers and treat addiction to alcohol, benzodiazepines, cocaine, heroin, methadone, methamphetamines, prescription opiates and suboxone. Call 855-622-6708 for more information.