Alcohol addiction can destroy the lives of those affected. Detoxification is usually the first step of the recovery process and enables the person to complete the alcohol withdrawal process in a safe and supportive environment.

If you’re living with alcohol dependency, taking that first step to stop drinking can feel almost impossible. Despite your best intentions, sometimes you just need extra support to quit drinking. The recovery journey can be challenging, and it can take several months to transition into a life of lasting sobriety. At The Retreat NZ we know that once detoxification has taken place it is then possible and important to help the person connect with an alcohol-free life.


The goal of Social Detox is to provide a supportive, safe environment during the uncomfortable detoxification process and is commonly used in the treatment of alcohol addiction. The Retreat NZ provides Social Detox for guests who have committed to the 30-day residential programme after detox.

The Social Detox programme offered by The Retreat NZ is a non-medical, residential service that lasts three to five days. The detoxification process involves recovery from the effects of alcohol and the treatment required to manage withdrawal symptoms and promote recovery. Our staff have lived experience in detoxification, and provide 24-hour monitoring, observation, and support in a supervised environment so that guests can achieve initial recovery from the effects of alcohol. Our staff are not medically trained but are permitted to administer medication prescribed by a doctor.

Social Detox is characterised by its emphasis on peer and social support. It also provides care for guests whose intoxication or withdrawal signs require 24-hour structure and support, but the full resources of a medically monitored inpatient detox are not necessary.

Many other places state that they do medical detox but it is the same service offered as our social detox service.


Detoxification is among the first stages of alcohol addiction recovery. It is also the most critical because this is when life-threatening alcohol withdrawal symptoms are likely to occur. A ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t always work to help a person break free from addictions. There are two distinct types of detox methods: medical detox and social detox.

Medical Detox

Medical detox is the most common approach to addiction treatment. Recovery centres that use this method have nurses, doctors, and support staff who help manage acute withdrawal symptoms. Medical detox is often used for individuals with addictions to drugs such as: heroin, opioids, alcohol, sleep medication, benzodiazepines and stimulants like Adderall, Ritalin, and Ecstasy.

While each case is unique, medical detox normally lasts five to ten days. However, the duration may differ depending on the level of addiction. For instance, an individual with a long history of drug abuse may need more time to flush out all the toxins.

When a person goes through medical detox, a qualified medical professional provides constant monitoring and evaluation. The objective is to ease the pain and discomfort caused by withdrawal symptoms.

Social Detox

With social detoxification, recovery and withdrawal from alcohol are closely supervised, monitored and managed. Before initiating the process, a doctor will thoroughly evaluate the addicted person to determine if withdrawal from alcohol is safe and manageable without medical supervision. If the potential withdrawal symptoms are not life-threatening, medical detox may not be necessary and social detox can be safely applied. Prescribed medications can be administered during social detox.

Economically, social detox programmes tend to be cost-friendly compared to medical detox. However, constant monitoring is necessary since withdrawal symptoms can appear suddenly. Keen attention to emotional and physical nourishment, understanding and the patient’s safety is paramount.

Many other places state that they do medical detox but it is the same service offered as our social detox service.


At The Retreat NZ, we understand that detoxification on its own can be inadequate to correct existing social, psychological and behavioural issues that can trigger alcohol abuse. Detox is not a ‘quick fix’ but a necessary starting point on the road to recovery. Due to these limits, we make sure every person admitted into the Social Detox programme is adequately educated. Along with providing support and guidance this also includes helping the guests understand and adopt vital recovery principles.

With a team of experienced staff, The Retreat NZ provides around-the-clock monitoring. While going through a detox process, our 12 Step principles and approach help recovering individuals deal with underlying issues that cause alcoholism.

If a person is not severely addicted to alcohol, detox may not be required. To determine if an individual can withdraw from substance abuse without using medications, The Retreat NZ requires a thorough evaluation and screening by a doctor.


If you or a loved one are interested in our Social Detox programme or want to better understand how our programme works, please fill out the form and one of our dedicated staff members will contact you for more information.

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