Detoxification or “detox” is often the first step in getting help for an individual who has Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Detox can also be known as Acute Treatment Services (ATS). It’s the first step toward recovery for many people who need medical management or who will go through withdrawal. Seeking treatment at a detox facility is important due to the toxic effect substances can have on an individual’s body. Suddenly stopping use of drugs or alcohol can have serious negative effects on an individual, including nausea, tremors, seizures, flu-like symptoms, inability to sleep, severe anxiety, and, in some cases, death.
Detox services provide 3 to 5 days of 24-hour care and monitoring for withdrawal. Factors involved in this decision include the substance(s) of abuse, duration of use, frequency of use, personal health factors, and any co-occurring illnesses. Medical management might be needed because the symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol, heroin, and some opioid medications can be dangerous and even life threatening. Inpatient detoxification allows the patient to be closely monitored and given medication to manage withdrawal. It is important to note that some detox facilities require that a person be medically cleared prior to intake; if so, it will be necessary to be medically cleared by your primary care doctor or an emergency department prior to reporting to the detox facility.
Eligibility and Priority Populations Include:
- People 18 years and older who are at risk for withdrawal from alcohol and other drugs.
- Certain high-risk populations are prioritized for detox services, including people who inject drugs, individuals experiencing homelessness, people who are pregnant, and people with a chronic but stable medical condition.