Chapter 7

Detoxification: 2001

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The Treatment Episode Data Set records the type of service to which clients are admitted for treatment. The categories used are broadly defined as ambulatory, residential, and detoxification. (See Appendix B for details.)

In 2001, 58 percent of admissions were to intensive or non-intensive outpatient treatment, 25 percent were to detoxification, and 17 percent were to residential treatment (Table 3.4). Admissions to detoxification treatment represent a special category of admissions. They are generally initiated because of an acute need for medical care. Detoxification is ideally followed by a transfer to either outpatient or residential treatment. However, this may not occur, or may not be traceable in the TEDS data collection system. (See Chapter 1.)

TEDS records three types of detoxification services. These are:

In 2001, 69 percent of detoxification admissions were to free-standing residential detoxification, 20 percent were hospital inpatient, and 11 percent were ambulatory (Table 7.2).

Tables 7.1a and 7.1b. Almost three-quarters of admissions to detoxification were for primary alcohol (49 percent) or opiates (33 percent). Cocaine accounted for 10 percent of detoxification admissions, and marijuana/hashish and stimulants for 2 percent each. The demographic characteristics of admissions to detoxification were slightly different than those for all admissions (compare with Tables 3.1a and 3.1b). Detoxification admissions were more likely to be male (75 percent vs. 70 percent of all admissions), Hispanic (17 percent vs. 12 percent of all admissions), and older (average age 38 vs. average age 34 for all admissions).

Figure 52
Detoxification admissions by sex, age, and primary substance: TEDS 2001

SOURCE: Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) - 5.31.03.


Table 7.2. Admissions to detoxification were more likely to be self-referred (63 percent) than were all admissions (36 percent; see Table 3.4) and less likely to enter treatment through the criminal justice system (10 percent vs. 35 percent). Daily use was reported by 82 percent of detoxification admissions, compared with 46 percent of all admissions (see Table 3.3). One-third of detoxification admissions (33 percent) were entering treatment for the first time, compared with 44 percent of all admissions, and 26 percent had been in treatment 5 or more times previously, compared with 12 percent of all admissions. For opiate admissions to detoxification, methadone was less likely to be planned as a part of treatment than for all opiate admissions (23 percent vs. 32 percent; see Table 3.4).